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Friday, September 13, 2013

Yes, Mr. Secretary

I believe there used to be a wonderful BBC comedy titled "Yes, Minister", starring Nigel Hawthorne and Paul Eddington. It was based on the interplay between the government minister, played by Eddington, and his Permanent Secretary, played by Nigel Hawthorne.

There was comedic conflict between the two, but I don't recall that the Minister (a position equivalent to a Cabinet Secretary in the USA) was portrayed as being in a bit over his head, nor even a bit charmingly daft. The story did not seem to depend on the Minister mucking around and Sir Humphrey, his Permanent Secretary, cleaning up the mess.

This brings us to the US Secretary (equivalent to a British Minister) of State.

If the mere off-hand remark of turning weapons over to international control was abruptly and speedily snatched up by Russia, why did the Secretary previously present it previously as as a viable and serious means of avoiding war... ?

To be sure, it happened so fast that I get the impression that the original question and Mr. Kerry's reply were a set-up to allow Russia to assist.
If not, then we are ruled by a Confederacy of Dunces.


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