Category Archives: International Affairs

Beating on the B

Posted by lex, on July 17th, 2011

The Economist takes a dismal view of Lockheed Martin’s F-35 program:

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Afghan Politics

Posted by lex, on July 18th, 2011

dangerous business to be in:

A close adviser to President Hamid Karzai was killed on Sunday night after two gunmen stormed his walled home here. It was the second killing in less than a week of one of the president’s trusted but controversial political allies.

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The Influence of Seapower

Posted by lex, on July 11th, 2011

Writing in the WSJ, former SecNav Gordon England joins former CNO Vern Clark and former Marine Corps Commandant James L. Jones to channel their inner Alfred Thayer Mahan:

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Time to Grow Up

By lex, on April 15th, 2011

Writing in the Financial Times, Philip Stevens notes President Obama’s redeployment of a combat brigade from Europe to CONUS and welcomes the move: *

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Free Ride

Posted by  lex, on March 17th, 2011

George Will writes that China’s economic growth is being underwritten in part by the US Navy’s beneficent guardianship of the international sea lanes of communication:

Whatever China’s navy becomes, some thoughtful people will be surprised. What they do (at the Naval War College) is scholarship, not intelligence — they devour the flood of Chinese military publications. And the scholars differ about the most fundamental question, which is: Will China, for the next three to five decades, concentrate on economic growth — on prospering from globalization’s unimpeded flow of raw materials, goods and services — and be content to let America bear the burden of policing this?

The answer will be yes — if China makes a purely economic calculation. But nations usually have deeper and stronger motivations. This is particularly true of ascendant nations feeling their oats and spurred by long memories of impotence and humiliations.

It may be difficult to thwart the aspirations of 1.3 billion people.

Perhaps Joss Whedon had it right.

Free Ride

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Itamar

By lex, on March 14th, 2011

 

While our gaze has been transfixed by one or another geopolitical crisis, from the airstrikes Col. Gaddhafi inflicts on his rebellious citizens in North Africa to the earthquake/tsunami disasters in the far east, something a little more horribly familiar  * occurred in an east bank settlement of Jews:

We went yesterday to Itamar, the West Bank settlement where Udi and Ruth Fogel, and their children–Yoav, age 11, Elad, age 4, and Hadas, their 3-month-old daughter–were murdered. A detail that wasn’t widely reported, or reported anywhere that I’ve seen, is that their newborn baby was decapitated…

 

One very quick point I’ll make is that this was clearly not a family above all of “settlers”–some alien species that exists primarily as a political bargaining point–but of human beings. In the home next door to the one that was invaded, kids’ clothing was hanging on the line next to a child’s bicycle. You simply cannot look at that and think, “This story is above all about land and politics.” This story is above all about murder. They were children and they were murdered. Two more children were orphaned. The children were targeted deliberately. This was a premeditated murder–not a crime of passion or self-defense–and it was a psychotically savage crime. Anyone who in any way tries to rationalize or minimize this or to suggest that this is a fitting punishment for anything needs to go out and look at a three-month-old baby and ask himself what it would take to climb over a fence, climb in a window, and cut off that child’s head. If that act seems an “understandable” reaction to a political grievance to him, I don’t think we can have much of a conversation. But I don’t think it will, on reflection, seem that way to most people.

You may think you “hate” asparagus, or you may hate oppression, but you have probably never personally experienced the kind of incandescent hate that it takes to sneak into a family home in the middle of the night and murder three children, along with their parents, in cold blood.

The mind recoils.

And bounces back to say, well: There are madmen everywhere. Some are institutionalized and others have not yet been found out.

Except this: In Gaza they are once again passing out candy – *

Gaza residents from the southern city of Rafah hit the streets Saturday to celebrate the terror attack in the West Bank settlement of Itamar where five family members were murdered in their sleep, including three children.

Residents handed out candy and sweets, one resident saying the joy “is a natural response to the harm settlers inflict on the Palestinian residents in the West Bank.”

 

Gaza: The entire place is an open-air insane asylum, a place where all the toxins of the Arab Middle East have been isolated, pressurized and cooked over an open flame until reduced into purity.

Let’s give them a state.

** 05-04-18 Links Updated – Ed. 

 

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Fair Warning

Posted by lex, on February 8, 2011

 

NATO’s secretary-general has gone on the record to state that beating all the swords into ploughshares may be just a little bit precipitate: *

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