Wednesday, June 11, 2014


Madam Secretary has started her Blitz book tour.  Yet again, the Clinton machine drills its way into the most thick walls but this time it might not get through the ever-expanding more skeptical minds.  Americans are growing weary of the Clinton saga. They are too familiar with the wit and the tricks, fatigue sets in and the "again?" might as well be the prelude to an "enough is enough".

Mrs. Clinton is sometimes alarmingly good at avoiding clarity but the public is getting tired of discombobulation.  Her intelligence is not in dispute, but her knack to blur looks sometimes larger than her ambition to explain.  One gets blase always hearing the "sum" of things rather than the "interplay" thereof.  President Obama's main weakness lies equally in his inability to suggest the road ahead. His many stops and U-turns have obscured the direction, and the goalpost is out of sight.  People have overdosed on the impressionistic approach. Expressionism is making a come back.

Mrs. Clinton argues that her travels, meetings and mixing of hard and soft power were at the core of restoring America's credibility worldwide.  This whirlwind might well have created a sandstorm wherein the million particles ended up clouding the horizon and erasing more cautious steps which are needed in a dangerous diplomatic shifting terrain.  Everybody speaks about her book while few will have read it because it is in everybody's face, the "Piketty Syndrome": C=Cx2 (one Clinton gets you two).

In this "much ado about nothing" there is a "there, there" nevertheless.  Her ambition is genuine, her passion for public service is beyond doubt.  Still, her many actions look more erratic than coherent.  President Obama is a most intelligent individual but comes across more and more as a man who now has chosen a metastasized modus operandi which starts to look dangerously narcissistic. Mrs. Clinton does not suffer from this "neurosis" but she (as well as others) have yet to suggest a global more panoramic view or guide book for the ills that besiege the United States, internally and externally. The appeal of the Tea Party lies in its preference for restoring rather than engaging. I disagree with this option but can understand its appeal, given the dysfunctions which appear in the American fabric.

A new voice should be heard, reclaiming America's leadership, in conjunction with others. The Atlantic partnership is weakened. China is currently busy taking the measure of America's commitments. Putin rules over a grotesque empire, but has shown that the lack of sophistication can also be turned into force. The former "Third World" countries divested themselves of their Bandung heritage and follow with the money.  Terrorism is spreading and filling any available space left for grabs.  A retrograde Caliphate is rising from Iraq to Syria and I prefer not to imagine what Afghanistan's and Pakistan's ugly twin's future will look like.  At least President Obama spares the United States of costly invasions.  Unfortunately, he is not good at cleaning up the mess he inherited.  He must also realize by now that drones don't talk, don't suggest, propose, coalesce.  Somewhere they are the action of last resort and reflect more often a lack of vision than long-term strategy.

Countries prefer to know where their partners stand, for better or for worse.  The President's West Point speech tried to answer some of the questions which appear daily in the press and in Republican and Democratic parties alike.  Secretary Clinton's enunciation of her "record" is spotty, failing to cover the many loopholes which continue to prevail in the US policy machine, which often looks amateurish.   She is sometimes too glib and smart for her own good, risking to end up looking like a cynical "dilettante".  The world needs to know where America stands, and so do Americans by the way. If no convincing answer is given, the United States risks following the EU precedent, wherein what is felt as looming decay has to measure up against a discontented populist wave.

The hurricane season is starting after all.  Run for cover!  The EU is looking for a president of the Commission (he/she had better get used to wearing a bullet-proof vest in the EU Parliament).  The Republicans in the US had their Brutus/Caesar moment after House Republican majority leader Eric Cantor's inglorious defeat at the hands of the Tea Party. Hillary knows all too well that if she chooses to run she will be obliged to leave Renoir's "impressions" for Otto Dix' "expressions". This lady is not for turning but she too will need nerves of "iron".

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