If I May Be So Bold . . .
It is good that the President is sending Condi Rice to Georgia and having Secretary Gates organize humanitarian relief. But why stop there? What may be needed to resolve this crisis is a dramatic move by the President himself to highlight the gravity of Russia’s violation of Georgian territory and that may involve the President himself going to Georgia, standing side by side with Mikhail | Read More »
To Paraphrase John Edwards . . .
There are, at the very least, two Andrew Sullivans. It is one thing to have changed your mind on the conflict in Iraq. It is quite another to do a complete 180 on the broader philosophical issues of the day without having even remotely laid the intellectual groundwork for having done so. The former is a respectable and understandable shift in position. The latter only | Read More »
The Latest In The Russia-Georgia War
Despite an order from Russian President Dmitri Medvedev for the Russian armed forces to cease their military operations, Georgia claims that offensive operations continue. I wouldn’t be surprised if they did; the audacity of Russia’s military maneuvers are matched only by the bluff and bluster, doubletalk and deception that the Russians are showing on the diplomatic and public relations front. The Russian government has done | Read More »
Quote Of The Day
It is true that many Russians were humiliated by the way the Cold War ended, and Putin has persuaded many to blame Boris Yeltsin and Russian democrats for this surrender to the West. The mood is reminiscent of Germany after World War I, when Germans complained about the “shameful Versailles diktat” imposed on a prostrate Germany by the victorious powers and about the corrupt politicians | Read More »
Georgia and the American National Interest (UPDATE: McCain gets it)
In the days since Russian troops marched into Georgia, there have been any number of voices telling Americans that this is not our concern: It’s so far away. There are interminable ethnic conflicts involved. And it does not affect our national interest. Most of the voices saying these things say the same about Iraq, and they do so under the same misapprehension of the American | Read More »
For Those Who Think We Don’t Have Vital Interests At Stake In The Russia-Georgia War . . .
Read this: The war in Georgia escalated dangerously last night after Russian jets reportedly bombed a vital pipeline that supplies oil to the West. After a day of heightening international tensions, Georgian leaders claimed that the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline, which transports oil from the Caspian Sea to Turkey, had been attacked. But it is thought the bombs missed their target. Their claims came after Russian jets | Read More »
Marching Through Georgia
Russia certainly demonstrated its capacity for good timing when it decided to make war against Georgia on the same day that the Olympics began in Beijing. I don’t know specifics about the balance of forces between Russia and Georgia but my gut tells me that while the Russian military outclasses the Georgian one, it isn’t by much and the experience of recent Russian military adventures | Read More »
France Opts For Sanity
For years, the 35 hour workweek has served to hold France back economically. But now, modest steps are being taken to change all of that: The French Senate has voted to allow employers to opt out of the country’s 35-hour workweek, a significant change to an employment law much loved by French workers. The measure passed the Senate on Wednesday night. Support came from the | Read More »
Let’s Try A Little Experiment
First, read this. Now, riddle me the following: After all of the years of repression, bloodshed, murder, beatings and state-sponsored terrorism inflicted on the Zimbabwean people by the Mugabe regime, how can anyone actually believe that at long last, the regime has found religion and is now willing to work in good faith to bring about political reconciliation in Zimbabwe?
Reaching Out? Not So Much.
If you are going to run an American Presidential campaign that pledges, amongst other things, to improve America’s standing in the world, it behooves you to communicate from time to time with people from other countries. The best and most efficient way to do this, of course, is to communicate with the foreign media. And yet, we find out that Barack Obama just isn’t interested: | Read More »
On Political Progress In Iraq And The Destruction Of Yet Another Meme
Remaining arguments against the proposition that the surge and the counterinsurgency strategy implemented in Iraq have been successful revolve around the contention that there has been no political reconciliation in the country. Such claims are harder to make these days: Iraq’s largest Sunni Arab political bloc returned to the government fold Saturday after calling off a nearly one-year boycott of the Shiite-dominated leadership–another critical stride | Read More »
Too Many Cooks
They spoil the . . . well, you know the rest.
The New, New Declinism . . . And Why It’s As Intellectually Bankrupt As Ever
Predictions/dire warnings/gloating concerning the expected waning of American power worldwide are not a new phenomenon–the potential suggestion of the title of this post notwithstanding. As Robert Lieber points out, such predictions have been raining down from the Olympian heights of the pundit classes for a few centuries now. They periodically pop up to warn us that the era of American glory is coming to an | Read More »
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Blood On Their Hands
Efforts to push through UN sanctions against Zimbabwe in the wake of massive abuses against those who had the courage to resist Robert Mugabe in the run-up to the June 27th presidential run-off election have failed. Here is the reason why: Russia and China on Friday night vetoed United Nations sanctions against the Zimbabwe leadership, delivering a stinging blow to western efforts to turn the | Read More »