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Asian Uh-ohs, and It's not Just Sarah

NY Times headline:  "General Denies Rift With Obama Over Afghan Strategy"  That would be General McChrystal of course.  These stories denying resignation talk don't look good.

Sarah speaks before an international business group in Hong Kong.  A couple Americans stomped out, a European praised the speech as "brilliant."  Here's one account, here anotherExcerpts.  She delivered a 75-minute defense of "common sense conservatism," for example:  "We engage with a hope that Beijing becomes a responsible stakeholder, but we must take steps in the event that it goes in a different direction."

Today I heard Francis Fukuyama (of SAIS and "end of history" fame) present the second of a four-part series summarizing his most recent tour d'horizon book, to be published next year.  In a little over an hour he presented an extraordinary summary of the origins of the modern state in China and India, and how they reflect religion (or its absence) and kinship groups.  The first lecture, on evolutionary biology, can be found here.  Later ones will be posted as well.

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Discussions - 6 Comments

I can just picture Obama's speech announcing a phased bug out on Afghanistan.

"This policy represents an aggressive move forward against the dangers we all face. This strategy has the full support of the experts on this region and this kind of warfare, including Joe Bide and Speaker Pelosi.

Now some people disagree. They believe that the way forward is to carpet bomb every Afghani village, to gang rape every Afghani woman, both living and dead, and to waterboard their livestock.

We should respect their rights to speak. What we should not respect are their unfounded conclusions that this new strategy increases the likelihood that the Taliban will take over and that Afghanistan might revert to a base for Al Qaeda . The time for that kind of divisive, dishonest, politics is over...

You are right, except you left out the part where he blames Rush Limbaugh for the failed and divisive policies of the Taliban when they overthrow Karzai.

No, I am wrong. We will come to love the Taliban, because we are a people of understanding.

Our foreign policy is incomprehensible. Why are we supporting Zelaya in Honduras? How do we find ourselves on the same side as Castro and Chavez on this one?

Legal positivism partially explains the Honduras policy. TheHondurans in power are more faithful to the principles of the Declaration of Independence than the State Dept.

From mainstream news accounts, it sounds like our State Department is trying to make Honduras abide by our consitution and not their own. Zelaya was not impeached in our mode, but removed, as in theirs and legally according to their law.

That's first. Secondly, don't they know what he was attempting? Don't they know why he was removed by their SC?

Not that what you say is not true. It is true, but it smacks of Leftist cronyism more than legal anything.

I think it has alot less to do with any legal theory than with an approach that we saw with Carter. The comination of self-criticism ("Oh UN,! We have sinned against you in our unillateralism, our arrogance, and out slowness to accept reduced carbon emissions"), unilateral consessions to unfriendly regimes, and slapping around our weaker allies will hopefully make the world's crazy regimes more reasonable and the not-friendly but also not-openly-hostile great powers like Russia and China more cooperative. Its purpose is to make him look reasonable and fair regardless of the merits. Our enemies will despise Obama for taking a harder line on Honduras's constitutional crisis than on Iran's repression. As should everyone else.

I thought it was funny/horrible what he did to Gordon Brown. While I haven't got all that much respect for Brown, he is the PM of our strongest ally. How do you ignore him? Unless Obama is hoping to weaken Brown in GB and gain a conservative in the office, this makes so little sense.

I know. The Lockerbie bomber business is disgraceful, but we are being nice to Khadafy, too, as far as I can tell.

None of that makes sense in light of other apparent principles of Obama's foreign policy. Unless he has no real principles of foreign policy . Did he look reasonable in that matter? Or is that the kind of slapping around you had in mind?

I understand the resemblance to Carter, but also see resemblance to Clinton, who always appeared to be grandstanding and posturing as international statesman at the expense of the nation.

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