Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

I am travelling deep in the darkest and dankest UK, where free wi-fi is as rare as working central heating. Normal service will be resumed in the New Year

Seasons Greetings to all,
Eid Mubarak, Happy Hannukak, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year and don't forget that whatever you are celebrating... rum is the best spirit of the holiday!


Friday, December 21, 2007

Serbia's self-defeating posture

This was in Guardian Comment is Free while I was travelling and attracted some 260 traditionall splenetic comments. Go and enjoy them!

Serbia's self-defeating posture
Independence for Kosovo is going to happen, despite Belgrade's strenuous objections
Ian Williams

All Ian Williams articles
About Webfeeds December 15, 2007 6:00 PM | Printable version
One of the peculiarities of Balkan politics is how leaders have photographic memories for events that took place centuries ago, but total amnesia about what happened recently. On the face of it, Belgrade's offer of almost complete autonomy as long as Kosovo and the rest of the world accept Serb sovereignty seems, if somewhat dottily obsessive, eminently placatory. But the essential claim that Kosovo is theirs because a Serb prince lost a battle to the Turks there 700 years ago, is a bit like the British claiming France because of Dunkirk.

In recent reality, the Kosovar Albanians have seen what use Serb nationalists have made of such residual claims: from Slobodan Milosevic's dissolution of Kosovo's autonomy and imposition of apartheid on Albanians there to his pogroms and ethnic cleansing just before the Nato intervention (which a Russian diplomat at the time described to me as "absolutely insupportable", before in effect going on to support it).

For better or worse (frankly mostly for worse) most post-second world war dissolutions have followed established provincial or state boundaries, without too much regard for local feeling. Those who talk about taking away the "Serbian" areas north of Mitrovica again tend to amnesia.

Those are areas that were ethnically cleansed of Albanians in 1999 and stayed that way with the connivance of the French foreign legion who stopped Albanians going across the bridge where the bridge watchers from the Dolce Vita café waited to assault any who dared.

When I went I had a UN press pass, so they could not stop me, but assured me that they would not lift a finger if I were assaulted. In fact I had a good time and good coffee in the café and gave a radio interview to the local Serb station, telling them that, notwithstanding the legion, they should get used to it - UN security council resolution 1244 meant that this area was lost to Serbia.

As was clear at the time, the resolution implied eventual self-determination for Kosovo but tried to save Russian face by deciding "that a political solution to the Kosovo crisis shall be based on the general principles in annex 1 and as further elaborated in the principles and other required elements in annex 2", which in turn referred to the Rambouillet accords.

Those accords, which incidentally precluded partition, were hazed in another level of ambiguity, promising that within three years "an international meeting" would "determine a mechanism for a final settlement for Kosovo, on the basis of the will of the people, opinions of relevant authorities, each party's efforts regarding the implementation of this agreement and the Helsinki final act", which the Americans induced the KLA to sign on to by promising that it meant there would be a referendum.

After Rambouillet of course, Milosevic, assuming that with Sarajevo and Srebrenica behind him he was a modern day Achilles impenetrable to western weapons, went ahead with his ethnic cleansing and was overthrown after his defeat.

The old spiritual about Noah had a line about animals who went up two by two into the ark: "Said the ant to the elephant, 'who are you shovin'?" It came to mind at the self-deluding bluster from Belgrade about Kosovo, where successive nationalist worthies have warned of the terrible consequences of European acceptance of Kosovar independence - Serbia may not join the EU. Brussels is doubtless quaking with fear.

Even more preposterous is the military threat. Kostunica did not disagree with Milosevic for starting wars with his neighbours but for losing them. He has no intention of taking on the Kosovars, let alone Nato. The bellicose Serb nationalist militias would not be confronting and killing unarmed civilians this time.

Serbia and Russia are quoting the sanctity of security council resolutions. They would have been better off reading 1244 before they signed it to save Milosevic from the ground invasion that would have finished him off immediately.

If the leaders in Belgrade, not to mention Moscow, really cared about the Serbs in Kosovo, they would stop posturing about the fig leaf of Serb sovereignty and work to ensure the maximum EU, Nato and UN presence in a Kosovo under probationary independence. The genuine victimhood of Kosovar Albanians does not make them saints, any more than the crimes that some of them commit against the remaining Serbs mitigates Milosevic's deeds against them.

The best future in the region is for everyone to join the EU with its freedom of movement and shared citizenship.

Independence is going to happen, and Belgrade's threat to cut off diplomatic relations with the rest of Europe and the USA will have somewhat less effect than a declaration of war by the Duchy of Grand Fenwick.

Two Cheers for the Queen

Well I am touring frozen and damp Britain for the festive season, and discovering that in the motherland there's no such thing as a free wifi. Even the Starbucks charge.

So here's come catch up.Two cheers for the Queen
Australians may want to abolish the monarchy, but the US shows there's some advantage to having a harmless head of state some distance away
Ian Williams


Leaving the frozen Catskills for the balmy Caribbean, the transition from minus 12 to plus 30 centigrade puts a different perspective on global warming and even on the monarchy.

Being greeted by the Royal Saint Lucian Police Force lends a different perspective to politics. No one in St Lucia seems upset in the slightest at remaining subjects of a transplanted Teutonic alleged descendent of Woden. It's not that the St Lucians are fervent monarchists. All my local friends seem blithely indifferent to the subject and are quite happy to have the Queen's local representative, governor-general Dame Pearlette Louisy, do the honours at local ceremonies while the prime minister gets on with the actual governance.

The matter-of-fact pragmatism reminds of the Jamaican Rasta interviewed on the occasion of Mrs Windsor-Battenberg's trip to see her subjects there. "We like she so much, man, maybe she give us a visa so we can go visit she back home."

With John Howard downed down under, it seems the leaders of both the government and the opposition in Canberra are now republicans who want to abolish the monarchy in Australia, even if they differ on what to replace it with.

They really should be laid back about it. Elitist symbolism apart, there is some considerable pragmatic advantage to having a harmless head of state shelved at a safe distance on the opposite side of the globe. The US, with a Hanoverian monarch elected every four years disguised as a president, is a forcible demonstration that competence and rationality are no more guaranteed by cash-dominated elections than by the hereditary principle. But maybe that's not fair: does anyone really think that George Bush would have been elected to any office higher than municipal dog-catcher if he were not his father's son?

No one ever said "I must support my governor-general," let alone "I must support my prime minister," but you do hear people say they must support their president.
But ability notwithstanding, having a head of state elected on a party platform is conducive to abusing the office and the electorate's patriotism, as we witness with the nauseating sight of President Bush, deserter-in-chief, wrapping himself in the flag at every army base or veterans' gathering he can.

Indeed, St Lucians, forgiving though they are, have good reasons to remember Bush's predecessor, Bill Clinton, who accepted large donations from Carl Lindner of Chiquita, owners of vast Central American banana plantations, and immediately initiated a World Trade Organisation case against European preferences for bananas from Caribbean countries like St Lucia. Formerly dependent on the bendy yellow fruit, St Lucia today exports only a quarter of the bananas it used to and is now almost completely dependent on tourism. Tourism has been a lifeline for the country, and it's a very pleasant place to visit - but the hotel and resort development was not dependent on wiping out a whole class of independent farmers.

In one of those quantum entanglements of history, Sandals, one of St Lucia's major resorts, sports a huge portrait of Clinton in the William J Clinton Ballroom. The ex-president came to open the place - and one suspected accepted a handsome speaking fee to come to do so.

The St Lucians were too polite to put any banana skins on the marble floors of the banqueting hall. But who knows, between that and Bush threatening them for not signing agreements to exclude Americans from the International Criminal Court, they may have decided that elected presidents were as much a problem as a solution.

Which brings us back to Australia. If, as most Aussies seem to want, they replace the governor-general with a directly elected president, the very act of election invests the office with dangerous significance. Do they really want to risk setting up an office, potentially with someone like Howard, not susceptible to lack-of-confidence votes in the parliament?

It may be better to bite the bullet, knock back a Bundaberg rum and stick with the far away frumpy snob and her eccentric son.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Ask not for whom the polls bill, they bill for you

Ask not for whom the polls bill, they bill for you
Tribune 14 December 2007

Democracy is an imperfect tool. As Winston Churchill said, it’s the worst possible system except for all the others and so it needs sharpening regularly to keep its edge. However, it needs constant work not least since it often seems that every improvement brings new and unforeseen problems.

In the US, the attempt to rescue party nominations from the smoke-and-bribery filled rooms of Tammany Hall led to the primary elections, where the leading Democratic contenders are currently running bills of around $100 million each just to be the candidates. It’s not in the constitution, but you could almost dispense with the formality of elections and declare the candidate with the biggest war-chest the winner.

The Supreme Court adds its own wacko embellishment to this emerging principle of one dollar one vote by rulings that invoke the first amendment right of free speech to stop curbs on money in campaigns. The poor man has an equal right to own newspapers as the rich, just as Murdoch family members have the right to sleep wrapped in their newspapers under a Manhattan flyover.

This election cycle is even worse. More and more states moved their primaries forward to the beginning of 2008, which means that active campaigning and spending began a year ago and has at least six months more to go before the parties’ candidates are chosen. Most of this money goes on television advertising, which at least Britain is spared.

The results of the system are apparent – and undemocratic. Under Blair’s mentor, Bill Clinton, a $100,000 in campaign contributions bought a night in the White House, half a million bought a WTO case against Caribbean banana preferences in the EU, or tightening sanctions on Cuba. Those donations showed clear cause and effect, but on a larger scale the fact that money comes from rich people and businesses explain why

Polls show popular support for universal healthcare, but the lobbyists for the big pharmaceutical companies and insurance companies and their campaign cheques ensure that almost fifty million Americans have no health insurance and all Americans pay the world’s highest prices for their drugs.

We can guarantee that whoever is elected as the Democratic candidate, or eventually the President, will be the beneficiary of several hundred million dollars in donations from rich individuals and corporations. Their policies will almost certainly reflect that, which is why the gap between rich and poor is widening and why ordinary working families under Bush have become more indebted and impoverished even as the economy has officially been booming.

In Britain, the entirely laudable attempt to extend the franchise for choosing the Labour Party leadership led to similar problems. Candidates had to raise their own money for canvassing and reaaching hundreds of thousands of members, and despite warnings from those who had seen what happened in the US, there was no system to oversee and reveal funding.

Enter Michael Levy, the vanguard of dodgy fundraisers, who made his debut financing Tony Blair’s leadership campaign. We now see where that led. In the name of removing the “undemocratic” influence of the unions that had actually founded the Labour Party, New Labour desperately sold itself to everyone from friends of Formula One Racing to friends of Ariel Sharon.

Being an entrist clique similar to Militant – but without the Trotskyist group’s grassroots appeal – New Labour felt no great need to tell the members of the party, or indeed the NEC, what it was up to. There have always been eccentric millionaires who have supported the Labour Party, and who have done so publicly. The minute money flows under the counter it is reasonable to assume that there is a quo being quidded. Even in the US, for all its faults, candidates must publish the list of donations.

Sadly, the infiltrators have drastically reduced the size of the Labour party electorate that potential leadership candidates have to address even if that does not seem to lessened their appetites for funny money. Those original members whom Michael Levy’s money helped win for Tony Blair, have left in droves, whether in protest or apathy when it became clear that their role in decision making was minimal. It is sad that Gordon Brown should now be carrying the can for decisions made by his predecessor, but it does give him the opportunity to put some serious distance from previous policies. Above all, if he wants to increase individual membership and ensure continued and increasing support from unions and their members, then he has to ensure that they have an effective voice in everything from the selection of candidates to the direction of policies.

The alternative is to follow through on the American road, and put a big “For Sale” sign up.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Hot Air in Bali and Global Warming

Comment is Free in the Guardian 10 December
The Bush administration is practicing a climatic form of coitus interruptus in Bali. It has made it plain that whenever something substantial looks like it's happening - it will withdraw. Its delegation is talking about a "road map" to climate protection, which is doubly ironic. The US has still has not found its way to the clearly signposted Kyoto after 10 years, and its other great cartographical exercise, the Middle East road map, has been wandering lost in the desert for a similar period.

We should of course welcome that domestic and international pressure has weighed enough on President Bush to send a delegation and pretend to be concerned, but it is clear that he is doing a sort of reverse Galileo. In the face of all the evidence, he still does not believe that his chums in the mining, auto and oil industries can cause climatic change while doing God's work - making money and keeping him in office.

We should also welcome a shift away from unilateralism. Instead of giving a finger to the world, bereft of Australian support, the US is once again trying to recruit developing countries like China and India to hide behind, even while at home it points to them as the bad guys, whose rapid increase in their carbon footprint would be at the expense of what is left of American industry.

In fact, even under Bill Clinton, America's ideological, indeed theological, refusal to countenance carbon taxes or binding multinational limits own emissions has shaped the international discourse - while paving the way for dodgy carbon-trading schemes that make subprime mortgage-backed bonds look rock solid in comparison, or highly subsidised bio-ethanol schemes that loot the US Treasury to dole out corporate welfare to midwestern agribusiness.

In the sacred name of the free markets, carbon trading raises a Byzantine structure of offsets, regulation and consequent evasion of emission limits. If there is a road map, it should point toward the real market-based solution. That is to tax the fuel, not the emissions, increasing the cost of carbon-based fuels to encourage efficiency.

Most industrialised countries outside the US are already on the way. For years they have been making more money in taxes on petrol than the producing companies have had in royalties. They should be charging carbon taxes and forcing efficiencies on reluctant Opec. And the oil producers have been onside with the US on most of the climate change issues, but in practice, by bringing oil up to $100 a barrel, they are doing the world a favour. In fact, increasing prices even more should not only benefit them in the short term by making larger profits from smaller production, it also pushes back the fateful day when the oil pumps gurgle dry and they have nothing left to sell.

Increasing energy prices makes alternative, renewable, sources of energy more economically feasible. In the US, where gasoline is cheaper than cola, increasing taxes to a level close to Europe would force Detroit to make more efficient vehicles if it wanted to survive, far more so than technical limits.

Instead of tax breaks for ethanol, the government should support technological development that could help developing countries do their part in reducing carbon consumption.

Opec members are not our customary candidates for green canonisation, but they could be! Indeed, for inadvertent collateral benefits we should doff our hats to George Bush, whose invasion of Iraq without thinking of the economic consequences and constant hints of attacking Iran have done so much to help Opec raise carbon prices to a sustainable level.

Read all the latest comment on the UN climate change conference here. For all coverage of the summit on Guardian Unlimited, click here

Friday, December 07, 2007

Brown, Blair .. and Clinton

With one bound, he could be free

Gordon Brown must publicly break with Blair's US-inspired techniques of fundraising and party-bashing
Ian Williams

Guardian Comment is Free
December 6, 2007 7:00 PM | Printable version

Poor Gordon Brown. With the latest contribution-laundering scandal, he is carrying the can for Tony Blair's over-enthusiastic fundraising. But there is, in fact, someone else to take the blame.

The New Labour project has always involved a slavish emulation of American models, and in this case Bill Clinton can take a bow. He really pioneered how to make a left-of-centre party conservative despite its members and supporters.

Both Blair and Brown were totally bowled over by Clinton's ability to win elections when the then-inseparable pair visited the US while John Smith was still the apparently healthy and eminently elected leader of the opposition.

As Blair and Clinton jointly pioneered the "third way" as a means of passing off conservative policies as modernisation of reformist parties, Clinton showed Blair the way. Fairly sure they had nowhere else to go, Clinton scorned the Democratic party's hardcore electoral base of unionised workers and minorities, deriding them as "special interests". He could do so largely because he ran away with much of the old Republican funding base, attracting donors from Wall Street.

Oh, those were the best of days for the real special interest groups, who came bearing cheques. A quick drop in the hat from America's biggest banana importer brought a Worlad Trade Organisation case against the EU and the West Indian banana producers. A small fundraiser from Cuban-American exiled sugar barons ensured that there would be tighter embargoes against Castro, and continuing tariffs against developing-world sugar. For a sufficient fee, a night in the White House was the reward.

With none of the ideological baggage of the new Republicans, Clinton's policies were up for sale - and all that was without a House of Lords to rent or lease!

On the other hand, it was easier for Clinton than for Blair because the Democratic party was already on the way to being a PO box for corporate donors, helped because in the US's rigid two-party system, most Democratic voters felt they had nowhere else to go.

Blair and New Labour had a bigger challenge, the comparative advantages of saleable peerages notwithstanding. The unions founded the Labour party and, mostly, paid for it. It had a membership-based structure, policy conferences and a national executive committee. But Blair rose to the occasion.

The unions became special interests; then we had peerages (a bow to Lloyd George) dodgy loans, proxy donors and the assiduous courting of business interests, not to mention a succession of funders who seem to think it would be good for Israel to fund Blair. This was Blair's creative adaptation of Clintonian funding principles.

The structure of the party was ignored or dismantled, and membership was converted from being actively concerned in policy formation and candidate selection to being part of a leader's fan club run by a coterie of New Labour infiltrators who in truth probably had a smaller support base than did Militant of old. Many ordinary members took the hint and left.

One should point out that, just as in the primary elections in the US, (only millionaires or billionaire-backed candidates need apply). The Labour party's own leadership elections seem to have been the chink through which the real special interests grabbed Blair by the wallet, confident that his heart and mind would follow. The now ennobled Lord Levy helped bankroll his campaign for that as well.

The US is not always a bad example to follow, but in this case it is disastrous and undemocratic. American politicians follow money more than the voters. So far in this election cycle, one in 600 US voters donated the minimum $200 or more that candidates have to declare. And you can be sure that most of the money came from far, far fewer voters than that. The leading contenders have already spent nearly $100m each - and that is just on the party primaries, not the general election. And voters will stay away in droves as they are increasingly doing in Britain.

Gordon Brown can extricate himself in one bound: disavow Blair's and Clinton's political and financial heritage and rebuild his party as one based on an active membership representing working people. That is, after all, a large part of the reason why so many were happy to see him take over from Blair of Baghdad.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

UNCA Award Winners 2007

for our readers interested in such things

UNCA Awards Committee
United Nations Headquarters
New York
NY 10017
UNCA President: J Tuyet Nguyen Awards Chair: Ian Williams

Press Release
Twelfth UNCA Annual Awards
Thursday 6 December 2007

Friday evening, 7 December, at the Delegates Dining Room, UN HQ, New York, the UN Correspondents Association hosts its Twelfth Annual Awards Dinner.

Secretary General Ban Ki Moon will present the awards to the following

UNCA Citizen of the World Award
Richard Branson,
For his strong support for environmental and humanitarian causes,
Who will be introduced by Oscar-winning Actress Mira Sorvino

UN Foundation Prize for Coverage of Development Issues
Gold: Lazaro Mabunda O Pais Mozambique
“a very strong effort at documenting national failure on what G77 governments claim is the most pressing UN goa.l”

Silver: Shakuntala Perera, Daily Mirror Sri Lanka
“A revealing window on how ‘jawboning’ by UN human rights bodies and representatives can generate domestic political pressures domestically for government to clean up its act.”

Elixabeth Neuffer Award for best Overall Print Coverage of the UN and its Work
Joint Gold:
Opheera McDoom Reuters, Sudan
“A consistent, continuing, and convincing coverage of the Darfur agony and Khartoum mendacity – from the capital and from the countryside; multitextured and fearless”
Maggie Farley & Edmund Sanders, LA Times , USA, Coverage of Darfur
“impressive reporting on a global disaster.”

Silver Godwin Nnanna Businessday, Nigeria,

“A good series ‘from the streets’ of Ivory Coast, tracking locals' assessment of the UN at work there."

Antena 3 Ricardo Ortega Prize for Best Electronic Coverage
Gold: Cairo Bureau NHK, Japan,
“For a broad television audience in a faraway land, this represents a major journalistic investment – and one that palpably captures the feel of a collapsed Somalia”

Silver: Martin Semukanya Executive Producer Channel Africa South Africa

“An informative radio report on development issues in Africa, balanced yet critical."

Gold: Talal Al-Haj, Producer, Al-Arabiya “for a detailed historical overview and current examination of UN for the Arab World”

As befits a competition rewarding coverage of the United Nations, this year’s finalists submitted in Arabic, English, French, Japanese, and Portuguese. The winners will share $33,000 in prizes- but it is the glory that counts!

Entries this year came from Afghanistan, Armenia, Bhutan, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroun, China, Egypt, Ghana, Japan, Kenya, Korea, India, Lebanon, Mongolia, Mozambique, Mongolia, Nepal, Nigeria, Pakistan, Romania, Somalia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Tajikistan, Uganda, United Kingdom, and the United States, which reflects the unique nature of the UNCA Awards, which are unusual in being international in nature and in not charging an entry fee.

There will be a photo-op at 7:15, on the second floor of the UN. The Dinner and Awards begin at 7:30 in the Delegates Dining Room.
Press must obtain a UN grounds pass for the event.

Photos of some of this year's winners and details of previous awardees are available at
For more details call
Ian Williams
Chairman UNCA Awards Committee, 917 362 1477

Clinton's Road to Blair's Downfall and Brown's Way Out!

Clinton's Road to Blair's Downfall and Brown's Way Out! Guardian Comment is Free

Monday, December 03, 2007

Anarchy on the High Seas

When bullets are to be bitten, never let it be said that I took a step backward. Let me say it: George Bush and the White House are entirely correct - about the Law of the Sea at least.

Twenty-five years after negotiators finally put down their pens on the Law of the Sea Treaty, Bush and the Pentagon have joined with rational Republicans like Richard Lugar and the Democrats to support its belated ratification, pushed along by oil, maritime and telecom lobbies that see the need to end oceanic anarchy.

The Senate foreign relations panel voted 17-4 on October 31 to send it to the full floor for a vote, where it seems likely to win the two-thirds majority needed for passage. Quite apart from the significance of the treaty itself, there is a certain symbolism: this would be the first multilateral treaty of its kind that the US has ratified since Ronald Reagan.

Reaganites may indeed appreciate one of the impulses behind the ratification: the Russian claim to the north pole. Outside the treaty, the US has no means of contesting the claim, which, if successful, would be recognised by almost every nation in the world.

The very first case to go to the Hamburg-based International Tribunal on the Law of the Sea demonstrated the need for it. In 1997 the MV Saiga, an oil tanker registered in St Vincent and the Grenadines, owned by Cypriots, chartered by Swiss, managed by a Scottish company, officered by Ukrainians and crewed by Senegalese, had been bunkering fishing vessels off the coast of Guinea when patrol boats from there seized the ship and detained the crew. Guinea claimed a customs zone that extended 250 miles from its coast. The tribunal ordered the release of the ship and crew on payment of a bond, and, after consideration, it threw out the Guinean claim and ordered the ship and its crew freed. Under the convention, Guinea was not entitled to claim more than 200 miles for its exclusive economic zone.

The Law of the Sea should be an important cause for internationally minded liberals and Democrats, representing as it does a global commitment to the health of the oceans and the rule of law. But their silence is stunning. A quick internet search shows that most of the clucking comes from loony right-wing Chicken Littles who think the sky is falling down. There is a certain ironic satisfaction that the White House is now under fire from the ideologically hardcore foundations that have so far been barraging its liberal enemies.

At this year's hearings on the treaty at the Senate foreign relations committee, the groups that spoke against ratification, the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) and the Centre for Security Policy (CSP), depicted the treaty as an undercover version the Kyoto protocol - reminiscent of earlier far-fetched accusations of an undersea land grab by the United Nations.

But money talks as the know-nothings cluck. Last year, Exxon - Big Oil's last-ditch opponent of the UN Convention on the International Law of the Sea -dropped its financial support for CEI. The lobby now left in the field against ratification of the Law of the Sea Treaty reveals the wacko money tail that has been wagging the Republican dog, and, more often than not, converting many Democratic politicians into fawning puppies.

The process was described in an email that Mike Scanlon, the lobbyist who once worked for Tom DeLay, sent to his Indian tribal clients. It was released by the Senate Indian affairs committee when it was investigating disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff:

Our mission is to get specifically selected groups of individuals to the polls to speak out AGAINST something. To that end, your money is best spent finding them and communicating with them on using the modes that they are most likely to respond to. Simply put, we want to bring out the wackos to vote against something and make sure the rest of the public lets the whole thing slip past them. The wackos get their information form [sic] the Christian right, Christian radio, mail, the internet, and telephone trees.

The wackos are now in the spotlight. But the sane wing of American politics does indeed seem to be letting the ratification of the Law of the Sea slip past them, even though it presents a unique opportunity to break the conservative hold on multilateralism. If the Senate cannot ratify this treaty when the White House, the Pentagon and former Republican chair of the Senate foreign relations committee are onside with a Democratic majority, then Americans had best resign themselves to being all at sea in a world of international anarchy.