Posts Tagged 'diplomacy'

Mishandling Russia

Russia is, once again, a big goddamned problem for America and NATO.

The invasion of Georgia is just the latest and most unavoidable sign of trouble — and most overt headache — in an international relationship that never gelled, as perhaps it should have, at the end of the Cold War. The recklessness provocation of Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili gave Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and his sock-monkey, President Dimitri Medvedev, all the pretense required to remind NATO who controls the neighborhood.

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The Right Leader at the Right Time

Barack Obama

Will Barack Obama be a great president, or even a good one? This is very difficult to predict, and depends largely on the people with whom he surrounds himself, his political acumen, and his ability to balance principle and pragmatism. He is certainly very smart, making him a welcome change from the current leadership. But then, Jimmy Carter was a brilliant man and a horrible president. Ronald Reagan was an intellectual lightweight, but had a hugely successful (if also hugely repugnant) presidency.

Still, I have no hesitation in saying that Mr. Obama is exactly the right person to lead this country at this time.

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Lebanon Once Again Ignites While on America’s Back-Burner

Beirut Gunman, May 2008
Photo: Associated Press

Beirut is once again in flames as Iranian-backed Hezbollah militias and Lebanese government forces clash in the worst outbreak of violence there since the end of the fifteen year civil war in 1990. The underlying political stalemate between the government and Hezbollah-led opposition parties, which has left the country without a president for nearly a year-and-a-half, is still unresolved. And, once again, America stands idly by and watches.

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Symmetry and Dissymmetry

Crossing at Wagah

Relatively few people cross into Pakistan from India – such are the nature of relations between the two countries. Fewer still cross on foot, as the Friends Without Borders team did on 24 March, carrying tens of thousands of children’s letters of friendship – by hand – from India into Pakistan.

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Blasts from the Past

... because the idiocy of manliness is an evergreen topic.

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... because Canada and the US will celebrate their Thanksgiving holidays and, regrettably and preventably, not 1-cook-in-10 will serve a decent turkey.

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... because everyday is Mother's Day.

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... because the American Dream seems but a distant memory, given the country's dominant ethos of small-mindedness.

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... to remind us that not every mix of Tibetans and Western spiritual seekers has to be nauseating.

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... to celebrate the new edition of Infinite Vision published in India.

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... reprised because military strategy seems more cruel and less effective than ever -- and certainly there is a better way.

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... because cars are ruining Pondicherry, where I live. How badly are they fucking up your Indian town?

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... reprinted because more-and-more people seem want to understand the gift economy. (Yeah!)

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