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World Order, Under Siege? | Hoover Institution

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3 diverse contemporary issues, all covered thoughtfully....

I added an image to this conversation that shows why it's possible Iran believed the U.S. was trying to surround it.

As I'm reading the Hoover Institution article, I'm struck by how much the actions of 20th century history still very much affect what's happening in the world today.

Great explanation of why Germany can afford to subsidize Europe's future:

Since the 1871 political unification of German-speaking peoples, the German nation has been able to produce abundant goods and services at a clip not explicable by either population or resources. Only a hazier cultural notion of “German-ness” seems to explain the dynamism.

Great explanation of why it's increasingly likely Israel and Iran will go to war:

History will not permit Netanyahu to dispassionately weigh a preemptive strike on the basis of supposed gains and losses, as the Western nations can do. Instead, he will remember that, not so long ago, millions of liberal-minded Europeans, British, and Americans either would not, or could not, stop the Holocaust before it extinguished half of the world’s Jewry. He can little afford, in tragic fashion, to depend on anyone’s sense of right except his own.

Both of these are informed by and motivated by what happened in World War II.

The last 70 years have only made those forces stronger.

In an interconnected world, the Middle East has an outsized impact on policy because the world is so dependent on oil.

I'm fairly certain it saddened Obama to have to adopt these policies:

In terms of actual conduct, the United States, which was never a colonial power in the Middle East, helped Muslims resist Soviet aggression in Afghanistan. It liberated Kuwait from Saddam Hussein, tried to protect Palestinians in Kuwait from reprisals, gave billions of dollars in aid to Palestinians, Jordanians, and Egyptians, and intervened to feed starving Somali Muslims. America has generously welcomed in Muslims fleeing the illiberal conditions of their homelands. And it bombed a European and Christian Slobodan Milosevic to save Bosnian and Kosovar Muslims, while jousting with Vladimir Putin over his mass killing of Chechnya Muslims in Grozny.

Given that historical reality, given that another forty Islamic terrorist plots against the United States were foiled during the Obama administration, and given that American popularity in the Middle East now polls no higher than during the Bush administration—despite Obama’s reminders that his own upbringing was well versed in Islam—Obama has gradually changed course. He has had to embrace almost all of the prior Bush-Cheney protocols.

I've been thinking about this paragraph ever since reading it: "If we are perplexed by why Germany and its critics act in strange ways, or why Benjamin Netanyahu makes a supposed pest of himself, or why even progressive presidents eventually shed their rhetoric and adopt realist attitudes about the Middle East, history instructs us that they really have little other choice."

History is a cunning set of actions and reactions.

There's not as much choice as I thought there was when I was younger.

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