Friday, September 12, 2008
It has been said that the Bolivian government has declared the American ambassador persona non grata. Now, this is a curious affair.
What has the American, a certain Philip Goldberg, done to deserve such an indignity? He has evidently been too busy going
after drugs and thugs in that obscure country, offending the locals by his righteousness and, more seriously, conspiring
with opponents of the Morales government. This is hardly the first time such a thing has happened, and His Excellency is no
doubt a good man. It is always tempting but risky to attack the American ambassador; one should really only do so (viz
‘Braden o Perón!’) from a position of strength. Mr. Morales may be sincere, passionate and, at times, astute.
But his days are certainly numbered.
Monday, September 8, 2008
Talleyrand still finds himself in a predictive mood. He is wondering what will
happen between now and the American presidential election in November. Surely something dramatic must happen with this cast
One likely event, he thinks, is the long-awaited capture of a senior al-Qaeda member
somewhere in Pakistan. The recently publicized incursions by US special forces onto Pakistani territory—which we must
assume have been happening under the radar screen for some time—may be just the beginning of the end for someone. Talleyrand’s
sources tell him that the best candidate is the infamous Ayman-al Zawahiri. But we shall have to wait and see.
The impact on the US presidential election and around the world is unknowable. Something this dramatic need not necessarily
energize the Republican party and its candidates, they who continue to urge a heavy focus on Iraq. Talleyrand has his doubts
as to whether the executive powers that be really care about the political fallout. Like most lame-duckers, their thinking
nowadays must surely be all about ‘legacy’. And we know from their own mouths that the one thing they claim to
care about more than anything else is ‘leaving this place in better shape than the way we found it’.