FM newswire for March 25, interesting articles about geopolitics
Today’s links to interesting news and analysis, collected from around the Internet. If you find this useful, pass it to a friend or colleague.
- “Torture Fatigue“, David Schaengold, League of Ordinary Gentlemen, 23 February 2010 — “The GOP seems to becoming a party whose considered, institutional policy is that we should torture everyone the executive branch suspects to be a terrorist. Are we ready to slog away for decades with the hope of convincing our compatriots that torture is a discredit to our country and a betrayal of our most basic political principles?”
- Analysis of the Federal deficit from the go-to people for analysis of economic statistics: “Impulse Control – Decomposing the deficit: structural, cyclical, and the fiscal impulse“, The Liscio Report, 13 March 2010
- More on this continuing story: “Medicating the military“, Air Force Times, 17 March 2010 — “Use of psychiatric drugs has spiked; concerns surface about suicide, other dangers.” For more see section I of this reference page.
- “GOP Senators Refusing To Work Past 2PM, Invoking Obscure Rule“, Ryan Grim, Huffington Post, 24 March 2010
- Powerful: “We have something to fear from fear-mongering itself“, Ezra Klein, blog of the Washington Post, 24 March 2010
- Updated, even better: “Passage of Moderate RomneyCare Drives Republicans Insane“, Brad Delong, 24 March 2010
- More evidence: “Still Bitter Over Loss On Health Reform, GOP Seeks To Block Judicial Nominee For His Health Care Views“, ThinkProgress, 24 March 2010
Today’s Feature Stories
(a) The new media seldom accurately describe geopolitical events. Here is a rare look behind the scenes at the events now re-shaping Europe: “Metternich With A Blackberry“, Simon Johnson, The Baseline Scenario, 20 March 2010 — Excerpt:
If watching the twists and turns in European politics – “should we bailout Greece?”, “should we bring in the IMF?”, “should the Greeks go directly to the IMF, cutting out the EU?”, etc – has your head spinning and reminds you of overly complicated and opaque episodes from the history books, then you have actually caught the main point. European power structures and alliances webs are being remade before your eyes.
Is this all random – just the collision of disparate national interests with no coherent plans on any side? Or are there some strong, deliberate, and very personal hands at work guiding key pieces into place?
Prince Metternich worked long and hard to manoeuvre countries and people before and after 1815, cynically and cleverly building a system of interlocking interests that suited him – and his employer, the Austrian/Habsburg Emperor. Is there a modern Metternich now at work? Most definitely: Yes. …
(b) About the 6 million dollar men
- “Policing Afghanistan – How Afghan Police Training Became a Train Wreck“, Pratap Chatterjee, TomDispatch, 21 March 2010
- “The Gang That Couldn’t Shoot Straight“, Newsweek, 19 March 2010 — “Six billion dollars later, the Afghan National Police can’t begin to do their jobs right—never mind relieve American forces.”