She’s rich, she thin, she’s smart as a whip. But she’s black. She’s Denzel in a dress. Which changes everything. It colours every judgement, jaundices all opinion, undermines her stature as Secretary of State. There’s no candid comparisons with Kissinger, no contrasting her with Madeleine Albright, not even with Colin Powell.
You remember him, tall fellah, black, used to run the biggest army in world history. Now just another footnote in the ghastly nightmare tale of George Dubya Dimwit. Just another “Yass’massa.” caricature undone by trusting a rich white boy from the south. And that never works out well no matter how clever, how well informed, how well educated you are. Harvard, Yale, West Point, wherever you go, they just don’t have an antidote for working for a stupid boss with ideas above his generation.
And Condie is finding out now, on the biggest stage of all, just how maddening that is. Bush isn’t just a lame duck Prez, he’s a duck that’s been shot, mounted and stuffed by Vice-Prez Cheney. Left dangling in the wind created by the flapping of his own jowls. A man who just wasn’t in charge of the space between his own ears when push came to shove and the CIA came grovelling to the table with the requisite lies.
Russia is feeling it's oats. (and I'm not above saying I told you so). Gone are the humiliations of the 1980’s, the long dark night of the soul of the drunken 1990’s. Putin is back. He’s never gone away. Twisting the constitution into a an arse-rag to suit the cut of his well-tailored trouser, borne aloft by money, power and ruthlessness he’s the glorious past become the bully-boy future. The musclebound macho-man that they all want to be, never having to be polite, never having to ask, consider, negotiate, be equal. Tanks mean never having to say you’re sorry. And the Russians love it, wallow in it, idolise him for it.
This week it’s Georgia. Once the lesser of two Soviet republics with a Black Sea port. Now a country sliced in two with vicious violence, being torn into smaller pieces as the days pass, ready to be preyed upon by the Soviet Rasputin. Putin’s Georgian gamble has made real the desperate urge of a bedraggled generation that wants it’s day in the sun, want’s it’s own chance to strut the world stage again, invading neighbours and overthrowing governments at will. Just like the good old days.
And it’s Condie who has to force the bastards back over the pile of bodies, to bring her uptight moral indignation to bear on the bear in her perfect unaccented Russian. She’s the gal we have to cling to, in this time of American flaccidity, of European nervous-nellying, of endless chatter in too many languages. She’s the one who’s personal power, moral stature, and hard-nosed skill we have to rely on. Sarkozy’s a headline and a hairstyle. The UN was made irrelevant by the Iraq war, a toothless menagerie of paper tigers.
And Boris Badenov knows that Moose and Squirrel have shot their bolt until the new President is chosen. The slack-jawed clown in the White House has no credibility anywhere, morbidly bumping his gums in a pale parody of Reagan in the November years, listened to by none, laughed at by the Russians, not respected as the Leader of The Free World thinks he should be. The right time to practice the withdrawal method is before things are completely fucked. Bush’s best headlines now are when he’s receiving the political largesse of another black man.
It’s starting to look like the big question of the twenteens will be can Black America save White America from the consequences of hubris, self-indulgence and a Cold-War hangover.
The demure Ms Rice is too smart not to know that her country’s military power is just not an option. Indeed, there’s no chance of it doing more than rushing ahead with it’s Star Wars missile creep into Poland, Ukraine, et al. The facile idea that Iran is the only target for this is laughable. What it does do is ramp up the pressure on all the countries unlucky enough to share a border, or even a region with Russia.
NATO is about to be put to the hardest test of it’s existence. For Europe is about to find out some serious truths about it’s military capacity and ability to mount a united front against good ol’fashioned Soviet/Tsarist imperialism. Putin is clearly a man who will shuffle the troops around on other people’s chessboards at will while using Medvedev as a glove puppet. Let’s hope the little lady can find some nice Euro-generals to put the muscle where her mouth is. And hope that it doesn’t lead to the nasty free-for-all that Putin keeps threatening.
PS: A of M is moving house this week, so expect little news for a while.