Worth Reading

One of the joys, and also frustrations, of living in Washington DC is that there are so many interesting talks going on around town, and so many interesting people to see. Add to that the regular flow of interesting articles that comes one’s way. Below are some pieces I found particularly helpful this week:

  1. My friend David Newman’s op ed in the Jerusalem Post on the dreadful state of the Israeli-Palestinian non-negotiations: Actions Not Slogans, For the New Year 
  2. Mark Danner’s appropriation of Agamben (following in the footsteps of a horde of acedemics) to engage the legal order still in place in the wake of 9/11. Yesterday at the Newseum Dick Cheney pointed to the assassination of al Awlaki as something he supported but then, pushing back at Obama’s speech in Cairo where he said the following: “Nine-eleven was an enormous trauma to our country.  The fear and anger that it provoked was understandable, but in some cases, it led us to act contrary to our traditions and our ideals.” Cheney said how can Obama criticize Bush for “enhanced interrogation techniques”, which kept the US safe and were not torture in Cheney’s book, when he’s just order the assassination of an American citizen! Incidently, Ron Paul suggested this action was ‘impeachable’ and a movement towards ‘tyranny.’
  3. The event at Carnegie on South Ossetia on ground-level peacebuilding efforts which are being patiently nurtured by Susan Allen Nan (audio available).
  4. The brilliant Liz Fuller’s analysis of the South Ossetian ‘elections’ which reveal how power operates there and what is potentially on the cards for the future (what some will undoubtedly call an Ossetian Anschluss, others a natural and inevitable union of territories that never should have been separated into two different polities).

About Dr Gerard Toal

Irish born academic living in Washington DC researching geopolitical competition and territorial conflicts in post-Communist Europe. Author of CRITICAL GEOPOLITICS (1996), BOSNIA REMADE (w C Dahlman) and NEAR ABROAD: PUTIN, THE WEST AND THE CONTEST OVER UKRAINE AND THE CAUCASUS (Oxford University Press, 2017).
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