Thursday, October 22, 2009

Wooly Bully

One consequence of Obama's decision to keep most of the Bushies in the Defense Department and the Pentagon, SecDef Gates, Mullins, Petraeus, and McChrystal is a continuation of the bullying pose that mainly worked to keep US allies in line.

A good example is Gates's recent trip to Japan, where its new government wants to renegotiate the US bases there. In a masterpiece of bullying obtuseness, led off by warnings of 'serious consequences', Gates basically dismissed our ally by saying any renegotiation would be "immensely complicated and counterproductive." He then proceeded to snub invitations to dine with Defense Ministry officials and a welcoming ceremony.

Will this bullying work with the 'new' Japan? So far, not so good. US Ambassador Morrell, proving that bullying extends to the State Department, demanded that Japan continue its refueling of US ships on the way to Pakistan and Iraq. The Japanese government has responded by saying the refueling will end when the agreement expires in January.


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