Is The Past The Future? The News Dissector Reports From and on Iran
By Danny Schechter
The TV series House of Lies is about business but it could as easily be about government and foreign policy.
In a recent episode, one of the management consultants pitches a company about the need to launch a new product. She recounts the story of the Polaroid Company known as the Apple of its day, widely admired for the cool design of its instant cameras.
When I lived in Cambridge MA, Polaroid was one of the town's biggest employers, an economic powerhouse.
But soon it was gone. It failed to see new competitive products on the horizon. It only saw its future as its past.
It went bankrupt.
That seems to be the case also of our own bankrupt foreign policy that operates with a limited playbook, of negative "options" build around threats, warnings, covert actions and military adventures.
The gap between what we say and what we do has become a chasm, a paper tiger in words first coined by Chairman Mao.
Here's President Obama, counseling Israel, a nuclear power not to attack Iran which fears could become one. No one mentions that nuclear deterrence has been a cornerstone of US policy since we became the first and only nation to drop a nuclear bomb on civilians.
In some ways, the mad policy of "Mutually Assured Destruction" (MAD) kept the nuclear peace since the 1940's. To date we have apposed tougher UN rules to stop nuclear proliferation when it involves our allies or us.
Now, to keep the peace, President Obama says we should practice "diplomacy".
Diplomacy like Nixon used on "Red" China that led to a reversal of decades of isolation and included mutual recognition and booming trade?
(Without China, our economy would be in a deeper depression than it is!)
Nope, "not that kind of diplomacy.