Tag: foreign policy
A few accurate and a great many inaccurate things have been said about Barack Obama's advovacy of a "new kind of politics." Especially amongst the media, this has been treated as "why can't we all get along" vapidity, a bland notion that people shouldn't be mean to each other.
The truth is that what he is advocating is far more subversive and dangerous to the status quo.
Insight into just how Obama intends to transform our politics and policy comes from Thomas S. (T.S.) Kuhn's seminal work, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions.
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This op-ed piece by Everett Ellis Briggs, former US ambassador to Panama about the machinations behind the US relationship with Manuel Noriega in Sunday's New York Times makes for interesting reading.
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Ira Chernus, Professor of Religious Studies at the University of Colorado at Boulder, has written probably the most sobering article I've yet seen about the prospects for the Iraq occupation, and what can be expected from Democratic presidential candidates.
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So Ezra and Matt don't like Anne-Marie Slaughter, whose new book, The Idea That Is America, has just come out. I haven't read the book, but like Ezra and Matt, I've met Slaughter and heard her speak. I'm generally a huge fan of her ideas and approach to foreign policy, which is distinctly Wilsonian internationalist in the sense that Wilson meant it (i.e., creating alliances and strengthening international organizations rather than "spreading democracy."
With that in mind, let's dispense with Matt's objections first, because they're the easiest to dismiss. Matt thinks Slaughter is "soft and gentle," and he doesn't "have confidence that she's willing to make the tough decisions to deal with the rogue immoral elites that are destroying the planet." Well, I've got news for Matt. In academia, if you've attained tenure by age forty-four, that's quite an achievement. But at age forty-four, Anne-Marie Slaughter had gotten herself named Dean of the Woodrow Wilson School of International Relations at Princeton -- while being a woman in what is still largely a man's field, as well as a wife and mother. Let me tell you, any woman that can attain that high a peak in that little a timespan in that closed a field is not "soft and gentle," she's ambitious and tough as nails. So Matt fell for her disarming "gentleness," which I saw too when I heard her speak -- she was saying how she needed to talk fast because her kids would miss her if she didn't get home soon -- but that doesn't mean Mahmoud Abbas and Kim Jong Il and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad aren't going to realize very quickly that this lady can put the kibosh on them really fast if they don't shape up. When you think of Anne-Marie Slaughter, don't think of Condi Rice, think of Madeleine Albright -- and then imagine her bombing the heck out of Serbia, and you'll get a pretty accurate picture.
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I'm a soft-touch for college kids who start serious blogs. I've been reading Matthew Yglesias since he was at Harvard and Ezra Klein since he was at USC. Both have developed into excellent professional writers.
So when I got an e-mail today to check out the new Foreign Policy Watch Blog, described as "Diplomatic strategy, international news, and thoughtful political analysis" written by a 19 year old freshman at Brown University, Jeb Koogler, I took a look. From the blogroll, he leans left. And like Matt and Ezra, Jeb writes intelligently about serious stuff. I hope you'll check him out.
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