Thursday, May 29, 2008

Lost Tonight

Season 4 of Lost concludes tonight, and Ginia Bellafante of the New York Times is excited about the truly unique show.

Good dramas confound our expectations, but “Lost,” about a factionalized group of plane crash survivors on a cartographically indeterminate island not anything like Aruba, pushes further, destabilizing the ground on which those expectations might be built. It is an opiate, and like all opiates, it produces its own masochistic delirium.

4 Comments:

Anonymous b.rose said...

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080530/ap_on_el_pr/mccain_league_of_democracies;_ylt=Agmy6DiFNBB2qHBeh8GrD0EGw_IE

Interesting idea there. I always felt we ended up in Iraq in large part due to the failures of the U.N.; specifically the power held in the U.N. by countries with economic ties to Iraq, who constantly allowed Iraq to duck U.N. mandates.

I definitely believe that if the U.N. were effective we could have avoided war in Iraq. As it was it became clear to us that the U.N. would never really control Saddam's WMD programs. Less than two years removed from 9/11, convinced the UN is never going to help and with intelligence saying Saddam had biological and chemcial weapons the decision to go to war was a lot more logical than it seems today in faded memory of what the situation actually was in 2003. I also believe it's highly irrelevant whether we found WMD in Iraq or not; they'd used them in the past and certainly would have continued their programs in the future.

Any thoughts on this proposed complimentary league of nations to the UN?

9:36 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080530/ap_on_el_pr/mccain_league_of_democracies_4

hopefully the whole link posts this time

12:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

f it

WASHINGTON - Gaining ground this political season is a proposed League of Democracies designed to strengthen support for the next president's overseas agenda and ensure a global leadership role for the United States.

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John McCain, the virtually certain Republican presidential nominee, has endorsed the concept of a new global compact of more than 100 democratic countries to advance shared views and has discussed the idea with French and British leaders.

"It could act where the U.N. fails to act," he said last month, and pressure tyrants "with or without Moscow's and Beijing's approval."

McCain said the League might impose sanctions on Iran, relieve suffering in the Darfur region of Sudan and deal with environmental problems.

Barack Obama, who has a lead in the race for the Democratic presidential nomination, has not taken a stand. But Anthony Lake, one of Obama's policy advisers, has spoken in favor of the idea.

Analysts at think tanks in Washington and elsewhere envision a league focused on maintaining peace and limiting U.S. military intervention, such as the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq.

But missing so far are specific, proposed steps to turn the idea into reality, such as where to have a headquarters, who would finance the league and how its membership would be decided.

"Cooperation is an absolute essential," Ivo Daalder, a national security expert at the Brookings Institution, said Thursday at a seminar.

An originator of the idea, Daalder said it would give democracies a better opportunity to reform the United Nations.

"If there had been a dialogue on Iraq there would have been more rigorous containment of Saddam Hussein," possibly averting war, said Tod Lindberg, a Hoover Institution research fellow, at the seminar held at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

But not all foreign policy experts support the proposal.

Thomas Carothers, vice president for studies at Carnegie, said "the world has no appetite for a U.S.-led league and many countries do not want the U.S. going around the U.N."

In fact, Carothers said, the United States cooperates often with non-democracies in its foreign policy. China's help in trying to end North Korea's nuclear weapons program is just one example, he said.

President Bush's Iraq war policy was bitterly opposed by two leading democracies, France and Germany, among others. But Bush went ahead despite their strong objections.

"It is wishful thinking" that a league of democracies would any more readily approve U.S. military intervention in support of another U.S. president, Carothers said.

And while "some people like Senator McCain imagine it might become a replacement for the U.N., that is not the initial intention," Carothers said in a telephone interview after the seminar.

1:00 PM  
Blogger lonely libertarian said...

A bad idea- not terrible, but probably rather worthless. As the article notes, Germany and France both strongly opposed war with Iraq and as you note, even sanctions were ineffective because of those same economic ties. Having what amounts to a second UN, no matter how better organized and well run, doesn't really solve those problems.

The idea of a league of nations has been around since Woodrow Wilson and the waning days of the first World War- the problem is the lack of any real authority by any such organization.

Personally I think the UN's failure to deal with issues like Iraq and even more importantly, with issues like Islamic terrorism, is just part of the failure of internationalism in general. There's virtually nothing that every country, every part of the world can agree on, and without a literal world government, there's no reason and no mechanism for compromise.

3:21 PM  

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