Friday, November 09, 2007

Cult of Personality

I stopped subscribing to Matthew Yglesias's RSS feed (along with his compatriot Andrew Sullivan) just because I couldn't keep up with the torrent of their combined outputs. The noise-to-signal ratio on both bloggers is uncomfortably high, but what a signal! And what noise! Luckily, I still have both bloggers on my Google Reader blip, so I catch up with them from time to time.

Today, Yggy has a smart post on the warm reception given to Ashfaq Kiyani, a Pakistani general and presumed successor to Musharraf as head of the army. It boils down to the notion that U.S. policy has made mistake after mistake by looking to the perceived character/attitude of individuals, rather than understanding the structural interests of nations.

There are so many examples of this mistake in our foreign policy, that it almost makes you forget the one BIG counterexample. One global power's policies towards the rest of the world really did hinge on the fact that one person came to power, along with his entourage. If only OUR structural national interests had trumped the whims of our own group of madmen. The world would be a saner and safer place.

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