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Recent Posts By Category

Afghanistan

Patriotism and the Press in Times of War

posted on Thursday, October 30, 2008.

Speaking of Nir Rosen's Rolling Stone article, Bing West discusses some of the ethical and legal issues it raises over at Small Wars Journal. West manages to present some very...

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COIN as Transfer of Wealth

posted on Friday, October 10, 2008.

I've mentioned the impact the financial crisis is likely to have on European resolve with regards to the Afghanistan mission. Here's Charlie from Abu Muqawama on the potential...

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French Desertion Rumors Unfounded

posted on Wednesday, October 8, 2008.

To follow up on an earlier post on rumors of desertion among French troops deploying to Afghanistan, Jean-Dominique Merchet at Secret Défense has done some digging and decided...

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Arts & Letters

Paul Newman, 1925-2008

posted on Saturday, September 27, 2008.

A class act. Really, what more is there to say?...

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Taps: A Vision Of Military Honour

posted on Sunday, February 24, 2008.

Continuing with the theme of Hollywood and the post-Vietnam rehabilitation of American militarism, it occurred to me that no discussion of the subject would be complete withou...

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An Officer And A Gentleman: The Return Of American Militarism

posted on Friday, February 22, 2008.

I'd been meaning to write a piece yesterday about what I thought was my very insightful observation that this week's events in Kosovo serve as a sort of bookend for th...

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Blogging The Louvre

Blogging The Louvre

posted on Monday, January 21, 2008.

Today I set out for the Louvre with the mud of the French countryside on my boots leftover from a Sunday afternoon outing to Chevreuse. If at first it seems like an affront (t...

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Blogging The Louvre

posted on Monday, January 14, 2008.

Before leaving my apartment, I consult the Louvre floor plan and decide on a large room on the first floor of the Richelieu wing labelled Renaissance. To get there I wander pa...

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Blogging The Louvre

posted on Monday, January 7, 2008.

Monday morning at 10am. The Louvre is almost empty when I arrive. Empty and vast. Imposingly vast. Here I am to begin my ambitious project, a room by room exploration of this ...

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Blogommage

Friday Sheep Blogging

posted on Friday, February 9, 2007.

This is how they mow the lawn in Provence. Seriously, the closest thing to a traffic jam we get around here, outside of tourist season, is during the Transhumance, when the s...

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Chess, Jazz & Ethics

Your Move

posted on Friday, June 8, 2007.

I'm seriously tired of getting my butt kicked by my mediocre chess program. I especially take issue with the way it takes its time analyzing run-of-the-mill moves, but snaps u...

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Words Of Wisdom

posted on Tuesday, March 20, 2007.

Direct quote from a conversation I had today with an Englishman of uncertain but advanced age:"Everything is alright until you die. Then they start asking questions."...

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China

The Asia Triangle

posted on Monday, December 1, 2008.

I'd like to call your attention to our latest theme issue over at World Politics Review, the Asia Triangle. In three deep analysis pieces (M.K. Bhadrakumar on India here, Jing...

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Covering Up Olympic Coverage

posted on Thursday, July 31, 2008.

In the aftermath of the Sichuan earthquake in May, I described China's press management as controlled transparency, and mentioned that the cautious manner in which it allowed ...

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The Big Three

posted on Thursday, April 24, 2008.

If it weren't for all hell breaking loose in the Middle East, the tectonic shifts going on in South Asia would probably be the decade's storyline. As it is, they still might b...

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Dear Leader

Pen Pals

posted on Friday, December 7, 2007.

Could it be that President Bush is considering using Pyongyang for a Nixonian "Peking Moment" before the end of his term? There's a lot of row left to hoe, but t...

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License To IL

posted on Sunday, November 25, 2007.

Laura Rozen directs our attention to this Yossi Melman Haaretz piece, which adds yet another veil of uncertainty onto the Israeli airstrike in Syria two months ago. Melman cit...

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Syria Snapshots

posted on Saturday, October 27, 2007.

Now that administration hawks have established (in the popular imagination) a Syrian-North Korean proliferation link, it looks like the "Rice-Gates-Keep Cheney Away From The L...

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Defense & National Security

The Promise of COIN, the Pitfalls of Iraq

posted on Wednesday, October 15, 2008.

Without getting into speculating about whether the U.S.-Iraqi SOFA deal will get done or not, the fact that the main sticking point is Iraq's demand for jurisdiction over ...

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The Small Wars Temptation

posted on Wednesday, October 15, 2008.

Sam Roggeveen and Mark O'Neil have a little back and forth and back again exchange over at The Lowy Interpreter, about whether or not the Army's recently released Stability Op...

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Domestic Policy

Fair Tax

posted on Friday, January 18, 2008.

It took a while of reading about Mike Huckabee's 30% sales tax, which he dubs the Fair Tax, before it occurred to me that here in France, we pay 20% sales tax on goods and...

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PACS On Both Houses

posted on Wednesday, October 10, 2007.

Confirming my belief that the government doesn't belong in the marriage business, a study on French civil unions (known as PACS) has found that the closer their legal status r...

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French Medicine

posted on Thursday, September 6, 2007.

I'm not a policy wonk, and I'm certainly no expert on healthcare. But with the subject getting alot of recent attention, and with Michael Moore's SiCKO just openin...

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European Union

Obama in Berlin

posted on Thursday, July 24, 2008.

I admit that I got chills up my spine when I heard that 200,000 people showed up to hear Barack Obama speak in Berlin. I don't know what it feels like to have almost a quarter...

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Sarkozy the European

posted on Monday, June 30, 2008.

I've got a new piece up over at World Politics Review titled, Sarkozy the European: France's EU Presidency: On July 1, France will assume the rotating presidency of the Europe...

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Swedish FISA

posted on Thursday, June 19, 2008.

It's not easy, but with a little imagination you could probably come up with some sort of category that groups together America, Saudi Arabia and China. Consolation pool for t...

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Featured Link

Free Lunch

posted on Sunday, October 14, 2007.

As you can tell by glancing at the top of the sidebar, I've added a new feature to the site. It occurred to me that while I might not be able to sell ad space, I can give some...

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Foreign Policy

The Turkey Fan Club Grows

posted on Saturday, November 15, 2008.

Regular readers of he blog will know that I've had my eye on Turkish foreign policy for a while. For one thing, Turkey's emergence as a regional mediator demonstrates ...

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Sec. of State Clinton?

posted on Saturday, November 15, 2008.

I'm not going to get into the habit of discussing transition rumors for the Obama administration. But one of the major criticisms directed at both Barack Obama and Hillary Cli...

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Obama's Foreign Policy: Challenges & Opportunities

posted on Monday, November 10, 2008.

In case you haven't seen WPR's front page today, we've got two great articles assessing the possibilities of Barack Obama's foreign policy. The first, by Thoma...

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Global War On Terror

WPR Feature: The Al-Qaida We Don't Know

posted on Tuesday, October 28, 2008.

One of the reasons posting has been increasingly light here at HJ is that I've been picking up more reponsibilities over at World Politics Review. Among other things, I've bee...

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September 11th, 2008

posted on Thursday, September 11, 2008.

In as quiet and unassuming a way as possible, I'd simply like to acknowledge the significance of today's date, even if seven years later its meaning still escapes me. More tha...

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Syber War

posted on Sunday, June 29, 2008.

The new Sy Hersh piece is up at the New Yorker and -- with the caveat that it might be time to coin a term along the lines of a "Friedman Unit" to describe Hersh'...

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Good News Of The Day

Good News Of The Day

posted on Friday, October 26, 2007.

Genarlow Wilson was freed from prison by the Georgia Supreme Court today. The Attorney General for Georgia declined to appeal the case....

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Good News Of The Day

posted on Friday, September 28, 2007.

For anyone unfamiliar with it, the French school schedule is in-sane. In primary school, the kids have Wednesdays off and morning classes every other Saturday. Later on, it's ...

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Good News Of The Day

posted on Monday, June 11, 2007.

A judge has voided the ten-year prison sentence given to Genarlow Wilson, a 21-year old Georgia man who was convicted of receiving oral sex when he was 17 from a consenting 15...

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Hoops, Hardball & Fisticuffs

Consolation Prize?

posted on Monday, September 29, 2008.

I hadn't realized this, but apparently they play out the Major League baseball season even after the Yankees have been mathematically eliminated. What's more, there...

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In Defense Of The Asterisk

posted on Friday, December 21, 2007.

Everyone seems to be reading the Mitchell Report on steroid use in baseball as a reason to call into question various players' stats. And it's true that if you compare a guy l...

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Really?

posted on Monday, October 29, 2007.

It turns out that for some reason they played the World Series this year, even though the Yankees had already been eliminated. And here, I'd always assumed people just los...

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Human Rights

Torture as Permanent Exile

posted on Monday, April 14, 2008.

I'd been mulling over a couple points that I've yet to see mentioned in the debate about the use of physical coercion in terrorist interrogations, trying to figure out...

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Chad, Europe & Darfur, Redux

posted on Monday, February 11, 2008.

I mentioned the other day that what was really at stake in the fighting in Chad, besides the survival of President Idriss Deby's regime, was the conditions on the ground for ...

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Chad, Europe & Darfur

posted on Saturday, February 2, 2008.

A little heads up on the fighting going on in Chad's capital: there's actually quite a bit more at stake there than whether the rebels manage to replace Chad's thu...

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India

The Asia Triangle

posted on Monday, December 1, 2008.

I'd like to call your attention to our latest theme issue over at World Politics Review, the Asia Triangle. In three deep analysis pieces (M.K. Bhadrakumar on India here, Jing...

Read the entire post>>


Pakistan and the Bush Doctrine

posted on Wednesday, September 17, 2008.

Yesterday, I linked with arithmetic snark but without comment to TX Hammes' Small Wars Journal post on the broadening of the Afghanistan War into Pakistan. It's a very importa...

Read the entire post>>


The Big Three

posted on Thursday, April 24, 2008.

If it weren't for all hell breaking loose in the Middle East, the tectonic shifts going on in South Asia would probably be the decade's storyline. As it is, they still might b...

Read the entire post>>


International Relations

The Turkey Fan Club Grows

posted on Saturday, November 15, 2008.

Regular readers of he blog will know that I've had my eye on Turkish foreign policy for a while. For one thing, Turkey's emergence as a regional mediator demonstrates ...

Read the entire post>>


Bob Gates for President

posted on Wednesday, October 1, 2008.

I know he's got an awfully long and crowded bandwagon these days, but the thought occurred to me the other day that one of America's great strengths is that it can produce men...

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COIN and the Limits of Nation-Building

posted on Wednesday, September 24, 2008.

Janine Davidson at Intel Dump cites a Tom Johnson and M. Chris Mason piece in the Atlantic, All Counterinsurgency is Local, before discussing the tension between the tactics o...

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Iran

Behind the Scenes at Geneva Iran Talks

posted on Monday, August 4, 2008.

Call it coincidence, but on the very day that the two-week ultimatum for Iran to respond to the P5+1's "freeze for freeze" offer runs out, Le Monde got its hands...

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Why the Rush with Iran?

posted on Wednesday, July 23, 2008.

If you'd like an alternative take on the latest round of Iran nuclear talks, try Flynt Leverett's and Hillary Mann Leverett's corrective in the National Interest. They condemn...

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Negotiating with Iran

posted on Wednesday, July 16, 2008.

Last night, Iran's less than satisfying response to the P5+1's latest offer on the nuclear standoff was leaked to the press by a European source. Today, the Bush administratio...

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Iraq

His Own Facts

posted on Wednesday, December 3, 2008.

James Lamond at Democracy Arsenal flags this portion of President Bush's interview with Charles Gibson:GIBSON: If the intelligence had been right, would there have been an Ira...

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G.I. Jane in Iraq

posted on Monday, November 3, 2008.

Somewhere there's a doctoral thesis waiting to be written on Hollywood and the rehabilitation of war in the post-Vietnam era. I'd suggest that G.I. Jane represents the culmina...

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The Promise of COIN, the Pitfalls of Iraq

posted on Wednesday, October 15, 2008.

Without getting into speculating about whether the U.S.-Iraqi SOFA deal will get done or not, the fact that the main sticking point is Iraq's demand for jurisdiction over ...

Read the entire post>>


La France Politique

French Laicite & Cultural Identity

posted on Monday, December 22, 2008.

I've got a guest post op-ed over at Art Goldhammer's site, French Politics:PARIS -- Two weeks ago, one of my seven-year-old son’s classmates arrived at school wi...

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France's Soft Power

posted on Tuesday, July 29, 2008.

At the final Council of Ministers before the August vacation, Nicolas Sarkozy invited his entire government to share a going away toast in a salon of the Elysée Palace. There,...

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Sarkozy the European

posted on Monday, June 30, 2008.

I've got a new piece up over at World Politics Review titled, Sarkozy the European: France's EU Presidency: On July 1, France will assume the rotating presidency of the Europe...

Read the entire post>>


La Presidentielle

What The American Press Left Out

posted on Tuesday, May 8, 2007.

The American press' analysis of Nicolas Sarkozy's victory has so far amounted to the condescending party line about France turning its back on its stifling Socialist legacy in...

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Sarkozying Up To America

posted on Monday, May 7, 2007.

A lot has been made in the American press about Nicolas Sarkozy's "pro-American" posture during the French presidential election. But the truth is, his positions have been a l...

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Election Results

posted on Sunday, May 6, 2007.

The results of the French presidential election are in and, as expected, Nicolas Sarkozy won with 53% of the vote according to the earliest exit polls. I've been having so...

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Las Americas

Ingrid Betancourt Freed

posted on Thursday, July 3, 2008.

I don't know how much coverage it's gotten in the States, but because she's a dual citizen of France, Ingrid Betancourt has been a cause célèbre here for the past six years. A...

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Fidel Castro Retires

posted on Tuesday, February 19, 2008.

Frankly, it's not the kind of headline I ever expected to see. Granted, his brother Raul (no spring chicken at 76) is likely to succeed him, and Fidel might still play a s...

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Sign Of Life

posted on Friday, November 30, 2007.

It's hard to know how to feel about the video recovered by Colombian police showing that Ingrid Betancourt is still alive. On the one hand, relief that there's still h...

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Markets & Finance

Grammar Crisis

posted on Monday, November 24, 2008.

I have no problem with government bailouts of troubled financial institutions, but could someone at least pay attention to proofreading the statements announcing them?We will ...

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Quote of the Day

posted on Friday, October 10, 2008.

"It's impossible to predict the bottom, and technical analysis is meaningless as panic and fear overwhelm the markets." -- Jang Huh, managing director at Prudential Asset Mana...

Read the entire post>>


The Case for Strategic Patience

posted on Monday, September 29, 2008.

AFOE's Edward Hugh offers a solid analysis of the current financial turmoil roiling Russian markets, that among other things debunks the idea that the invasion of Georgia ...

Read the entire post>>


Media Coverage

The End of the Automobile?

posted on Tuesday, December 9, 2008.

Just an observation to keep things in perspective:When the American auto industry goes belly up, no one talks about the end of the automobile. They talk about poor corporate m...

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The Reincarnation of the Newspaper

posted on Sunday, December 7, 2008.

A quick thought on the crisis facing the American newspaper industry, which has often been described as a battle between online vs. print, with online winning. The problem wit...

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WPR Stays a Step Ahead

posted on Friday, October 31, 2008.

A handful of stories we've brought you recently in WPR are back in the news. Last month, Dorian Merina reported for WPR on a controversial and divisive anti-pornography bill u...

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Morning News Roundup

Morning News Roundup

posted on Friday, January 25, 2008.

Top of the news and stories of interest from the American and global press:NY Times endorses Hillary Clinton and John McCain for primaries. (NY Times) Bush administration begi...

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Morning News Roundup

posted on Thursday, January 24, 2008.

Top of the news and stories of interest from the American and global press:Sunni Awakening leaders increasingly targetted in Iraq. (NY Times)French bank reveals $7 billion fra...

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Morning News Roundup

posted on Wednesday, January 23, 2008.

Top of the news and stories of interest from the American and global press:Tens of thousands of Palestinians pour into Egypt after Gaza wall is destroyed. (AP/NY Times)Asian m...

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Odds & Ends

Happy New Year!!

posted on Wednesday, December 31, 2008.

Best wishes for peace, health and prosperity for 2009....

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Happy Thanksgiving

posted on Thursday, November 27, 2008.

I just wanted to take a moment to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving. The site has been admittedly content-free lately, which I'd like to claim is a new experiment in avan...

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Four Reasons God's a Liberal

posted on Saturday, September 20, 2008.

The act of creation is a progressive act. A conservative God would have left things the way they were.With over 600 laws and commandments, the Bible is a litany of regulation....

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Open Thread

Open Thread

posted on Monday, June 25, 2007.

Posting will be light for the next few days. If you've run across anything interesting, pop it in the comments. I'll be back on Wednesday....

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Birthday Open Thread

posted on Saturday, June 2, 2007.

On a lighter note, and as alluded to in the comments yesterday, today also happens to be my birthday. As of 10 a.m. New York time, I'll have completed thirty-nine revoluti...

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Gone Fishin'

posted on Friday, April 13, 2007.

For all intents and purposes, I'll be offline for the next week. There's a possibility that a guest host will do some posting during that time (you know who you are). I'll let...

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Pakistan

The Asia Triangle

posted on Monday, December 1, 2008.

I'd like to call your attention to our latest theme issue over at World Politics Review, the Asia Triangle. In three deep analysis pieces (M.K. Bhadrakumar on India here, Jing...

Read the entire post>>


McCain's Pakistan Flip Flop

posted on Saturday, September 27, 2008.

This isn't the first time I've flagged these comments made by John McCain in an interview with the editors of Defense News last October. I'm posting them again in light of las...

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Pakistan and the Bush Doctrine

posted on Wednesday, September 17, 2008.

Yesterday, I linked with arithmetic snark but without comment to TX Hammes' Small Wars Journal post on the broadening of the Afghanistan War into Pakistan. It's a very importa...

Read the entire post>>


Politics

The Pods Have Arrived

posted on Friday, January 23, 2009.

As Walt Whitman put it:Other states indicate themselves in their deputies . . . . but the genius of the United States is not best or most in its executives or legislatures, no...

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Obama's Permanent Campaign

posted on Wednesday, January 14, 2009.

Obviously there's nothing unconstitutional about President-elect Obama's efforts, flagged by Kevin Drum here, to transform his electoral campaign into a political orga...

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Shoes Happen

posted on Monday, December 15, 2008.

As much as anything, what struck me about the video of President Bush getting a shoe tossed at him was how old he suddenly seems. Not that he didn't demonstrate great reflexes...

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Quote Of The Day

Quote of the Day

posted on Friday, October 10, 2008.

"It's impossible to predict the bottom, and technical analysis is meaningless as panic and fear overwhelm the markets." -- Jang Huh, managing director at Prudential Asset Mana...

Read the entire post>>


Diplospeak Quote of the Day

posted on Monday, June 30, 2008.

"We are willing to make joint efforts with the U.S. to cohere to the dialogue and consultation mechanism and take each other's concerns into consideration to better ...

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Quote Of The Day

posted on Thursday, February 21, 2008.

"It would be politically incorrect to start surmising what the new leadership [in Washington] would do a year from now. A year in the life of the Middle East is a millennium."...

Read the entire post>>


Race In America

Obama, Washington and Dubois

posted on Sunday, November 9, 2008.

In the immediate aftermath of Barack Obama's election, a number of commentators expressed an impatience with the emotional reactions to his victory. America didn't vot...

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Who Isn't Ready Yet?

posted on Wednesday, October 29, 2008.

Another odd detail about McCain's "Yet" ad: the flashbulb pops that double as rifle shots, the ominous bell tolling in the background, and the sepia tone funeral images of Bar...

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Sarah Palin's Anti-Americanism

posted on Saturday, October 18, 2008.

Chris Matthews raises a good point in his interview with MN Congresswoman Michele Bachmann (video here at TPM) when he challenges the conservative talkingpoint that equates be...

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Russia

Russia's Carrots and Sticks

posted on Thursday, October 23, 2008.

A number of very interesting aspects to this NY Times article on how the Goergia War has impacted Azerbaijan. First, it illustrates how the argument that Russia will pay a lon...

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The Case for Strategic Patience

posted on Monday, September 29, 2008.

AFOE's Edward Hugh offers a solid analysis of the current financial turmoil roiling Russian markets, that among other things debunks the idea that the invasion of Georgia ...

Read the entire post>>


A Gift for Putin

posted on Wednesday, August 13, 2008.

Jeez. I figured that the opening of the Olympic Games meant I could sneak in a week of intermittent posting, and instead war breaks out in Europe. Obviously, with resident Rus...

Read the entire post>>


Say What?

Curtains

posted on Thursday, December 11, 2008.

Good thing this occurred at the final curtain. Hard to see how that one could have gone on. A friend of mine was once in the audience when the lead actor collapsed from a hear...

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Crystal Math

posted on Tuesday, June 10, 2008.

I think this is proof that Sudoku will eventually become punishable as a criminal offense. The first time I saw it in an airport bookstore, I recognized Sudoku for what it was...

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These Go To Eleven

posted on Saturday, December 29, 2007.

It seems that after some early confusion, America has finally come to its senses and decided that the moral of the story of Dr. Seuss' "The Grinch Who Stole Christmas...

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The Middle East

The Turkey Fan Club Grows

posted on Saturday, November 15, 2008.

Regular readers of he blog will know that I've had my eye on Turkish foreign policy for a while. For one thing, Turkey's emergence as a regional mediator demonstrates ...

Read the entire post>>


The Middle East, Sort Of

posted on Friday, May 30, 2008.

For an optimistic take on how recent events in the Middle East might advance American interests, there's Bob Kenner in The National Review, and Scott Peterson in the Chris...

Read the entire post>>


The Iran Fallacy

posted on Friday, May 23, 2008.

In case you haven't noticed the front page, WPR has got a pretty solid one-two punch of must read articles today. The first, by Charles Crain, discusses the ways in which the ...

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The Natural World

In the Long Run...

posted on Thursday, October 30, 2008.

...Keynes was right. According to a new report, at the rate we're consuming the earth's resources, we'll need two planets by 2030. The authors cleverly call it an "ecological ...

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River Tsunami

posted on Thursday, April 10, 2008.

Things that make you go, Whoa:Melting ice in southern Chile caused a glacial lake to swell and then empty suddenly, sending a "tsunami" rolling through a river, a scientist sa...

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The Sodfather

posted on Wednesday, January 30, 2008.

Every now and then, one man's insanity becomes so powerfully sane that it's worth paying attention to. Tim Dundon is just such a man:Instead of studying what he was doing and ...

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Turkey

Middle Power Mojo

posted on Friday, May 2, 2008.

I got some pushback via email on this post about Turkey, and the idea of formulating American foreign policy to take advantage of the leverage offered by regional "Middle Powe...

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Cheney in Ankara

posted on Tuesday, March 25, 2008.

You'll recall that last month I mentioned an increase in Turkey's troop commitment in Afghanistan and a more active Turkish role in pushing back against Iran's nuclear program...

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Nabucco in Jeopardy, Again

posted on Tuesday, March 25, 2008.

Turkish President Abdullah Gul met with Turkmenistan President Gurbanguli Berdymukhamedov yesterday, and while both leaders expressed their ". . .mutual will for improvin...

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Verse & Prose

Youth Shows But Half

posted on Saturday, September 8, 2007.

From where I’d sit on the porch nights, I could see everything. They’d move from room to room like cats. One would retreat, the other would follow, then they&rsquo...

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The Thing About Slim

posted on Tuesday, August 21, 2007.

The thing about Slim was, he had no shot. Not that it mattered, really. Slim was such a good ballplayer, he almost didn’t need one. He could dribble through rush hour traff...

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l.a. winter blues (sonnet)

posted on Wednesday, July 25, 2007.

dear dad, i'm in los angeles. it's notas warm as you would think. the sky is onebig cloud all day, and nights, i haven't gota chance against the damp. without the sunto heat t...

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