War

Shadi Hamid: Is a Better World Possible without U.S. Military Force? – The Atlantic

If the United States announced tomorrow morning that it would no longer use its military for anything but to defend the borders of the homeland, many would instinctively cheer, perhaps not quite realizing what this would mean in practice. But

Posted in Neo-Imperialism, Noted & Quoted, War

Marc Lynch: What’s Really At Stake in the Syria Debate – War on the Rocks

For many U.S. politicians and pundits, forceful action in virtually any arena is its own reward. In Syria specifically, many interventionists have argued that the United States needs to be more deeply involved in the war because this will give

Posted in Neo-Imperialism, Noted & Quoted, War Tagged with:

Hussein Ibish: The unknown Muslim who has kept America safe – The National

Unknown, unnamed and unappreciated, “Roger” should be exhibit A in the rebuttal to Islamophobia. Almost no one’s heard of him, but every single American, Mr Trump included, needs to discover and digest the fact that for most of the past

Posted in Noted & Quoted, Politics, War Tagged with:

The Overrated Threat From Electromagnetic Pulses – War Is Boring

“EMP is the new test case of seriousness in national security,” cyber security expert Peter W. Singer tweeted after reading the platform. “But not in the way advocates not in on the joke think.” https://twitter.com/peterwsinger/status/755804056149434368?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw I reached out to Singer

Posted in Noted & Quoted, Politics, War

queenofthinair: Moral Equality of Combatants and the Legacy of Unjust Causes

Can these combatants, fighting in good faith but for a cause we judge to be unjust but relatively within the requirements of jus in bello, be honored? And in what ways? In short, I think they can and should be,

Posted in Noted & Quoted, War

Hayder al-Khoei: Iraq was destined for chaos with or without Britain’s intervention – The Guardian

There is a lot of anger about the postwar descent into chaos, but much of that anger in Iraq is being directed towards the corrupt Iraqi political class who killed our dreams and aspirations, not the clueless, sometimes well-intentioned, foreign

Posted in Neo-Imperialism, Noted & Quoted, War Tagged with:

Noah Rothman: Trump, Saddam, and Dovish Logic – Commentary

Prior to his ouster, the United States was compelled to engage in military action against Hussein as a result of his provocations in 1991, 1993, 1996, and 1998. Those military actions were precipitated by little things like the invasion and annexation

Posted in Neo-Imperialism, Noted & Quoted, War Tagged with: ,

Devoted and Selfless Consecration

The sacred essence of the American state is not a common topic of discussion, but the state or nation or country itself, or we ourselves, on behalf of itself or on behalf of ourselves, deems or deem it the proper topic in relation to the final questions.

Posted in notes, Political Philosophy, War

Weaponizing the Sky – The Atlantic

…[P]aranoia aside, the systems are nevertheless accumulating. In 2014, for example, the U.S. Air Force launched a trio of satellites in geosynchronous orbit to keep “neighborhood watch” over other satellites. Indeed, “space weaponization is inevitable,” David C. Hardesty has written

Posted in International Relations, Noted & Quoted, War

A First Look at America’s Supergun – WSJ

  In conventional guns, a bullet begins losing acceleration moments after the gunpowder ignites. The railgun projectile gains more speed as it travels the length of a 32-foot barrel, exiting the muzzle at 4,500 miles an hour, or more than

Posted in Noted & Quoted, Technology, War

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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