Category Archives: Foreign Affairs

No Good Options

Here is a depressingly thorough look at the problem of North Korea. It examines four things the U.S. might do: 1) pre-emption à la Thucydides; 2) smaller-scale military pressure; 3) decapitation of the Kim regime; or 4) more of what we’ve done so far, namely nothing. Not one of these choices is appealing. It is […]

The Future, By The Numbers

Making the rounds is a video by Mark Steyn in which he discusses the demographics of Europe and Africa, and Steve Sailer’s “Most Important Graph In The World“. Take particular note starting at 9:55, if you’ve been wondering why Europe’s leaders don’t seem to give a damn about the future. Related content from Sphere

It Ain’t Necessarily So

I’ve said from the beginning that the prevailing narrative about the chemical-weapons attack in Syria — in brief, that Assad did it — makes no sense. I’ll say this, too: not only does it make no sense, but it so obviously makes no sense that any sensible person should doubt it in the absence of […]

Riddle, Mystery, Enigma

Every Tuesday night at 10 p.m. Eastern time, Professor Stephen F. Cohen appears on John Batchelor’s radio show for an hour-long discussion of America’s difficult relationship with Russia. I try not to miss it, because Professor Cohen’s expertise is profound, and his insights often differ sharply from what we are fed by government and the […]

“A Symbol Of National Sovereignty In Its Battle With Globalism”

From Imprimis, the monthly newsletter of Hillsdale College, here is an outstanding article by Christopher Caldwell: How To Think About Vladimir Putin. I would excerpt it here, but it’s all so good that I’ll just urge you to go read the whole thing. Related content from Sphere

Fog Of War

The NightWatch newsletter comes over the transom in the wee hours every night. From today’s edition: Special comment for new analysts. It always is wise to investigate as many versions of a story as are available. Each adds something to the reconstruction of what happened. The open source coverage of the chemical attack at Khan […]

Is Assad A Fool?

The world is in an uproar about the apparent gas attack in Syria. Western nations, and the Western media, have blamed Bashar al-Assad. The Russians say their man Assad didn’t do it; that a conventional bombing strike against a rebel storehouse must have released toxic substances that were to be used in chemical weapons. I […]

The Caravan Passes

Over at Social Matter, William Fitzgerald has posted this excellent analysis of the Gulenist movement’s role in last year’s coup attempt in Turkey. If you have any interest in this sort of thing you should make sure you read it. Related content from Sphere

A Dangerous Place

The strategic-security situation has been a neglected topic here for a while. Time to catch up a little. One of the most septic, and possibly most infectious, areas of conflict at the moment is Yemen, the site of a deepening proxy war between Islam’s major players. The nation is completely dysfunctional, with almost no chance […]

Trouble In Paradise

Here is an interview of Daily Mail reporter Katie Hopkins by Tucker Carlson. Ms. Hopkins describes her recent trip to Sweden. By the way, speaking of Sweden and Tucker Carlson, here’s John Derbyshire’s understanding of Donald Trump’s recent “last night in Sweden” remark that set off such a commotion: It happened that Tucker Carlson over […]

The Big Bad Bear

John Derbyshire’s been asking: why is Russia our enemy? I’ve wondered too: A more enlightened worldview would see Russia — a great Christian nation, and one that has made priceless contributions to the treasure-store of Western civilization — as a natural ally in these perilous times. We have much in common, including ancient, existential enemies […]

Stockholm Syndrome

There’s been quite a fuss about Donald Trump’s having suggested that Sweden might be having problems digesting millions of profoundly alien, mostly Muslim, immigrants. The narrative conflict could not be starker: on the one side, a description of a formerly safe, homogeneous and peaceful Scandinavian nation descending into a darkening abyss of rape, fear, cultural […]

Ourobouros

With a hat-tip to Bill Valicella, here’s an item, by Alex Ross for The New Yorker, arguing that the Frankfurt School foresaw the rise of Donald Trump. Did they? Well, we shouldn’t be surprised, because they labored to create exactly the ideological conditions in the postwar West — the deadly mind-virus of radical and pathologically […]

Game On!

Right, then, today’s the day. The inauguration is about to begin. Mr. Trump can expect to be tested at once. From today’s NightWatch: China-US: On 19 January, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Ms. Hua Chunying answered a question about China’s relations with the new US administration. Her reply is China official position regarding the US on the […]

Europe: To Be, Or Not?

Last weekend my daughter, who lives in Vienna, sent us a photograph of herself, her husband, and our four-month-old grandson enjoying themselves in the Kristmasmarkt in Karlsplatz. Today a similar holiday marketplace in Berlin was attacked by a jihadist, who rammed a truck into the happy crowd. As I write the death-toll stands at twelve, […]

Tilting At Windmills

I (and many others) have written often about the obvious religiosity of Progressivism, and about its being, quite plainly and transparently, a secular continuation and direct descendant of the Puritan “mission into the wilderness”. A particularly instructive aspect of this atheistic quest for holiness and salvation is the patently crypto-religious “climate-change” crusade. Early last year, […]

Forensic Entomology

From the Express: A migrant turf war erupted into violence on the streets of one of Paris’ trendiest neighbourhoods early this morning as asylum seekers beat each other to a pulp with wooden clubs. Story and video here. A defining characteristic of a living organism is the maintenance of its internal order, and of its […]

Birds Of A Feather

The choleric president of the Philippines, Rodrigo Duterte (the one, in case you’ve forgotten, who called Barack Obama “a son of a whore”), recently announced his “separation” from the United States, and a pivot to China. Why? Well, it obviously makes sense, in an era of spastic and ineffective American foreign policy, for a small […]

Pussy, Ariot

This is where we’ve got to.

Bear-Baiting

From this morning’s NightWatch: Russia-US-Syria: Russian relations with the US over Syria continue to worsen. Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Major General Igor Konashenkov said on 6 October, “Let me remind the so-called US strategists that the air cover for the Russian military bases in Hmeimim and Tartus is provided by S-400 and S-300 surface-to-air missile […]

Dancing With The Bear

Here’s NightWatch‘s John McCreary on the Syrian aid-convoy incident: Syria-UN: The UN suspended aid convoys in Syria after the air attacks against the aid convoy on the 19th. “As an immediate security measure, other convoy movements in Syria have been suspended for the time being, pending further assessment of the security situation,” a UN spokesman […]

Risky Business

From NightWatch: Syria-Syria Kurds-US: On 19 August, the Syrian air force conducted the first air attacks and Syrian Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) militiamen in Hasakah Governate. Ground fighting intensified late on the 19th when Kurdish YPG fighters battled Syrian forces. “The clashes continue in areas inside the city today (20 August). There were military […]

Quid Quo, Bro

We’re still on summer break for a few more weeks, and I’ve been paying little attention to the news. One thing that did catch my eye, though, was the emerging story of the Obama administration’s $400-million ransom payment to Iran a while back — paid in a great pile of foreign currency, and brought in […]

Homeward Bound

We’re on our way back to the States — between flights at the moment, in Dusseldorf. I’ve been almost completely out of touch, but even over here the coming U.S. election seems to be attracting a lot of attention. With that in mind, then, here are a couple of interesting links that have come my […]

The Siege of Istanbul

I’m off to Vienna later this week; it seems timely. After the Turks were driven back from the heart of Europe, progressive modernism gradually expanded its range. The Sublime Porte’s senescence deepened — the shrinking Ottoman Empire began to be known as “the sick man of Europe” — and finally the unthinkable happened: the last […]

When You Strike At The King…

The coup in Turkey has failed. Naturally, Mr. Erdogan is consolidating his power, and is rounding up his enemies. The fog is still thick, though. Was it a false-flag job? Erdogan is blaming the exiled dawa jihadist Fethullah Gülen — who, from his compound in Pennsylvania, leads a large and subversive faction in Turkey. Some […]

The Ankara Reichstag?

By now you have heard that there has been a coup attempt in Turkey. The situation is still chaotic, but it appears that in Istanbul at least, the coup is failing, with soldiers surrendering their weapons to police. President Erdogan was reported earlier to have left the country, but now we hear he is in […]

Mr. Nice Guy

Yet another jihadi massacre in France last night. Eighty-four are dead as I write; the number will rise. What can I say that I haven’t said before? Not to worry, though — the Huffington Post has the answer:   Yup, we’ve got ’em right where we want ’em. Some prayers, a hashtag or two, lots […]

More on Brexit

Our previous post on diversity and Britain’s E.U. referendum drew comments both pro- and anti-Brexit. One charge was that the issue was “decided by the old but it will affect the young.” Yes, the old voted Leave. They did so as a matter of duty and honor, and out of reverence for the sovereignty and […]

Independence Day!

The U.K. votes Leave. A great and ancient nation reclaims its sovereignty and its honor, with a great big middle finger to bureaucratic globalism (and some well-deserved mud in Barack Obama’s eye). To be honest, I didn’t think they still had it in them. Related content from Sphere

War-War

Pat Buchanan is a rare voice for restraint in military adventurism. In a strong essay, published yesterday, he pushes back against the idea of going to war against Syria. A long excerpt (link added): Some 50 State Department officials have signed a memo calling on President Obama to launch air and missile strikes on the […]

Mission Accomplished

While we in the moribund West gabble self-congratulatory nonsense about the “right” and “wrong” sides of history, China — which doesn’t bother with such rubbish — is rapidly reconfiguring itself. It has always been aware of the risks that Western infection brings, and so it is clamping down on foreign influences, and on the free […]

Cutting Them Off at the Pass

We haven’t said much about the situation in Europe lately, but with warmer weather coming, “migrant” flows will increase, and the social and political climate is going to heat up as well. Already, as we see here, the Schengen idea is becoming unsupportable. I will be in Vienna in July. I wonder what things will […]

Merciful and Mighty

There’s a good article by Mark Yuray, over at Social Matter, on making a career out of secular holiness. A longish excerpt: More than 1 million illegal Middle Eastern and African migrants entered Germany in 2015, with the invitation of the German government. This year, hundreds of thousands have already arrived and a 1-2 million […]

“This Deal…”

Hot Air reports on a little wrinkle in the Iran deal. According to the Washington Free Beacon, the Islamic Republic might even be about to walk out on the thing altogether. Well, on the bright side, at least they got all that money they’ve been wanting for so long before the whole thing fell apart. […]

The Thucydides Trap

In Leviathan, Thomas Hobbes wrote the following about why humans fight: ‘So that in the nature of man, we find three principal causes of quarrel. First, competition; secondly, diffidence; thirdly, glory. The first maketh men invade for gain; the second for safety; and the third for reputation. The first use violence, to make themselves masters […]

Floating Metaphor Captured in Gulf

The big story over the past week has been the news from Iran: the ransoming of our hostages, the fat payoff for the nuclear deal (but I repeat myself), and the humiliating capture by Iran of riverine patrol boats allegedly adrift in the Gulf. Normally I’d really be digging in on this one, but it’s […]

Graveyard Of Empires

Today we learned that six U.S. soldiers were killed by a Taliban suicide bomber in Afghanistan. In today’s NightWatch newsletter, analyst John McCreary wrote: Afghanistan: The deputy governor of Helmand Province in southern Afghanistan said that the Taliban seized the police headquarters in Sangin District center, with fighting continuing. Deputy governor Mohammad Jan Rasoulyar warned […]

Stockholm Syndrome

Writing for the Gatestone Institute, Swedish journalist Ingrid Carlqvist describes the situation in her homeland — which for most of my lifetime was the holotype and exemplar of the advanced, peacable modern Western nation — as it sinks into darkness and disorder, thanks to its mass importation of wholly alien, mostly Muslim, immigrants. Swedish citizens, […]

Islam Takes The Lead

I note that Brussels, Belgium, is “locked down” for the third consecutive day in response to a threat of assault by Muslim fighters. Think of that! This great and gracious Western city, the capital of united Europe, is closed for business. Shops are shuttered, cafes and restaurants closed, public transportation suspended, and the streets, until […]

The “Refugee” Question: Further Thoughts

In the discussion thread under our previous post, a commenter directed our readers’ attention to an article by Megan McArdle on the question of settling “Syrian” “refugees” in the United States. Further discussion ensued. Ms. McArdle’s essay is helpful in that it identifies six low tactics that proponents of Syrian refugee resettlement have been using: […]

Capture-Bonding

From James Taranto’s Best of the Web, today: “There’s something different about what happened from Charlie Hebdo, and I think everybody would feel that. There was a sort of particularized focus and perhaps even a legitimacy in terms of—not a legitimacy, but a rationale that you could attach yourself to somehow and say, OK, they’re […]

Ursa Major

Today’s NightWatch newsletter consisted mostly of a detailed report on Russian actions in the Middle East. I don’t do this often, as I do not want to violate fair use of their content, but I will reproduce this section of the newsletter in its entirety below the fold. (If you have an interest in international […]

What Now?

I have said this before, and I will say it again: allowing mass Muslim immigration is the stupidest and most irreversibly self-destructive thing that any Western nation can do. So in the wake of the Paris attacks, is it reasonable to imagine that Western nations, reeling from yet another inevitable and predictable act of jihad, […]

Buyer’s Remorse

In a recent post, Cassandra’s Blues, I mentioned that some of my friends, relatives, and correspondents find my take on current events, and my outlook for our future, a little “dour”. (Okay, all of them do, and looking back over the last few entries here, I can see why they might feel that way.) I’ll […]

Meanwhile…

Here’s another strong and detailed post from M. G. at Those Who Can See, this time on the “refugee” crisis in Europe. Take the time to read it all. Related content from Sphere

Natura Abhorret A Vacuo

Big day in the Mideast: now that the Iranian deal is done, Russia is swiftly consolidating its control over Syria, and is demanding that we leave. As reported in the Jerusalem Post, the Russians are busily establishing a secure zone in the eastern Mediterranean. It appears that they are also mounting airstrikes, but not against […]

1529, 1683, 2015

Here’s a headline from the New York Times: Rise of Austrian Right Lengthens Shadow of Nazi Era The article comments on the rise in Austria of anti-immigrant sentiment. What is remarkable, although not surprising, is that the entire continuum of political opinion on the question of immigration and and of the ethnic and religious composition […]

As The World Burns

Though it’s September, and time to get back to business around here, I haven’t had enough quiet time over the past few days to do any serious writing. (Though you may find it hard to believe, it actually takes me rather a long time to produce a substantial post — and then there’s coming up […]

“I Did Everything Superhumanly Possible”

I’ve just read a book I must recommend to you all — Dear Reader: The Unauthorized Autobiography of Kim Jong Il, by Michael Malice. The book is extraordinary in that it captures, with frightening accuracy, not only the near-solipsistic narcissism of the fully developed totalitarian dictator, but also the seductiveness of the expertly managed personality […]