Happy Hillary-Rodham is on the beach, half a world away from Washington, celebrating the latest triumph of United States diplomacy. To be precise, she pressured the government of the Cook Islands to come up with some big SUVs, ones grand enough for Her Secretary of Stateship.
The government owns three small SUVs. That always seemed to be plenty for its job of governing some 11,000 folks.
Hillary sniffed. Her attendance depended on big, impressive SUVs. Which she got.
If she were the kind of person who said "Thanks" her gratitude would be to a put-upon Cook Islands official named Robert Graham. For a heady time the fate of the Eastern Hemisphere rested on his shoulders. He reports:
"We are a really small island and they're wanting these really big SUVs," Graham said. "We have tried our best to accommodate and help."
It might or might not impress Mrs. Clinton that her regal transport is a gift of the private sector. The resourceful Mr. Graham scrambled to persuade a number of islanders to loan their oversize personal vehicles for the grand occasion.
A big white one fell to Her, guaranteeing Her comfort even if mischance forced her to completely circumnavigate the island of Roratonga -- a daunting trek of nearly 20 paved miles. I hope the people of the Cooks don't hate us, but if they do, I'll understand.
So what the heck is the Clinton woman doing in paradise anyway?
I'm glad you asked. She's representing you and me at a gathering of the Pacific Islands Forum. That's an organization of Pacific governments who get together once in a while to hash out watery issues.
Her presence is being spun as a crucial element in United States security in the western Pacific -- heading off the Yellow Peril. The Los Angeles Times sets the stage:
"The tiny South Pacific islands and atolls known as the Cook Islands have rarely been more than an afterthought to the world's great powers. Yet in their intensifying contest for influence in the Asian Pacific region, the United States and China are seeing new value in far-flung outposts that until now were coveted more for pearls and sunsets than geostrategic importance."
(Aside No.1: We all know of the "Bad Hemingway" contest. Is there one for "Bad Michener?")
(Aside No. 2: Rarotonga is some 5,000 miles from the Chinese mainland, and if you ask me that's an implausibly long way to fling a far.)
Fully granting that we need to keep an eye on China's jealous eye for oil treasures beyond her 200-mile exclusive economic zone, Hillary-in-Paradise hints at another purpose.
American wars in the Middle East have about outrun our gullibility for nation-building propaganda, so maybe our leaders are shifting targets in the War to Divert Our Attention from the Economy.
Maybe Hillary and His Ineptness are discovering that it is crucial to American security to develop a ring of U.S. client states from Pitcairn to the Yalu. Deploy a few divisions and a handful of carrier flotillas. Build some schools. Send over some Harvard PhD to advise on governing. If absolutely necessary, bomb a few wogs.
Nothing stops us except the cost, but, what the Hell, we can always borrow it. In this case, though, probably not from China.