Monday, January 14, 2008

Credibility Gulf

The World Tonight (14 Jan) reports that George W. Bush's urging of Saudi and the Gulf states to confront Iran, along with his call for countries like Saudi Arabia to come over all democratic, has not impressed everyone. A comparison from 1964, perhaps:
the U.S. described the Chinese government of that time in terms very similar to those used later by George W. Bush to describe the 'axis [of evil]' governments. Soviet leaders, American observers were already saying, were ruthless but rational. They wanted to stay in power and stay alive, not die in a universal conflagration. They could be deterred. Mao Zedong was said to be different. He was a proven fanatic. He could not be counted on to make rational decisions...The choice for the American government, then as now, was between relying chiefly on diplomacy or chiefly on force. Johnson like every other president [since 1945] but the current one, chose diplomacy, and the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty was born.
-- from The Seventh Decade.

P.S. 16 Jan:
Arab TV offered an uncomfortable juxtaposition: Al Arabiya running the wretched saga of Gaza children suffering from a lack of food and medicine during the Israeli blockade, blending into the wretched excess scenes of W. being festooned with rapper-level bling from royal hosts flush with gazillions from gouging us on oil
. -- from Maureen Dowd on Faith, Freedom and Bling in the Middle East.

No comments: