Intellectuals and their Romance with Political Barbarism

[by Mark Safranski, a.k.a. “zen“] Martin Heidegger, Eric Hobsbawm and Ezra Pound A  meandering post inspired by Reason Magazine and Charles Cameron. Reason.com is best known for giving a scrappy libertarian take on current events, crime, technology and pop culture, but recently, an article by Charles Paul Freund touched a deeper, darker vein of twentieth century history […] Read more »

Diplomacy the movie, Nazrallah on Daesh, diplomacy as sport

[ by Charles Cameron -- these caught my eye recently on the Aussie Lowy Interpreter site -- an upcoming movie, Nasrallah on IS / Daesh, and Rugby diplomacy, NZ-style ] . This looks to be a film that may be of interest to ZP readers: Perhaps Zen and others can comment on the historical vs […] Read more »

Adding to the Bookpile

[by Mark Safranski, a.k.a. "zen"]    Cultures of War: Pearl Harbor / Hiroshima / 9-11 / Iraq by John Dower  Berlin Diary: The Journal of a Foreign Correspondent, 1934-1941 by William Shirer Moral Combat: Good and Evil in World War II by Michael Burleigh  Picked up a few more books for the antilibrary. Dower is best known for [...] Read more »

Book Review: Hitlerland by Andrew Nagorski

[by Mark Safranski, a.k.a. "zen"] Hitlerland by Andrew Nagorski  Recent cyber problems here at ZP (as well as work commitments) have left me with an enormous backlog of book-related posts and reviews with which to wade through this month, including re-starting the aborted “friends of zenpundit.com who wrote books” posts.  Here is the first of what [...] Read more »

Moral Degeneration in the Crucible of War

  The recent post on Is 4GW Dead? stirred a great deal of interest, so I would like to extend the discussion on a point that that is critical not only for those who have responsibility for conducting military campaigns, but for statecraft and policy as well. One of more important tenets of 4GW was [...] Read more »

The Road Not Taken: Is Another Path for Israel Still Possible?

Instead of defining Jewish persecution as sui generis, unique, incomparable, never to be atoned for, Israel might have taken another path. Why did it never occur to Israeli ideologues to reach out to the Poles (not all of them vicious anti-Semites) who had also died in the millions at the hands of the Nazis and the Soviets. Or to the Ukrainians? Or the Belorusians? Why have Jews fought to hard to prevent the Turkish slaughter of Armenians from being called genocide? Why, for that matter, have they not reached out to native Americans whose total eradication was strenuously attempted by 19th century American settlers? Why have they not reached out to the Tutsis in Rwanda who were murdered by the tens of thousands for the crime of being Tutsi? And so on. A Chosen People needn’t build a wall around itself. The better decision? Well, here’s a hint. Israel’s one and only national capital would have been Tel Aviv. Jerusalem would have become the shared Holy City of Jews, Christians and Muslims, all of whom have legitimate claims. This new Jerusalem would have been a true beacon to the world, a pilgrimage site bringing people together, not tearing them apart. Does anyone else remember that dream? Had it been realized, isn’t it more than possible that Iran’s or Hamas’s attitude toward Israel might be different today? Read more »