Monday, February 09, 2009

Guess Who's Coming To Dinner (2009 version)

Excuse me, but can anyone explain why he was invited?

Clinton Packs Full Asia Agenda for First Trip as Secretary of State
The Washington Post


As preparation for her trip, Clinton last night had dinner with about a dozen experts on East Asia, seeking ideas and proposals. The dinner was organized by State's new head of policy planning, Anne-Marie Slaughter, and the guests included Michael J. Green, a former top adviser to President George W. Bush on Asia, economist Nicholas Lardy of the Peterson Institute for International Economics and Wendy Sherman, an Asia expert who headed Obama's State Department transition team.

The gentleman who said unkind things about the Democratic Party (both the U.S. and Japan versions) every time the Yomiuri Shimbun or NHK called, fishing for a quote? The gentleman who served in the confines of the Bush White House for five years, without complaint? The gentleman who, knowing well the stakes, could go ahead and publish a brief in November 2007 entitled, "The Abductee Issue is a Test of America's Strategic Credibility," winning brownie points with the Japanese right for a brief that, when one reads it, makes a rather different set of points?

This is the gentleman invited to the dinner acquainting the new Democratic Secretary of State with the state of relations with Japan?

In the name of all that is decent, should not Dr. Green be under quarantine for about, let us say, one full Administration? Are there not other, less angina-producing sources of information on Japan, persons who might have, at some point, said something nice about Democrats (both Japanese and American versions) or at least said nothing at all? Or is this a case of "I want my friends close--and my enemies even closer"?

Secretary Clinton, whatever Dr. Green may have offered you at dinner, please take it cum grano salis.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You're right, she should definitely stay away from the guy that probably knows more than anyone about Japan politically, and has the network and experience there.

I imagine you'd prefer she call you, or Tobias Harris, or some other person that's great at trashing the LDP (talk about fish in a barrel) but never offers a real solution but can act as cheerleader for the DPJ.