HOW TO TAKE OVER A COUNTRY

Mission to Macedonia So, you’re the ruthless ruler of a worldwide empire, and you want to take over a poor, hapless, unsuspecting nation – whaddaya do? Step number one: fund a guerrilla insurgency. STEP ONE: ADD ONE INSURGENCY There’s always some disgruntled minority that will take up arms, especially if tempted with all sorts of … Continue reading “HOW TO TAKE OVER A COUNTRY”

GO FOR IT, KOSTUNICA!

The revolution that overthrew Yugoslav socialism, led by Vojislav Kostunica, is far from over: having gotten rid of Slobodan Milosevic, and freed the country from the sclerotic grasp of the Serbian Socialist Party, Kostunica became the President of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (FRY) only to find yet another obstacle in his path: Serbian Prime … Continue reading “GO FOR IT, KOSTUNICA!”

Macedonia’s Underhanded Dissolution

The world may believe that the carefully staged, orchestrated, and subdued signing of the “Made in America” Ohrid framework document translates into peace in Macedonia, the latest Balkan boiling pot. It, however, does not. It will not provide any measurable change to the status quo, except for one thing: NATO soldiers have now, legally, shoehorned … Continue reading “Macedonia’s Underhanded Dissolution”

YASUKUNI BROUHAHA

Japan’s Prime Minister Junichero Koizumi will face many tests in the months to come: reforming Japan’s sclerotic economy, reinvigorating a society fossilized by habit and chafing under the heel of the US occupation. The Japanese people have placed their hopes in him, and his rise has been celebrated here, in this column, as a harbinger … Continue reading “YASUKUNI BROUHAHA”

IN PRAISE OF ‘MORAL EQUIVALENCE’

During the Cold War, outrage at the idea of “moral equivalence” animated the neoconservative critics of non-interventionism. How dare those leftists hold up the Soviet occupation of Hungary and all of Eastern Europe and equate it with, say, the American occupation of Korea, US dominance of Latin America, or our penchant for overthrowing regimes around … Continue reading “IN PRAISE OF ‘MORAL EQUIVALENCE’”

A Macedonian Fantasy?

There are essentially two types of peace agreements: those that ratify a peace that is in place for whatever reason (conquest, surrender, war-weariness) and those that seek to push forward a “process” that has not yet brought anything resembling an actual peace. One may hope that the Macedonian peace accord signed Monday is in the … Continue reading “A Macedonian Fantasy?”

FREE MARKETS OR SUPERMARKETS?

In a recent Chicago Tribune article, Michael Lev discussed the question that every foreigner in China finds himself asking after his first trip to the market: Which is better – the free market or the supermarket? After taking a stroll through a muddy, crowded Chinese market with discarded corncobs, piles of peas, globs of bloody … Continue reading “FREE MARKETS OR SUPERMARKETS?”

THE MUGGING OF MACEDONIA

The Kitty Genovese of the Balkans The settlement due to be initialed August 13 by both sides in the Macedonian-Albanian conflict has got to be the strangest “peace agreement” in recent history. “War Looms despite Signing of Macedonia Peace Deal,” the Reuters headline informs us. The level of violence, instead of decreasing, has been ratcheted … Continue reading “THE MUGGING OF MACEDONIA”