All posts by Brandon Christensen

Not much to say...

Around the Web

  1. The Globalization of Apartheid from anthropologist Keith Hart. I have a critique (as well as lots of praise) in process.
  2. Kapital for the Twenty-First Century: A review of Thomas Piketty’s new book by James K Galbraith.
  3. The Many Problems with “Equal Pay”: Legal scholar Richard Epstein brings his usually clarity to the table
  4. Taxes Are Much Higher Than You Think: A great op-ed from Nobel Prize winner Edward Prescott and UCLA economist Lee Ohanian in the Wall Street Journal
  5. An open letter to President Obama from a prominent center-Left economist (and Democratic Party member): Give Us Back Our Statistical Data
  6. Scratching the Surface: Some proposals for campaign finance reform from a law professor guest blogging at the Volokh Conspiracy

 

Short blurb on Murray Rothbard

Murray Rothbard (1926-1995) was an economist at UNLV and is considered to be one of the most important figures of the post-war libertarian movement. Rothbard earned his BA and PhD from Columbia (his dissertation on the banking panic of 1819 is still cited by economic historians), so it’s not like he was some hack with an unwarranted vendetta against the government. His contributions to a more libertarian world can be felt in numerous ways, from think tanks to economics graduate programs to the presidential campaigns of Ron Paul in 2008 and 2012. His daring foray into anarchy is, of course, his most important contribution to the scholarly world. However, I don’t see why this man has such a cult classic following within the libertarian movement. Could somebody explain this to me?

My best guess is that Rothbard’s strategy of appealing to the intelligent layman with well-disguised fallacies instead of discussing his research with the scholarly community has something to do with it, but this is only a guess.

His work just has “Cold War” written all over it. For instance, the first book of Rothbard’s that I cracked open, Conceived in Liberty Volume 1, read like a 1970s Marxist diatribe on economic development (by the way: see Dr Delacroix’s “The Export of Raw Materials and Economic Growth: A Cross-National Study” in the American Sociological Review for an excellent rebuttal of Marxist development theory). Again, I think part of this can be blamed on the time period he was writing in (mid-1970s), but even though it must have really sucked to be a scholar during the Cold War era there is really no good excuse for Rothbard’s present-day status as a saint within libertarian circles.

Not only has his scholarship become a stepping stone rather than a shrine (as all scholarship inevitably becomes), but the cult-like attitudes of some of his fans makes me cringe as a libertarian. At any rate, I’d really like to know why he has such a devoted following, and why his followers seem to think that their devotion to him is a good thing for the movement.

Around the Web

  1. Are Iran and Israel trading places?
  2. Morocco’s mentally ill await deliverance from their demons
  3. Bangkok’s ‘Mexican’ Gangsters (think about the infinite promise of globalization while you browse through this short, mostly photographic, essay)
  4. ¿Qué tiene de malo el muro?
  5. 10 Questions Libertarians Can’t Answer, and Hope You Won’t Ask!

What is Europe?

Thomas Brussig, a novelist from the former East Berlin, says he first got to know Russia after the fall of the Soviet Union when he visited during a book tour. During his stay, he recalls being constantly asked which Russian writers influenced him. Brussig didn’t give the obvious answers — Tolstoy or Dostoyevsky. He instead named a third-rate Soviet writer, Arkady Gaidar. “I did it to exact a bit of revenge and to remind them what imperialists they had been,” he says.

Brussig says he has no special attachment to the Russians. He says the only Russian figure he actually views positively is Gorbachev. It was “his vision of a Common European Home that cleared the way for the demolition of the Soviet Union.” It was a dream of a Europe without dividing lines. “We shouldn’t act as though the border to Asia starts where Lithuania ends,” says Brussig. “Europe reaches all the way into the Ural Mountains.”

There is more here. Do read the whole thing (it’s about the relationship between Germans and Russians).

For the record, I can buy Brussig’s argument but why stop at the Ural Mountains and the Mediterranean?

Around the Web

  1. An excellent piece by Matt Steinglass in the Economist on John Kerry’s failure in regards to the Israeli-Palestinian peace talks.
  2. I know Dr Shikida linked to this earlier, but I think it’s worth highlighting again. A university professor at a law school in Brazil was recently assaulted by students for his political views, and Dr Shikida points out that today’s professor-assaulters are tomorrow’s journalist-killers. Disturbing, and in Portuguese.
  3. In response to Dr van de Haar’s explosive and much-welcomed introductory post on the myth of the Commercial Peace, here is a good introductory pdf by MIT’s PR Goldstone on the strengths and weaknesses of the theory.
  4. E Wayne Merry: Why is Moscow now pursuing an economic Eurasian Union? In brief, the Russian derzhava is turning inward on itself, in part for domestic reasons but more broadly because of its inability to compete (on different indices) with the European West, the Chinese East, or the Islamic South.
  5. John Allen Gay: Kirchick: “The Putin regime can tell Ukrainians, ‘you wanna protect Orthodox Christianity, you stay with Moscow.’ And he’s using this all throughout the former Soviet space. So this is a geostrategic issue for him.” Would Western pressure for gay rights in Russia improve their lot, or just turn domestic gays into traitors? I’m pretty sure I know the answer to this one…
  6. How many people does it take to colonize another star system?

From the Comments: What’s the difference between state-sponsored terrorism and geopolitics?

In a recent thread on the conflict in Crimea, a proposal to use the CIA – the overseas spying agency of the US government – against a small Russian population in the exclave of Kaliningrad was put forth by Professor Amburgey. My response followed as thus:

Suppose that VEVAK – Iran’s intelligence agency – created an industrial accident in regards to Toronto’s water supply. You and I would rightly consider this state-sponsored terrorism, regardless of whether or not Tehran took any sort of official blame.

Now suppose that the CIA created an industrial accident in regards to Kaliningrad’s water supply. I would consider this state-sponsored terrorism. You would consider this ________ (please fill in the blank).

Dr Amburgey responded with a “savvy geopolitcs.” The only thing I noticed here is the double standard in place. Why do we label violence undertaken by certain factions or organizations “terrorism” and the same type of violence undertaken by other factions or organizations as “geopolitics” (or “patriotism” or “war”)?

There is no difference. Categorizing the actions that both you and your enemy undertake as two different things is a good way to ensure that everything remains exactly the same. How utterly conservative!

Is the Political Left Today’s Conservative Faction?

I tend to think so. I come across more and more anecdotal evidence to support my thesis with each passing day. For example, in my current research on Dutch colonial responses to Javanese political strategies, I came across the following passage by Dutch historian Eduard JM Schmutzer in his 1977 monograph Dutch Colonial Policy and the Search for Identity in Indonesia 1920-1931:

The abuses in government exploitation under the so-called “Cultuurstelsel” (Cultivation System) and the subsequent criticism by humanitarians [...] made the liberals aware that new methods for the exploitation of the East Indies and for the development of its inhabitants were to be found. In contrast to the conservatives who maintained that the central role of government in economic life was necessary to protect the natives against the overpowering influence of private capital, the liberals argued that the doctrine of free enterprise and its beneficial laws of unrestrained capital and labor market, promised in Indonesia an increase in the sagging production and an improvement in the welfare of the natives. Both conditions [free capital and labor markets - bc], the liberals maintained, would be to the advantage of the population at home and abroad.

However, the channeling of capital into the structure of government monopolies by private investors did not result in the expected increase per capita productivity [Ya don't say? - bc]. (1)

The emphasis is mine. Can anybody name any factions in today’s world that advocate restraining private capital in the name of (condescendingly) protecting those who are too stupid to know what to do with their own money?

Anybody at all?

Needless to say, the liberals lost those important colonial policy battles of the late nineteenth century (probably because they were outnumbered by both the theocrats and socialists who believed private capital was bad for the natives and that therefore authoritarian paternalism was in order).

I can’t help but wonder: Does the anti-globalization Left realize just how conservative its position is?

Around the Web

  1. Ukraine and BRICS from historian Daniel Larison at The American Conservative
  2. The Sympathy Problem: Is Germany a Country of Russia Apologists? By Ralf Neukirch at Spiegel Online
  3. You Don’t Know the Best Way to Deal with Russia from economist Bryan Caplan over at EconLog
  4. The Right to Self-Determination in International Law and Practice by political scientist Jason Sorens (PhD, Yale) over at the PileusBlog

From the Comments: Power and the Rhymes of History

Over the past couple of days, Notes On Liberty‘s house conservative, Dr Delacroix, has created quite a few waves with his fanciful thoughts about punishing Russia for its bad behavior of late. (Somebody remind me again about George W Bush’s invasion and occupation of Iraq, and then let me know if that could have possibly set a bad precedent.) Professor Amburgey’s thoughts on power are worth another look:

In general, comparing a nation state to a human being is not useful. However, comparing the leader of a nation state to a human being can be sensible. The utility depends on how much power the leader has. I think there are several nation states where leaders have acquired enough power to assume that, in general, they are the decision maker. Iran springs to mind, as does North Korea. I’m beginning to think that Russia falls into that category.

I can buy this. However, dictators cannot be dictators without also having the broad support of the populace. This is why libertarians argue that it’s better to declare war than to topple a dictator.

Elsewhere, Dr Amburgey observes:

True. However Russia is turning into a dangerous regional power with dangerous territorial ambitions. Pretending otherwise is silly.

Russia only turned dangerous after the United States spread itself too thin. Keeping our own house in order will do more for world peace and prosperity than bombing other countries indiscriminately (or having the world-renowned CIA engage in “secret” terrorism!).

NEO adds his own eloquent thoughts to the mix. In response to my observation that the Cold War is over, NEO writes:

Maybe, Brandon. But the surest way to make sure it does, or something similar in Asia, is to believe it can never happen again.

The comparison for that is the “War to end all wars” leading to the new 30 years war.

That the weakness in libertarianism, actually. The oceans aren’t nearly as effective a barrier as they were in the days of the Royal Navy controlling them for us, and unless we only want free trade in CONUS, we’d best take care of it ourselves.

Will it be the same? Nope. But it will happen. If not Putin, somebody else.

As Mark Twain observed, “History doesn’t repeat itself, but it rhymes.”

Again, I think NEO’s observations tie in well with Dr Amburgey’s about the potential for rising, autocratic powers to do bad things. However, we have only ourselves to blame for their rise.

For instance:

  • Was the illegal invasion and occupation of Iraq a good idea?
  • Was bombing, invading, and occupying the Balkans a good idea? (Why don’t you tell me what the Russians think…)
  • Is it smart to still be occupying Afghanistan long after Osama bin Laden’s death?
  • Is it really necessary to have tens of thousands of troops along the 38th Parallel?
  • Does bombing poor countries in the name of liberation (not liberty) solve the underlying structural problems that poor states face?
  • Does supporting dictatorships that actively oppress Islamic fundamentalists help or hurt individual liberty?

In my mind, Russia has not grown to be a mid-major power. The United States has simply been caught with its pants down. This is why you read about ideas like terrorizing Russian citizens in Kaliningrad as a way to counter Moscow’s deft calculations. I cannot think of a better signal to the world that the US is weak then a resort to state-sponsored terrorism. Can you?

May I Present

…the estimable Kyle Dix:

Kyle Dix (personal homepage) was born in Miami and raised in the mountains of North Georgia.  He graduated from the University of Georgia in 2010 with dual degrees in Spanish and Management.  Kyle currently resides in Philadelphia, PA where he works and attends class at University of Pennsylvania, studying history with an eye on entering academia.  Between UGA and Penn he worked in a welfare-to-work NPO in North Philly, teaching job skills, career planning, and basic English.

The historical questions Kyle asks are largely rooted in his experiences: What is the nature of the discourse between individuals and government?  How do ideologies guide institutions as they grow and change?  How do globalization and modernization act as drivers for this discourse?  Kyle seeks to offer answers to these questions from the historical context of US-Latin American relations and via over-eager observations of current events.

Check out his introductory post at Notes On Liberty here. Welcome him accordingly!

Another Warm Welcome

I’ve got exciting news: Notes On Liberty is finally going to have an international relations specialist on board. Without further adieu:

Edwin van de Haar is an independent scholar who specializes in the liberal tradition in international political theory. In the recent past he has taught international relations at Leiden University and Ateneo de Manila University. He is the author of Classical Liberalism and International Relations Theory: Hume, Smith, Mises and Hayek (2009) and Beloved Yet Unknown: The Political Philosophy of Liberalism (2011, in Dutch).

His most recent publications are a chapter entitled ‘Adam Smith on Empire and International Relations’ published in the Oxford Handbook on Adam Smith (Oxford University Press, 2013) and a chapter entitled ‘David Hume and Adam Smith on International Ethics and Humanitarian Intervention’ in Just and Unjust Military Intervention: European Thinkers from Vitoria to Mill(Cambridge University Press, 2013). He also published articles and numerous other pieces on Smith, Hume, and the wider liberal tradition in political thought, among others in The Review of International StudiesInternational Relations, and The Independent Review.

Van de Haar works and lives in The Hague, The Netherlands. With Lucas Grassi Freire and a number of other scholars he runs the Facebook group ‘Libertarianism and IR’. He received a M.A. in Political Science from Leiden University, holds a M.Sc in International Relations from the London School of Economics and Political Science and got his Ph.D in International Political Theory from Maastricht University.

Not too shabby, eh? Dr van de Haar’s article in the libertarian journal The Independent Review can be found here if you want to become more acquainted with his work before he starts blogging.

Dr van de Haar, coupled with Mike, Kyle, and Dave, will give the blog a number of new voices and perspectives on what liberty is and what it means. Stay tuned, and keep those ‘comments’ coming!

Undercover Occupants

[Editor's note: the following is a short essay by Payam Ghorbanian. Payam was born in Tehran, Iran. He got his bachelor of science in Engineering from Zanjan University in Zanjan, Iran. He has been participating in liberal political activities and he was involved with some think tanks in Iran. He is doing research in the field of international relations and Iran's foreign policy as an independent activist. He is now living in San Jose, California.

I am excited to post his thoughts because of their potential as a conduit for intercultural dialogue and exchange. I have left his essay largely intact, but did break up some of his longer paragraphs for clarity's sake. Thanks to Payam for taking the time to write this.]

One of the worst Persian attitudes, which really makes me upset, is that we really like make everyone feel pleased and at the same time we are trying to make our friends, our families member, and finally ourselves feel proud. This seems to be just wasting of time and even sometime more than wasting. It really holds us back from being flexible and being more focused just on our life.

The fatal mistake in terms of power games is taking one step back because of pacifying your enemies. I remember these fatal mistakes occurred during Mr. Khatami presidency (1997 – 2005) and it seems that it is going to happen again. During that time reformists tried to please everyone. Liberals, communists, and extremists could fit in themselves in what they portrayed for future of Iran. The goal of “let’s get together” is just useful for the specific action and in a limited time not for unstable country like Iran. We are not taking the issues for the country like Switzerland. In fact, you cannot just chant when your enemies are ready to die for their sinister goals.

Mr. Rohani and his consultants during last month just tried to convince the middle class people that they are so preoccupied about what he has promised during his presidency campaign.  Rohani also said: “… I have never forgotten what I had said to my people but you should understand; there would be a prolonged way with unforeseen obstacles that we have to pass it through together…”. However, this is not the way that people of Iran are thinking and believing at this time. The fact is that the imprisonment of leaders of green movement has been lasting up until now and there are still so many political prisoners in prison. In fact the pace of executions is still through the roof and opposition can be called easily sedition.

All of these issues just mean that the new government and the new goals of basis changes have not been acknowledged by the powerful organizations that live in the parallel world of responsibility. These groups of extremists can take any action whenever they want without taking any obligation and no one has the authority to prosecute them. They are not supposed to be questioned and on the other hand, no one knows who they really are. I call them “Undercover Occupants” which means obviously they are connected to somewhere but where exactly this department of power is remains the question that no one has the answer of. There are always lots of rumors which they are the members of Basij militia or some religious departments but it is still in denial.

Four years age, in 2008, during the rebellious days of Tehran, these undercover occupants attacked The University of Tehran. So many students were injured and finally the supreme leader commanded the “Supreme National Security Council” to get involved and back them off. They also tried to condemn in public during the chairman of Islamic parliament (Ali Larijani) speech. In fact Ali Larijani is so close to the supreme leader! These undercover occupants were also involved in occupation of the embassy of the Great Britain in Tehran, which caused the big collapse of foreign policy for Iran. I can count thousands of these nonsense and non-logical movements which sometimes caused the supreme leader’s reactions. Occupants recently confronted president Rohani and actually went up against him after he got back home from New York. They criticized him that he was not authorized to talk to president Obama and that he put country down.

They are just like the people who think the mission of possessing of sacred goal is on their shoulders, no matter what would be the responsibility. When they think there is a threat they just interfere. I heard some of them are the presidents of the industries who occupied the manufacturing companies of Iran after the revolution and also the business men who could take advantage of governmental economic rent during these 35 years; therefore, they should be concerned about their positions when the wind of change flows.The undercover occupant groups really remind me of the Nomenklatura category inside the Soviet Union

Obviously President Rohani has decided to discard his goals about his domestic policy for a while until the nuclear issue and sanctions are still on the table. He really thinks being triumphant in talks between Iran and 5+1 can help him precede his domestic policy inside the country. However and on the flip side, the extremist members of the Islamic Parliaments and some members of the Revolutionary Guard put their total vigor to not let him proceed. The upcoming parliament’s election and economical situations will be so important for the players of this poker table. The supreme leader has not taken a side yet which is so meaningful in Islamic Republic of Iran. As I have heard, during this year the economic situations in Iran are getting better. The hope of better future has still long way to be cultivated but people are still hopeful to upcoming talks. These are all proofs that show us having better relations with powerful countries will help you to have better chances. We are not living in the separate worlds and our planet is so combined that being isolated just deprives you not anyone else.

Last month, foreign ministers of European countries and especially Mrs. Ashton had several meetings with foreign minister Zarif. Mrs. Ashton recently went to Iran and talked in person with Mr. Rohani. She had also a meeting with some political prisoners and their family members, which dragged the undercover occupants to the front of the Austria Embassy where that meeting had occurred. They were claiming who let her to talk to the “Fitna” followers, the name which they have been using for naming oppositions in Iran during election in 2008. After while the extremists in parliaments called up Mr. Zarif and the Minister of Intelligence and Security. They asked the same question that undercover occupants had asked before.

One of the recent issues which might partially help the extremists inside Iran for improving their positions is the issue of Ukraine. The commander of IAF (Iranian Armed Forces), Hassan Firuzabadi, clearly shows respect to what Russia has done inside the Ukraine and Crimea. He also said the vandals just pulled off the coup and it was not the process of legitimate transactional and transformational leadership. Now they believe the most newest powerful country just pops up and subsequently the consolidation of 5+1 is fragile right now so there is no need for retreating at this time which I think it could be somehow the fact that the United States and the NATO don’t want to respond literally to the Russia and president Putin in order to force them back. Finally the internal battle inside Iran would go on and this battle would demonstrate the balance of political groups, the supreme leader and the Revolutionary guard. It could be one of the effective occurrence for Iranians.

Warm Welcomes Please

Hello loyal readers (all four of you). I’ve been AWOL for the last couple of weeks, but I do have some great news. We’re going to have a guest blogger, Dave Nielson, here with us for the next three or four months. Here is his profile:

Dave Nielsen was born and raised in Saint George, Utah, and currently resides in Rexburg, Idaho. Dave is a 24-year old undergraduate student of web design at Brigham Young University – Idaho, a Mormon, a member of his campus Young Americans for Liberty chapter, and a contributor to a few blogs. He feels overshadowed by the achievements of his fellow contributors, but feels privileged by their association. He describes himself as introverted; he is a thinker whose ideas get squashed by his fear of recognition. He finds fulfillment in his faith, his liberties, and his family. Passion for civil liberties and economic freedom is what drives him to fight in the liberty movement. He was brought into the realm of libertarian philosophy by his father, but became enveloped by it when he began listening to Ron Paul, Lew Rockwell, and by reading Bastiat’s “The Law”. He was married to someone out of his league in July 2012. His wife puts up with his political rants over dinner, and lovingly supports him in his participation in the local liberty movement where he resides.

Notes On Liberty is also getting another permanent blogger, the anthropologist Mike Reid. I first came across Mike’s work at the Mises Institute and have been following him closely since. It’s rare to come across a libertarian anthropologist so I was very excited when Mike first burst onto the scene. When I won the Freeman‘s blog contest I choose Mike’s essay “Culture in a Cage” to riff off of. Mike was kind enough to send me a congratulatory email and I figured it was now or never and asked him to blog with us here at NOL. He was gracious enough to accept my humble offer. Here is his short bio for the blog:

Mike Reid teaches anthropology at the University of Winnipeg. His writing on news, anthropology, and history has appeared in the FreemanWhiskey and Gunpowder, Heartland’s FIRE Policy and News, the Mises Daily, and Ontario History. Mike also manages publishing projects for libertarian clients at InvisibleOrder.com.

Stay tuned readers. Things at Notes On Liberty just keep getting better and better. You’ll also notice that Kyle Dix has begun blogging here at the consortium. I’ll introduce Kyle to you guys properly as soon as he gets me a short bio of himself!

Quick thoughts on Mexico and trade

I just got back from a crazy trip in Mexico a couple of days ago, so my presence has been limited here. I hitched a ride down with a buddy of mine (I wanted to get down to LA and thought that Mexico would be nice pit stop).

My buddy’s van broke down outside of Ensenada and it took us a while to get out of there, but not too much longer than it would here in the US. Our problem had more to do with language barriers than with getting parts or getting ripped off. When we finally got to a mechanic shop it was about four o’clock, and the shop closed at 5.

They sent a guy out with us to do work on-site (we tagged along in the company’s truck and there was no charge for gasoline) and about a half-hour to five he called it quits and towed the van (himself) to the shop, where they told us it would be ready about 1 PM the next day.

As typical gringos do, we showed up at 1 they had everything ready for us. They even repaired the leaky radiator at no extra charge.

I think this is a small, anecdotal story that shows just how incredibly beneficial economic integration has been for both the US and Mexico. Imagine that there was no NAFTA in place when my buddy’s van broke down. My story would be radically different. I may have been “stuck” in Mexico waiting two or even three weeks for the right part to be shipped to that particular shop from some parochial partsmaker in Mexico.

Instead, I got to hang out in Ensenada and enjoy the beautiful weather and wonderful people who live in that city.

I think there needs to be more integration between the two countries. Dr Delacroix has a co-authored piece on how we can do just that, although I think that there is no reason not to have a full-fledged union.

A Bit More on Ukraine

Evgeniy’s plea for balance in the Russia-Ukraine conflict has produced, in my mind, an interesting dialogue on propaganda – both of the Western and of the Russian variety.

Let me come out and say with some conviction that I am not a supporter of the Putin regime. Nor do I believe much of the analysis that comes out of the Russian press. (This is because the vast majority of the Russian press is controlled by the state, and not because it is Russian or because it generally espouses pro-Russian sympathies.)

Evgeniy, for example, cites reports from the Russian press claiming that half a million people have fled Ukraine for Russia since the beginning of the year (when the demonstrations started). If half a million people fled from one place to another in a month, from anywhere in the world it would be headline news, but for some reason only Russian citizens have heard of this exodus? I don’t buy it.

Now, this number may be a misunderstanding based on a bad translation. In fact, I think this may be the case. My translation of Evgeniy’s comment states that the Russian press reports that “since the beginning of the year (January 2014) in Russia has resettled about 500,000 refugees from Ukraine.” Emphasis mine. Has this resettlement been ongoing since the end of the Cold War? However, judging by Evgeniy’s comment, it looks as if resettlement has only begun in January of this year, so if this is indeed the claim that the Russian press is making then it is obviously false.

Terry’s excerpted quote from the Daily Beast fares no better in the facts department, though, despite the Daily Beast being a private organization. The op-ed is an attempt to debunk “Putin’s Crimea Propaganda Machine” as if Putin has the power to control everything the Russian press publishes. State control of the media, especially in a country as large and diverse as Russia, does not mean that the bureaucratic process magically disappears. Bureaucracies and especially regulators are actors in their own right, and as such are beholden to certain constraints and processes that come with the way these institutions are organized.

So in the spirit of open inquiry and debate, there are a couple of facts I’ve gathered that I think are important to note.

  1. The President of Ukraine was ousted in a coup. He was elected by a very slim margin and accusations (from both sides) of voter fraud were rampant.
  2. The opposition that recently installed a new President therefore gave democracy the finger. This is not in itself a bad thing, but many Western observers tend to side with the pro-West faction as if it was democratic. It is not.
  3. The exiled President signed an agreement with the opposition last month guaranteeing early elections and more power to the legislature at the expense of the executive branch. This is as peaceful and as democratic as it gets, and the opposition gave, as I said, the finger to this agreement.
  4. The opposition has fascists in its cabinet. It has also installed Ukrainian Jews to high-ranking positions. The Muslim Tartars in Crimea stand to lose the most during Russia’s occupation.
  5. Ukrainians are sick of their government – right or left, pro or anti -and this has yet to be addressed by anyone other than Dr Foldvary as far as I can tell.
  6. No shots have been fired. Moscow has reiterated that it is in Crimea to protect its naval base and Russian citizens. I have a feeling that Russian troops will be back in Russia within the year. Crimea will get to keep its autonomous status within Ukraine, and Kiev will be forced to think twice before it attempts to impose its will on Crimea arbitrarily. This is a good thing, as it limits the size and scope of government.
  7. So far most, if not all, information about military activities have been coming from governments, not from the free press. This can only lead to more misunderstanding and more suspicion.
  8. War is the health of the state. In times like these, journalists should be criticizing their own governments rather than the governments of others. In the West, where the press remains relatively free, there is more criticism of government policies concerning foreign affairs than there is in Russia.

At the end of the day, I have to agree with Evgeniy’s plea for toleration and prudence: “Please do not judge this conflict only from one side.”