(December 1, 2008)
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The Obama Election
To the Editor:
I though it was over, the psychodrama the rest of the world plays out with America. The recent release of Global Trends 2025 by the National Intelligence Council (NIC) should have been a game changer: "The United States...will be less dominant. Shrinking economic and military capabilities..." So it's over then, isn't it? Now Icelanders would start imagining their lives entwined with Germans or Indians. And Slovaks would look to -- why not? -- the Chinese for their pop stars and role models. The Dali Lama would say the hell with Hollywood -- we'll circulate our next petition in Mumbai and Bollywood. In a word, I expected everybody to toss their baseball cap and realign themselves psychically. It's not happening. Maybe no one believes the NIC. Why should they? Four years ago the same people announced with the same pomp that the USA was on top of the world and would remain there, using its spurs.
In Europe the embrace of Uncle Sam is as sweaty and grotesque as ever. In Italy the 83-year-old president Napolitano and the 72-year-old premier Berlusconi whooped up the electoral victory for youth in Washington. The premier's remark that the prez elect was not only a comely youngster but had a good tan set off general indignation. But the black immigrants in Italy weren't bothered. Quips they could handle, xenophobia and Nazi-skins, not. For their part the Brits were obsessing over the new first lady's style sense. What would her (sorry) color-scheme be for the sleep-over bedrooms? You would think that the Guardian and Telegraph readers had already got their invitations to Pennsylvania Avenue. The least we could have expected was that the French enjoyed a good gloat over the fall of the mighty. Were they given pause by the fact that the report pictured the European Union as a doddering, childless pensioner who could only up production by Muslim immigration? Camille Grand of the Fondation pour la recherche stratégique was not much impressed by the NIC's solemnities. The infatuation continues.
Lecce, Italy - November 22, 2008
Beware of Advocacy
Hey Monsieur d'Aymery,
Now that you are entering a new era of post-ideology and post-partisanship, an era dominated by pragmatism and competence only -- the return to Technocracy? -- you better jump on the bandwagon, stand still, salute the new chief on the block, and hope that your readers will eventually forget your all-out support for the old horse.
Poor Ralph [Nader] may turn out to become an albatross around your neck, at least as far as Swans' financial future is concerned. See what your standing on principles has wrought you? Worse, I am sure that you and your Rossinante spent more money on the Nader-Gonzalez campaign than you have received from donors this year. What a Waterloo!
You've been prolific on the financial and economic crises (by the way, closing a car brand is an expensive proposition due to those pesky State franchise laws...and going after NASCAR -- or Formula One -- will only get you tarred and feathered!), but you have stayed mum about Obamania. Is he a game changer for real, or just Clinton III?
Allez, bon vent. Hang in there.
Paris, France - November 29, 2008
Ed. Mrs. Claudia Corum (Letters, November 17, 2008), requesting anonymity, did send a small financial contribution in October 2007. We stand corrected and apologize for the inaccuracy.
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