Friday, March 13, 2009

Star Wars Diplomacy

Just to confuse the images in my previous post about R2D2=CIA, C3PO=DOS, I was remembering the "chess" match on board the Falcon in the original movie. R2 is playing Chewbacca in some hologramic strategy game, gets informed by Han that he will get his arm ripped off by the wookie if he wins, and is instructed by C3PO to "let the wookie win."

This applies to our own Dept of State, though roles are getting switched here. Our DOS keeps insisting "We can beat these countries in chess. Really we can. Let us play. Don't interrupt us." That is what they are supposed to do. They are supposed to have that attitude, and I don't want them to abandon it. But it shifts subtly but inexorably to the idea that everyone else is stupid. They really don't get that many other countries will abandon the game and rip our arm off if they're losing.

Yeah, yeah, I work with a couple of retired CIA guys who assure me that it's just the opposite - that it's the career guys who really know the score. But if you get them talking excitedly, the cracks show. They resent Israel getting in the way all the time. They're sure that we could do business and get along better with those Arab countries if we had a "more realistic" ME policy. Yeah, those wookies will rip your arm off, dude. And you thought the same thing about the Russians, I recall, though you gloss over that now. In the end, the right wing nutcases underestimated the Soviet Union's evil, and the reasonable people weren't even close.

Those wookies will rip your arm off. They don't get that one fact.

1 comment:

Retriever said...

Nice use of the Star Wars example. In our house we use the wookie's threat to arm integrity as a way of warning off anyone starting to agitate the kid with issues. It has the effect of humorously reminding the other (usually a sibling) that not everyone reacts with sweet reasonableness to frustration or opposition....