Wednesday, July 2, 2014

The world according to...

...the Prime Minister of Singapore, as told to Politico Magazine
(and reported in the Singapore media)...

China's Wrong About American Decline
Singapore's prime minister thinks the U.S. is poised to 'bounce back'

TODAY, July 2
TODAY, July 2

PM Lee made persuasive arguments in the interview, and I hope he's right on all counts.


Meanwhile, these two "thought leaders" (jargon alert!!) have their own ideas about the world, at least that part of the world we call the Asia Pacific...

ST, July 2
Professor Huge White 

He thinks any balance of power that emerges in the Asia Pacific will require the US to share power with a China that must give up any notion that it is destined to be the next hegemon in the region (Um, how do great powers exactly "share" power?).

Professor Tommy Koh

He thinks the ideal balance of power in the Asia Pacific is a multipolar one with power shared among the US, China, Japan, India and the EU (what, no Russia? And why the EU?).

As you can see, the two professors are talking past each other and they can argue their case till the cows come home.


 Meanwhile, too, the Japanese now want to become a "more normal" nation...

TODAY, July 2
They don't want to be surprised by a world that may have plenty of surprises in store for anyone still chanting "Give peace a chance!" and "Make love, not war!".

And I get the chance to retell this corny joke that someone made up:

Saddam's Iraq has invaded oil-rich Kuwait. The US forges a "Coalition of the Willing" to repel the Iraqis. At a big meeting of coalition leaders, the US takes the lead and pledges the bulk of the fighting forces; the Europeans weigh in with whatever they can spare, from troops, tanks and weapons to intelligence assets. Everyone then turns to look at the Japanese leader. "Supplies," he offers with a weak smile. All leave the meeting satisfied.

Later, as the vast Coalition forces assemble in the desert, poised to begin their assault on the Iraqi defensive lines, someone suddenly remembered: "Hey, where are the Japanese?"

At that moment, the hitherto hidden Japanese pop up from some desert rocks and bushes. "Supplies!" they chime.

Told you it was corny.

I figure that, on the Corny Quotient (CQ), this cartoon panel is up there:

  So is this one...


Finally, Team USA lost to Belgium 1-2 and is now out of the 2014 FIFA World Cup. But it was a "give as good as they got" match, with the Washington Times proudly proclaiming in its breaking news headline:

U.S. out of World Cup after extra-time thriller with Belgium

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