Over the course of a few days during a state visit to the United States, Mexican President Felipe Calderon fed the left’s latest object of fixation: their misinformed and misguided invective directed at Arizona’s entirely lawful and rather desperate measure to stem the side-effects of the Federal Government’s non-enforcement of a basic function of a nation’s sovereignty. The very existence of national borders, it seems is some sort of embarrassment for which we need to apologize even to the still totalitarian government in Beijing for. But like the idea that such an apology would indulge an ego or a favor, the means of that sort of rapprochement, not to mention any potential benefits from it, are of no value. They also reveal an inability to even employ ones’ adopted international policy stature.
I really wish that clutch of bufoons weren't acting like such amateurs. To begin with, it's absolutely off limits in diplomatic protocol to criticize another nation's domestic laws and affairs, but Calderon threw some red meat to his population and did just that.
Next, there are those that applauded them who indulged in the epic foolishness of, like it or not, not backing up a fellow citizen or government body in the face of foreign criticism. Another error a college sophmore in government affairs, international affairs, or as this lot would prefer, a major in "peace studies" would know.
If this is their idea of soft power, you now know quite vividly they wasted it, and have made tool after tool in the negotiator's tool kit unusable ever again. It isn't just the stick that has been rendered unusable - the carrot has now had any ability to lure implausible. The president, the very man held up by an equally uninformed press corps as some sort of sophisticate, is an inept and incapable practitioner of statecraft. He can't even seem to execute the "soft power" posture that he advocates. He can't even understand how to use the simple (and questionable) thesis promoted by Joseph Nye on "soft power" to the benefit of the United States anyway.
What's taken for relational interaction is turned into popularity playcraft, not statecraft.
In fact all one can do after that is force oneself into direct confrontation to be taken seriously in any matter grave enough to require the President's direct involvement, much as Chamberlain's appeasament forced the hawks' hands: sooner or later, someone will have to make a dramatic and restorative turnabout and overdo making the point of being tough on that border problem.
That international man of mystery, what with all of that savoire faire...
The president is an abject failure, even on a platform where populations worldwide and much of their leadership are giving him a million second-chances, and are willing to pretend him a success.
Moreover, we have a Secretary of State who originated in the ginned up world of pretend-retail politics, with no international affairs abilities outside of being a hand-shaking spouse. What's worse, is that it's patently obvious that she is gunning for an electoral challenge to the president, making dealing with the State Dept. and the White House by other governments an uncertain excercise, and inrtoduces the simple problem of whether or not they can even take communication from the United States Government seriously, for fear of that effort being lost on an internal political matter befitting a small European state or a thugocracy in Asia Minor.
Worse still was the feeble reporting.
The story is there. A trail of crumbs that could fill a commodity stockyard presented itself to the press, all pointing to a distaste for the defense of a nation by a class of leaders, and an inability to reflect on the effect of airing ones’ domestic political feelings in an international forum is left in plain view. In plain sight of the press laid even the simple ignorance of basic diplomatic interaction. You would think one of them would want to break away from the pack, show some distinction, and write so much as a wire piece about it.
Alas, who knew that the height of the dawn of the great new age of Aquarius would be characterized by a servile, pliant, (and often ignorant) press that was willing to let every word a national leader go unchallenged and unexamined.
All we need now to complete the lifestyle of the overbearing autarkies of the Eastern European Communist Block are brave sounding statements that are meant to inspire national solidarity behind the leader hung at intersections and under train trestles.
All for the good of man, of course.