Tuesday’s Word of the Day is blowback, in praise of Chalmers Johnson, a CIA analyst who chronicled the effects of US power. Shamelessly plagiarising yesterday’s Guardian third editorial, It also enables Word of the Day to shoehorn in a topical reference to the US embassy cables and the Wikileaks controversy under the guise of lexicography.
Elsewhere in the same edition of the paper, Simon Jenkins notes that some US diplomats are less diplomatic about their own country’s policies:
Some stars shine through the banality such as the heroic envoy in Islamabad, Anne Patterson. She pleads that Washington’s whole policy is counterproductive: it ‘risks destabilising the Pakistani state, alienating both the civilian government and the military leadership, and provoking a broader governance crisis without finally achieving the goal’. Nor is any amount of money going to bribe the Taliban to our side. Patterson’s cables are like missives from the Titanic as it already heads for the bottom.
Hardly news to seasoned observers of the subcontinent’s recent history – but a lesson our own recent Prime Ministers might have heeded, as pointed out (ahem) even here.