Barry Rubin is reliably insightful, especially about Middle East affairs, his special expertise. He posted a review of sorts today about an article that George Waldon published in the Times of London on when "realism" justifies a moral accommodation in international affairs. Both the Waldon article and Rubin's précis of it are a little to "accommodating" for my taste, but, as usual, Rubin is worth hearing out.
In the course of his reflection, however, he said this:
. . . the sense of Western weakness (the West cannot do anything) and cowardice (it won’t do anything) is Viagra for aggressive regimes -- from Venezuela through Russia and the Middle East to North Korea -- and revolutionary groups.Part I (below) and Part II (coming soon) of his talk.
In the course of his reflection, Rubin passes along this from Waldon, apropos of the relationship between international affairs and political and economic health:
. . . the international moral climate seems destined to become more brutal at roughly the same rate as our economic vulnerability increases.That's something to keep in mind as we continue to sink the hopes of our grandchildren by borrowing from them more than they will ever be able to pay back.
I would be in favor of spending a good deal more thought and energy on "the international moral climate" and the effect on it of "our economic vulnerability" than on global warming. It's the former, not the latter, that is most likely to lead to really dangerous warming trend: hot wars in stead of cold ones.
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