Tuesday, November 30, 2010
On the Other Hand
I haven't perused the "news" yet this morning, so there may be other things going on that I might have missed, but I reread the post just previous to this one, and I'm kind of astonished at myself.
I'm "proud" of career State Department personnel?
All in all, the cable dump is "good?"
What's that all about? WTF?
I look at that and I ask, "Who wrote that? Was that me?"
And "What was I thinking?"
(Someone else reading it might thump their chest and assert with confidence that I was doing nothing but expressing my "tribalism" as a former Federal worker. Heh.)
Indeed. As should be obvious, I was more than a little concerned that the latest Doc Dump would prove an utter embarrassment on the world stage. The United States Government would be seen as a completely duplicitous, hypocritical, and deeply craven institution without honor or even the conception of it. What we would see from the cables was that the game that was being played on the table has nothing to do with the game being played below it.
We may still see that, but so far, what's been shown in the cables is that pretty much that everything's been up front, on the table, and thoroughly hashed around, by people who actually do know something of what they are doing. If there is an under-the-table game going on (as I'm sure there must be by some of the more shadowy agencies), it is not the State Department's game, even when the Devil's Daughter was running things from her raven's perch as Assistant Secretary of State for Mideastern Affairs.
That, to me, is a relief.
That doesn't mean I approve of the policies coming out of the DC workshops and palaces. That's a whole nother topic.
If the United States is going to engage in statecraft -- as it must -- I would rather it be done well and competently. It appears that that's the case. And it also appears that policy can change, and the career people at State are able to maintain their professionalism at statecraft no matter how the rules of engagement with the rest of the world shift. These are actually important reassurances that competence has not been completely jettisoned in the panic over The International Terrorist Conspiracy.
What we need now, it seems to me, is a serious and thoroughgoing reevaluation of policy. That was supposed to have been one of the "changes" we would see from the New Regime in DC. It hasn't quite worked out that way.
To put it delicately.
Unfortunately, the major push for policy changes is coming from the Rightists, some of whom are now, it is clear, intent on crashing the whole apparatus. The Revolutionary Spirit we saw from the Right during the Bushevik years has not been dampened at all. The Rightist Revolutionaries got much of what they wanted during the Bushevik reign, but they didn't get it All. That's what they're now after.
And they won't be satisfied until they achieve Ultimate Victory.
Opportunists, mostly of the more Ferengi Branch of Libertaria, are taking advantage of what they see as a Power Vacuum to insert themselves into the fray so as to grab their piece of the pie when it all falls down. The attacks on Old Line Liberals are only going to increase in the short term.
For all intents and purposes, Liberalism is a failed cause. The lights are going out in the Enlightenment one by one, and they aren't going to be re-lit any time soon. At least not in the West.
We're entering a New Dark Age in a sense.
Maybe my focus on the competence of career State Department personnel is misplaced.
When self-doubt enters the picture... ack.