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.


Chris ( 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?