Saturday, December 16, 2006

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My time on the F-list

My latest debate with Henry Farrell is now available. Among our topics:

1) Did the Iraq Study Group accomplish anything?

2) Why haven't there been mass protests against the war?

3) Is offshore balancing possible in the Middle East?

4) Krugman on income inequality... again.

5) Would you rather be Paul Krugman or David Card?

Highlights include me nearly choking on a glass of water, Henry coming up with the wonderful term "F-list celebrity" for bloggers, and free advertising for this establishment.

posted by Dan on 12.16.06 at 08:10 PM


Why haven't there been mass protest against the Iraq war? The explanation's not just a function of casualties sustained, although that'd be an important variable. There's something of a generational difference between likely youth protest cohorts. The draft has to be even more important than the number of deaths. I mean, 3000 dead is quite a loss of life, even if the number is still less the 1/20 of those lost in Vietnam. But, it was the '60s, man! People wanted to make change -- some wanted revolution. The Vietnam war took place in the context of the rights revolution, feminism, counterculture, sex, drugs, and rock 'n roll -- you name it. Political participation was high, as measured by youth voting rates after the passage of the 26th amendment. There's got to be some historical or sociological works on this, allowing some purchase on an explanation. And families? Come on -- if we have protests it's not going to be a bunch of soccer mom's whose sons signed up with the service to get some training because their SATs weren't any good. Kids will be protesting, if there's going to be any. We've had a few rounds of demonstrations, but there's got to be a constituency that feels threatened. Look what happened with the Los Angeles pro-immigration rally back in May. 500,000 lined the streets in downtown L.A., dwarfing anything to come before in the way of mass mobilization. That's a movement, multifaceted -- including diversity mavens, alien rights and labor activists, students, legal immigrants, and radical reconquista types. When you squeeze a segment hard enough, that group will push back. Recruitment's up, so there's no pressure for a draft -- and the all-volunteer military's a better fighting force, in any case. Good discussion, in any case.

posted by: Donald Douglas on 12.16.06 at 08:10 PM [permalink]

Henry Farrell states something to the effect of, “when you have lost Tom Friedman, you are screwed” and surprisingly you agree with him. Remind me, Professor Drezner, when were you ever a Republican?

Moreover, when did Tom Friedman become a global strategist genius? If you look at all his predictions regarding Israel, Lebanon, and almost every country he has observed, he has been wrong. He is great for sound-bites but bad for policy. A better observation might be, “when Tom Friedman agrees with you, you might want to rethink your views”.

posted by: Ian on 12.16.06 at 08:10 PM [permalink]

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