What’s wrong and right with the world; Russia-, Ukraine-, and Iran-wise.
Keeping it short and sweet for now, as things keep updating on the long-running Phase II of the “IT in Russiagate” topic. The first subject in today’s Ready Room grab-bag is the no-fly zone proposal for Ukraine.
It’s a bad idea. All I will do here is copy in an email sent earlier with my reflections on the matter. They were forwarded in response to a piece by former Senator Joe Lieberman in the Wall Street Journal (apologies for the paywall).
Reading Henry Kissinger’s typically well-considered and intelligent article for the Wall Street Journal this weekend (“A Path out of the Middle East Collapse”), I had a growing sense that it isn’t so much a prescription for the future as a description of the past.
The sense began with the first paragraph, in which Kissinger defines the scope of what’s collapsing, and dates it only to 1973, when the U.S. moved to stabilize the Middle East during the Yom Kippur War.
But far more than recent U.S. policy on the Middle East is collapsing today. What we’re seeing is more like the collapse of “Rome” itself: the organization of Western power as a Europe-centric territorial phenomenon, setting unbreachable boundaries north, south, and west of a restless and perennially “unorganizable” Middle East.Continue reading “The future of our time: Rewriting ‘Westphalianism’”
John Paul Jones, commanding the Continental Navy, Battle of Flamborough Head
23 September, 1779
If we went by the triumphal proclamations of the mainstream media, we would think opponents of the unsigned Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) – described inaccurately as a “deal” with Iran – were out of options at this point.
Operating on the process set in motion by the Corker-Cardin bill, the House has voted against approving the JCPOA. But the JCPOA’s opponents in the Senate have failed twice to move the JCPOA to a vote. A 42-vote minority has prevented a Senate vote, and Republican Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is unwilling to use the “nuclear option” of overriding the effective filibuster by the minority, and forcing a vote on the JCPOA.
Sometimes a comparison is the best way to illustrate a point.
Suppose, after the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri a year ago, the Obama administration had decided – as it in fact did – that the Ferguson police and courts needed to be investigated for their history of law enforcement practices.
But instead of the Obama Justice Department conducting an investigation itself, the federal government called in a third party to negotiate an agreement with the city of Ferguson as to how it would be investigated.