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April 13, 2009


Chris Ward

He's a good 'people guy', but there are a lot of 'money' forces in Washington. Let's hope Obama can keep things open and transparent. Corporate donations paying for all the TV advertising that you need to get elected President these days.

America is fortunate in being able to support itself in this world; if all else fails, the corn will still grow, the Hoover Dam and Niagara Falls will still make electricity, and you can spin it all up again. It may take a while, but it is bound to happen.

But what do you export ? What do you offer the world, and what do you force on the world ?

I'm not sure the world wants "Global American Leadership". I'm reasonably happy with my Queen; I think she's friends with your President; but we can only really be tourists in each other's countries.

"Global British Leadership" fell apart with the end of Empire, and the world is probably the better for the end of it.

So, "Global Partnership", maybe. Suggestions for terms-of-reference are welcome.

Rich-getting-richer at the expense of poor-getting-poorer is so 20th-Century. Have we moved on ?


We seem to be quite a bit in synch with the issues that concern us; which should be very encouraging from a statistical sampling perspective. If one were to judge by the headlines we headed into the G-20 with serious gaps in policy and came out with them but people pay attention to int'l news only slightly more than they pay attention to business and economic news despite the fact that jointly they define our ecology for survival. My take on the G-20 is that it was enormously better than the headlines would have it and, in the search for quick fixes and headlines (if it bleeds it leads) the real substance and amazing outcomes are lost. The amazing thing about a dancing bear is not that it qualifies for the Bolshoi but that it dances at all. In this case there were serious matters of substance that were tabled correctly and a new, "soft-power" (or more correctly smart power incorporating all the elements) was put in play. And as you say the tone couldn't have been better. In actual fact the world is looking for the US to resume/assume the mantle of leadership but not in a coercive way but persuasively while stepping up. The most important elements of which start with economics but go on to foreign policies and security matters. Now, in the spirit of Obamaesque tough love - woven thruout all the speeches you cite - we need to see appropriate efforts from the other players.

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