Foreigner on the Year in Foreign Policy

Africa, global warming, and Iran's nuclear ambitions.

Amid widespreaddiplomatic turmoil and a global economic meltdown (except in Canada), one could be forgiven for a case of the World War III nerves. But then, one has likely not consulted Foreigner bassist Jeff Pilson, who, in advance of his band's acoustic gig Sunday night at Snoqualmie Casino, found time to outline his comprehensive foreign policy between negotiations with the bassists from Europe and Asia. A complete transcript of our discussion, which Pilson conducted from the comfort of his safe house in Southern California's Santa Clarita Valley, is as follows:

SW: As a Foreigner in the U.S.A., do you feel like a full-fledged American, or do you face resentment from some native groups?

Pilson: I feel pretty American, I gotta say. During the Bush years, there was some blowback, but we're OK.

In third-world Africa, the rates of fevers reaching 103 and people suffering from double vision are significantly higher than in the United States. What would you prescribe as an aid package to these sickly foreigners, and would you characterize such assistance as urgent?

I would, but I would say that the best cure is head games. Head games would help, trust me.

During the Bush era, then-Deputy Secretary of State Robert Zoellick stated that China, in its new role as a rising military, diplomatic, and economic power, must act as "a stakeholder" in the international system. But because of China's Cold War mentality toward all other world powers and its philosophical and political alignment with the North Korean regime, do you believe that China will be able to fully engage as a progressive power on the international stage, in light of recent developments on the Korean peninsula?

The short answer is yes, but my real question is: Where's the chicken? They're gonna hold the stake, but where's the chicken?

While Mexican immigration seems to dominate North American foreign policy, when do you think President Obama and Congress will get around to stemming the unchecked tide of dirty Canadians into our country?

It's about time somebody brought this up, because Canadian immigration has long been the #1 problem in everything. I think world peace could be achieved if somehow we did away with Canadian immigrants.

Was the song "Dirty White Boy" a veiled attempt to show solidarity with dirty immigrants?

No, it wasn't. It was complaining about them. But, of course, we meant immigrants from Northern California.

Despite U.S.-led efforts to deter Iran's nuclear capabilities, a report by the International Atomic Energy Agency indicated that Iran continues to accumulate a stockpile of enriched uranium. President Obama has expressed hope that the Iranians can be drawn into multilateral negotiations over their nuclear activities, though as recent developments have shown, President Ahmadinejad's prickliness toward any inquiries into Iran's nuclear-enrichment program continues. Does the Obama administration have the credibility in the region to persuade its remaining Middle Eastern allies to participate in talks designed to compel Iran to draw down efforts to develop nuclear technology?

I'd like to think so, but the Obama administration is making one gigantic mistake by not referring to its proper name as "new-kyu-ler." Once they get the right terminology in there, they might have a chance.

With global warming on everyone's minds these days and the continuing media coverage of our polar icecaps melting, do you see a resurgence in popularity of your song "Cold as Ice"?

I think that's gonna become the world's anthem probably very soon, but the dream song will be "Hot Blooded," of course.

Recently, the Israeli newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth published an article about the new rounds of peace talks among Obama, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. In the article, the goal of these new talks was summarized as an attempt to find "a framework" for peace in the region, with steps to be implemented slowly, over the next decade. Do you think that this strategy is nothing more than a repeat of the failed Oslo Accords, or do you believe that the Obama administration has the foreign-policy apparatus in place to make an incremental policy toward the Israeli/Palestinian conflict work?

I wish, but I don't think so. I think it's gonna be in vain again, but I wish.

At the end of the day, if warring constituencies around the world want to reach an historical peace accord, won't it simply require them to want to know what love is, and for Foreigner to show them?

That's the thing: If they knew what love is, would we be asking these questions in the first place?

mseely@seattleweekly.com

 
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