11A040 QDDR Blah by Jim Davies, 2/9/2011    

Said never to have been done before, Hillary is about to hold a staff meeting with all ambassadors present. It's being called the Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review, or QDDR. She will address all 260 of them, and we may wonder how so many countries of the world will get along, without a US Ambassador in place.

The QDDR Fact Sheet explains that the US must lead the world (as authorized by Article Eight of the US Constitution) with "Civilian Power" in contrast to military power. What might it mean? - "Civilian power is the combined force of civilian personnel across government and civil society. It is the power of diplomats in 271 missions around the world, development professionals in more than 100 nations, and experts from other U.S. government agencies working together to advance America' s core interests in the world." Blah.

If it means fewer boots on the ground, fewer drones in the air, fewer bombs and bullets reaching targets, that's good news. It doesn't actually say that, but one could derive the message that the FedGov, with its huge deficit and its obscenely huge cumulative debt, has to save money and "advance America's interests in the world" by persuasion more than force. If so, it's high time; a century ago the President's policy was to "Speak softly and carry a big stick." Now, just maybe, those last five words are to be modified. Since empires can be sustained only by force, it's a healthy sign that this one will soon end.

There's no shortage of other speculation on the lunatic Right fringe. To take the fact sheet at face value, though, is to note again that the clarity conveyed by government papers is inversely proportional to the number of words they use - but also to see that just possibly, future spending may shift from "Defense" to bribery, a.k.a. foreign aid. Neither has advanced America's interests yet, but total failure has never dissuaded government people from trying again (such repetition is a well-known symptom of madness) so my guess is that this meeting marks just such a shift of policy.

It may well include reprimands for making rude remarks about host government people, or certainly for allowing them to reach the Wikileakers. Perhaps it will also draw lessons from abject diplomatic failures in Egypt, Pakistan etc. Who knows. It's all blah in any case, a hopeless attempt to justify the existence of these useless and costly appendages.

In the coming zero government society, all that expense will be saved and foreign governments will get along without US aid or embassies. I expect many of them will be delighted; others may mourn the end of the money stream. In every case, the population will be better off and will know it is free to deal with its own government without US interference.

American tourists and traders will visit foreign parts without a passport, for no State Department will exist to issue any. If foreign parts maintain barriers to those without such documents, such visitors will stay home, and the foreign parts will suffer massive loss of orders for their goods, and buyers of their tourist services; so I doubt that the resistance will last long. When foreign visitors arrive here, nobody will examine any documents they may carry, but they will have to pay their way - even in the airport taxi - with valid money such as gold or silver; so they will learn fast to prepare well. Having learned, and having seen the burgeoning growth in prosperity here, they will take that news back home, so spreading the idea of doing without government parasites.

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