Sunday, November 30, 2008

Focus of Attention

Hillary will be Secretary of State.

Something I find fascinating about that article is the URL. The name of the file is "01clinton.html". The article is about the "security" (note - not foreign policy) team that Obama has assembled, yet it is filed under Hillary's name. This makes me think about a few things.

The chattering class and their avid readers in Whole Foods Nation are still more obsessed with their internal demons than with the fate of the nation. Stanley Fish's article on calumny aimed at the Clintons is as relevant today as when it was first published, and this is a danger to liberal politics. The fault line within the Democratic Party remains.

Next, the Neocons have succeeded in getting international relations and foreign policy intrepreted as police actions. It's not a policy team, it's a security team. The parts of the article not drooling over the presumed battle against the evil Clintons plays up the toughness and hawkishness of the new team, with emphasis on terrorism rather than the true international danger, which is the world wide collapse of economies.

The problematic emphasis on the Bush-style use of terrorism (The bad guys are gunna git you if you don't give us what we want) that so many of the Very Serious People want to promulgate, as though the problem with Bush/Cheney was the mode of execution and not the foreign and domestic policy objectives, focuses on the guys caught on video camera in train stations and hotel lobbies, the viscerally menacing Other, all too like the raging shooters at schools and malls. This terrorism is photogenic, adapts well to endless video loops on CNN, and allows the talking heads to hyperventilate.

What we don't see is the struggle for power in Pakistan, where the military continues to defy the civilian government, and where decades old US-USSR cold war operations continue to generate blowback. The Vale of Kashmir may be the single most dangerous flashpoint on the planet at the moment. We have an incoming president who has repeatedly voiced critical and belligerant opinions about Pakistan. We now have a Secretary of State who has connections to the (note relative term) more democratic elements in the country. And this is just one of the foreign policy challenges facing the new administration.

It may send WKJM into apoplexy, but the worst job in the world has been put into very good hands.


1 comment:

show me said...

I can't express the pure mean hearted joy I am feeling with the naming of Hillary to State!

May the talking heads all explode and Kerry and Richardson eat dirt!