Saturday, February 25, 2012

Class Act, but....

This is Hillary Clinton at her best, absolutely class act. This is why Americans of all stripe love her.

But the problem is different. If it were some domestic or American Politics, voters would simply floor at the feet of this leader with such a resolute and clear rhetoric. Alas, we do not have World Government and Hillary is not contesting next election to become some chief / representative of that government.

Of course, she is smart and she would be knowing all this - that this rhetoric is not something which will bring Russia and China along with rest of the world . What that means is all 'give and take' behind screen diplomacy is broken and Hillary does not have any choice other than going blast publicly.  Is she and Obama right in berating Russia and China so heavily in public? Have they made right choices in doing that? Did they try all means, and all types of offers to bring these 2 countries on board? I do not know and information is hard to come around. Only 'after fact' is what we will know based on the end result of this Syrian crisis.

There are way too many moving parts here. Until Putin gets re-elected emphatically and have quelled all of his nascent political opposition will he have room to concede something to Americans about Syria. The situation with China is even more grave. The new leader Xi will formally ascend only early next year and even after that it will be a while before he will be in any position to relent on this stridency. The safe route of backing Russia in this matter is a default position for China and they may prefer this status quo unless there is some lucrative offer from West and Arab League (preferred /discounted Oil for China?). The path for any resolution of this impasse goes through peeling off China from its alliance with Russia in this matter.

Beyond all this, things are even more complicated because of the Iran issue. The question for America would be while bargaining with Russia and China on international matters, where will be the first concessions consumed - on Iran or on Syria? It is unlikely that Russia and China, if at all those countries are in any mood to listen to West & Arab League; will offer concessions big enough to accommodate America on both Syria and Iran.

But then, international politics have never been short of multiple simultaneous demands and interests, operating all at the same time. Today is no different. In the end, Obama and Hillary will all be judged on what they achieve while all these competing demands are exerting pressure. My sense is, in the end the  issue of Iran will triumph. It is to assume Obama way too powerful to have been able to refrain Israel from attacking Iran and still get reelected. We have not been lately used to American Presidency 'so strong'. For America to allow Israel to attack Iran is a looser game - no matter what all brick bats will come American way whereas whatever is the political benefit there, it will go Israeli way; in the process eroding America's standing in the world dramatically. If an attack on Iran is inevitable, it is much better for America to lead it along with Israel. That moment of truth is coming and Obama Administration will look at all foreign policy issues through that prism, including the Syrian situation. 

No comments: