After an unexpected hiatus from blogging activities, kick starting the first post of the week with some thoughts on events that would have merited longer posts at the time.
- I liked the general tenor of Barack Obama’s speech but was amused to see some of the blinders come off on the left and the right as a result. Liberals unhappy about the decision on Afghanistan saw the president expound a doctrine of just war which in some ways could have been delivered by George W. Bush. Conservatives who had convinced themselves that Obama was a weak anti-war liberal seem to have heard for the first time that the President does not rule out war (they seem to have forgotten his comment in the campaign that he was only against “stupid wars” (though he left may argue that the Afghan escalation IS a stupid war). Time will tell whether the “Obama Doctrine” fares better than the “Bush Doctrine.” With its understanding of the limitations of American power, it does have a greater chance of success.
- The Indian government dropped a bombshell with the creation of a new state. Will discuss the virtues and pitfalls of smaller states in the Indian constitutional context later this week, but words cannot describe how badly the decision making process was bungled. First the government gave in to emotional blackmail of a hunger strike, then nobody seems to have discussed the decision with the local government and laid the groundwork, and the critical question of who gets Hyderabad still remains unanswered. The abrupt decision making process has also suddenly brought to the forefront demands for at least 9 new states. Before the virtues of these demands are assessed, first the Indian government deserves brickbats for sheer incompetence.
- The Iranian regime returns Shirin Ebadi’s Nobel peace prize medal. Previous blog here.
- One of the two Chicago men arrested for planning a terrorist attack in Denmark seems to be singing about his involvement in the 26/11 Mumbai attacks. Not surprisingly, India wants him extradited.
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