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Archive for December, 2008

Imperial Amnesia: Thematic U.S. Foreign Policy Reading

Tuesday, December 30th, 2008

“The United States invaded a distant country to share the blessings of democracy. But after being welcomed as liberators, U.S. troops encountered a bloody insurrection. Sound familiar? Don’t think Iraq-think the Philippines and Mexico decades ago. U.S. President George W. Bush and his advisors have embarked on a historic mission to change the world. Too bad they ignored the lessons of history.”

Imperial Amnesia from Foreign Policy

Response Sheet

About the author: John B. Judis is an American journalist, is a senior writer at The National Journal and a former senior editor at The New Republic and contributing editor to The American Prospect.

Judis was born in Chicago. He attended Amherst College and received B.A. and M.A. degrees in Philosophy from the University of California at Berkeley.  Judis started reporting from Washington in 1982, when he became a founding editor and Washington correspondent for In These Times, ademocratic-socialist weekly magazine.

He has also written for GQ, Foreign Affairs, Mother Jones, The New York Times Magazine, and The Washington Post.

X + 9/11

Tuesday, December 30th, 2008

George F. Kennan celebrated his 100th birthday earlier this year. The dean of U.S. diplomats is best known for his strategy of containment, which he first articulated in the so-called long telegram that he sent from Moscow in 1946—and soon thereafter unveiled in his 1947 article, “The Sources of Soviet Conduct,” published under the pseudonym “X.” Several conferences honoring Kennan have praised his enormous contribution to U.S. Cold War strategy, yet the most fitting tribute would be to apply his seminal theories to our present era—to examine the sources of terrorist conduct.

Read more from Robert L. Hutchings

Merkel counts her blessings

Tuesday, December 30th, 2008

TO CALL her embattled would be to exaggerate. But Angela Merkel is undeniably under pressure. In the face of wobbly banks and a swooning economy, Germany’s chancellor has been found wanting. Other European leaders fume that she has done too little to boost the continent’s biggest economy. Business is baying for action. Much of her Christian Democratic Union (CDU) is eager to arm itself for next September’s federal election with tax cuts. The CDU’s Bavarian sister party, the Christian Social Union (CSU), agrees. But so far Ms Merkel has said no. The latest cover of Der Spiegel dubs her “timid Angela”.

Read on from the Economist

Survey of Russia

Tuesday, December 30th, 2008

The Economist offers keen insights into Russia’s past, present and future in this 2008 survey. The introductory and concluding articles are especially noteworthy. Enjoy it here.

Photo Essay: China’s 30 Years of Economic Overdrive

Tuesday, December 30th, 2008

Explore this riveting collection of pictures which speak thousands of words about China’s transformation.

Back to the USSR

Tuesday, December 30th, 2008

Tanks rolling into neighbouring countries, the media back under state control and Kremlin policy shrouded in secrecy … Luke Harding reports on why Russia seems hellbent on reverting to its Soviet past. Read on from The Guardian

“A World Without Power”

Tuesday, December 30th, 2008

Critics of U.S. global dominance should pause and consider the alternative. If the United States retreats from its hegemonic role, who would supplant it? Not Europe, not China, not the Muslim world—and certainly not the United Nations. Unfortunately, the alternative to a single superpower is not a multilateral utopia, but the anarchic nightmare of a new Dark Age…

Unfortunately, the world’s experience with power vacuums (eras of “apolarity,” if you will) is hardly encouraging. Anyone who dislikes U.S. hegemony should bear in mind that, rather than a multipolar world of competing great powers, a world with no hegemon at all may be the real alternative to U.S. primacy. Apolarity could turn out to mean an anarchic new Dark Age: an era of waning empires and religious fanaticism; of endemic plunder and pillage in the world’s forgotten regions; of economic stagnation and civilization’s retreat into a few fortified enclaves.

Read more Ferguson from Foreign Policy Magazine