I have found lately that events seem to unfold as if they were acting out a screenplay and not just any screenplay but a predictable one with heaps of cliche. North Koreans arrest some journalists, and eventually the US sends an ex-President (Clinton, not Carter), and they go free. Everybody did their part, as they were cast appropriately and did not improv too much.
It reminds me of when Kosovo declared itself independent. Nearly every response was predictable, especially here in Canada. The federalists noted the differences between Kosovo's harsh situation and Quebec's access to the political system. Quebec sovereigntists/separatists identified it as a "unilateral declaration of independence" (a term that, as a scholar of separatism, I only discovered once I moved here) and proclaimed justifications for their own positions.
Am I becoming too cynical? I am not saying these events are scripted, just that they feel like it. The coup in Honduras certainly felt that way--the rhetoric on both sides could have been lifted from many previous coup attempts.
That is one of the nice things about the contretemps in Cambridge--that Obama went off script twice--by calling the arrest stupid and then by inviting the protagonists to DC for some beer. Going back to one of my first posts, which was Obama's press conference after one hundred days in office, I would have to say that I found the beer summit (if one forgets about all of the over-the-top media coverage for a moment) enchanting precisely because it was off script.
For another set of reactions to the Clinton mission to North Korea, see drezner.foreignpolicy.com.
Yeah, but this script got the two journalists out. They might have gotten out anyway, but it would take longer.
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