Thursday, February 26, 2009

Leon on Me

Remember my recent post in which I speculated that Leon Panetta, the new CIA director, would not be much more than a figurehead, like so many other political appointees who are assigned to head well-entrenched agencies? Apparently his first assignment is to... well, actually, his very first assignment was to announce that there would be no change in the war on terror, i.e. that the transition from Bush to Obama would be seamless, "war on terror"-wise. This certainly has to make the war industries happy; for a while there they were afraid they might have to cut back. And come to think of it, I don't recall any Democrat, either in or out of Congress, during the Bush administration, ever saying that the "War on Terror" was an outright hoax. I guess they figured that would be unwise, since, should they ever come back into power, they would inherit that as one of their primary missions -- and we know that no one loves war more than the Democrats, especially if it's a war against something nebulous and that can't be won.

But anyway, here's Panetta announcing that "the intelligence community is preparing a daily report on how the foreign policy of countries suffering economic instability might change." Well, yeah -- most places fighting wars in places like Iraq and Afghanistan would consider cutting back a bit if their own economies were melting down. But not us, nosiree! We'll stay over there until there's nothing left for our troops to come home to -- at which point they can settle down, like the marooned Roman soldiers of ancient times, and turn their swords into plowshares, and become good and peaceful citizens of Iraq, Afghanistan, etc. Who knows, it might have a good effect on the gene pools of those places.

What he's really saying is that some countries might have a grain of sense about these things -- even some of our allies! All it takes is an economic crisis, and they start wandering off the Wilsonian reservation. What kind of "allies" are these? I also imagine that the CIA is haunted by the spectre of communism, which always seems to gain popularity during times of economic crisis. Crisis leads to communism which leads to countries falling within the Chinese sphere of influence. Oh yeah, now I get it. The bright side should be that we wouldn't have to give them foreign aid any longer -- but apparently that doesn't impress anyone over in Langley.

But here's the kicker: "He (Panetta) mentioned specifically China and Russia..." Now, who is he kidding? China and Russia are large and in charge these days, in terms of the world economy. They are fiddling while we burn. They are probably the _least_ likely places to undergo "regime change", or significant foreign policy change, as a result of the economic crisis. For that matter, _we've_ undergone regime change just recently, largely as a result of the economic situation. Maybe this "daily report" ought to include a section on the United States, with discussions of why our foreign policy _isn't_ changing. Now that would make interesting reading.

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