Friday, February 18, 2011

Stephen Walt on Double Standards for Dictators

The Wall Street Journal is a fine newspaper, but its op-ed page is like listening to O'Reilly, Beck, or Limbaugh but with a better vocabulary. And it usually makes about as much sense as they do.

Walt takes on the WSJ today, something that needs to occur more often so far as I can tell. (I don't normally read it, although we have a subscription here at the office; too much on business & politics to the right of Mr. A.T. Hun.) I this instance, Walt suggests that calling our dictators "good", or in any sense better than others, is, well, nonsense. Examples provided.

Barnett Takes Ferguson to Task

Tom Barnett's interesting perspective on the world and the U.S. role in it provides a very thoughtful perspective. In this piece he takes down Niall Ferguson's dissing of the Obama Administration's handling of the Egypt situation, which I've been posting about of late. I like Barnett's perspective, which balances economics, geopolitical strategy, and military concerns better than anyone else that I know,although I think Fareed Zakaria usually has a worthwhile and justified perspective on events. Also, I note that Barnett makes a passing but disparaging pass atremark about George Friedman's work. Interestingly, I had to stop listening to The Next 100 Years because I thought it too limiting,. too 19th century. It's all geopolitics with no nukes or globalization. I get the impression that Barnett doesn't think too highly of it either.