My Top 5 List for 2014: 5 Biggest Foreign Policy Events for the US in Asia


I love these hoky, end-of-the-year lists. But I don’t know much about genuinely interesting or cool stuff, like the top 5 classical music pieces or architectural masterpieces of the year. So before you read another list about the Kardashians’ top 5 lip glosses, or the 5 most repetitive comic movies of the year, here is an uber-wonky one that’s basically about the sustainability of the pivot.

My November Diplomat Essay: If We can’t Stop Fighting in the Middle East, We’ll Never Pivot

Korean Ship with Munition on the Way to Islam-Syria

Some time ago i have read in a book or journal article of a western author - thus the text was not censored - that Kim Jong-un (North Korea) has a tendency to the Islam and also has prayed temporarily like a Muslim. As it has been in the news some days ago that Kim Jong-un has tried to support the Islamic Syria through a ship with 400 tons munition, it would interest me if Kim Jong-un is still a Muslim or if he does this rather of anti sympathy to the USA. Kim Jong-un surly wants to represent Mohammed himself. Many Greetings

Nothing Stops A God

It looks like the people who wrote this movie are fully aware of the trouble with Superman: nothing can stop a god, since a god is, obviously, immortal, perfect, and, yeah, unstoppable. That’s the Platonic view which probably got Socrates in trouble with the Athenians—who executed him on a cross of hemlock!—dying for a love of knowledge rather than our sins!—but to go even further, and to look at God from the perspective of Islam, and Ali Farka Toure, God Is Unique; there is nothing like God, nothing can be compared to It; It cannot have arms, legs, thoughts, feelings, or any recognizable features. This philosophical view naturally eliminates any possibility of drama, since if God Is Unique, and everywhere and everywhen and nowhere and nowhen, then It’s also doing everything and nothing, and there’s no plot, no tension, no payoff.

Iraq 10 Years Later (3): Why the Neocon Theory behind the War Failed


My first post on the Iraq War asked if academic IR had any responsibility to slow the march to war.

Ranking US Allies: A Response to Stephen Walt, Andrew Sullivan & all those Canadians…

Who knew Canada could be so controversial…

Ok, this has gotta be my last response to the many comments from this sprawling series  (one, two, three, four, five) of posts on ranking US allies. Thanks for all the interest. Who knew Canada was so interesting or Canadians so passionate?

9/11 a Decade Later (1): The Apocalypse that Wasn’t…




The commentary will be endless, so here are a few I thought were good.

First, a few thoughts on what to avoid:

The Spurious Iranian Bogeyman in Cairo

Haroon Moghul makes several good points about why Americans should at least not fear either revolution in Egypt or the Muslim Brotherhood.

The rest of the conversation is excellent. I would also point to Moghul’s essay distinguishing the 1979 Iranian revolution from the protests in Cairo.

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The Day of Conflict and Forgiveness

Today is the ninth anniversary of the September 11, 2001 attacks on the twin towers of the World Trade Center and Pentagon and the foiled hijacking and crash of the fourth airliner in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, resulting in 2,996 deaths.  It would be odd for me to wax too pompously on those incidents, because I have lived in Busan, South Korea before, during, and after the attacks. I don’t have any special insight into the national mood. And, not to be sacrilegious, but this day in history is far from a happy one. As I write this, I’m listening to Abdullah Antepli and Hussein Rashid discuss the “American Muslim“.

The Return of the Hui

Razib Khan introduces the Hui, Chinese Muslims with a special legacy Beijing could take advantage of again.

…I believe the Chinese Muslims can serve as a model to Muslims around the world who are minorities, and who are making the transition from being in nations to being of nations.

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