The future of our time: Rewriting ‘Westphalianism’

Interesting times: the new definition.

Past master. (Image via Outside the Beltway)
Past master. (Image via Outside the Beltway)

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’”

Facts and implications: Notes on Diana West’s American Betrayal

Fact: Stalin’s Soviet agents. Implication about WWII?

American BetrayalWhat are the implications of the extensively documented fact that agents of the Soviet government were employed in high positions in the United States government in the 1930s and 1940s?  Do we have a skewed view of World War II because we have failed to address that question?  If our perspective changed, would we judge that we didn’t even win World War II – but, to be more accurate, Stalin did?

Diana West’s remarkable new book, American Betrayal: The Secret Assault on Our Nation’s Character, compiles some potential answers to these questions.  As West argues early in the book, Continue reading “Facts and implications: Notes on Diana West’s American Betrayal”