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The Future of Freedom: Illiberal Democracy at Home and Abroad by Fareed Zakaria
Polyarchy by Robert Dahl
The Nazi Seizure of Power by William Sheridan Allen
Terror and Liberalism by Paul Berman
The Moon Is Down by John Steinbeck
Bigger Than Life
Uh, are you serious? A South African businessman wants to build a statue of Nelson Mandela in Port Elizabeth harbor larger than the Statue of Liberty. I'm a fan of Mandela and all, but honestly, is this the best way to honor the man?
Make sure you check out the size comparison graph and the highlighted features of the statue, including the fact that it rotates and would be made of melted-down guns. Wow.
(via Oliver Willis)
At a time when the military needs as many Arabic speakers as possible as specialists for current campaigns across the Arab world, the Army has discharged six Arabic linguists because they admitted they were gay. The Army did so in accordance with the Pentagon policy of "don't ask, don't tell." This is one of the worst examples of the how culturally behind the U.S. military is.
This decision is terrible for two reasons. First, this military policy is, and has been, one of the worst long-running decisions ever made. One's sexual orientation should never have a part in anything related to the military. It's simply not relevant. Second, in an era of conflict when a substantial portion of America's opponents are coming from Arab speaking parts of the world, it is a major blow to American intelligence when the system kicks out six prospect linguistic experts who would otherwise be desparately needed.
A move like this by the U.S. military just goes to show how out of touch it is with cultural acceptance and even its own demand for this exact kind of specialist. Some one needs to bring the Army up to date and show them where their real opposition lies. It's not with gays, its with Islamists and tyrannical Arab nationalists.
What Is The Major Problem With The United Nations?
Jonah Goldberg states it perfectly. In his wednesday article, he says that the Left has a far too rosy view of the multilateral power that the United Nations claims to have and uphold. He says that the Left sees Liberalism as the way things are when in fact, the world is much more realist than they would like to admit. He says that the 15-0 vote on Security Council Resolution 1441 against Iraq is nothing to be proud of, for it only means that the United States bent over backwards far enough to give in to the individual demands of the other members. He says that the other Council nations are not acting out of a desire for a freer Iraq, or some overarching desire to protect international sovereignty, but rather out of what the United States will give them, or allow them, to do.
"Sure, it would be nice if the nations of the world, as represented on the Security Council, had concluded that Saddam is a repugnant and vile dictator who must be kept from further brutalizing his subjects and his neighbors. But that's not what happened. We bought the votes of most of the Security Council members, and they were for sale precisely because these countries are incapable of looking beyond their own narrow self-interests — not because they transcended them."
Goldberg says that the United States was forced to look the other way when it came to other member nation's domestic issues in order to pass 1441. This is not something that the typical anti-war, 21st century hippie would endorse if they knew that the United Nations played with the same dirty rulebook that Nader and other Lefties roundly criticize Congress of using.
"By pleading for U.N. approval, the no-blood-for-oil crowd increased the international trade in both blood and oil. In order to get the votes of Russia and China we had to give those countries a free pass at killing their Muslim Chechen and Uighur populations, respectively."
The problem is though, that the Left doesn't realize this contradiction. It sees the United Nations as flawless and a representation of the future in our time. Regretfully, that could not be further from the truth. It argues against regime change in Iraq, and for regime change in the United States. This is a seemingly ridiculous argument, but it represents much of the feeling among the anti-war crowd. The anti-war Left has dangerously combined the opposition to globalization with American foreign policy. In doing so it has made any American goal that addresses development a fundamentally horrible policy. Goldberg writes,
"there are almost no white and certainly no first-world dictators anymore, and black, Asian, and Arab tyrants simply don't count in the eyes of the multicultural Left. In fact, I would bet that if you polled the average fair-trading, organically grown, earth-friendly, living-wage-paying coffeehouse in Seattle, or the typical opened-toed-shoe-wearing protester at an anti-globalization march, asking "Who comes to your mind when you hear the word 'dictator'?" you'd get more George Bushes than Mugabes, Assads, and Jong-Ils combined."
This sort of attitude makes you wonder if these new age hippies really get it. While that argument may have worked against Nixon and Johnson, today's foreign policy is far more benevolent than anti-war protestors give it credit for. The Left must realize the new nature of American power in the world. The United Nations is not the protector of the weak against the might of the powerful. It is rather the meeting place for back-room deals and the forum for conniving power seeking nations to appeal for favors. It is clear now, that the United Nations is nothing more than an international ploy to constrain American power for the benefit of self-interested lesser nations.
I will close with Kofi Annan's pathetic remarks to Bush today in which he made it clear how small of an ability the United Nations really has to check the power of the United States.
"I want to thank you, Mr. President," Mr. Annan said to Mr. Bush today in the presence of reporters. "Nobody knew which way you were going to go" in confronting Iraq. "I was pleading that we go the multilateral route. And I think we were all relieved that we did — you did."
According to Andrew Sullivan, I'm an "Eagle." He defines this catagory as a mix between hawks and doves, and a unique balance between fiscal and social liberalism/conservativism. He says a segment of the "eagle" school of thought would be those in,
"Generation X and Y, who simply accept the social diversity of modern culture and want to see it defended against theocratic barbarians. These people are not comfortable with the Republicans' flirtation with the religious right, or their prosecution of the drug war or mixing of church and state; and they're not impressed by the Democrats' lack of seriousness in foreign policy or enmeshment with public sector interest groups."