Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Punching foreign policy in the face

It's amazing how politicians come together at the Democratic National Convention for nothing but show. They hide their hatred for a few days, sing and dance together for a few days. Some even cry pointlessly on speeches, so taken they are by the moment.

From what I've heard, that is a giant change from decades ago, when these gatherings were the flashpoint where conflicts came to the forefront. The camaraderie this time was too ultrasweet, so fake. But it was fun to watch.

The coolest image was of a sardarji clapping his hand, singing "Born in the USA" with Melissa Etheridge and the crowd. Wearing an orange turban, the old papaji seemed out of place, looking left and right, hoping he wasn't spoiling the party. He seemingly had no choice but to join the die-hard crowd.

So this was a watershed event, yes. It's great we are witnessing progress in this country. I don't expect much change after the election, but that won't stop me from voting.

For the record, I'm undecided. Obama has lofty -- and somewhat flawed -- ambitions. He isn't on fair ground yet, and McCain doesn't sound like an independent anymore. A decision may come one day before election.

These scenes of celebration are a sharp contrast from Russia, where elections don't seem like watershed event. Yes, there is a level of distrust in elections that citizens don't want to force themselves into. But in some ways that could be changing.

It's tragic that people call up shows and say "the U.S. presidential candidate has to stand up against Russia for what's happening in Georgia." No offense, but those Americans seem ill-informed and would do well to return to college to study geopolitics. (The Georgia event is recycling what's been going in years.)

Candidates react, and say "we will fight Russia." That happened with brave John Kerry, who four years ago hinted at readily invading Russia to get rid of nuclear weapons. A new election, and it's happening all over again. Obama hints he will take action against Russia, but he doesn't mean it. You can't risk pissing off China and India by doing this.

So those kind of campaign threats have raised the heckles of Russians, who then resoundingly vote to keep Putin/his surrogates in office to ensurity security and peace of mind. Like every country, there are voters who really want change. Putin ensures those democratic parties are barred from entering for lack of funding/support, which makes the choice easy.

The rashness of American presidential wannabes to attack Russia creates a ripple effect. Eastern European countries are so tired, they don't trust the U.S. anymore to defend them. Russia's rival Poland doesn't at least. Russia can constantly holler threats, knowing the U.S. can't do anything to defend Poland.

Georgia is in a similar bind. Russia's been threatening it for years across the border, fermenting the independence ideology in South Ossetia and Abkhazia. Despite calls for help, the U.S. is issuing token statements, saying Russia shouldn't be a bad boy.

Georgians are suffering, yes, but the U.S. can't do anything as 1) it doesn't want to mess with Russia and 2) Georgia has no significant sway in U.S. or world policy.

So American presidential wannabes need to be smarter and stop their pointless war calls with its Cold War enemy. Be discrete indeed. It has a ripple effect on the Russian election. It starts with well-informed citizens, and a lot of work is needed. You can't have people calling into news stations because Russia is pissing them off.

And McCain is pushing for Russia to be knocked out of G8 -- the Group of 8 influential countries -- he must be frickin kidding. Shed your thoughts, sure, but think before talking policy. His knowledge of world affairs is better than Obama's, and if he intends to do that, it's better done quietly.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Now that Palin is McCain's running mate, are you still undecided?

2:51 PM  
Blogger Khakra said...

Mostly undecided. Hope I can like someone. I'm a believer in small government, it's McCain. But I also like the idea of complete overhaul, which is Obama. It's a dirty mix-and-match game. Palin became a joke when she said she has dealt with Russia. She is lying. She is not responsible for border security on the Aleutian Islands, which has a missile defense system installed. That would be the Pentagon and the U.S. military brass there.

11:42 AM  
Blogger Id it is said...

Not heard from you in awhile...

2:34 PM  
Blogger Id it is said...

"His knowledge of world affairs is better than Obama's" - but Obama has Biden..

I like your Russia 'ripple effect' theory; presidential candidates probably don't think through that far, unfortunately. What is more unfortunate is that some of them really don't care about the larger effect!

"I don't expect much change after the election, but that won't stop me from voting."

...the former statement hints at despair, a kind of despondency?

...the latter half of the statement needs justification in the light of the first half! hehe
I guess all of us have these 'passionate agendas'. I explained mine in my answer to your comment.

10:38 AM  

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