By: Steve O’Keeffe – http://bit.ly/bKNyxU
Hastings. Agincourt. Trafalgar. Waterloo. And who can forget the proxy scuffle – otherwise known as the American Revolution? The Brits and Frenchies grew up at one another’s throats. The acrimony defines their respective national characters – there’s even a song titled “That’s Why I Hate the French.” So neither Napoleon nor Nelson would have believed their “oreilles” last week when Cameron and Sarkozy announced that the two fading military powers plan to shack up. How? The Limeys have empty tubs and the Frogs have birds without nests – seems they’re finally in the same boat. It’s time for the antagonists to turn the other cheek and get in bed together – no reference to “don’t ask, don’t tell” intended. After centuries of fighting, we’re going to see a “Fretish” military – doesn’t that sound vaguely kinky?
So, how did this come about – and what does it mean for America? Voila, as the global recession has picked pensioners’ pockets, it has done more to accelerate worldwide disarmament than all the time that John and Yoko spent in bed in Montreal.
So perhaps the WTO protesters should lionize, rather than vilify the world’s bankers? Will Bernie Madoff get the next Nobel? And, as the Tea Party stirs it up in D.C., there could be a huge opportunity here. While Sarah Palin may never have actually said, “I can see Russia from my house,” perhaps this is the time to take a leaf out of the “Fretish” book – to reach across the Bering Strait and huddle up with the Ruskies? What are you smoking you may ask? No medical marijuana in Virginia yet. Hillary Clinton is meeting with Medvedev at the NATO synod in Lisbon this week. Wouldn’t it be strange to see Moscow work with NATO – an alliance built specifically to keep the bear in his cage? You figure if nothing else, the Afghanistan vets can trade battle stories over vodka
and hot dogs.
What other virtuous knock-on impact of the recession? Will America’s cash flow problems force the Israelis to break bread with the Palestinians? Is the drop off in the tourist trade finally convincing Castro to consider cutting communism in Cuba? Can the Chinese foreign currency reserve scare the Indians and Pakistanis to dance the Bhangra together in Kashmir?
To be sure, the global recession is hurting all of us, but every cloud has a silver lining – please note the tenuous IT reference. Myth tells us that at Agincourt, confident of victory, the French boasted they would cut off the English archers’ bow fingers. The Fleur de Lis wilted on the field of battle – and the English archers showed the vanquished their bow fingers – so goes the tale of the origin of the infamous British two-finger salute. If the recession forces us to confront yesterday’s arcane positions,the upside may be our opportunity to flip old bigotry the bird and unleash new innovation.