Friday Headlines

Syrian War Bubbles Over Into Lebanon, Jordan
According to Al Jazeera, Syria closed the border to Lebanon in reaction to increased fighting with rebels in the area, which resulted in at least 25 people being wounded. Lebanon’s Daily Star reported that two shepherds were killed by Syrian forces.

BBC News examines the abysmal living conditions of refugees in Jordan in towns and cities. They report that contrary to common perceptions, as many as 600,000 refugees from Syria do not live in camps, but in urban centers.

“After escaping the horrors of war at home, hundreds of thousands of Syrians who have fled the violence and deprivation are facing a second crisis in their place of refuge,” said Andrew Harper, the UNHCR representative in Jordan, in a recent report.

“Syrian refugees in Jordan are hanging on by a thread: struggling to keep a roof over their heads and to earn enough money to get by.”

Two Sides Of Globalization: Thomas Friedman And Robert Kaplan
Mackubin Thomas Owens makes his case in the Weekly Standard that proponents of globalization, like Thomas Friedman, ignore the continuing role of geopolitics in statecraft.

“For many, the process of globalization was autonomous and self-regulating: Advocates of globalization mocked international relations realists, especially those who suggested that geopolitics possessed any explanatory power in an economically interdependent world. These illusions about globalization should already have tumbled down along with the twin towers on September 11, 2001. Now, recent events in the Greater Middle East and Eurasia, most notably in Ukraine, have confirmed the naïveté of the assumptions underpinning globalization: The fact is, geopolitical factors remain an important element of international relations and statecraft,” he writes.

Owens says Friedman may be the representative for globalists, but it is Robert Kaplan who serves as the standard-bearer for the opposite side.

Kaplan is a realist, one who believes that states operate in their own interests and seek to maximize power relative to other actors in the international system,” he asserts, adding that as a realist, “Kaplan makes some observations that cut against the grain of recent American and Western foreign policy, which demonstrates a consensus toward liberal internationalism and a predisposition to see international institutions as the solution to disputes. Kaplan argues, for instance, that any conflict in the South China Sea would reflect what he calls the ‘humanist dilemma,’ lacking the moral element that characterized the conflicts of the 20th and early 21st centuries: the moral struggle against fascism in World War II; against communism during the Cold War; against genocide in the Balkans, Africa, and the Levant; and against terrorism and in support of democracy after 9/11.”

Russia And The West Exchange Fire, But No One Leads
Christopher Hill, who served in George W. Bush’s State Department, asserts that the crisis in Ukraine exposes the lack of leadership on all sides.




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