Benjamin Studebaker

Yet Another Attempt to Make the World a Better Place by Writing Things

Tag: Embargo

Cuba Under Fidel Castro

When an important leader dies or leaves office, I sometimes like to write retrospective posts on their performance. There are any number of places where you can get a Fidel Castro obituary–what I’m offering is a hard look at the consequences Castro’s policies had for the Cuban people. My intent is neither to polish nor tarnish Castro’s image, but to present his government’s policies and institutions as they were.

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Relax: Turkey and Russia Will Not Go to War

Turkey has shot down a Russian jet that strayed into its airspace. The Turks claim they issued 10 warnings, while the Russians claim they never heard one of them. Over the last few days, many people have speculated on social media that this may lead to World War III. This needlessly stirs up fear–Russia and Turkey will not go to war over something like this. Instead both countries will say bellicose things to stir up support at home while trying to deescalate the situation with relatively muted, token responses. Those claiming otherwise are drastically overestimating Russia’s power and consequently its aggressiveness.

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Cuba: Why Obama Made the Right Call

US President Barack Obama has decided to normalize relations with Cuba. Since 1960, the United States has attempted to isolate, weaken, and ultimately destroy the Castro regime by cutting off diplomatic ties, imposing a trade embargo, and preventing American tourists from visiting Cuba. Given that the US has been following this strategy for 54 years but the Castros remain in power, it’s reasonable to question the efficacy of that policy. So let’s look into it.

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The Yom Kippur War Butterfly Effect: How the Arab-Israeli Conflict Inadvertently Led to the Global Economic Crisis of 2008

We often hear the argument that the American alliance with Israel is damaging to the American interest due to the Islamic terrorism it yields. Many Muslims resent the United States for aiding Israel at the expense of the Palestinians, and this resentment is often fertile grounds for radicalization when combined with the economic hopelessness many young Muslims face in their home countries. Today, however, I’d like to discuss something different–the extent to which the US alliance with Israel contributed to the global economic crisis in 2008.

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Stephen Hawking’s Israel Boycott

Stephen Hawking was scheduled to do a conference in Jerusalem, but has backed out, choosing to respect the academic boycott of Israel. The academic boycott seeks to show the Israeli case to be analogous to the South African case–during the apartheid era in South Africa, many academics chose to boycott that country. Is Stephen Hawking right to respect the academic boycott?

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