Benjamin Studebaker

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

Tag: John Kerry

The Paris Climate Agreement’s Failure Was Structurally Inevitable

President Trump has pulled the United States out of the Paris Climate Agreement:

Unfortunately, the Paris Agreement was poorly designed from the start and never really had a chance of meaningfully addressing climate change. Trump’s decision today was produced and facilitated by these weaknesses.

Read the rest of this entry »

John Kerry and the UN are Right about Israeli Settlements

The UN Security Council has passed Resolution 2334 by a vote of 14 to zero, with the United States choosing to abstain rather than exercise its veto. The resolution condemns Israel’s construction of settlements within the occupied Palestinian territories. The language is uncharacteristically blunt:

the establishment by Israel of settlements in the Palestinian territory occupied since 1967, including East Jerusalem, has no legal validity and constitutes a flagrant violation under international law and a major obstacle to the achievement of the two-State solution and a just, lasting and comprehensive peace

The 14 member states who voted in favor of the resolution include the remaining permanent members (Britain, France, Russia, and China) and all of the current non-permanent members (Angola, Egypt, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Senegal, Spain, Ukraine, Uruguay, and Venezuela). Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu claims the resolution is “skewed against Israel” and Donald Trump agreed, tweeting:

But both Trump and Netanyahu are mistaken–not only is Resolution 2334 not skewed against Israel, it is in Israel’s interest to abide by the resolution and abandon its settlements. Here’s why.

Read the rest of this entry »

The New Iran Deal is a Splendid Achievement

Iran has a nuclear agreement with the P5+1 group (USA, UK, France, China, Russia, Germany). This is a fantastic deal that protects and advances the interests of all signatories. Here’s why.

Read the rest of this entry »

Should Syria Give Up Its Chemical Weapons?

A journalist, whose name I cannot find, asked US Secretary of State a brilliant question–was there anything that Syria could do to avert a US intervention? Kerry responded off the cuff, telling the journalist that the Syrians could give up their chemical weapons, but that this wasn’t going to happen and couldn’t be done. The Russians and Syrians immediately jumped on the shadow of a proposal, and the president seems open to considering it. Many people, however, are very skeptical that the Syrian government would, in all actuality, follow through and give up its weapons, even if it agreed to do so. This raises an interesting question–from the perspective of Bashar al-Assad, is it in Syria’s interest to give up its chemical weapons? What is, logically, the right move for the Syrian government?

Read the rest of this entry »

Abraham Lincoln is Killing His Own People

The way the administration has been swinging coverage of the recent chemical attack in Syria and surrounding fallout has gradually sickened me severely. In the interests of levity and biting satire, I thought of an interesting notion–what if, in European countries, politicians and journalists had discussed the American Civil War within the same ideological framework that is presently used when discussing the Syrian case? Elites in the British Empire actually did seriously consider intervening in that war on behalf of the confederacy in order to secure their cotton supply, which was endangered by the union blockade. Thankfully, the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom in the 1860’s did not share John Kerry’s temperament. But what if he did?

Read the rest of this entry »