#Libya

Federica Saini Fasanotti: A confederal model for Libya – Brookings Institution

The long-advocated national-level solution of political unity does not, in fact, seem possible. Instead, a confederation of the three regions built on the original disposition of tribes and natural borders could probably assure a deeper stability. Regional governments could better

Posted in International Relations, Noted & Quoted Tagged with:

Frederic C. Hof: The Non-Option of Disengagement from the Middle East – MENASource

The next president, like it or not, will have his or her hands full with the Middle East. The starting point for getting anything right is to reject the proposition that we will always get it wrong; that it is

Posted in International Relations, Noted & Quoted Tagged with: , ,

The Libya Intervention: another worst decision except for all the others

The Libya decision will be revealed, predictably, to have been a very American decision – instrumentalizing military force on behalf of political-economic popular sovereignty (i.e., “freedom”) against a vulnerable tyranny, in cooperation with allies, with “respect for the opinions of mankind.” It entailed risks and real human costs while shifting them from one group to another – as would every other decision. It may even have been the “wrong” decision from other perspectives. If so, that conclusion would not necessarily imply that there was a simply “right” or “better” decision to be made, or that the American president can be asked or expected to give every or any other perspective higher or equal priority.

Posted in Politics, War Tagged with: , , ,

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: , , , ,

Nuke programs end with a lot of whimpering, not a bang

Qadhafi decided against WMD long before the Iraq war. Osirak was a complete failure. And so on.

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

They may tick our loaves

…but they’ll niver tick our

Posted in Miscellany Tagged with: , , ,

Libyan Quagbump?

The British press has been reporting on Libya more extensively than American outlets, which makes sense considering the greater ongoing involvement of the U.K. in the NATO-led operation.  Two articles suggest that we may, but then again may not, soon

Posted in War Tagged with: , ,

My further brave, brave stance on Libya

At Juan Cole’s joint, the good professor details what the Libya No-Fly Zone has accomplished in just a few days.  He concludes: Pundits who want this whole thing to be over with in 7 days are being frankly silly. Those

Posted in War Tagged with: , , , , , ,

My Stand(s) on the Libyan Atrocity

By the light of my tallow candle, as I push hard on the pedals of my bicycle-powered generator, I bravely lash out at the world oil complex and its malign interference in the internal affairs of Libya.  As for my

Posted in War Tagged with: , , ,

For the annals of boundless hackery

Team Obama: Game Theorists: There are days when you wonder why they bother.  In two paragraphs, the New York Times – by helpfully conveying Team Obama’s message exactly as intended – inadvertently demonstrates why the Obama policy is a self-cancelling

Posted in Miscellany 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.

Comment →

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.

Comment →

[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.

Comment →
CK's WP Plugins

Categories

Extraordinary Comments

CK's WP Plugins