Political Insanity: Using Old Formulas & Expecting Different Results

Morning in the Mountains - Caspar David Friedrich 

In politics, it is customary to be prolix. The wordier a politician is the better because he will be revealing his ability to commit to nothing, to promise little, to mislead a lot and avoid being concrete.

This week, we are going to look at some of the most frivolous things politicians say and briefly comment on them:

"The US has underwritten the regional security order for the past 70 years and it sees now a time to disengage. We will have to do it all ourselves" --- A Saudi Official
(Context: POTUS' visit to Saudi Arabia, on the 28th of March, to convince the Saudis that talks with Iran woudn't compromise US commitments to Saudi security)

Comment: Saudi Arabia buys arms and bellic products from Germany, France, Britain, America and from Pakistan (nuclear weapons); thus one would think that it does so in order to be able to defend its borders (other than passing those arms on to jihadist proxy groups). So, the statement "We will have to do it all ourselves" a priori sounds a bit absurd; but then we think of Iran...was Saudi Arabia saying it is now ready to use its arsenal to attack Iran by itself if needed be?

"Against the backdrop of an intensifying swing to the right for the Japanese politics, the intention behind an effect of massively loosening restrictions on the export of weapons really worries people" --- Hua Chunying, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman
(Context: Japan is relaxing self-imposed ban on the export of weapons for the first time in 50 years)

Comment: Surely the People's Republic of China wasn't expecting its neighbours to witness the Chinese military build-up without any sort of response. Somebody had to serve as a deterrent to the Red Dragon (and since India, unfortunately, insists on behaving like we can't count on her to play that role, Nippon accepted to relax its pacifist stance and fill the political void).

"President Obama is the most anti-Israel president in the history of the state, without any question" --- John Bolton (and voiced by many others, including Ted Cruz)

Comment: the best comment to this is actually another quote «'The policy of publicly humiliating our traditional ally has made us no new friends in the Arab world and removed the trust needed to encourage Israel to take risks for peace,' argues a prominent conservative columnist. In his piece, he castigates the American administration for its policy toward Israel: 'You'd think the heaviest cross [the President] had to bear was the Star of David'. [These] are the words of William Safire criticizing Ronald Reagan in 1981.» (click here for more)

"I took a helicopter ride from the occupied territories across and just felt personally how extraordinary that was to understand, the military risk that Israel faces every day." --- Chris Christie, New Jersey Governor
(Context: a speech delivered before the Republican Jewish Coalition, on the 29th of March)

Comment: Ladies & gents, a republican (whose party claims to be the #1 Israel supporter) delegitimised the Jewish State before a US Jewish donor audience - now imagine what they say when they are among themselves (ex-Iudaeis).
A Pro-Israel individual (even when it has to juggle political alliances) knows the difference between "occupied territory" and "disputed territory".

"NATO has agreed that member countries should spend 2 percent of gross domestic product on defense and should cooperate more to reduce expensive overlaps. But the economic crisis has hit Europe hard, making budget cuts necessary and military budgets among the easiest areas to cut politically." ---  Steven Erlanger
(Context: due to the Crimea crisis, Europe is starting to re-think cuts to Military Spending)

Comment: In the past, even before the 2008-2010 economic crisis, Europe has always found it politically easier to cut military budgets (due to its leftist obsession for the welfare state). However, times have changed and today's threats call for a solid investment in Defence - if politicians stop buying votes with sympathetic measures and, actually, explain the European electorate the threat that hovers above their head and the need to invest in its military, the people will understand (after all, what's the use of having cheap education and health care if, at any moment, a regional power can invade their nation or they can be attacked by Jihadists?). Russia, despite all its economic troubles, has been building up its military might while watching Europe's armed forces gradually being reduced to its insignificance; because of this fact, the Russians believe they will find no opposition if they decide to reassemble their old Empire.

Politicians do need to change the way they speak, the way they do politics, because the old ways are not working any longer - so why keep insisting upon failure?

"Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results" -- Albert Einstein


Comments

  1. I will first comment quickly your thought of the week. Kerry surprised me with his move to cancel the meeting with Abbas and to say that the US has more things to do than focus on talks that will lead to nothing. I wasn't expecting it and the guy was just burning his image as a diplomat. For some reason Hillary Clinton practically didn't bother with it.
    As for this week's post; Chris Christie said what? I didn't know this and what a damn blunder! According to your link though he apologized but hey the mistake had been done already. Apologies not accepted.

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    1. Hi Joseph :D!

      I agree that Sec Kerry's role in these talks was getting awkward. Hillary Clinton did invest quite some time in the negotiations only not as much as John Kerry, true.
      Yes, he said it. Mr Sheldon allegedly accepted his apologies, but did he in truth? I wouldn't write one single check for that guy - his subconscious just let out what he really thinks about the Arab-Israeli conflict.

      Joseph, thank you so much for your comment :D. Always a pleasure.

      Cheers

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  2. Hi Max I'll comment this just by saying an average common ordinary sentence..... politicians are just that.... and almost all alike....

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    1. Hi G :D!

      You are most probably right, my friend.
      Thank you for your input :D.

      Cheers

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  3. Well the quote by Albert Einstein nailed the whole story. Its when you start taking everything for granted and a status quo that the inevitable happens, when everything around you suddenly changes and you have to draft the Plan B. I would go a bit further on the Japan China context and the Indian subservience. Its interesting that India has a hostile neighbour in Pakistan and yet cannot go out on a full blown military exercise against it (even after Mumbai attack) just for the fact that China provides the perfect counter balance in the eastern frontiers. It is here where that the other hostile neighbours of China like Taiwan, Vietnam, South Korea and Japan could have come into the picture with India going for a strategic partnership with all of the above mentioned nations to keep China on tenterhooks, but alas, for the ineffective political leadership that India has, it has never really given it a thought and today India has a situation where almost all its neighbours consider India as unreliable and have become hostile towards it.

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    1. Hi Kalyan :D!

      Agreed on India. It should have joined forces with the countries you mentioned and together serve as a counter-balance to China; but unfortunately the successive Indian governments have chosen to pursue a different path (with all sorts of justifications). Could it be because the Left has dominated Indian politics?

      Kalyan, thank you so much for your comment :D. Loved it.

      Cheers

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    2. Indeed the government of the day which has been ruling the country for more than 6 decades and professes self-declared right wing politics strangely is filled with leaders who are left-minded and adopts outdated leftist ideas andd strategies, although barring 3 states (and now 2 small ones), the regular left parties hardly ever had any influence in the large part of the country. Remember the 1962 Indo-China war, and then also it was because of the left-minded bureaucrats and ministers that India had to suffer the largest casualty. So it is not because of the left parties but the left minded people in the Government who has dominated Indian politics.

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    3. K, if the people in Government are left minded wouldn't that mean that they are leftists at heart but use the right wing banner as a way to pander international political partners?
      This reminds me of those European politicians who are leftists but infiltrate right wing parties for all sorts of reasons...
      But I will think about this comment of yours because you raised a very important question. If this happened in India, in how many other nations does it occur? Food for thought...

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  4. I agree with Kalyan Panja, India could have a deeper role in Asia, she could play a vital role if it wanted to but it doesn't. India has everything: nuclear power, military capability, social structure etc, but still sees itself as weak, or so it seems to me.
    People are disenchanted with politics for a reason, the politicians think and act for Me Me Me and not for the collective, not for the people. They serve vested interests and not the electorate. They are insane, Einstein was right.

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    1. Hi Pietr :D!

      You presented some good points - thank you *bowing*.
      I am inclined to agree with you on politicians.

      Pietr, always a pleasure. Thank you so much for your comments :D.

      Cheers

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    2. Things may just change from May 2014 onwards in India Max,

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    3. Hi Rummy :D!

      From your lips to God's ears, my friend. I am really rooting for change in India *bowing*.
      Thank you for your comment :D.

      Cheers

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    4. Can't agree more with your thoughts Pietr. If not for the dominating negative politics of the government of the day, India could have been a far assertive superpower providing a perfect balance to the world order. We all hope the next government would be able to turn the tide after a very forgettable last decade when both inside and outside, the Indian stature has taken quite a beating.

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  5. Why does Saudi Arabia buy all those planes and weapons for anyway? That has never been answered.
    China is afraid of Japan now, because for years Japan has been under control but if the US decides to grant Mr Abe's wishes then bye bye Chinese hegemony!
    Chris Christie revealed his colors if you ask me and the Jews that write him checks should be ashamed of themselves. Disgusting!

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    1. Hi Celeste :D!

      Why indeed...
      Yeah, PM Abe would like Japan to have nukes - I hope he gets that deal done with the US.
      I wouldn't give him a cent, if I were them (anyone who delegitimises Israel through words or deeds should never get a check from the community, period).

      Celeste, thank you so much for your comment, girl :D.

      Cheers

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  6. Saudi Arabia wants weapons to kill the Iranians. It's kinda obvious...

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    1. Hi Adam :D!

      I wouldn't put it past them...
      Thanks, mate, for your comment :D.

      Cheers

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  7. Why should we be surprised at Chris Christie? I mean, isn't he a politician in pre-disgrace? Of course he is pandering the Jews to boost his standing after that scandal, whose name I forget.
    Listen, even people who are supposed to know better like Christiane Amanpour, married to a Jew, have the nerve to delegitimize Israel in every chance they get! It's a fad! And for the record, I prefer to support a democrat than a republican and I say this as a right winger!

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    1. Hi Ana :D!

      Yes and Naftali Bennett showed her how we roll...
      Well, I support whomever I see is the best candidate (party colours mean little to me in the American politics; unless they are too leftist - in that case, my support may be kind of obvious).

      Ana, thank you ever so much for your comment :D.

      Cheers

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  8. Max, your examples strike me as being fairly laconic.

    Then again, it may be that the reason the policies keep being done over and over again is that they generally achieve the desired result. Which is to say, some sensible, just outcome was never intended.

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    1. Hi Looney :D!

      Short but direct...
      If the outcome was never intended, then the planning was ill done (the policies were ill thought through). We could be inclined to accuse the politicians of being inconsequential....which wouldn't be proper of us :)

      Looney, thank you so much for your great comment :D.

      Cheers

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    2. Let's put it this way: I know people who feel that they have been cheated by the world and are full of anger and bitterness. Thus, they deliberately vote for the candidate that they expect to do the most damage.

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    3. Very interesting behaviour...isn't it?

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