Benjamin Studebaker

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

Tag: Pakistan

The Left’s Technophobic Streak

Lately I’ve found myself making an observation about the modern political left–it has a tendency to fall into a rather unbecoming technophobia. On a slew of issues, from guns to drones to surveillance to GMO food to nuclear power, there is an increasing tendency for people on the left to attack the new technologies themselves instead of any specific use or consequence thereof.

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Dead Baby Interventionism

Lately I’ve been noticing a new social networking trend–the tendency for people who are passionate about a given humanitarian crisis (examples include Syria, drones in Pakistan, Kony in the Congo–surprisingly, not Mali) to post pictures of various dead, injured, or disfigured babies or children who purportedly were killed, injured, or disfigured over the course of their respective conflicts. Accompanying the pictures is usually some caption designed to engender empathy (one such example I recall was “imagine if this were your child”). This strikes me as somewhat simplistic. Not much critical thought is being given to what the responsibilities of developed states are. Instead, the entire discussion is being reduced to “children are dying, this is bad, developed states can stop bad things, developed states should stop this”. So today I’d like to think about it a little bit deeper than that.

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Territorial Disputes and the Future of Asia

It has been in and out of the corner of the western press’s eye the last few years. China has been flexing its muscle in Asia, attempting to press claims to territory, both land and sea, on its various borders. This has not gone unnoticed by China’s neighbours,  who are quite furious with China over some of its more belligerent acts. The matter has been simmering, off and on, for some time. What I find most interesting about it, however, is how this dispute has set the nations of Asia against each other, dividing it between two sides, one pro-China, the other against.

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Mohamed Morsi, Inept Bumbler

In the western press, it is common to perceive Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi’s recent declaration of sweeping authority as a shrewd power grab by the newest regional autocrat. In light of the most recent development–Morsi revoking his despised decree–it occurs to me that perhaps the west has been too quick to assume malevolence on Morsi’s part. What we have here is not a man seizing power through cleverness and guile. Instead we have a bumbling oaf who lacks the political nuance to effectively govern Egypt and who has not made clever moves, but a series of disastrous missteps, the consequences of which could be severe.

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Is the Alliance with Israel in the US National Interest?

One of the long-standing assumptions of American foreign policy is that the United States’ alliance with Israel is a high priority and, consequently, Israel must be defended. Today I’d like to look at where this assumption originates from, whether or not it still has applicability, and what are the consequences that arise from it for the United States in terms of the national interest.

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