Foreign Policy

The Primate Diaries

Category archives for Foreign Policy

The Great Patriotic War in Sand and Sorrow

   Recruitment poster calling for defense of the “Soviet Motherland.” Woman holds a document that translates roughly to “military oath.”My grandmother sends me a lot of chain e-mails. Many of them are of the right-wing Evangelical Christian variety that have been resent so many times that I have to scroll down several pages just to get…

Obama’s Nobel Peace Prize Speech Leaked

The following is an unconfirmed draft of the speech that President Obama plans to give before the Nobel Prize Committee in Oslo later today. Daniel Simpson has transcribed the draft: EMBARGOED UNTIL DECEMBER 10, 2009 (Check against delivery) Your Majesties, Your Royal Highnesses, Excellencies, Distinguished members of the Norwegian Nobel Committee, Dear Friends around the…

American Golem

In the recent incarnation of Battlestar Galactica, the cylons were a human creation who turned on their creator. Such a motif is a classic literary form and can be found in Shelley’s Frankenstein, Goethe’s The Sorcerer’s Apprentice and in the 16th century Jewish folktale of the golem. In the latter, the golem is animated by…

Bill Moyer’s Journal – LBJ’s Road to War, Part 2November 20, 2009 Part 1 / Part 2 It is interesting to note that the suggestion I made earlier about creating “shovel ready” projects in Afghanistan was one of the key approaches that Johnson originally considered but was unable to adopt forty years ago. The reference…

A Tale of Two Quagmires

Bill Moyer’s Journal – LBJ’s Road to War, Part 1Novemeber 20, 2009 Part 1 / Part 2 Bill Moyers has this brilliant piece of journalism pointing out the similar difficulties faced by President Johnson in Vietnam and President Obama in Afghanistan. Quite obviously there are important differences, but the basic issues are the same. Both…

Take a good look at the chart above. This represents the increase in the number of troops in Afghanistan since 2001. The number of soldiers that are presently in country might be a little high on this chart, given that The New York Times estimates 68,000 soldiers currently in Afghanistan. However, this lower estimate is…

The Mentally Unbalanced Views of Thomas Friedman

The New York Times Chief Foreign Affairs Correspondent Thomas Friedman, by his own definition, is insane. Many understood this when he published The Lexus and the Olive Tree and asserted that military socialism was a good thing because it promoted American business: McDonald’s cannot flourish without McDonnell Douglas, the designer of the U.S. Air Force…

Chris Hedges, the American war correspondent who has authored such books as War is a Force That Gives Us Meaning and American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War on America, has a new article entitled “Opium, Rape and the American Way” published on the website of RAWA (Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan).…

As Jawaharlal Nehru wrote of his native land but as a stranger in the process of discovery, “India is a geographical and economic entity, a cultural unity amidst diversity, a bundle of contradictions held together by invisible threads.” These invisible threads were the spiritual beliefs of the people, the Vedas, the Bhagavad Gita and the…

Jon Stewart Needs Your Help!

Last night Jon Stewart hosted the Israel/Palestine peace activists Anna Baltzer and Dr. Mustafa Barghouti. The angry response from the Pro-Israel crowd resulted in a backlash against the show for even having the discussion (including the show’s first heckler in eleven years). Baltzer, an American-Jewish author, has put out a public letter asking that people…