The Case Against Our Attack on Libya
March 20, 2011
There are so many things wrong with the Libyan intervention that it is hard to know where to begin. So, a few big things, in no particular order: First, it is radically unclear what the purpose of the intervention is—there is no endgame, as a U.S. official told reporters. Is the goal to rescue a failed rebellion, turn things around, use Western armies to do what the rebels couldn’t do themselves: overthrow Qaddafi? Or is it just to keep the fighting going for as long as possible, in the hope that the rebellion will catch fire, and Libyans will get rid of the Qaddafi regime by themselves?
March 18, 2011
Updates and curiosities from around the web. As first mentioned last week, plans for a major coal exporting terminal on the Columbia River are getting reconsidered. Environmentalists had opposed the Longview, Wash. development that would export millions of tons of Powder River Basin coal to China. If you want to get hyperlocal, why not partner with America’s most prolific snowstorm tweeting mayor, Newark’s Cory Booker?
After the Disaster
March 17, 2011
Beijing, China—Despite nuclear, geological and logistical disasters unfolding simultaneously, deciding to leave Tokyo on Monday was not a quick decision. My departure was no reflection of the endurance of the Japanese people to overcome this disaster. No doubt, within the nuclear power plants, there are sleepless men, everyday working men, continuing at tremendous personal peril to ensure the safety of millions. Heroic seems an understatement to describe their efforts, and they are not alone. I left because, unlike so many people there, I could—a lucky privilege I did not take for granted.
The Fourth Wave
March 14, 2011
Alexis de Tocqueville once wrote that all the great events of the past 700 years—from the Crusades and English wars that decimated the nobles, to the discovery of firearms and the art of printing, to the rise of Protestantism and the discovery of America—had the ineluctable effect of advancing the principle of equality. Political scientist Samuel Huntington went further and identified several historical waves of democratization. The First Wave began with our own revolution in 1776, which was quickly followed by the French Revolution.
It’s All the Same Atmosphere, Right?
March 08, 2011
As the state of Washington seems on the verge of legislating away its last coal-fired power plant (albeit by 2025), it’s also poised, perhaps, to become a major exporter of Powder River Basin coal … to China.
China’s Jittery Leaders
March 03, 2011
This is the first in our package of articles about the Middle East revolts and the future of autocracy worldwide. Click here to read about the Muslim Brotherhood, here to read about Russia's deep despair, and here to read about Venezuela's lost generation. No one thinks about their own demise more than the leaders of China’s Communist Party. Since the collapse of the Soviet Union and its Eastern European satellites, they have undertaken a massive effort to study why some one-party states survive while others fail.
Small Urban Manufacturers Make it in the U.S.A.
February 11, 2011
Last year, my then-six-year-old daughter went through a period of being enamored by all things made in China.
CPAC: Donald Trump Can't Be Serious About Running. Can He?
February 10, 2011
The big news out of this year's Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC)? Donald Trump—oh yes, Donald Trump—might run for president in 2012, as a Republican. He was a last-minute addition to the speaker's roster, and after he bounded up on stage here at the Marriott Wardman in Washington, D.C.—to calls of "You're Hired!"—he told the ecstatic crowd of conservatives that he'd make a decision by June. "The United States has become a whipping post for the rest of the world," Trump said.
Does Huntsman Stand a Chance in 2012?
February 02, 2011
The Beltway is buzzing over former Utah Governor Jon Huntsman’s suddenly revived 2012 ambitions. Huntsman is reportedly about to resign as Obama’s ambassador to China in order to “explore” a White House bid, and a cabal of advisers who were prominent in John McCain’s 2008 campaign is plotting his strategy. At least on one level, the Huntsman boomlet isn’t terribly surprising.
Mega-Minded: Creating the World’s Biggest Metro
February 01, 2011
with Carey Anne Nadeau NEW YORK--Federal, state, and local governments along the upper Eastern seaboard yesterday announced a $300 billion, five-year plan to fully integrate 12 metropolitan areas stretching from Boston to Washington, D.C., with upgraded transportation, energy, water, and telecommunications networks. The new Northeast Corridor (or “NoCo,” superseding “Bos-Wash”) region (see map) will house upwards of 44 million people and generate about 19 percent of U.S.