"Joy and pleasure are as real as pain and sorrow and one must learn what they have to teach. . . ." -- Sean Russell, from Gatherer of Clouds

"If you're not having fun, you're not doing it right." -- Helyn D. Goldenberg

"I love you and I'm not afraid." -- Evanescence, "My Last Breath"

“If I hear ‘not allowed’ much oftener,” said Sam, “I’m going to get angry.” -- J.R.R. Tolkien, from Lord of the Rings

Monday, January 16, 2017

Today's Must-Read: NATO, the EU, and the Rise of the Right

Excellent analysis by Adam L. Silverman at Balloon Juice on what NATO and the EU are really about and why they are now even more necessary than ever before. Key insight:

This is the real, tangible benefit of the EU and NATO. Its not a common market or a mutual defense pact. The real benefit is that the EU and NATO have broken the reality of over a thousand years of conflicts, capped off by World Wars I and II, in Europe and among the people of the nation-states that make up Europe.

One of my many minors in college was history, with an emphasis on modern European diplomatic history. And one of the ongoing themes there was the "balance of power." And one aspect of that was integrating Russia into the European community. Silverman points out the one big failure in the West's post-Cold War policy, which was excluding Russia from that community. And Russia is currently feeling the effects of that marginalization: faced with a newly robust and vital China on the one hand and a unified Europe and America on the other, Russia really has no choice to but try to break things up. China's out of the question. Europe, on the other hand, especially with the UK leaving the EU, is ripe for dismemberment, and Putin has a willing puppet in Trump's America.

Fasten your seat belts, etc., etc.

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