Sunday Blog Wrap

by A. Jay Adler on May 9, 2010
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Shmuel Rosner, Rosner’s DomainEngagement worked: And the result?

The U.S. keeps Iran off the United Nations Human Rights Council and what happens? Why, the next best thing, for dedicated students of the absurd: Iran is admitted to membership on the U.N. Commission on the Status of Women. The U.S. should never have joined the HRC under the Obama administration.

Sometimes, the best way to reform something from within is from without.

Blake Hounshell, Foreign Policy OnlineThe U.N’s Go-To Guy

No, everything the U.N. does is not ludicrous. It is an expression, at its best, of our highest aspirations, brought regularly low by our basest selves, which is pretty much the history and struggle of civilization. One of its noblest figures, one of its heros, movie star handsome, Cary Grant debonair, yet dedicated in his life to aiding others, was the late Sergio Vieira de Mello, killed in a Baghdad bomb blast in 2003.

He was the ultimate diplomatic weapon: tough, suave, fluent in five languages, unafraid to parachute into a war zone or go toe-to- toe with the bad guys, and — yes, it helped — devastatingly handsome.

Sergio Vieira de Mello had a smile as wide as Copacabana Beach and a distinguished U.N. pedigree nearly as long. An admiring journalist described him in 1994 as “a cross between James Bond and Bobby Kennedy” — a rare blend of dashing, by-any-means-necessary man of action and soaring idealist.

The HBO tribute to Vieira de Mello, from Samantha Power‘s book, was inspiring and moving.

Oliver KammOn the fringe

Maybe the best news from the British elections: George Galloway loses his seat in parliament. Oh, yes, it’s true – sometimes good things happen to bad people.

A Washington Post SymposiumIs President Obama’s Afghanistan strategy working?

From the experts. The answer: Yes. No. It’ starting to. It’s too soon to tell.

Now I can sleep.

David Brook, The New York TimesLeading With Two Minds

Yes it is a narrative of the U.S. military’s rapid transformation from big war fighting to counter insurgency (COIN) thinking, but it is even more about the necessity, always, of dynamic critical thinking processes that foster challenge, critique, and innovation.

Fred Kaplan, Slate -Full Disclosure

“Why President Obama revealed how many weapons are in the U.S. nuclear stockpile.” Were 31,255 nuclear warheads in 1967 enough? Are 5113 now? Does the nuclear non-proliferation treaty mean anything for the U.S.? While keeping themselves safe, exactly now do Americans wish to stand in relation to the rest of the world?

Dan Drezner, Foreign PolicyFacebook’s exorbitant privilege

Best blog post first sentence of the week:

One of the purposes of this blog is to profess my deep, profound admiration for Salma Hayek take somewhat arcane concepts from the world of social science and make them more accessible to the general interest reader.

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1 comment

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

YurasKarpau May 10, 2010 at 6:42 am

“sometimes good things happen to bad people”
“As, Sherlok, you will deal not with the criminal world,
and with politicians – do not trust to their uniform word” :)

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