Nov 3, 2011

Tokenism Revisited.-- Rice, Powell, and Economic Warfare

Fascinating all week long to witness the media framing the prospect of a Greek referendum as beyond the pale.  Nobody even faking a preference for democracy. (of course Papandreou is playin' pussy's brinkmanship)

Also, international relations-wise , moments like this can be really instructive.  A keen eye will often - by monitoring course changes by political actors - get a good idea of who is buttering who's bread.

Also, on another topic, funny this: intelligence officials underscored that the United States does not conduct economic espionage as a matter of national policy.  Times have changed?  (Methinks not.)  They probably could have worded it better, i.e. to indicate that we don't spy to help our corporate interests.  (But that would have been pushing it too.)

And from this weekend's NYT Book Review:

Brent Scowcroft, Gerald Ford’s and George H. W. Bush’s national security adviser, said about the man he had worked with in two previous administrations: “Dick Cheney I don’t know anymore.” What had turned this capable, pragmatic, respected figure into the harsh and belligerent man who seemed toward the end to believe that only he understood the world of his time? Part of it was that he had become “really conservative,” as he told President Bush when he was invited to join the ticket in 2000. Certainly, he was convinced that 9/11 had dramatically changed the world and had radically transformed America’s role in it. And he was disturbed that so many people did not share his views. He also had serious heart problems through much of his life, which intensified during his tenure as vice president, and though he courageously fought to keep going, his poor health may have contributed to what Scowcroft considered his change.

The angry responses to Cheney’s book are evidence of how embattled the Bush White House became in its last years, and how central Cheney’s role was. Colin Powell has accused Cheney of taking “cheap shots” in his book. He has challenged Cheney’s claim that he had forced Powell out of the State Department. Powell himself had long made clear that he would serve only four years, and he charged Cheney with lying. Powell also called Cheney’s statements in the book “the kind of headline I would expect to come out of a gossip columnist.” He added, “I think Dick overshot the runway.” Rice responded to Cheney by describing his book as “utterly misleading” and an “attack on my integrity.” 

PS  A best friend -- Kodiak -- remains adamant on insisting Dick's a real nice guy (neighbors or energy biz-buddies, or something along those lines). Such claim remains a gnawing notion -- not unlike gravity -- I can't quite shake despite ambitious velocity vectoring asymptotically (alas) towards terminal. Dissonance.

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