Τετάρτη, 3 Απριλίου 2013

Caroline Kennedy Not a Serious Choice for U.S. Ambassador to Japan


but she's a kennedyPresident Obama may be
just weeks away
from selecting Caroline Kennedy, JFK’s
daughter, as U.S. ambassador to Japan. It’s a choice as unserious
as it appears.


Writing for Foreign Policy, Clyde Prestowitz
reviews
the history of post-world war II ambassadors to Japan,
starting with JFK’s nomination of Harvard Japan scholar Edwin
Reischauer
in 1961. That nomination, Prestowitz says, signaled
to Japan that Kennedy was serious about the country and its
relationship with the U.S. It led to the nominations of people like
Mike
Mansfield
, a former Senate majority leader, and Tom Foley, a former
Speaker of the House. Barack Obama broke that mold, according to
Prestowitz, when he selected a top fundraiser from Silicon Valley
to represent the U.S. in Japan during his first term. As for
Caroline Kennedy?
Writes Prestowitz
:


I'm sure she's a lovely person and a good lawyer and
author and, of course, she comes from a prominent American family
and was wise enough to choose the right father. Even more wisely,
she supported Barack Obama politically at a critical moment.


But she knows little of Japan, speaks no Japanese, and is not
particularly experienced in world affairs and diplomacy. Here we
are at a moment when China and Japan are at loggerheads over the
Senkaku Islands. This could easily turn into a shooting conflict.
North Korea is saying that it is in a state of war with South Korea
and that it is turning on its nuclear generator. And the United
States is trying to conclude a major international free trade
agreement in which the United States and Japan will be the major
players. In short, this is a serious moment -- a Reischauer
moment.


But this appointment is an ornamental one. It tries to evoke the
good feeling of the Kennedy years, but without the substance of
those years.


Do you think Caroline might have the good sense to turn it down and
urge Obama to imitate her dad with a Reischauer-like
appointment?

Kennedy
abandoned
a bid to be nominated to replace Hillary Clinton when
the latter vacated her Senate seat after a lackluster media tour.
She is starting to face
similar resistance
to the potential appointment as ambassador
to Japan, and Fox News spoke with the American Foreign Services
Association, a union for
foreign service workers
:


The union points out that roughly one-third of the
president’s first-term appointments have come from such
non-diplomatic ranks as politics, fundraising and academia – a rate
slightly higher than the historical average for presidents. And the
rate is as high as 85 percent for major European countries and
Japan, which are seen as plum diplomatic assignments.


“The sale of ambassadorships and rewards for political support
basically suggests we really don’t value diplomacy,” union
President Susan Johnson told FoxNews.com.

But it also signals the president is ready and willing to reward
his supporters richly!

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