MRPPLh wow, awesome blog. Awesome.
Tom Toles from WashPo tells us exactly what they'll do.
Insight from comic strips. It's funny and sad at the very same time.
I'll post the first part over the weekend. Here is a (long PDF) transcript of a CATO forum about Cuba that's interesting background.
Busy week at work for me and I would guess a lot of us. Hopefully things will calm down soon.
Come, my friends. 'Tis not too late to seek a newer world -- Tennyson
Vietnam and Communist China. Why should we treat Cuba any differently? The things that make trade with Vietnam & China a good thing would also be a good thing with Cuba.
I can't help thinking this is a case of a Large Chip on the Shoulder by the US. Just because we can be thuggish to a neighbor only 90 miles off our coast, does that make it right? Wouldn't travel to and trade with Cuba modify their leaders behaviour and raise the level of Cubans livelyhoods more than trying to squish them like a bug?
I just don't get it. Consistency would seem to suggest we should act consistently. With Cuba, we aren't.
ps- I only looked over the first part of the Cato pdf. Does it get any more recent than the 2002 begining Brendan?
I was looking for historical background -- I have some more recent articles bookmarked elsewhere but would certainly appreciate any tips to particularly useful pieces.
You've nicely summarized the anti-embargo position, which as you say we take on faith when it comes to countries like China. Somehow free trade leads to democracy except for Cuba, I guess...
that has failed to achieve its objective after 47 years, it is time for a new policy.
qui tacet consentire
You mentioned the carrots as well as the sticks when discussing influencing another country. Thought you might be interested in this example of Obama offering incentives to Iran, and Drum has a nice meta discussion on how to frame/sell these kind of things too:
I've long wondered if this kind of language is really helpful. When you talk about "rewarding" a country, or "expecting" certain things, or offering "sticks and carrots," do your words work against your intentions? It's one thing to offer a grand bargain of some kind, but when you publicly refer to it as "sticks and carrots" aren't you just making it harder for the other side to accept it? People and countries, after all, are less likely to accept a deal if they think they're being crudely manipulated like a wayward teenager given inducements to clean up his room.
This isn't a stunning insight or anything, but it's true that the way in which the sanctions/incentives are presented is yet another variable to consider.
(Obviously anyone is welcome to respond, just targeting the post as a continuation of a previous comment.)
Thanks. What "carrots" are actually on the table and what is spoken explicitly (as quid pro quo), let alone publicly, are not necessarily the same, although there are often limits to how different they can be.
As for the concept itself, even if communicated in the best possible manner, yes, it can offend. But that offense does not necessarily mean the behavioral change (or "deal" or whatever) won't happen or that it's not worth it overall. As for the argument that "People and countries, after all, are less likely to accept a deal if they think they're being crudely manipulated", well, I don't quite see the point. We want some country to change its behavior. We want it to agree to some "deal" to do so. Deals are done to increase or gain some benefit (carrot) or to reduce or avoid some cost (stick). How do you propose a deal without offering a carrot and/or a stick? What constitutes "crude manipulation"?
What constitutes "crude manipulation"?
Some might say that publicly describing an incentive as "a carrot" might leave the target country with the impression their behavior is being manipulated. OTOH, referring to that same incentive as, say, "a concession" (which flips the implied power advantage to the target country) might leave the target country wondering how dumb and manipulatable you think they are to present a carrot as a concession. It's all very Princess Bride , and that's even without the complicating factor that there are those odd few who consider carrots to be (delicious!) concessions.
What "carrots" are actually on the table and what is spoken explicitly (as quid pro quo), let alone publicly, are not necessarily the same
Good point. Heck, the characterization of the deal might be different in private and in public -- one country might agree to allow the other to frame the deal in a particular way to save face, although I imagine those things are "understood" rather than explicitly discussed.
But that offense does not necessarily mean the behavioral change (or "deal" or whatever) won't happen or that it's not worth it overall.
Sure. It's just another factor.
Yup, good points.
Re: the characterization of the deal might be different in private and in public
Classic example is our agreement with the Soviets to remove our missiles from Turkey as part of the deal to end the Cuban Missile Crisis, as long as the Soviets agreed not to disclose the quid pro quo. Not an example of economic sanctions, but of the larger point.
difficulty with saying things that aren't true. And then they ask why the MSM isn't treating this character issue the same way they are treating Hillary's laughter and Edwards haircuts.
Conventional Wisdom: Romney ^ - Rudy \/
Yet what we actually have is the front-runner for the Republican nomination apparently basing his health-care views on something he read somewhere, which he believed without double-checking because it confirmed his prejudices.
What a shallow way to create a platform position on an issue of critical importance for millions of American citizens. Leave aside how you or I or anyone here feels about the proper approach to health care -- isn't it a huge problem that we've probably done more research on it than has Rudy? And we (mostly) make no claims to being experts, or to having the answers!
Sadly, I doubt Rudy is the exception when it comes to politicians. From reading some of the posts by current Congressmen over on Redstate, they usually appear to have a very good grasp of how to frame issues, what buzz words will resonate with voters, and which issues to exploit for political advantage, and a not-so-good grasp of the pros and cons of their proposed policies. I dunno, maybe they have uninformed interns writing their pieces. I don't read dKos that much but I'd be willing to bet that Dems aren't tons better -- I was pretty disappointed that nobody seemed to even know the specifics of Rangel's tax plan during the last debate, for example.
Personally I've been most impressed with Obama as far as laying out concrete proposals -- agree or disagree, at least he gives you something to work with, and it seems to me that he's spent some time researching and considering his positions. But I'm probably biased because I've liked him as a candidate from the beginning.
He's impressed me a bit lately, but he's an optimist at heart (and I'm not). I'll give you that he's been more concrete lately. When he started out it was all "hopes and dreams" and other such platitudes.
What I'd really like is for a candidate to just tell the plain-spoken truth. We aren't the "greatest country in the world" anymore (for most values of "greatest"). We were founded on the most noble of principles but we don't live up to them. People refuse to sacrifice the smallest things for the common good of everyone. For instance, Maher once asked the question,
If America had to give up the remote control to stop global warming, do you think they would?
I agreed with Maher; we wouldn't. We are, by and large, gluttonous consumerists that don't care about anything past next week's pay check and when we're going to get laid. What I really want is a politician to look into the camera and say "you are the reason we are in this mess, and if you want to fix it, you are going to have to change the way you live".
I never broke the law; I am the law! -- George W. Bush Judge Dredd
I'm listening to...
for me not to stand behind Obama, especially now that he is making himself as you say more 'conrete' and in spite of the flap in SC. He seems like the only candidate that stands for real change (except Dennis).
A good debate for America to have would be one between these two candidates, Barack and Fred Thompson. That is one I would love to see.
I'm only half stupid
The more Thompson talks, the more I like him. His federalist views aren't quite enough to get me to vote for him, but I don't think I'd be too upset if he won the presidency.
is as brilliant as it is obvious, and there is really no good reason for any nation solely interested in nuclear power (as opposed to weapons) to decline such an arrangement. Iran said no to a somewhat similar proposal that would have had Russia be the "neutral nation" but one can understand their reservations about leaving the viability of their program to the whims of Putin. A plant run for the joint benefit of all Arab countries in the region would have no such drawbacks.
The US ought to support this plan, with the additional proviso that the UN monitor the fuel input/waste output to each participating country as well as the degree of enrichment at the plant. Iran ought to accept it -- they save face, they can call it a victory even.
I think we can judge which side (if any!) is being honest about their goals by their reaction to this proposal.
for some time. It isn't terribly new.
Since all countries will at some point have access to nuclear the idea makes sense, but that never seems to stop us from doing sensible things before.
And that is basically Putin's deal with Iran. Russia will supervise the uranium to make sure it is for energy only, and the IAEA can have frequent inspections in Iran.
Iran has signed on to the NPT, part of Putin's point. The only countries that haven't are I believe Israel, N. Korea, Pakistan and India.
need to go.
I can't do anything about Chucky.
I will do everything I can (that's legal) about DiFi.
Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf declared a countrywide state of emergency Saturday, suspending the constitution and dismissing the Pakistan Supreme Court's chief justice for the second time. [...] Meanwhile, popular opposition leader Imran Khan said early Sunday that police surrounded his house in Lahore, barged in and told him he was under house arrest.
What a mess. It appears Musharraf has full control of the country at the moment and that the international community will content themselves with issuing the token expressions of concern. Bhutto described these actions as "The country is going to dictatorship once again" and that seems accurate at the moment -- the probable trigger for the dismissal of the Chief Justice was the anticipated negation of Musharraf's October election win. Bhutto supposedly had a power-sharing deal in place with Musharraf but it's not clear where that stands now.
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