Recommended Reading (2009-12-10)

– In keeping with the borderless world, you can take East Prussia out of Germany, but you can’t take the East Prussian out of the Poles. History rhymes, again.

– Michael Berubé’s The Left at War. Tells Chomsky like he is: the most dishonest intellectual in academia, legitimizing “corrupt and repressive regimes” across the world. Berubé’s summary of current left-wing humanitarian internationalism: “We oppose tyranny around the globe, but not to the extent of actually doing anything about it.” I tend to agree – genocide and repression are bad things. Sometimes it takes military force to get rid of them. Lesser of two evils?

– You’ve got to win at home to win abroad.

– Obama goes to Oslo to pick up the Peace Prize. Rather curious for a winner in that particular category, he reminds everyone that  “There will be times when nations – acting individually or in concert – will find the use of force not only necessary but morally justified … A non-violent movement could not have halted Hitler’s armies. Negotiations cannot convince al Qaeda’s leaders to lay down their arms.” To preserve the peace we must prepare for war? Echoes of Vegetius, Metallica. Way to stick it to the Norwegians. And don’t forget what’s possibly the most convincing argument for Obama winning a Nobel in the first place.

– It’s no Fulda Gap mentality, but to an extent, aren’t we planning to fight the last wars? A full-fledged (and coherent) COIN strategy would have been nicer about 8 years ago. Also, if the best we can take away from this is that if this mentality has just now pervaded everyone – what were they all thinking in the last decade?

“popular politics as a game rigged by corporations and the process of winning popular consent as a form of ‘selling out.'”

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