Friday, May 23, 2008

Friday linkages

Do you believe in the inherent goodness of human nature and believe that violence and going to war is always counterproductive or do you believe that humans tends to get nasty and brutish devoid of contractual relationships and going to war is a device that repairs broken contracts? A book by Nicholson Baker believes ardently in the former and is getting a lot attention since he argues that the 'justest' war of them all – World War II - was un-necessary. Analysis here.

A neocon who thinks – though that might seem like an anomaly, this essay by Robert Kagan (a long one) has an interesting point of view: In a post cold war era, it is prudent to note that re-alignment of power does not seem to have been directed to the detriment of America but at the two large powers: China and Russia. In Asia and the Pacific, Japan, Australia, and even South Korea and the nations of Southeast Asia have all engaged in “hedging” against a rising China. This has led them to seek closer relations with Washington, especially in the case of Japan and Australia. India has also drawn closer to the United States and is clearly engaged in balancing against China.
The following is telling: Some have suggested that failure in Iraq would mean the end of predominance and unipolarity. But a superpower can lose a war — in Vietnam or in Iraq — without ceasing to be a superpower if the fundamental international conditions continue to support its predominance. So long as the United States remains at the center of the international economy and the predominant military power, so long as the American public continues to support American predominance as it has consistently for six decades, and so long as potential challengers inspire more fear than sympathy among their neighbors, the structure of the international system should remain as the Chinese describe it: one superpower and many great powers.

Philip Weisss on why married men stray (especially after the state of New York is seeing a ‘straying incident’ every couple of months, this is true - Eliot Spitzer, his successor David Paterson and most recently Vito Fossella). Is sexual straying a personality disorder inherent in men or is it a biological manifestation outside of a man’s control?

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