Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Reading Assignments

Here are some items to get you through the morning coffee break and maybe even lunch:

1. Henry Kissinger wrote an op-ed for The Australian. What Kissinger writes, we all should read. Here is a paragraph that sums up a crucial nuclear nonproliferation issue the Bush Administration faces:

Even if it is assumed that aspirant nuclear countries make the same calculus of survival as the established ones with respect to initiating hostilities, new nuclear weapons establishments may be used as a shield to deter resistance, especially by the US, to terrorist assaults on the international order.

2. John Hughes warns against forgetting the Dragon whilst wrestling with the Bear [if you don't understand, go look at Amazon reviews for Tom Clancy's The Bear and The Dragon].

3. Rick Brookhiser discusses how Bush's unwillingness to accept the duplicitous nonsense of diplomacy flummoxes his enemies and allies.

4. Anne Applebaum is always worth reading, even when The Monk disagrees with her. Today she discusses apologies: Clinton's for slavery and Bush's for Yalta. I reject the parallel -- Clinton's apology was a pure pander to African nations whose people were sold by their chieftains to EUROPEAN powers for transport to colonies in America and whose histories were shaped by European colonialism. And although it may be "appropriate" for an American president in Africa to discuss slavery, a discussion is far different diplomatically from an "apology". Meanwhile, Bush's apology is of a piece with his faith in democracy and hatred of how small nations were consigned to totalitarianism by great powers at Yalta no less than they were at Munich (although Bush uses the Molotov-Ribbentrop agreement as his parallel).

5. Last, and certainly not least, former Secretary of State James A. Baker III and former attorney general Edwin Meese III call John Bolton the best man for the job of US Ambassador to the UN. Most notable: Meese's politics are more akin to Bush 43, Baker was the multilateralist architect of Bush 41's policies.

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