American Political Corruption: Azerbaijan? Yes, Azerbaijan

Writing in The New York Review of Books, Michael Ignatieff suggests that the problem with America is not its policy challenges abroad but its “democratic dysfunction at home.” A major component of that dysfunction is “the gross failure to control the invidious power of money in politics.” ( A little noted and relatively minor example […]

When Will the Middle East Settle Down?

Sigmund Freud suggested that psychoanalysis could convert one’s neurotic misery to everyday unhappiness. Leaping to geopolitics from psychoanalysis leads to the question of when the Middle East will be converted from massive chaos to everyday turmoil. Thinking about that reminds me of one of my favorite New Yorker cartoons. An important executive is sitting at […]

Iran Nuclear Deal: There Is No Alternative

On April 3, President Obama called Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu to fill him in on the P5+1 deal with Iran. But the prime minister wasn’t buying. He told the President: “The deal based on this framework would threaten Israel’s survival (and would) legitimize Iran’s nuclear program, bolster Iran’s economy, and increase Iran’s aggression and terror […]

Greeks on the Take

The connection between the ancient Greeks and contemporary Greece is only tenuous. But the Greeks themselves like to claim that there has been a continuous line from those famous ancestors to the present. But accepting that claim leads to some problems. Hugh Bowden is a renowned historian of ancient Greece. He suggests that ancient Greek […]

Moldova Elects a Pro-EU Parliament; Taiwan Rejects Its Pro-China Party

Two disquieting elections in the news. Two challenging election results. In Moldova, pro-European parties outpolled pro-Russian parties. In Taiwan’s capital, Taipei, the pro-independence candidate beat the pro-China candidate. The Republic of Moldova, formerly the Moldovian Soviet Socialist Republic, declared its independence at the collapse of the USSR. It comprises much of the former Russian and […]

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