Sunday, April 26, 2015

Good Luck, Mr. Abe…

Let’s see…

Cheer up friends of America in the Middle East: President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, Egypt, check; King Abdullah, Jordan, check; Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, check. DONE!

Bind Japan more tightly to US security policy: change interpretation of Constitution to allow collective self-defense, check; push base relocation to Henoko against Okinawa’s wishes, check; fully engage the U.S.-centric weapon systems development network, check. DONE!

Support U.S. global economic structure: commit to TPP negotiations, check; stay away from Asian Infrastructure Development Bank, check… um, only two? Oh well, done.

All supported by the Obama administration, but even more copacetic for the Republican Congress. But did the rumored coolness between Prime Minster Abe and President Obama also help the former secure this speech before a joint session of Congress? Not nearly Netanyahu-Obama bad, but still, I wonder.

I can already see the post-talk editorials lining up, WSJ on one end, NYT on the other, and WaPo somewhere in between. I also think that I could write an op-ed on any and all points of that spectrum (I don’t know, extended out to BBC, say) send them out now, with little need to edit them after the speech. But it would be so much more fun if Mr. Abe proves me wrong and surprises us all.

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