World

Letter From Paris

Mugging the Family

By From the April 2014 issue

France’s pseudo-bolshevikian government has discovered a new problem in urgent need of a socialist solution: what to do about women. In the land where influential dames, if not dames,have for centuries dominated their menfolk beyond the wildest dreams of American feminists, where medieval knights were on their knees before their lady-loves while kings doted on their maîtress en titre, where today’s president, François Hollande, compromises his country’s reputation and his own authority by succumbing to an irresistible yen for a new mistress, this may seem paradoxical to say the least. Surely in France, of all places, woman’s role has been defined to the satisfaction of all, and especially the femmes themselves. 

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A Further Perspective

America’s Bad Optics Invite Adventurism

By 4.16.14

The remaining two and a half years of the Obama Administration are a dangerous period for the world. There is a window of opportunity for rogue nations and adversaries to take advantage of an administration that has yielded on the world stage and put our foreign policy, if you can find it, into disrepair. Further, the president seems disengaged from foreign affairs, narcissistically absorbed with himself, and inciting class warfare and social unrest to cover for lack of success elsewhere.

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Special Report

Regrets Over Rwanda

By 4.11.14

On April 6, 1994, a plane was hit by a missile over the Rwandan capital of Kigali. Everyone onboard was killed, including Rwanda’s president, Juvénal Habyarimana.

Even twenty years later, it remains uncertain who shot down the plane. But what happened immediately afterwards is very much known, seared into the minds of those who bore witness and branded forever on Rwanda’s soul. Hutu extremists blamed the Tutsi ethnic minority for the president’s killing and began a program of mass extermination. By the time they were finished, 800,000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus were dead, most of them hacked apart with medieval weapons like machetes and axes.

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Celebrity, Social Media, and War

By on 4.3.14 | 1:30PM

It’s finally happened. Kim Kardashian weighed in on the situation in Syria. Spoiler alert: She gets it all wrong. It shouldn’t come as a shock that silly people have stupid opinions about important issues that confound them. Still, let's investigate. It all speaks to a bigger point about celebrities, social media, and war.

Tweets Kardashian:

Please let's not let history repeat itself!!!!!! Let's get this trending!!!!

#SaveKessab

#ArmenianGenocide

Moments later:

If you don't know what's going on in Kessab please google it, its heart breaking! As an Armenian, I grew up hearing so many painful stories!

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Crimes in Crimea

By on 3.18.14 | 4:55PM

In 1853, Russia invaded the Danubian Principalities, just west of its empire on the Black Sea. Britain and France responded by allying with the Ottoman Empire and declaring war on Russia. Much of the fighting over the next three years would take place in Crimea, as allied forces tried to break Russia’s grip on the city of Sevastopol. The Crimean War would leave about 375,000 allied troops and anywhere from 143,000 to 522,000 Russian troops dead—mostly from disease—and devastate the Crimean Peninsula.

During the Russian Civil War, Crimea would become a stronghold for the anti-Bolshevik White Army and its sympathizers. But by 1920, the White Army was evacuating and the Bolsheviks stormed the peninsula. The communists distributed questionnaires and, foreshadowing Nazi tactics that would one day be used against them, used the answers to divide the population into those to be killed, imprisoned, or saved. More than 50,000 people, most of them civilians, were slaughtered over about six weeks.

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Another Perspective

An Airborne Hunt for Red October?

By 3.18.14

Is Zaharie Ahmad Shah a real-life Marko Ramius? Is the mystery of Malaysia flight 370 lifted straight from a famous bestselling thriller-turned-Hollywood-blockbuster? Recall: A brand new high tech Soviet nuclear submarine vanishes with officers and full crew aboard. A frantic search begins, though the alarmed Kremlin is silent about the fact that it has been notified by the captain that he intends to defect and hand the sub over to the Americans. The officers — but not the crew — are in on the plan.

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At Large

Pain in the India Partnership

By 3.7.14

Of late, the news from India has been dismaying. Economic growth according to the International Monetary Fund has declined to 4.6 per cent for fiscal 2014, nowhere near the high single digits achieved in recent years that delivered tens of millions out of poverty. Inflation estimated at almost 10 percent for 2013 is a major challenge for the Reserve Bank of India, the nation’s central bank. Aggressive deregulation of massive government bureaucracy which had come to be known as License Raj has stalled, as has privatization of state-owned enterprises with the decline of the Rupee and investor confidence. Foreign direct investment has also been a disappointment, reflecting unease about tax policies, political risk, and governance. Agriculture, which employs over half the work force but represents only 17 percent of GDP, has not received the emphasis of the Green Revolution which started in the late 1960s.

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Dictator Watch

Putin’s Sudetenland

By 3.4.14

Vladimir Putin wants Ukraine back. In fact, the ex-Lieutenant Colonel of the Soviet Union’s KGB is on record with his view of the fall of the U.S.S.R. “First and foremost it is worth acknowledging that the demise of the Soviet Union was the greatest geopolitical catastrophe of the century,” he said in 2005. In a foretaste of things to come, Putin added “Tens of millions of our fellow citizens and countrymen found themselves beyond the fringes of Russian territory.” 

Secretary of State John Kerry went before ABC’s cameras on Sunday and said: “If [Russia has] legitimate concerns about Russian-speaking people in Ukraine, there are plenty of ways to deal with that without invading the country.”

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Another Perspective

Why Pussy Riot Deserves Our Sympathy

By 2.20.14

Let’s be honest: the images that came out of Sochi yesterday were sickening. Thugs in uniforms beating young women with horsewhips, kicking them to the ground and throwing their things in garbage cans — piggish behavior in defense, we are told, of “traditional values.” And why? Because four members of Pussy Riot, the feminist punk protest group, decided to sing and dance a bit. What a lot of nonsense. Or at least I wish it were nonsense rather than the creeping totalitarianism that it is.

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At Large

Another North Korean Crossroad

By 2.3.14

There has been a well-defined pattern to negotiations pursued over the decades by North Korea (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea — DPRK). It may be wishful thinking, but that pattern appears to have just changed and it looks like the Obama White House and John Kerry’s State Department have either missed it or chose to ignore the alteration.

The South Korean president, Ms. Park Geun-hye, sensing something different in the diplomatic climate, took the necessary first step in reconciliation on January 6, 2014 by again offering the possibility of resuming the reunion of relatives from North and South suspended since 2010. After a pro forma rejection Pyongyang quickly shifted ground in a few days and returned the same offer. The possibility of the effectively mutual gesture long had been available, but the timing now was right. The reason for the change in the position of the DPRK is what is most important.

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