Brzezinski on Syria

In a Time article headed Intervention Will Only Make It Worse, Zbigniew Brzezinski writes that

broader regional fighting could bring the U.S. and Iran into direct conflict, a potentially major military undertaking for the U.S. A U.S.-Iran confrontation linked to the Syrian crisis could spread the area of conflict even to Afghanistan. Russia would benefit from America’s being bogged down again in the Middle East. China would resent U.S. destabilization of the region because Beijing needs stable access to energy from the Middle East.

Read more:


Russia boycotts Nobel Peace Prize

Via the Telegraph: Russia joins China in boycotting Nobel peace prize

China has pressured countries not to attend and prevented Mr Liu, 54, or any members of his family from travelling to Norway to accept the award.

If that happens, it will be the first time the award has not been given out since 1936, when the Nazis banned journalist Carl von Ossietzky – a pacifist – from leaving Germany.

Compromising positions

In a post which among other things assesses Obama’s Russia, Middle East and China policy in the light of historical precedents, Ted Lipien looks back at another U.S. president who, in all good faith, tried to “reset” East-West relations. He also has some words of advice for Hillary Clinton, after her Moscow visit:

Appeasing the Kremlin and the Chinese communists in the hope of winning concessions makes such concessions far less likely, as Secretary of State Hillary Clinton found out during her humilating visit to Moscow last week.  Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and President Medvedev couldn’t be more brutal in telling her that putting pressure on Iran to end its nuclear programs was not in Russia’s national interest, when in fact they meant their own interest. Prime Minister Putin went to China and was not around to receive her.

In fact any Russian scholar with a good sense of realism could have told President Obama that the current leaders in Russia want the U.S. out of Eastern Europe but don’t believe that they owe America anything if the Americans leave. They will also continue to rely on anti-Americanism to consolidate their power internally. They want oil prices to be as high as possible, and therefore want tensions to be high in the Middle East. For that reason, they want the United States to be bogged down both in Afghanistan and in Iraq. The only thing that the Obama Administration should expect from the Kremlin are Russian concessions that would allow the U.S. to continue and expand military operations in these two Muslim nations.

Charles Krauthammer has more.

Das Kapital – the Musical

Daniel Finkelstein’s Comment Central blog has an intriguing post about a new musical that’s about to hit the stage in China:

The show will take place in Shanghai where enterprising producers are hoping to introduce a new generation to the father of Communism:

We will not rule out any kind of performing style as long as it entertains our audience and helps them better understand the book

EU Parliament’s President will not attend Beijing opening

Via the International Campaign for Tibet:

In a new resolution on China and Tibet adopted on the 10 July, European Parliament remains concerned about human rights abuses in China and Tibet. Contrary to the French President Nicolas Sarkozy, the President of the European Parliament, Hans-Gert Pöttering, announced that he will not be attending the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games in Beijing, due to the lack of progress in talks between Chinese authorities and representatives of the Dalai Lama.

For the second time since the uprising of the Tibetan plateau on the 10 March, the European Parliament has adopted a resolution that ‘deplores the fact that China’s human rights record remains a matter for concern owing to widespread and systematic human rights abuses.’

The world without America

Commenting on Jamie Glazov’s recent FrontPage interview with Ahmed Zakayev, JR Nyquist writes:

According to Zakayev, al Qaeda is “a global provocation, designed to clash the Islamic world with the Western world, thus weakening both sides as much as possible. Those who capitalize on that are Russia, China and their allies in the totalitarian camp.” Zakayev is almost certainly correct.


For those who curse the United States and Israel, who embrace various conspiracy theories, I offer this caveat. Do you want Russia and China to dominate the world? Would you trust the heirs of Mao Zedong and the disciples of Felix Dzerzhinsky to keep the peace, to maintain freedom, to further global prosperity? Do you want the legacy of Ivan the Terrible and the first Ch’in Emperor?