France is the only country in the EU without an American base on its soil, I believe, and is notorious, in addition to a love of food, for having “the law made on the street.” For any who weren’t watching I’d like to point to the law presented by the then Prime Minister, M. de Villepin, on hours and wages, which immediately produced mobs on the streets demanding the retraction of the law. M. de Villepin immediately withdrew the law, thereby demonstrating that he is not only indubitably a gentleman, but faithfully upholds the traditions of his country.
The current American version of this, “Here, just memorize these talking points and go through them in reply to any question you’re asked about anything,” is neither attractive nor workable.
Personal responsibility for your actions, more especially if you occupy a position of authority, is not confined to M. de Villepin, however, but is standard in many other places. Japanese ministers are not required to commit ritual suicide if they screw up, but a very open and immediate acknowledgement of failure, acceptance of responsibility, and immediate resignation can not be avoided.
Other countries are not less but more demanding. The public execution of the Chinese Health Minister, for failures in oversight resulting in deaths, suggests that retiring to your garden to write your memoirs is still light punishment. The action is a welcome contrast to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), for example, where looking after the interests of cronies in the pharmaceutical companies, with the help of cronies in congress is a daily routine.
Some promising green shoots are emerging, Somaliland for one, (No, not Somalia nor Eritrea, do your own googling) though having successfully established in an admittedly small but viable stretch a working system providing peace, stability, and prosperity, they are immediately in danger of attempts to undermine them. See the attempt of the Islamic Courts Union to provide peace and stability, immediately smashed by Ethiopian army marching in and left looking foolish as they await further orders. The Ethiopians have no self interest at stake in not having peace and stability in Somalia, just the reverse.
And some very interesting things are happening in Mauretania. Let’s hope the WH won’t notice, being too occupied trying to get their Dicks out of the Middle East meat grinder. Statements from contestants for the 2008 presidential election offer no hope of any change, merely an intensification of the doctrine of the crazies. Barak Obama’s promise to strike wherever they wished inside Pakistan, with or without that country’s permission, merely adds another country, Pakistan, to the existing list of Syria, Lebanon, Iran, Afghanistan, and Iraq that must be attacked, and Hillary Clinton will keep troops and bases in Iraq, so voting Democrat changes nothing.
That does not mean other countries are without fault or have no skeletons to hide. In the case of France, there’s the blowing up of the Rainbow Warrior in harbor in New Zealand, and in the case of China the recent – August 3, 2007 – order to all Tibetan Buddhists that any one considering reincarnation must apply for permission in writing to the Chinese government will occupy a prominent place on many future comedy lists. The point is more that it is not blunders, stupidities, or negative qualities of people or nations that should be highlighted, but what can they do, what are they good for? You have a previously unsuspected escaped axe murderer among your acquaintance? Forget the western “scientific” notion of trying to find the causes – you’ll never find them. Try the Taoist approach – what is he useful for? How about timber trimming, log chopping and splitting, and general firewood provision?
“A man should mend old shoes if he can do no better to aid the republic.” - Jonathan Swift.
We have become accustomed to the fact that a majority of the neocons, Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Podhoretz, Wolfowitz, Perle, and so on, are not only Jewish but solidly linked to the Israeli government, but how come the main – and most effective – critics of the neocons, are also Jewish? Keith Olbermann, who has done as much – and probably more - to demolish the previously solid stone wall of neocon pretensions as anyone else, is certainly Jewish, and so also one would guess from her first name is his frequent guest, Rachel Maddow, the sharp edge of the progressive liberal movement. How come that two per cent of the population of the USA provide not only the ruling junta, but also the main opposition? Is this a demonstration of a Jewish conspiracy to control everything?
You’re asking the wrong question, and demonstrating your own brainwashing into accepting the racist classifications. We’re all inextricably mixed, and what you should be asking is “How come the majority of the population, the White Anglo Saxon Protestant ruling majority in America, has failed to provide as effective a champion? There are some very effective WASP opponents of the neocons, but how come the best and sharpest of them come from that same two per cent?”
Applause is certainly in order.