Tuesday, August 12, 2008

The Good Stuff

I've done a "linkfest" style post approximately, well, never. But a combination of an extremely busy few weeks at my paying job and some really, really good posts has left me with no choice but to finally throw out some quick hit links (not that there's anything wrong with that).


John Schwenkler notes the bizarre lack of self-awareness in The National Review's terming Russia's treatment of Georgia as a "war crime in itself."

As noted in my post downblog, the Newshoggers have been on the ball in trying to sort through all the propaganda (on all sides) in the Georgia-Russia battle. BJ Bjornson's post on the claimed end of combat operations is just the latest example, and at least indirectly destroys the notion that Russia is the new Nazi Germany (or, if you will, the new Russia, err, Soviet Union).

Sticking with the (inadvertent) Georgia theme, our friend Kip points out the giant elephant in the room exposed by the longstanding problems in South Ossetia (and, by implication, Abkhazia): the failure of the nation-state model. Kip hits on a particularly critical issue that I've been pondering for a long, long time: "I have no idea what model can, should or will replace Westphalian sovereignty in the mosaic regions of the world. But I do know, as a libertarian and as a member of an insular political minority myself, that whatever "new world order" emerges, it will have to be based, not on ethnicities, religions or languages, nor on rivers, mountains or latitudes. It must be based on legitimacy, built from within and not imposed from without. "

Switching topics (finally) but staying with Kip, we have further proof of John Yoo's complete lack of legal acumen. That this man is now teaching future laws sends shivers down my spine.

Via Jim Henley at Unqualified Offerings, Radley Balko asks readers which American wars were justified (in retrospect). For the most part, I'm with Jim; I tend to think the Revolution was justified, but only to the extent it was a grassroots rebellion against illegitimate authority . I think the Civil War was legitimate, but only because the basis for secession (protection of slavery, emphasis on states' rights over individual rights) was illegitimate - had the South had a legitimate fear of interference with individual rights, secession would have been justified and the ensuing war would not have been. I think the first Gulf War was justified as a matter of international law, and I also think that Bush I appropriately limited the war to liberating Kuwait's sovereignty rather than pursuing a full-scale invasion of Iraq. It's hard not to justify Afghanistan, even if I have serious concerns with the manner in which we have been involved.