Friday 2 June 2006

Morphing into Texan Bambi

Events prevent focus

A number of international political events have occurred over the last few weeks that I am only beginning to get a grasp of what really is going on.

Beyond the cacophony of the Iranian nuclear stand-off; the deafening silence in the North Korean nuclear bunker; the earth shaking tragedies of Indonesia to the news-filling but insignificant East Timor riots; the rickety cabinet in Iraq with the main planks of Defence and Interior not properly fitted or the rape of Zimbabwe where inflation has hit 4 figures.

The world has been busy with people being moved around like pawns in a chess game that has more pieces than the board can contain.

Initially, we had the first female foreign minister from the United Kingdom, the safe pair of hands of Mrs Margaret Beckett – heralding a deft touch of taking the macho out of the international arena and pairing up with Dr Condolezza Rice.

Much was read into this change, but in a time when the rhetoric about Iran was getting too uncomfortable for the markets and thinkers outside political circles, a change of this sort was welcome.

Leaving with nothing to explain

Just around that time, Porter Goss the Director of the CIA announced his sudden resignation to be replaced by a General whose department laid an onslaught on American civil liberties through the surveillance issue- well, it looked like a downturn.

This was complicated by the fact that Mr Goss left us with riddles that would morph into conspiracies about why he was leaving.

Mr Tony Blair then flew into Washington DC to meet with the POTUS (President of the United States), there was this press conference that went on for so long and some things were said that made one replay that segment till it was etched into the television screen.

Slanted thread for a life

In answer to a question about how they both felt about the war and the regrets they may have had – POTUS replied in contriteness that the Texan swagger acting out the Wild West bounty notices of “wanted dead or alive” could have been misinterpreted in other places of the world.

Well, we Europeans have formed more than just an opinion about Mr Bush, the threads in newgroups and blogs would do a moon-journey many times over, and this regret would obviate our prejudices and might just save lives too.

This was not looking like a “lame duck” president anymore, rather a more human “lovable Bambi” – cynicism would have allowed one to think this was early electioneering, but maybe this is really genuine.

A Conversation in conversions

Considering the deep religious convictions of both men, the Road to Damascus could as well be between the Oval Office and the room where the press conference took place – no doubt there was a visitation of sorts.

Then, the announcement that the chairman of Goldman Sachs is to replace the current Secretary of the Treasury, this was considered a major coup; getting one of the highest flyers on Wall Street to take on one of the most prestigious jobs in the cabinet.

The significance of that did not dawn on me till I heard first, that the United States would now talk to Iran [1] – well, I can remember writing about the need to talk, not too long ago [2] – that in my book is an Excellent grade in Diplomacy 101.

The thaw means no snow

Then yesterday, we heard that the 6 nations now, dealing with Iran about the nuclear crisis have new sweets, carrots and incentives to offer Iran.

Suddenly, a thawing or relations and the “cold war” has given way to some warmth – Did I say, that name of the departing Secretary to the Treasury was John W. Snow?

Well, wherever all the warmth came from, it looks like it would be a summer to remember. It looks like the right response to Iran’s letter to the POTUS.


[1] US prepared to negotiate with Iran

[2] America! Your move

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