Sunday, February 15, 2009

The Takeaway from Tokyo

If one were a member of U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's entourage, harried, sleep deprived, on a strict regimen of hurry-up-and-wait, what would be the takeaway, the kicker, the palm-of-the-hand-sized lesson one should come from one's few hours in Japan?

It's this:

The Secretary is in a land ruled by embarrassingly over-aged adolescents, chronological adults whose sole qualifications for high office are the funky electoral victories their ancestors won 50, 60 or 70 years ago.

Despite a democratic constitution, free elections, a fiercely dedicated and meritocratic bureaucracy, plentiful water, rich soil, peace with neighboring countries, absurdly high levels of personal safety, a fanatically hard-working, healthy and educated citizenry--the political classes, in pursuit of their own personal interests, have nearly managed to run the country into the ground.

Politics and governance matter.

---------------------------------------------------

P.S. Sure, if it helps, think of it as something like an island Switzerland under a 50 year-long presidency of G. W. Bush.

4 comments:

Chris (i-cjw.com) said...

Hear, hear.

Martin J Frid said...

What are the odds that she will pop up to DPRK for a surprise visit? Kind of do a Nixon-to-China?

MTC said...

Herr Frid -

Not very high, I would think.

The one thing the DPRK regime seems to truly love is minutely detailed choreography.

Martin J Frid said...

Thanks, MTC-san,

So how on earth did Mrs Albright make it all the way to Pyongyang?