January 17, 2007
Rogue State America: Has America become a rogue state? (John B. Judis, 1/17/07, TNR Online)
What exactly are we doing in the Horn of Africa, where we have encouraged the Christian government of Ethiopia to invade Somalia and replace its Islamic government? As far as I can tell, we have violated international law, committed war crimes, helped Al Qaeda recruit new members, and involved ourselves in a guerrilla war that could last decades. It’s Iraq writ small. And it can’t be blamed on Donald Rumsfeld.
There’s an old principle of international law, going back to the seventeenth century, against one nation violating the sovereignty of another. It was often breached, but, after two world wars, it was enshrined in the United Nations charter. We criticized the Soviet invasions of Hungary and Czechoslovakia and justified the first Gulf war on these grounds. The purpose of this principle has been to prevent wars that could arise if more powerful countries simply took it into their hands to dominate smaller, less powerful ones. […]
In the 1990s, foreign policy experts, eager to identify a new enemy, hit upon the concept of a “rogue state.” A rogue state operated outside the bounds of international norms and had to be restrained. The obvious candidates at the time were Libya, Iraq, and North Korea. But the Bush administration has turned the United States itself into a rogue state. Tough-minded conservatives, flexing their “muscular” inclinations from comfortable sinecures in Washington, may dismiss concerns about international law and war crimes as inventions of silly panty-waist liberals. But these inventions, which, in the modern era, were championed by Theodore Roosevelt, were meant to protect Americans as well as other peoples from the wars and the inhumanity that prevailed for thousands of years. We ignore them at their peril, whether in Haditha or Ras Kamboni.
Mr. Judis is correct about the intervention being a mistake vis-a-vis the Somali people, but if he’s just now noticing that we’re a rogue state and sovereignty is a dead letter he doesn’t pay much attention to American history.
January 9, 2007
If you’re going to be near a computer this evening, you can access an interview about the book on:
Twin State Journal, a live radio program that broadcasts from 6-7 in the evening on WNTK Talk Radio from Lebanon, NH
May 17, 2006
From Kennedy’s Cold War to the War on Terror: Gareth Jenkins looks for continuities in American foreign policy from the 1960s to the 2000s. (Gareth Jenkins, June 2006, History Today)
‘The United States is in the early years of a long struggle, similar to what our country faced in the early years of the Cold War. The 20th century witnessed the triumph of freedom over the threats of fascism and communism. Yet a new totalitarian ideology now threatens, an ideology grounded not in secular philosophy but in the perversion of a proud religion.’
–US National Security Strategy, March 2006
The US invasion of Iraq of 2003 is viewed by many as a historical watershed, as ushering in a new era in which the world’s only superpower feels unconstrained in resorting to pre-emptive military action to achieve its strategic goals. For the first time in more than half a century the term imperialism has regained common currency, and there is renewed interest in understanding the European scramble for colonies in the late nineteenth century.
No doubt the period we are entering does in many ways mark a new historical phase. Global power relations are accommodating rapidly to new economic realities – the collapse of the Soviet bloc, the rise of China and India and the emergence of structural weaknesses in the US economy. Nevertheless, as George Bush recently reminded us, there are many continuities with the past half century of the American exercise of power.
There have been continual assaults on the sovereignty of Third World countries, backed by covert and overt military interventions, throughout the period since the Cold War was launched. […]
The ideological underpinnings of America’s projection of its global power are very different today from what they were in Kennedy’s time. During the Cold War, Washington could at least point to an enemy that controlled a huge state armed with nuclear weapons. Today one is asked to believe that life as we know it is threatened from a cave in Afghanistan, or by Saddam’s weapons of mass destruction that no one could find, or by a civil nuclear programme in Iran that could, one day perhaps, morph into a military programme.
The ideological underpinnings never waver, only the
May 1, 2006
Bookviews (Alan Caruba, May 2006)
In a world of many international organizations and treaties, the issue of American sovereignty was never more important. That’s why Redefining Sovereignty, edited by Orrin C. Judd, ($29.95, Smith and Kraus, Lyme, New Hampshire) is an important book. It raises the question of whether liberal democracies will continue to determine their own laws and public policies or yield these rights to transnational entities in search of universal order and justice. Essays and opinions that represent both the Left and the Right allow the reader to come to their own opinion.
March 31, 2006
AUDIO: Last Night’s Show – Extreme Sovereignty! (Bruno Behrend, 3/30/06, Extreme Wisdom Radio, WKRS 1220 AM)
The Podcast is UP!
NOTE! – after you click the link, the file takes time to download. Keep browsing in another window, and it will start automatically. Turn your volume to about 2/3rds.
Last Night’s show featured an indepth interview with the author/editor of “Redefining Sovereignty” and blogger extraordinaire Orrin Judd.
If you want to get a graduate school level education on Sovereignty, foreign affairs, and international current events combined, buy this book.