ZenPundit
Monday, May 30, 2005
 
HIGHLY RECOMMENDED READING

Marc Schulman of The American Future has posted his long-awaited next installment of " The EU and The Arabs " Part V. Here's a snippet:

"While I’m fully aware of the inherent dangers of a post hoc, ergo propter hoc (“after this, therefore because of this”) analysis, there’s little doubt that the EU (led by France), by its enthusiasm for moving closer to the Arab world through the creation of the EAD and the PAEAC, lent legitimacy to a terrorist organization (the PLO) and instigated the demonization of Israel. These were the results of the EU’s policy of appeasement that took form during the 1973-1974 energy crisis. For the French, the policy served a double purpose: in addition to appeasing the Arabs, it sustained their influence in the Middle East by countering Washington’s pro-Israeli policies. Had Kojeve still been alive, he would have applauded France’s policies. "

Dr. Von takes up the gauntlet on cognition and insight where I left it lying and adds some incisive analysis and speculation on the nature of pathbreaking creativity and its subsequent decline:

"It becomes, generally speaking, more difficult to make significant, creative contributions to a field as one ages, and there are several reasons for this. Perhaps most significant is the amount of bias one develops over time. It becomes more difficult to see outside the box and remain as open-minded as in younger days, since experience creates biases. Normally as you age, more responsibilities are placed on you, whether it is family and children or requests for lectures or performances of previous works, and there are more distractions, which can take away time for isolation. And many creative figures in certain fields may develop interests in other fields, or simply experience ‘burnout.’ "

The esteemed Pundita is her usual, soft-spoken, self on North Korea policy:

"Remove Christopher R. Hill from his assignment as head of the US delegation to the Six-Party Talks on the North Korean nuclear issue. Mr. Hill does not speak Korean, Japanese, or any Chinese dialect. He speaks Polish, Serbo-Croatian, Macedonian, and Albanian. Not speaking the lingo is not automatic disqualification for such a sensitive job but Mr. Hill is also an idiot. He's also an advocate of the Nanny School of foreign policy. This is where you lecture countries to try to get along, after you've put them together in an untenable position."

On the strong recommendation of Dave Schuler, I give you the interestingly named " Duck of Minerva" on the EU " Non" vote in France:

"The far right seemed to frame the issue along purely nationalistic lines; i.e. we should not allow some supranational body to determine our fate, policies, interests. This argument is not just about economic issues specifically, but rather encompasses a purely parochial notion of identity and the need to maintain sovereignty lest some distrustful other in Brussels becomes empowered.

But those on the left, especially the over 60% socialist voters who came out against the constitution, seemed to be more interested in their economic identities rather than their national identities. What this means is that the left objected because of the economic elements in the constitution which they viewed as Anglo-Saxon and ultraliberal--not simply for the fact that France may loose some sovereignty to Brussels. For the left, they were defining themselves as workers to some extent, a group that is likely to be harmed by such a constitution even though it might benefit the EU overall (i.e. by making labor markets more productive and increasing productivity--two things most commentators believe is crucial for EU economy). It seems to me they weren't rejecting those outside of France per se, but rather the symbol of the EU as an entity which represents ultra-liberal, market values rather than socialist values. It could be argued that those on the left weren't simply thinking of the damage to the French left but to workers, period, across Europe. But more data is needed to validate that assertion."

And Chirol of Coming Anarchy puts his pinch of salt in Chirac's wound as well.

That's it.
 
Comments:
I'm going to have to take issue with Pundita again. That was a nasty shot at Chris Hill, and an undeserved one at that. He's a pretty talented diplomat, from everything I've heard of the guy, and no wuss. Beware anyone selling simplistic solutions to the North Korea problem, too. If it were as easy as she says, we'd have solved it long ago. I think she's a little obsessed with this organized crime thing, too.
 
It was quite a shot. Pundita is exercised about the backchatter from State career ppl regarding Bolton. I have absolutely no idea if Hill has any connection to that or not. ( Personally, I like Bolton being a mean S.O.B. - so long as you only have one or two in an organization and they use it in a calculated, intelligent, way it has its uses. Beedle Smith comes to mind - Ike sent him to Moscow because he had those kinds of qualities and was a scary guy )

I see organized crime not as a vast conspiracy but as a barometer of state degeneration. There are lots of states teetering on failure status and North Korea may be more ramshackle a dictatorship than we realize. The DPRK has had ties to crime synicates for some time but I'm not up on the extent though.

Email Pundita, I'm sure she'll respond in some fashion
 
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