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Bloggingheads
02-05-2008, 03:03 PM

Joel_Cairo
02-05-2008, 04:35 PM
Weird title for a diavlog including someone who cast a vote for McCain (http://www.danieldrezner.com/archives/003694.html) this morning.

royce4142
02-05-2008, 04:50 PM
Speaking of Foreign Policy:
I just ran across a new single from a Texas musician titled "Cheney's Toy." He's allowing free downloads on Super Tuesday at myspace.com/jamesmcmurtry

ohcomeon
02-05-2008, 05:04 PM
This was really, really, really boring.

Thus Spoke Elvis
02-05-2008, 05:06 PM
When I saw the title of this segment, two works sprung to mind: Clash of Civilizations, by Sam Huntington, and Jihad v. McWorld, by Benjamin Barber. I haven't read either in a decade, but when I did (and admittedly, I was a newbie to international relations at the time) I thought they both had considerable merit.

Huntington's work definitely stands the test of time: regardless of whether one agrees or disagrees with the thesis in whole or in part, it's certainly "important." I hesitated to mention Jihad after Drezner implied that he has little respect for Barber's work (or, at the very least, his style of prose). I nonetheless decided to mention it because I genuinely enjoyed reading it (more so than Huntington, actually) and found its arguments to be interesting and compelling, if not completely convincing. And I'm not sure we should expect much more from an international relations book targeted at a general audience. Still, I'd be interesting in learning more about the problems Drezner has with Barber.

policy wank
02-05-2008, 05:53 PM
What about Ethical Realism by Anatol Lieven and John Hulsman. It gives a very concise and informative history of the Cold War and then makes an attempt to apply those principles to our current situation. It certainly recognizes that the US is probably in decline. Drezner has mentioned it before, but I'm not sure if he likes it.

As for VP predictions I think they were way off. Richardson is too much of a buffoon for anyone to select him. I don't think Edwards would except the VP slot from Clinton. They clearly don't really like each other. I think she would pick Evan Bayh or Mark Warner. Obama might pick Jim Webb or maybe even Joe Biden.

Namazu
02-05-2008, 06:18 PM
The IR "profession" hasn't produced much lately to justify a claim on the general reader's time. The Francis Fukayamas and the Paul Kennedys of the world should have all future work put under a 5-year embargo by their publishers. Tom Friedman is probably just about right for junior high-school students (I'm older). Is some book about "J-Curves" supposed to compete with (say) the latest by a Jared Diamond, a Nassim Taleb, or any number of recent popular books on evolutionary psychology, behavioral economics, or neuroscience? It might even be possible to read popular physics which isn't complete nonsense within the next couple of years. If you guys have to ask us for help with your list, maybe you're just not in the most high-impact corner of academia. Why not have your students read more history, so they have a better chance of not wasting their time? [OK, since you asked: Is Abba Eben's "Diplomacy for the Next Century" out of print? I couldn't find it on Amazon. I also enjoyed Kissinger's "Does America Need a Foreign Policy?"]

Wonderment
02-05-2008, 06:33 PM
People should read Sam Nunn, Henry Kissinger and George Schultz, all of whom are now calling for the ABOLITION of nuclear weapons (something we "crazies" on the left have been urging for 60 years).

When you have Henry Kissinger and Noam Chomsky holding hands on an issue, you'd better believe it's as critical as global warming to the survival of civilization.

robert61
02-05-2008, 06:39 PM
A few popular books that have shaped my thinking in the past few years:

The Shield of Achilles, Philip Bobbitt - written in a popular style, though the second half on international law is pretty densely packed. This is visionary stuff, and I'm really looking forward to Bobbitt's upcoming book.

Thomas PM Barnett's books, The Pentagon's New Map and Blueprint for Action. Very good on how the Pentagon works. Refreshing to read somebody who's this good on the military who also gets global finance.

Special Providence, Walter Russell Mead. I suspect Mead's latest, God and Gold, is going to be very good, too. My father bought it for me for my birthday a few days ago but got hooked on it himself.

bjkeefe
02-05-2008, 07:08 PM
Q1: What is a nanosecond?

A1: The time elapsed between two instances of Dan Drezner saying "the academy."

Q2: What is a femtosecond?

A2: The time elapsed between two instances of Dan Drezner dropping a name.

Q3: What is an eon?

A3: The time elapsed between two instances of Dan Drezner letting someone else finish a thought.

We get that you're smart, Dan. You don't have to keep telling us.

bjkeefe
02-05-2008, 07:22 PM
policy wank:

First, great uname!

Second, regarding VP predictions: I think you're right about dismissing Richardson for either and Edwards for Clinton. I hope you're right, too.

Dan's idea about Obama picking Gov. Napolitano or Gov. Sebelius was intriguing. Not only are the geographic and conservative credentials good arguments in favor; the idea of a woman as a running mate could help defuse lingering resentment over Clinton being defeated.

Biden is an interesting choice for Obama, too, and I like him and I think his foreign policy experience helps, but I think he has more baggage than Richardson, so I would be surprised if he got picked.

I don't know why Evan Bayh's name keeps getting mentioned. What has he ever done that the average voter would know or care about? Slightly less so, but similarly for Mark Warner. What do these guys have going for them besides being known as centrists to political junkies? I grant Warner brings a bit of southern flavor, which may make him attractive to Clinton, but I don't think Obama needs him for that.

For the Reps, especially since it's looking like it's going to be McCain, I'm going to predict Sam Brownback as a running mate. McCain will need a dyed-in-wool conservative with strong religious overtones, and I don't think he can afford to further alienate the xenophobes and big money factions by picking Huckabee.

Wonderment
02-05-2008, 07:39 PM
I don't know why Evan Bayh's name keeps getting mentioned.

He can carry red-state Indiana.

bjkeefe
02-05-2008, 07:51 PM
He can carry red-state Indiana.

Is that all he brings? Sheesh. I suppose if Clinton is the nominee and you're expecting a close election and counting electoral votes, I could see it, but I don't like it.

This is the year of big excitement, big ideas, and big changes. I say Obama and Russ Feingold.

Thus Spoke Elvis
02-05-2008, 08:13 PM
If Obama selected Sen. Jim Webb (D-VA), I can't imagine any combination of Republicans stopping them.

Baltimoron
02-06-2008, 01:28 AM
Thus Spake Elvis:

Senator Webb is a great choice, I agree! He might have to check his gun at the WH gate, though.

But, I like the message that a female gov to VP would send. Is there a female Webb out there. Gov. Napolitano might be the best pick in that regard.

Lastly, extending this to other cabinet positions, I like Amb. Holbrooke, which is a plus for Clinton. Drezner is right, the first Clinton administration did poorly, so I'm concerned about an Obama team of Clinton firsters.

My other concerns is, that the Dems not draw down their Senate totals for cabinet picks. Again, Clinton in '92 had no coattails, which exacerbated Hillary's problems getting health care passed. A winning candidate has to bring Congressional majorities, and , if all the senior senators are going to the Executive branch, it's just another chance for the GOP to elect its own. So, Edwards to Labor is fine, but no committee chairmen, like Biden. He's too valuable for any number of reasons.

Baltimoron
02-06-2008, 01:31 AM
I say Obama and Russ Feingold.

Far too lefty! That's almost daring McCain not to attract moderate independents.

I think I'm going to start looking more closely at female governors now.

Baltimoron
02-06-2008, 01:44 AM
I liked Barber's original article, too (rarely read the books because of my expatriate debacle when articles suffice). Huntington is so undeservedly popular, and in my IR grad program I've yet to meet a prof who hasn't sliced him up (I prefer Huntington's masterpiece "Political Order in Changing Societies", btw). I wished Barber blogged more.

1. Anne-Marie Slaughter's "A New World Order"

2. Thomas P.M. Barnett's "The Pentagon's New Map" (although I disagree), as well as the follow-up, "Blueprint for Action".

3. Michael T. Klare's "Resource Wars"

4. Joseph Nye's "The Paradox of American Power"

5. Stephen Krasner's "Sovereignty: Organized Hypocrisy"

6. Robert D. Kaplan's "Imperial Grunts/Hog Pilots. Blue Water Grunts" (as well as his PBS documentary)

7. Zbigniew Brzezinski's "The Grand Chessboard"

And, yes, I do flirt with the Liberal and Interdependence paradigms of the IR world.

Also, is this the wrong place to put globalization literature, like Stiglitz's Fair Trade for All and Wolf's "Why Globalization Works"?

Baltimoron
02-06-2008, 02:05 AM
We get that you're smart, Dan. You don't have to keep telling us.

So, should we pair him with a competitive guy, like David Corn, or a cooperative woman, like Sklar (or some such combination)? I think Farley needs a female interlocutor to draw him out more.

Baltimoron
02-06-2008, 02:24 AM
Even more unpopular to mention is the concept from which it's distinguished, "balance of power". I think Drezner is playing loose (http://bloggingheads.tv/diavlogs/8570?in=00:10:03&out=10:37) with these two concepts of balance of power and hegemony. When talks about "first among equals", this sounds more like "the balancer", like Britain in the 19th Century, where one state checks an accretion of power by switching coalitions. "Balance of power" might be a concept Americans should get used to now, and perhaps Americans would find that "balancer" role more practicable, although it probably is too amoral for Americans to stomach.

Baltimoron
02-06-2008, 02:35 AM
It's a shame Drezner couldn't contribute to this point, but Farley brought up a great issue with the US Navy's New Maritime Strategy (http://www.navy.mil/maritime/display.asp?page=strglance.html). I'm still looking at the whole document, but, like the question whether the GWOT will become a multi-generational priority (which I hope not), the Navy's strategy will be a fact future presidents will confront. One of Barnett's insights was, that the Clinton administration's foreign policy performance is associated with Defense's search for a new identity, when the WH really did little more than ask for a ruling Defense found hard to create. This new strategy could be a sign of future problems as the US adjusts to post-"hegemony".

Nate
02-06-2008, 05:34 AM
Wow, you guys' Super Tuesday predictions were way off:
http://bloggingheads.tv/diavlogs/8570?in=00:54:48

http://www.cnn.com/ELECTION/2008/

I expected political scientists to be a little bit closer. ;)
(just kidding of course)

bjkeefe
02-06-2008, 07:38 AM
Far too lefty! That's almost daring McCain not to attract moderate independents.

Yes. That was one of my wishes, not a prediction.

bjkeefe
02-06-2008, 07:43 AM
So, should we pair him with a competitive guy, like David Corn, or a cooperative woman, like Sklar (or some such combination)? I think Farley needs a female interlocutor to draw him out more.

I don't think it's the pairing, although it might help if whomever Drezner's partner was, that person said "Let me finish" once or nine times. I do wonder if Corn/Drezner would work at all -- that has the potential to be an hour of two people trying to talk over one another.

I didn't find Rachel Sklar "cooperative." I thought she was polite, but it was clear when she disagreed.

I don't think Farley needs to be "drawn out." He just needs a little courtesy from his partner. BTW, I strongly recommend reading LGM (http://lefarkins.blogspot.com/) on a regular basis. It's not all him, but he and his co-bloggers are all quite good.

Thus Spoke Elvis
02-06-2008, 11:16 AM
This may be a "change" election, but I don't think the American public is ready to elect a black guy and a Jewish guy. Also, Obama's biggest weakness in the general election (besides his paltry level of experience) is his very liberal voting record, which Republicans are sure to make a big issue. Feingold has an even more liberal record, and would do nothing to assuage the concerns moderate voters will have about Obama in the general election.

We may be in the midst of a shift from a center-right to a center-left country, but I don't think the country's willing to go as far left as a Obama/Feingold ticket.

ogieogie
02-06-2008, 12:26 PM
I listened to this while I played Free Cell. The Free Cell games were interesting.

Bloggin' Noggin
02-06-2008, 01:04 PM
Even more unpopular to mention is the concept from which it's distinguished, "balance of power". I think Drezner is playing loose (http://bloggingheads.tv/diavlogs/8570?in=00:10:03&out=10:37) with these two concepts of balance of power and hegemony. When talks about "first among equals", this sounds more like "the balancer", like Britain in the 19th Century, where one state checks an accretion of power by switching coalitions. "Balance of power" might be a concept Americans should get used to now, and perhaps Americans would find that "balancer" role more practicable, although it probably is too amoral for Americans to stomach.

I could be wrong, but it seems to me that there's space between a balancer and a hegemon in Dan's conception (as I recall what he said a day later). I'd see the world hegemon as being between a balancer and a kind of World Dictator State -- a state that could enforce its will on the other states almost no matter what.

Think of five kids on a playground all about equally able to win a 1-on-1 fight with any of the others. If A and B tend to back each other up, and C and D tend to back each other up, then child E can gain leverage by "balancing" and often decide the issue between the two alliances, even though he isn't any stronger than the others.
On the other hand, you could imagine that one of the children is so strong that he can always dominate the playground even if all four of the others go against him.
In between, you could have one child who's much stronger or better at playground strategy than any one of the others, so that he can get his way unless the other four all fight him (or 3 fight him and one sits out). If this child largely attempts to enforce what most of the other children regard as reasonably just rules and doesn't get too arbitrary or arrogant, he'll tend to win, but if he starts to think he can do whatever he wants without regard for what seems reasonable to the others, then he starts to lose.
I think it's reasonable to regard this intermediate position as that of the hegemon, and it seems to be the role the US tried to play under Bush I and Clinton (after Russia ceased being a rival for hegemonic status).
The Bush II people, in my view, mistook this hegemonic role for that of the World Dictator who could pretty much do whatever he wanted.

But then I'm no expert on foreign policy.

bjkeefe
02-06-2008, 01:06 PM
Elvis:

I agree. As I noted in my reply to Baltimoron, this is more of a wish on my part than a realistic expectation.

Bloggin' Noggin
02-06-2008, 01:23 PM
I thought it was interesting, but they did seem to be FP experts talking amongst themselves. For example, what's wrong with Barber? Apparently, he's not much regarded in those rarefied circles, but it would be nice if the experts had clued us amateurs in a bit more. The BHtv audience is very smart, but we aren't all experts in any one discipline. A three-way diavlog between these two, with Bob Wright in the middle would have been nice -- otherwise, these two should keep in mind a more general audience, or they should be paired with Bob or Will Wilkinson or Michael Lind -- someone who's better at keeping non-experts in mind.

Baltimoron
02-12-2008, 02:29 AM
I contacted Dr. Benjamin Barber about both Drezner's blog and diavlog "slight" against him. He responded today:

To Joseph Steinberg: Sorry but I don't keep up with the likes of Drezner (don't know him at all) and other right wing zealots of the blogosphere. But from a brief look at his site, I am glad to be on his hit list: to be criticized by him seems to be something of a badge of honor. As for Jihad vs. McWorld, it has been translated into thirty languages, has sold over a million books, and remains a staple of university courses on IR, terrorism and culture. I think it will survive Drezner.

P.S. Consumed is out in paperback this month, and later in the spring, Columbia University Press will publish the trade paperback of my book about Clinton (The Truth of Power: Intellectual Affairs in the Clinton White House).

Best, Benjamin Barber

Benjamin R. Barber
Distinguished Senior Fellow, DEMOS
President, CivWorld (at DEMOS)
220 Fifth Avenue, New York, N.Y. 10001
212-247-5433 / www.benjaminbarber.org

Not much info, or love lost between them. But, I think his book would win! Barber and Drezner sounds like a good diavlog! How about it, Mr. Wright?

amidei
02-26-2008, 02:04 AM
It seems difficult to understand why we haven't seen stories with the words Obama and Muslim in the same sentence. With today's news, I decided to do some digging and actual fact seeking. Barack Obama...raised a Muslim. Attended Islamic schools. "Barack" is from a word in the Koran, meaning "blessed." Digging more deeply, one learns that Islam has no provision for leaving the faith. That concept is invalid. Muslims consider anyone born a Muslim is ETERNALLY a Muslim. No option.

In a day and age when Americans don't even want to get onto an airplane with someone who supposedly "looks" Muslim, how can the press not cast light on an issue that RESOUNDS so strongly with Americans?

How many of Obama supporters even know of his Muslim background, upbringing, and connection? Few, and that is the fault of the press. The press is supposed to give the public factual information. This is a valid-- a fundamental task of the press.

If Republican operatives can trash the war record of a fine Vietnam veteran, there is no question about what they will do with the idea of a raised Muslim. Talk about a wedge issue?! An issue so significant, going without attention from the press? Is this practical realistic news coverage?

Ami Dei

bjkeefe
02-26-2008, 03:54 AM
Ami Dei:

It seems difficult to understand why we haven't seen stories with the words Obama and Muslim in the same sentence.

[...]

How many of Obama supporters even know of his Muslim background, upbringing, and connection? Few, and that is the fault of the press.

Wow. I have no idea where you're getting your information, but it's clear that we have very different sources. I'd be willing to bet that most people know, at least vaguely, of Obama's early Muslim connections. I am sure that this goes double for his supporters -- we've been dealing with smear stories related to Islamophobia for a year now.

What would you say your primary news sources are, if you don't mind sharing?

Bloggin' Noggin
02-26-2008, 01:15 PM
There's no evidence Obama was ever a Muslim -- and we have evidence that he wasn't, namely his own words and family history. He was mostly raised by his mother's family. His father, if I remember rightly, was an unbeliever (though his father had been a Muslim, hence the name "Barack" which was Obama's father's before it was his). His stepfather in Indonesia was a Muslim.
From Obama's first book, it appears that he was not much of a believer in anything until his youthful work as a community organizer, at which point he became a Christian.
The media have certainly discussed the issue and have looked into claims that he attended a "madrassa" -- in reality an ordinary Indonesian school. Of course, they came to the conclusion that there was actually nothing to the story. If the only discussion of the story that counts is a discussion that treats these claims as true, then I guess you can say that the respectable media haven't discussed it.