- Man’s power over nature.
- What role “credibility” in post Cold War foreign policy?
- Excellence in local reporting.
- Copt attack in D.C.
Thinking about things I’ve posted here in the last few days, I realized there was an older voice of one who’d like to join in.
C.S. Lewis somewhere wrote that “man’s power over nature” is a euphemism for “the power of some men over other men with nature as their instrument.” And I believe it was he who also suggested that the power of contraception (which was nowhere near as prevalent when he wrote) was the ultimate power of preventing posterity from even existing.
Wallace Stegner’s categories of “boomers” and “stickers,” channeled through Wendell Berry, particularly evoke that.
Sloppy analogies like the infamous “domino theory” helped convince Americans that we had to fight in places that didn’t matter (e.g., Vietnam) in order to convince everyone that we’d also be willing to fight in places that did. We also managed to convince ourselves that credible nuclear deterrence depended on having a mythical ability to “prevail” in an all-out nuclear exchange, even though winning would have had little meaning once a few dozen missiles had been fired.
Nonetheless, in the rigid, bipolar context of the Cold War, it made sense for the United States to pay some attention to its credibility as an alliance leader and security provider. But today, the United States faces no peer competitor, and it is hard to think of any single event that would provoke a rapid and decisive shift in the global balance of power.
The bottom line is that the United States is in a terrific position to play realpolitik on a global scale, precisely because it needs alliance partners less than most of its partners do.
I wish I could say “my thoughts exactly!,” but I can’t. It is a semi-charitable explanation of how post-Cold War America has lost its way.
We have a lot of wretched reporting in the local newspaper. This one wasn’t. Read the first five or six paragraphs. Excellent!
I don’t normally believe in physical violence, but I can at least sympathize:
A group of fringe extremists had proven that with a little bit of money and an unbelievably cynical scam, they could shape history to fit their apocalyptic vision. But in the end, they were not immune to the violence they incited.
According to Copts Today, an Arabic news outlet focusing on Coptic affairs, Sadek was seen taking a leisurely stroll down Washington’s M Street on September 11, soaking in the sun on a perfect autumn day. All of a sudden, he found himself surrounded by four angry Coptic women. Berating Sadek for fueling the flames of sectarian violence, the women took off their heels and began beating him over the head.
“If anything happens to a Christian in Egypt,” one of them shouted at him, “you’ll be the reason!”
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I’ll be travelling, so blogging may be spotty for a week.