Brecher Brief




Recent Entries

Syndicate this site (XML)

Powered by

Movable Type 3.17

« January 2007 | Main | March 2007 »

February 08, 2007

China's "Authoritarian Resilience"

In the February & March issue of Policy Review, Ying Ma maks a series of observations regarding Chinese "authoritarian resilience" (great coinage) that closely paralell an essay on Chinargh that was noted briefly on this site. The money quote:

While current U.S. efforts to promote democracy in China are necessary and important, they do not always counter the sources of Chinese authoritarian resilience discussed here. Certainly, American actions will not and cannot eliminate all of these sources. For instance, the United States should not wade into the quandary of slowing Chinese economic growth and cannot stop the Chinese government from institutionalizing itself or co-opting its rival political groups. Nevertheless, Washington should and can do more to combat other sources of authoritarian resilience by strengthening China’s political opposition and countering the regime’s restriction of coordination goods that range from press freedoms to the ability to organize. In addition, the United States should begin a serious effort to confront the Chinese government’s aggressive ideological indoctrination of its citizens against democratization.

She goes on to outline her proposals. Must reading.

Posted by stevemack at 03:44 PM | Comments (1640) | TrackBack

February 01, 2007

Brzezinski: Iraq A Historic, Strategic and Moral Calamity

This is a must read. In testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations committee Zbigniew Brzezinski offers a razor sharp analysis of the war:

It is time for the White House to come to terms with two central realities:

1. The war in Iraq is a historic, strategic, and moral calamity. Undertaken under false assumptions, it is undermining America's global legitimacy. Its collateral civilian casualties as well as some abuses are tarnishing America's moral credentials. Driven by Manichean impulses and imperial hubris, it is intensifying regional instability.

2. Only a political strategy that is historically relevant rather than reminiscent of colonial tutelage can provide the needed framework for a tolerable resolution of both the war in Iraq and the intensifying regional tensions.

If the United States continues to be bogged down in a protracted bloody involvement in Iraq, the final destination on this downhill track is likely to be a head-on conflict with Iran and with much of the world of Islam at large. A plausible scenario for a military collision with Iran involves Iraqi failure to meet the benchmarks; followed by accusations of Iranian responsibility for the failure; then by some provocation in Iraq or a terrorist act in the U.S. blamed on Iran; culminating in a "defensive" U.S. military action against Iran that plunges a lonely America into a spreading and deepening quagmire eventually ranging across Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, and Pakistan.

I've been on the lookout for any reference in the press or from Administration to "actual" Iranian armed provocations inside Iraq. I've seen none. But of Administration sabor rattling there's no shortage.

Posted by stevemack at 10:01 AM | Comments (464) | TrackBack

"A Whitman for our Time."
- Jerome Loving,
"Stephen John Mack's The Pragmatic Whitman: Reimagining American Democracy, [is] The most thoroughly informed philosophical reading of Whitman to appear in decades. Mack develops the premise . . . That Whitman shares with John Dewey a vision of democracy as a 'civic religion' in America, a profoundly secularist and progressive perspective.

- M. Jimmie Killingsworth, Texas A & M University
November 2016
Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
    1 2 3 4 5
6 7 8 9 10 11 12
13 14 15 16 17 18 19
20 21 22 23 24 25 26
27 28 29 30