Nightcap

  1. Libertarian populism is still relevant in the Age of Trump Kevin Boyd, American Conservative
  2. What others have said about America James Poulos, Law & Liberty
  3. In praise of Viktor Orbán Lee Congdon, Modern Age
  4. Beyond the SETI paradigm Nick Nielsen, Grand Strategy Annex

Nightcap

  1. How British architects conquered the world Joe Lloyd, 1843
  2. The demise of the nation-state Rana Dasgupta, Guardian
  3. The survivors of the Syrian wars Patrick Cockburn, London Review of Books
  4. There is no personality cult around Viktor Orbán Jan-Werner Müller, New York Review of Books

Nightcap

  1. We’ve lost our faith in God *and* reason Kenan Malik, Guardian
  2. Pope Francis is beloved, but disaster looms for the Vatican Ross Douthat, NY Times
  3. What did Karl Marx think about freedom? Daniel Luban, the Nation
  4. Hungary’s slow, sad decline into dictatorship Matthew Engel, New Statesman

Nightcap

  1. Slavery didn’t dehumanize anybody Walter Johnson, Boston Review
  2. Some uncomfortable Gaza truths Michael Koplow, Ottomans and Zionists
  3. Some problems in the theory of imperialism Ben Reynolds, Fragments
  4. The new communists (same as the old) Lili Bayer, Politico

What is the distance between Damascus and Budapest?

According to distancecalculator.com, it’s 2,123 km (or 1,319 miles).

The distance between Damascus and Abu Dhabi? 2,021 km (or 1,256 miles).

If I had to flee a war zone on foot to a wealthy cosmopolitan city I’d rather go through Turkey and Romania than Iraq and Saudi Arabia, too. The West is on the precipice of a damnable moral failure (link, in case you’ve been living under a rock). In the name of fairness, though, a regional perspective ought to be adhered to.

I have a slight digression. Can anybody here imagine what the plight of the war refugees would be like going through post-socialist states like Romania and Bulgaria if they had not been a part of the EU? Let me put this into context a bit more. In order to join the EU, post-socialist states in Eastern Europe had to reform their political and legal systems in a manner that was satisfactory to the traditional Western states of the confederation. A major aspect of these reforms was making sure that governments have a harder time assaulting individual rights. This clause, or whatever you want to call it, for joining voluntarily the EU was less about a cultural chauvinism on the part of the core EU states and more about tempering the overt racist and nationalistic undertones of the post-socialist societies in Eastern Europe. Context matters, especially when there’s a lot of finger-pointing going on.

Here is a map I’ve edited for you:

map west eurasia 2015

 

The three big red dots represent the cities of Budapest in Hungary, Damascus in Syria, and Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Visual perspectives are great. I already added my two cents about what needs to be done, in fact I did so around this time last year.