International Relations

non-ideally realistic is the ideal realism and real idealism etc.

Realistically, a merely more rather than ideally realistic policy may be as much as is really achievable, and for any realist president will remain the ideal.

Posted in International Relations, Politics, War Tagged with: , , , ,

Iran and the Re-Legalization of War

We seem to be moving gradually toward a more sustainable spheres of influence structure, an uneven geopolitical web to be intermittently traversed by ad hoc coalitions acting on interpretations of their own particular and joint interests, or regional interests, or global economic or ecological or humanitarian interests. In some ways, this result is what conservative opponents of American internationalism (whether liberal idealist, hegemonist, or just imperialist) have always wanted, but, as those same internationalists have often warned their critics, escaping global-governance idealism may not equate with more conservative outcomes. Less political globalism does not necessarily mean less global activism, least of all for a maritime military-economic power like the USA.

Posted in Featured, International Relations, Neo-Imperialism, The Exception, War Tagged with: , , , ,

The Israel-Iran debate is over – so now it can begin

Seems what really keeps the debate alive is ANY determination that it’s over. It seems to be a debate whose beginning is its end, and vice versa, ad infinitum, ad nauseam, til kingdom or caliphate or chaos come.

Posted in International Relations, War Tagged with: , ,

Prelude to an Initial Consideration of American Syndrome

Just by virtue of occupying a different spot on the globe; of possessing a different culture, history, economy; and simply of being in the position of client, the newly democratized and liberalized state would naturally develop differences with its American sponsor.

From the old imperialist perspective, recognition of this inescapable fact would introduce certain simple pragmatic considerations. Some potentially valuable clients or territories would have to be ruled directly to prevent them from straying too far. Others would be deemed impractical for any form of conquest, but might need to be neutralized or denied to competitors.

The ideology of the neo-imperialist or liberal-democratic hegemonist transforms all such calculations – at least in the missionary’s own mind.

Posted in International Relations, Philosophy, Politics Tagged with: , , , ,

Ryan in the Mirror

Ryan, his special friends, and those who inspired them portray themselves as the carriers of ideal Americanism against the (p)rogressive “cancer,” but the gleaming surface of their illimitable “missionary” ambition reveals them to be the cancerest of all.

Posted in International Relations, Politics Tagged with: , , ,

Trolling @attackerman 13 Aug 2012

it’s not like I spend every day on @attackerman’s case, btw

Posted in International Relations, Internet, US History Tagged with: , , ,

Comment on Nob Akimoto’s Geographic Chains of Democratic Nationalism

Is, can, or should a new “Nomos of the Earth” be a single universalism, or would an arrangement of “Grossraueme,” or Spheres of Influence turn out to be preferable, possibly because more practical?

Posted in Books, History, International Relations, Neo-Imperialism, Philosophy Tagged with: , , ,

They also demagogue who sit and snark

How dare you pause to think when the Devil Incarnate Is Poised Not Just to Annihilate You, but to Annihilate You Fully?

Posted in International Relations, notes, War Tagged with: , , ,

Bibi Christ

Netanyahu at CUFI Conference

The concept of revelatory sacrifice may even be the best frame for understanding potential Israeli action, but also the potential withholding of action, against Iran. If the effect is more maddening than practical or helpful, it may be because the whole predicament is already so tragically mad, something Morris probably understands, or at least understood, as well as anyone.

Posted in International Relations, Religion, War Tagged with: , , , , ,

letztlich auch uns (Beinart + Grass)

To connect the apostate Beinart to the declared enemy Grass, and both of them to everyone else: While we may fear a radically illiberal enemy state gaining possession of nuclear weapons, we may also wonder if we’re witnessing the slow transformation, with our aid and under our own protection, of our ally into a radically illiberal state, one that already possesses a nuclear arsenal.

Posted in Books, History, International Relations Tagged with: ,

From the Featured Archives

Noted & Quoted

TV pundits and op-ed writers of every major newspaper epitomize how the Democratic establishment has already reached a consensus: the 2020 nominee must be a centrist, a Joe Biden, Cory Booker or Kamala Harris–type, preferably. They say that Joe Biden should "run because [his] populist image fits the Democrats’ most successful political strategy of the past generation" (David Leonhardt, New York Times), and though Biden "would be far from an ideal president," he "looks most like the person who could beat Trump" (David Ignatius, Washington Post). Likewise, the same elite pundit class is working overtime to torpedo left-Democratic candidates like Sanders.

For someone who was not acquainted with Piketty's paper, the argument for a centrist Democrat might sound compelling. If the country has tilted to the right, should we elect a candidate closer to the middle than the fringe? If the electorate resembles a left-to-right line, and each voter has a bracketed range of acceptability in which they vote, this would make perfect sense. The only problem is that it doesn't work like that, as Piketty shows.

The reason is that nominating centrist Democrats who don't speak to class issues will result in a great swathe of voters simply not voting. Conversely, right-wing candidates who speak to class issues, but who do so by harnessing a false consciousness — i.e. blaming immigrants and minorities for capitalism's ills, rather than capitalists — will win those same voters who would have voted for a more class-conscious left candidate. Piketty calls this a "bifurcated" voting situation, meaning many voters will connect either with far-right xenophobic nationalists or left-egalitarian internationalists, but perhaps nothing in-between.

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Understanding Trump’s charisma offers important clues to understanding the problems that the Democrats need to address. Most important, the Democratic candidate must convey a sense that he or she will fulfil the promise of 2008: not piecemeal reform but a genuine, full-scale change in America’s way of thinking. It’s also crucial to recognise that, like Britain, America is at a turning point and must go in one direction or another. Finally, the candidate must speak to Americans’ sense of self-respect linked to social justice and inclusion. While Weber’s analysis of charisma arose from the German situation, it has special relevance to the United States of America, the first mass democracy, whose Constitution invented the institution of the presidency as a recognition of the indispensable role that unique individuals play in history.

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[E]ven Fox didn’t tout Bartiromo’s big scoops on Trump’s legislative agenda, because 10 months into the Trump presidency, nobody is so foolish as to believe that him saying, “We’re doing a big infrastructure bill,” means that the Trump administration is, in fact, doing a big infrastructure bill. The president just mouths off at turns ignorantly and dishonestly, and nobody pays much attention to it unless he says something unusually inflammatory.On some level, it’s a little bit funny. On another level, Puerto Rico is still languishing in the dark without power (and in many cases without safe drinking water) with no end in sight. Trump is less popular at this point in his administration than any previous president despite a generally benign economic climate, and shows no sign of changing course. Perhaps it will all work out for the best, and someday we’ll look back and chuckle about the time when we had a president who didn’t know anything about anything that was happening and could never be counted on to make coherent, factual statements on any subject. But traditionally, we haven’t elected presidents like that — for what have always seemed like pretty good reasons — and the risks of compounding disaster are still very much out there.

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