Robert Zoellick as the natural inheritor of Sykes-Picot. Political Observer comments

Headline: After Obama: The future of US foreign policy

Sub-headline: Robert Zoellick on the key strategic decisions facing the next president

Mr. Zoellick is described by The Financial Times as ‘The author served as US trade representative and US deputy secretary of state during Republican administrations, as well as president of the World Bank’ Yet there is more to it than that, this well footnoted entry from Wikipedia clarifies his politics as Neo-Conservative, and his being the past president of The Wold Bank, establishes his economics as Neo-Liberal :

In a January 2000 Foreign Affairs essay entitled “Campaign 2000: A Republican Foreign Policy,” he was one of the first of those now associated with Bush’s foreign policy to invoke the notion of “evil,” writing: “[T]here is still evil in the world—people who hate America and the ideas for which it stands. Today, we face enemies who are hard at work to develop nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons, along with the missiles to deliver them. The United States must remain vigilant and have the strength to defeat its enemies. People driven by enmity or by a need to dominate will not respond to reason or goodwill. They will manipulate civilized rules for uncivilized ends.”[40] The same essay praises the “idealism” of Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson.[citation needed] Two years earlier, Zoellick was one of the signatories (who also included Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz, Richard Perle, Elliott Abrams, Zalmay Khalilzad, John R. Bolton, Richard Armitage, and Bill Kristol) of a January 26, 1998 letter to President Bill Clinton drafted by the Project for the New American Century calling for “removing Saddam [Hussein]‘s regime from power.”[12]

Mr. Zoellick strikes a more measured tone of the technocrat/oligarch with long experience in positions of power. He cultivates, in his rhetoric, bourgeois political respectability, as the primary function of his seriousness as political/economic actor, or in the Neo-Liberal jargon as policy entrepreneur. Mr. Zoellick is measured and historically sophisticated, more so than Mr. Rachman:

As he is allotted more space in which to make his arguments, and polling numbers are central to those opening arguments. Here is his diagnosis in two succinct paragraphs:

The US public may be distilling impressions that pose a strategic challenge for the next president. The 70-year-old security and economic order that the US helped establish after the second world war — and adapted in the years that followed — is fracturing under stress. After a long era of great-power peace and improved economic fortunes, many have taken the international system for granted.

A century-old order in the Middle East has broken down into a brutal struggle for power between tribes and sects. Arabs, Iranians and Turks manipulate the warring factions as they strive for local hegemony. Countries across the region have stumbled repeatedly as they have tried to establish modern market economies.

Begin an analysis with this sentence fragment: A century-old order in the Middle East has broken down… Mr. Zoellick is utterly ignorant of the Sykes-Picot Agreement? as part of Western European political meddling in the region named ‘The Middle East’ by those imperialists ?

The root cause of that break down of ‘century-old order’ is that very agreement, in its utter ignorance of the history and makeup of that ‘region’ as exercised by corrupt self-seeking Western Imperialism. In fact consider policy technocrat Zoellick as the natural inheritor of Sykes-Picot in the political present. Also, is the destiny of all persons, all nations to be a part of a ‘modern market economies’? Those economies  have utterly failed in ‘The West‘ but Zoellick soldiers on as a former World Bank President must!

Mr. Zoellick then turns his attention to these other pressing questions that he extemporizes upon at length:

Clinton’s appointments

Admirer of ‘strongmen’

Europe left to the Europeans

Careful what you say

There is so much more to be said, on this essay, that seeks to answer so many more questions of import. I have tried to address just one facet of this capacious exercise in technocratic chatter: a reader can see clearly that this could have been published in the pages of Foreign Policy or Foreign Affairs.

Political Observer







About stephenkmacksd

Rootless cosmopolitan,down at heels intellectual;would be writer. 'Polemic is a discourse of conflict, whose effect depends on a delicate balance between the requirements of truth and the enticements of anger, the duty to argue and the zest to inflame. Its rhetoric allows, even enforces, a certain figurative licence. Like epitaphs in Johnson’s adage, it is not under oath.'
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