Hugo Chavez's defeat in the referendum is extremely welcome, not because Chavez was defeated but because democracy won. A hint from Indian democracy, where someone in power is defeated virtually every month, given the number of states in the Union and the haywire schedule of elections: it is always the one per cent that makes the decisive difference. It’s that one percent that is beyond the reach of either oil or any well-oiled state machinery. God is on the side of One Percent.
December 6, 2007 2:56 PM
September 19, 2007 11:00 AM
The question needs to be reversed: only a strong state can build a strong military, and not the other way around. Wherever the military has taken over the state, or made itself synonymous with the state’s preservation, both the military and the state have weakened. Protected by the thin veneer of false patriotism, a military regime with civilian authority destroys the very principles that make an armed force viable – accountability being at the top of the list.
September 10, 2007 3:48 PM
One wonders if it has struck anyone in Washington that America's adversaries - enemies is an inappropriate word in the post-Soviet world - want America to remain mired in the poisonous swamp of Iraq for the foreseeable future. The real prison in Iraq is not the one holding prisoners in Abu Ghraib, but the black hole that has transformed American foreign policy into a tunnel with only two departure points: Iraq and its neighbor Iran.
July 25, 2007 7:01 AM
"After Tamerlane" by John Darwin is a good two-in-one -- read it to learn, and also escape -- because the thriving detail is great fun, because it subverts official wisdom about the British and other empires with great panache, and because it is weighty enough to hold the towel down on a windy day at the beach.
June 14, 2007 9:55 AM
Feral is such a lovely and unusual word: it was not included in the 1981 edition of the Oxford Universal Dictionary which sustains my need for a tame vocabulary. I turned for help to The Wordsworth Dictionary of the Underworld, just in case a term used for media might be lying there. I got "ferret" (to cheat a person) and "ferry" (a prostitute, Australian; she carries many passengers), but alas no "feral."
April 30, 2007 9:47 AM
Brilliant proposition, but there is a third “mine” – undermine.
April 22, 2007 1:08 PM
There won't be a world war over global warming, but there won't be global peace either.
April 13, 2007 9:34 AM
Could these global economic leaders please find some space in the emerging economies for those who work in production lines and services, who have been displaced by technology?
March 18, 2007 11:00 PM
What is the Left? More accurately, what is left of the Left? The Left was an active rainbow of ideologies until Lenin's Soviet Union went belly-up and Mao Zedong's Communists officially adopted heresy under the guidance of Chairman Deng, who did not care what the color of the cat was as long as it caught mice. The Red Book of Mao was dumped for the Black Book of Deng; red and black became the colors of the ink on the new Chinese national balance sheet, and red was not the preferred hue.
January 12, 2007 2:43 PM
New Delhi, India - In ten years, George Bush's legacy will be evident. In Iraq, give two years for the departure of American troops, three years for local power struggles, and five years for consolidation and recovery.