Showing posts from March, 2009

Third Time is NOT a Charm: Why Obama’s Af-Pak Plan Could Fail its Mission

Obama's Administration finally came up with a plan for Afghanistan and Pakistan, in the form of speech by the President, and in the form of a white paper . Surprisingly, the two do not overlap, as some commentators have rightly pointed. This mismatch can be attributed to the ambivalent position of the President to the issue. As New York Times informed over the weekend, the President's announcement came after a significant disagreement between the Vice-President Biden and Secretary of State Clinton on the scope and goals of US involvement in the region. The president promised 4,000 additional troops to be deployed on the ground as trainers, and in his speech focused exclusively on al Qaeda, as the main goal for the operation. There was no mentioning of nation-building, regional stability, or reform. This was, in effect, the Vice President's minimalist approach, tacitly approved by the Defense Secretary Gates, and perhaps the first defeat in what appears to be a repetition

Why Global Warming Is Not So Bad When Clinton Resets Russian Winter And Obama Calls For Iranian Spring

Is this the coming of Obamian naivity? Last month the Secretary of State Hilary Clinton announced that the US is pressing the reset button in the relationships with Russia. Last week President Obama addressed Iran for the first day of Spring which marks the Iranian New Year. Together, these two top foreign policy initiatives amount to a global warming in the world political weather, marked by severing Russian political winter and Iranian nuclear fall. Critics to this new foreign policy approach rushed to lump together the two initiatives pronouncing them to be the new Wilsonian idealism, perhaps worthy a name such as Obamian naivism. Their arguments against this unorthodox foreign policy approach have certain merits. It shows a dose of idealism and inexperience in the tough and cynical world of international

Why Qutb is not Marx, and bin Laden - Lenin, or How Much Should We Fear Somalia's Islamists

A Specter roams through the world, the Specter of Global Terrorism. Many politicians and commentators keep warning us of the imminent threat of Islamic extremism and terrorism. They lump together bin Laden's global jihadists, various radical Islamists with clearly national agenda, and devout Islamic fundamentalists with no political agenda, all under the same broad umbrella labeled militant Muslims, or simply 'global terrorist networks.' These same commentators then take this heterogeneous groups with at times contradicting goals, and bundle them together in what I would call securitization of terrorism , to borrow a popular now term from the financial sector. Then just like the bad mortgage security assets they sell them to the general public, raising the expectations of Armageddon any minute now. You don't know what I am talking about? Did you see Dick Chaney last week on the TV? America, he said, is less secure now with the current president than before. Really?! Wel

Shit Shares and Wind Trade, or Why Madoff is not Law

If, in the rarity of quasi-scientific historical frivolousness, one tries to assign specific cause, or 'blame,' or simply 'a major contribution' for such a complex event and with such profound implications for the posterior evolution of Europe, and indeed the world, as the French Revolution of 1789, neither Voltaire nor Rousseau can top the unintended consequences from the grandiose ambitions of the Scottish financial jack-of-all-trades John Law. When his financial adventure for selling shares of what appears to be among the biggest financial enterprises in the beginning of the 18th century - la Compagnie d'Occident - came to an end, the French treasury, and indeed the French crown, were plunged into deep financial recession, which culminated with a spontaneous social revolution. No one really expects that one such contemporary collapse of another financial empire built on lies and avarice that of the American jack-of-all-trades Bernard Madoff, will cause a social