EMPIRE AS A WAY OF DEATH

OVERVIEW Pericles’ Funeral Oration is widely seen as a noble statement of core Western values. Noble, doubtless, but the rest is arguable (Western Civilization having had a bad day or two). Pericles – the Athenian FDR? – saw the Athenian Empire as the great defender of freedom – freedom defined, however, by the Athenian Empire … Continue reading “EMPIRE AS A WAY OF DEATH”

THE EMPIRE’S CASUAL CASUALTIES

It’s easy enough to comprehend the shooting of 14 Serbian farmers in the Kosovan village of Gracko as part of the aftermath of NATO’s war against Yugoslavia. These farmers – along with hundreds, perhaps thousands of ethnic Albanians killed by Serbs before, during and after the bombing campaign phase of the war, should be included … Continue reading “THE EMPIRE’S CASUAL CASUALTIES”

SOCIOLOGY, INDO-EUROPEANS, AND THE DESTINY OF THE WARRIORS

In 1987-91 I must have had too much time on my hands. I actually did an informal survey of what was going on British sociology. It wasn’t pretty. British sociology was "eat up" with Structural Marxism, that French imposture made up by Louis Althusser (Half-Hussar, as I call him) and his merry band. In the … Continue reading “SOCIOLOGY, INDO-EUROPEANS, AND THE DESTINY OF THE WARRIORS”

LESSONS IN FAILING INTERVENTIONS

The flap over Taiwanese President Lee Teng-hui’s comment that Taiwan’s relations with mainland China should properly be viewed as "country-to-country, or at least as special state-to-state" relations has been curious and amusing at one level. After all, it merely reflects what has been the reality for several decades at least, and in context what all … Continue reading “LESSONS IN FAILING INTERVENTIONS”

“WAR POWERS “: VAGUE, UNDEFINED, AND POST-CONSTITUTIONAL?

About a year ago, I took part in a heated debate over U.S. foreign policy on a historians’ e-mail list to which I belong. One side, whom I unkindly dubbed "the militarists," took the Goldwater/Buckley/etc. position that Presidents can pretty much do whatever they want and "we" have to support them once the bombs are … Continue reading ““WAR POWERS “: VAGUE, UNDEFINED, AND POST-CONSTITUTIONAL?”

KASHMIR: WILL BILL AND MADDIE INTERVENE?

The war in Kashmir between India and Pakistan seems to have calmed down for the moment, but it could still present rich opportunities for the United States to do the wrong thing. President Clinton casually – almost cavalierly? – meddled at an early stage of the conflict without creating serious problems or making new commitments. … Continue reading “KASHMIR: WILL BILL AND MADDIE INTERVENE?”

CAUSES – LOST AND OTHERWISE

It has been said that "there are no lost causes because there are no gained causes." Whether this is true or not will not detain us here. Matthew Arnold called Oxford University "the home of lost causes," referring in particular, one assumes, to Oxford’s support for the ill-fated Charles I during the Puritan Revolution. Richard … Continue reading “CAUSES – LOST AND OTHERWISE”

KOSOVO: LEARNING THE WRONG LESSONS (MOSTLY)

Many of the Kosovo war’s most active cheerleaders are having second thoughts now that the bombing phase of the war has ended, the “rebuilding” phase has begun and the general uselessness of the campaign has become increasingly apparent. Some of the second thoughts are thoroughly reprehensible, of the “we didn’t do enough damage” ilk. But … Continue reading “KOSOVO: LEARNING THE WRONG LESSONS (MOSTLY)”

George Dubya and “American Leadership”

One shouldn’t read too much into deviations from prepared texts, and in fact the prepared text of Texas Gov. George W. Bush’s remarks distributed to newsies during his California fundraising swing this week carried a warning right at the top "[Note: Governor Bush frequently deviates from prepared text]." He did so fairly often in minor … Continue reading “George Dubya and “American Leadership””

Serbs Out . . . KLA In

Brit Secretary of State for Defense George Robertson summed up his country’s war aims succinctly and, as it turned out, all-too-accurately: "Serbs out, NATO in, refugees back." Tens of thousands of Serbs are fleeing "liberated" Kosovo, as the KLA sweeps in ahead of NATO and the film of ethnic cleansing rolls in reverse. One of … Continue reading “Serbs Out . . . KLA In”