Baby Steps

While studiously ignoring the Schiavo fiasco/spectacle (fiactacle? spiasco? the second, probably), I just ran across an interesting piece of news. Condoleeza Rice (and therefore I assume the U.S. government, since she can't make such announcments in her capacity as a private person) is endorsing a permanent seat on the UN Security council for Japan. I don't really see how the U.S. is going to get a nation onto the council which tends to side with U.S. interests in most disputes without giving up some other bargaining chip. Also, is this a deliberate snub of India, which wants to be on the security counsel and which will, in the not too far future, be a more important world power than Japan? I've seen plans for full fledged reform of the council with something like India, Germany, Brazil and I believe South Africa (it was in the Economist last fall, I'm not going to look up the issue right now) all coming on, though South Africa strikes me as a "one of these things is not like the others," in that group. Of course, having an African nation in a permanent seat would possibly lead to more attention being paid to African problems, which would be a good thing if it led to intervention in Darfuf and Darfur-like events. Actually, attention isn't really the problem, the problem is the attention just leads to more passivitity.

But back to my main point, it seems odd to me that there would be an attempt at piecemeal, rather than whole-cloth, reform of the security coucil. If one new permanent seat is being added, and there's enough energy for reform there, isn't it a good time to do all the work?