Can you imagine what we’d be discussing at this very moment if bin Ladin were alive and a prisoner of the U.S military? Can you imagine how the country would start to tear itself apart over questions variously ranging from the conditions bin Ladin should be held in, where he should be held, where he should be tried, what sort of a court should try him, what rights and legel representation he should be entitled to, etc? Do you think for a second that a prisoner bin Ladin wouldn’t provide endless fodder for political demagoguery from cynics seeking advantage by appealing to our basest instincts for revenge? Do we really want the world to witness the political opportunists in our government demanding a public, televised execution (or worse)?
And then there’s this: what do we do when American citizens around the world start disappearing, kidnapped by radicals who demand bin Ladin’s release in exchange for the lives of their kidnapping victims? How many more grainy video tapes of innocent Americans being decapitated by Islamic radicals are we willing to put up with?
What actually transpired that night was a mere technicality. Osama bin Ladin had to die in that raid. It was the only possible outcome.
This is why i think it is not unreasonable to think Osama was actually captured alive for interrogation. His premature death is announced to avoid complications.
Michael Moore made a good point on the state of America where politician dont want to capture Osama alive because of the venomous partisan politicking.
Americans are reacting to Osama’s death like bunch of frat boys, and understandably so. After a decade of fail policy response to 9/11: two non-victory wars, thousands of dead soldiers, war cost (3 trillion), tarnished American image, and degrading liberty (a list). Americans just want some closure, some silver lining, and an end to this nightmare, even though deep down they know, they overreacted to 9/11 and the damage is done. Now its time to move on, and get back on your feet. I wish you well America.
Conversation With History is back with few months backlog of videos of interview with characteristically eminent scholars and people of insight uploaded to a refurbished site. Listened to Adam Segal’s interview yesterday, it was a great overview of the US-China-India political economy landscape, from an American perspective. Should check it out. Its layperson friendly. [Youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vSAoOMgNLpQ]
During the 70s and 80s, Vietnam War, the oil check, economic stagnation and the supposedly superior political economy system of Japan were prompting eminent scholars to write books title “Japan as Number One” and “The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers” prophesying the decline of American superpower. But it was not meant to be. In the early 90s, America’s biggest military rival and economic rival, respectively the Soviet Union dissolved, and Japan went into a decade of very low growth. While America rebounded to the longest continued economic growth in its history and just as its military seems invincible in the Gulf War, taking less than 150 casualties during the entire war. American preeminence, let to books title “The End of History” and articles like “The Unipolar Moment“. The declaration of American decline was premature, until now. Continue reading →
The end of history
Francis Fukuyama’s The End of History thesis famously argued that liberal democracy is the final form of government. Its key premise: successful industrialization will inevitably create an large educated middle class that demands democracy. An indicator of how far along industrialization will liberal democracy emerges, as noted by Francis Fukuyama, is when the country have around USD6,000 purchasing power (in 1992 PPP USD). This premise has largely been correct since its pronouncement, with the exception of Singapore and a handful of resources-rich states where purchasing power could raise without creating a large educated middle class.
Since China enter WTO in 2001, China’s purchasing power has ballooned to USD4,700, after adjusting inflation and purchasing power parity, closing in on the USD6,000 milestone. However the size of its educated middle class is far from the average of countries considered free fry Freedom House.
Now that the Arab world is officially in transition…
Officials did not immediately confirm the report that Gamal Mubarak has fled to the British capital with his wife and daughter aboard a private jet.The jet with Mubarak, his family and 97 pieces of luggage on board left for London on Tuesday from an airport in western Cairo, according to the US-based Akhbar al-Arab.
Weeks of unrest in Tunisia eventually toppled president Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali earlier this month. The anti-government protests in Egypt broke out after opposition groups waged an internet campaign inspired by the Tunisian uprising.
An anti-riot police officer was killed in clashes on Tuesday in central Cairo, Egyptian daily ‘al-Wafd’ reported. Egyptian security forces reported used tear gas, fire hoses, and clubs to disperse protesters in Tahrir Square, downtown Cairo.
… We can formulate a theory of the initiating point of this transition. I locate Obama’s speech in Cairo“A New Beginning”. From this point radiates these recent turbulence in the Arab world. Yes, Tunisia caught the State Department completely by surprise. But what Obama did was precisely lessen the tension between the Arab nations and the US, and this in turn meant, for the subjects of Arab nations and also Iran, more anger could be committed to local rather than international matters. None of this would be happening if George W. Bush were in power. All he could do was intensify Arab nationalism, and this nationalism benefited the rulers, kept them in power, kept attention away from their dark doings. This is only a rough theory. More information will, of course, change this theory. Egypt is a complicated country.
This is the perfect demonstration of statesmanship and soft power.