America has tried, and continues to try, to push President Putin and Russia out of a competitive role in world politics. But Russian counter moves can move America out of its position of world leader.
When the instruments of death fly above us, we still look up in admiration, not horror. As long as we celebrate destruction in this way, we will be doomed to repeat it.
What is hunger? What is captivity? What is prison? What is hunger in prison? How should one behave in captivity? In a court investigation? In prison? Because these are very different things.
During the 37 days of the strike I ate twice. The first time it was a pear-flavored candy. The second time I ate was today.
There is no defense of Russia's ongoing actions vis-à-vis Ukraine, or its annexation of the Crimea. But nothing happens in a vacuum, and when it comes to international relations, Newton's third law of physics applies in full force: for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. George Santayana has famously noted that those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it. But what of those who simply are ignorant of history, especially when it is not their own? America, in particular, seems to be populated by people who, wittingly or not, have taken Francis Fukuyama's theory of "the end of history" to heart. But what sounded plausible at the nexus of American ascendancy over the Soviet Union in the early 1990's seems laughable today.
Right now everything is being destroyed, but later it will have to be rebuilt. I firmly believe that you'll have bridges to build soon enough: in Luhansk, "Ukrainian Nationalists Bridge"; in Donetsk, "Right Sector Bridge"!
MOSCOW -- Putin's goal was to convince average Russians to equate the nearly holy war against fascism with the regime's current escapade in Ukraine. Kremlin spin doctors have been reinforcing that association for months with a constant torrent of claims that Ukraine is besieged with "fascist sentiment," which is attempting to justify Hitler's atrocities.
Leaders from around the world, headed by Angela Merkel and François Hollande, have come together to try to make Putin listen to reason. Nothing has worked. Nadiya Savchenko remains a political hostage, or rather, a geopolitical hostage, in the hands of the master of the Kremlin.
Is a new Cold War brewing in the Pacific between China and the U.S. with Japan playing a front line role? Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's visit to Washington last week alarmingly pushed developments in that direction. In a blog he adapted from his well-received speech to the U.S. Congress, Abe proposes that the two democratic post-WWII allies join in a "seamless" strategic effort to "to spread and nurture our shared values" and "stick to the path" that "won the Cold War" -- and, in so many words not spoken, to contain China. By excluding China, the world's second largest economy, from the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership on trade while embracing the revision of Japan's pacifist constitution to allow military action beyond self-defense without an apology for colonialism and aggression acceptable to its Asian neighbors, the U.S. and Japan are laying the cornerstone of a new bloc system in the Pacific. As Minxin Pei writes, China's leaders will certainly see it that way and respond in kind. (continued)
Amidst all the media frenzy surrounding Putin's nefarious destabilization efforts in Eastern Ukraine, other issues of vital importance have gone ignored.
The more active America's foreign policy, the more the U.S. has to spend on the military: the "defense" budget is the price of Washington's foreign policy. American military personnel and contractors die. Enemies are created. A national security state develops.
Economic sanctions have long been used as a foreign policy tool, sometimes perceived as the tool of choice for nations where diplomacy has failed to yield desired results. Yet as widely used as they are, they generally fail to achieve their objectives.
This is a Budapest coffee shop paper. You know how it goes: three friends sipping the world's best coffee and musing on the state of the world. Overhead the buzz of planes connecting the busier capitals of the planet.
This week, The WorldPost hosted a book party in Los Angeles for CNN's Fareed Zakaria as part of the launch of his new treatise, "In Defense of a Liberal Education." He is also a member of the Berggruen Institute's 21st Century Council. Attendees included, among many others, Rwandan President Paul Kagame, former Pakistani Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz, financiers Steve Schwarzman, David Bonderman and Mohamed el-Erian, California State Senator Bob Hertzberg, former California Governor Gray Davis and Hollywood producers Brian Grazer, Lawrence Bender and Mike Medavoy. Economist Nouriel Roubini, essayist Pico Iyer and Harvard historian Niall Ferguson also attended. Israeli-American media mogul Haim Saban sparred with Zakaria over the rights of Palestinians and the future of Israel as a democratic state. Jack Miles, editor of the "Norton Anthology of World Religions," writes in The WorldPost this week that America is losing in the Mideast because its foreign policy has been technology-focused (drones, etc.) instead of humanities-focused (history, religion, etc.). (continued)
Philanthropist and investor George Soros warned Thursday that ethnic tensions and a lack of tolerance threaten economic and political progress in Myanmar, a country to which Soros has devoted more than two decades of attention and philanthropy.
Think of it not as a new deal but a new devolution, an ongoing decline of quality substance, concern, and even basic awareness in public life. With th...