Scoping out Condoleezza Rice

Let me get the bemusedly angry sidebar out of the way first. The most egregious offender in the media I saw was Tom Raum of the Associated Press, who began his story, "Carrying through on a promise to bring diversity to his administration, President-elect Bush on Sunday named a second black to his foreign-policy team … Continue reading “Scoping out Condoleezza Rice”

Western Civilization: Love It Or Leave It

AGAIN THE MILLENNIUM Today we stand just a few days this side of the real thousand-year mark, that is, midnight 31 December 2000. You knew I wasn’t going to let that go, didn’t you? I still wonder why all the calendar-challenged classes insisted on having a big song and dance last year, but can’t be … Continue reading “Western Civilization: Love It Or Leave It”


THE CANONIZATION OF COLIN POWELL Colin Powell had been officially named secretary of state for barely five minutes and already he was beating the war drums, demanding the beefing up of Iraqi sanctions and not-so-subtly hinting at a military confrontation in the Middle East: "We are in the strong position. He [Saddam Hussein] is in … Continue reading “THE CANONIZATION OF COLIN POWELL”

Israeli Wild Cards in the Peace Process

Fresh from his triumphs in bringing peace to Northern Ireland or at least the pretense of peace for a few weeks or months former Maine Sen. George Mitchell, as head of the new U.S.-led commission formed after the abortive Sharm al Sheik meeting a couple of months ago, is trotting around the Middle East pretending … Continue reading “Israeli Wild Cards in the Peace Process”

Competing Producers of Security: Round One

STATES, NON-STATES, AND HISTORICAL METHOD Hendrik Spruyt’s The Sovereign State and Its Competitors (Princeton, 1994) is a very stimulating account of how modern states came to be and, perhaps more importantly, why competing forms of governance fell by the wayside. It is a sweeping book which attempts to theorize the political main drift from the … Continue reading “Competing Producers of Security: Round One”

If It’s Good Enough for Serbia’s Goose, Why Not for Croatia’s Gander?

In an AP article dated 21 November, Croatia’s president, Stipe Mesic, insisted that "ousting Slobodan Milosevic was not enough," and "urged Yugoslavia’s new leaders on Tuesday to hand him over to the U.N. war crimes tribunal and face up to their country’s role in the Balkan wars. Croatian President Stipe Mesic praised Yugoslavia’s democratization, which … Continue reading “If It’s Good Enough for Serbia’s Goose, Why Not for Croatia’s Gander?”