Friday, March 16, 2007

Geo-Political Gasbags

If Henry Kissinger is back, can Zbigniew Brzezinski be far behind? Sure enough, here he is this week, flogging a new book and dazzling Jon Stewart with his insights on what went wrong since the golden days of American diplomacy when he was counseling Jimmy Carter.

In my limited experience on corporate boards, it was fascinating to watch academic politicians at work. A college president, dean or professor emeritus would listen to the heated arguments of executives, then offer a lofty summary of the underlying disagreement (without ever taking a position himself) and reap the praise of rough-and-ready businessmen for elevating their power struggles into larger issues.

When movies made in England were being shown here for the first time in the 1950s, it became clear after a while that they were not all masterpieces. But somehow the British accents could make soppy soap operas seem profound.

If you listen carefully to what Kissinger and his East European doppelganger are saying, there often is not much more there than you can get from the Texas twang of George Bush’s platitudes.

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