Sunday, March 15, 2015


The President and the First Lady graced Los Angeles with a visit.  The endemic road rage reached a new climax after some main tstreets were closed for the presidential "beast" and retinue.  The President appeared on a talk show.  The First Lady performed some televised dance routines with Ellen De Generes.  Likewise, it has been said that Mrs. Clinton's TV appearance was awkward.  Rightly so, but at least it was dignified, if unconvincing.

One could make a list of all the short circuits that plague the power grid of this Administration and come to the conclusion that we are reaching a zero sum game.  Instead of appearing as creative--as it can be--and coming forward with a strategy, the White House appears too often like a repair shop, like some aggrandized garage inflating flat tires.  Accordingly, allies become insecure, contradictions remain unattended and the worse overtakes the better.  NATO, the anti-ISIS coalition (of the mutually incompatible), free-trade agreements, climate change, are often taken hostage to a multiplied unfair narrative. The White House has only itself to blame.
The Republican vocabulary is reduced to a couple of words: "Benghazi" or "Hillary/Email". The Administration has plenty of ammunition to counter-attack but is seen as playing the waiting game.

The possible Iran deal will be an other milestone. The agreement will probably be the best outcome in the current circumstances. Its weakness resides in the lack of contextualization. The Iranians should have been obliged to halt their unacceptable rants against Israel or the United States. Prime Minister Netanyahu has a point there. The deal is too "laboratory-like" to convince "informed" opponents.  The Republican "nay sayers" can be ignored as being the "usual suspects" rummaging into the political garbage bins.  Other Democratic and Republican critics should be answered and Congress has to be "part" of the deal in one way or another.
These times are too difficult to be overshadowed by "entertainment."  A little gravitas might go a long way to convince the sceptics, but this requires a more presidential open-door policy for Democrats and Republicans alike.

Finally, and more important, is the fact that for once the still manageable world (5+1) came together to stop an irritant/interloper from becoming unstoppable. This strategy( many versus one) needs life support and is in the end more desirable than the less appealing parts of a deal. This does not happen that often nowadays and the news out of the Kremlin is such that Putin had be better part of it rather than ignored.

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