The Great Game of Thrones
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  • WigWag is reporting that India (and China) have already made arrangements to get around sanctions on countries doing business’s with Iran’s central bank by paying for Iranian oil with gold instead of U.S. dollars.

  • Anthony

    “India has no intention of becoming an American poodle….” Plot twist: India has decided to pay for Iranian oil with Gold (maintaining traditional relationships). The Great Game of Thrones, via the seas, now envelopes not only the Pacific but also the Indian and Bay of Bengal – new dynamics await us WRM.

  • “The Asian political scene is a lot more free wheeling than Europe during the Cold War. India, China, the US, Japan, Vietnam and many others have their own very distinct interests and priorities. The broad alignment of countries concerned about China’s rise is nothing like the formal, treaty-based NATO alliance, and managing an Asia-centered foreign policy is going to involve a lot of cat-herding.”

    And thank God for that, too. My guess is, among other things, it will require more Americans engaged overseas to do something we often seem much too busy – or too proud? – to bother with: Good old-fashioned paying attention. As in “testing the waters”: watching for expressions, gestures, reactions; monitoring the local scene from a place that’s both friendly and inconspicuous (“WHAT? I’ll be DAMNED if I’m going to pay somebody to stand around doing nothing!”); maybe even mastering a LANGUAGE or two? And from there, who knows? An easy familiarity with the proverbs, literature, even poetry? We may even succeed in revolutionizing our entire American Way of Doing Other Countries.

    Much to-do about nothing? Or in any case nothing worth PAYING for? Frankly I’d be surprised it wasn’t a welcome, and fairly inexpensive, relief from our all-too-common way of managing allies and “friends”: that weirdly unsettling – though I must say rather LOFTY – mixture of busybodied high-handedness and “benign” indifference that’s so often characterized our dealings with Third World clients (sometimes even NATO allies). Indeed I almost want to say the more prickliness and “independence” from our colleagues the better: the better to keep us on our toes, and make sure we take NOBODY for granted.

    “On our toes.” Funny, we Yanks take such pride in being like that in just about every other matter . . .

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