RCH: Iraq, then and now

Folks, I’m still plugging away at RealClearHistory. This week’s focus was on Iraq. Here’s the link to my Tuesday column. And here’s the link to my weekend column. I’m not going to spoil anything. Just read ’em already!

RCH: MacArthur’s rule over Japan

That’s the subject of my latest over at RealClearHistory. An excerpt:

The relative graciousness of the American occupation of Japan led to the most peaceful and prosperous era in Japanese history. MacArthur’s governing strategy for a conquered people was so successful that it was aped by Washington in 2001 and 2003 when the United States invaded and occupied Afghanistan and Iraq. What went wrong? You could write a dissertation trying to answer that question, but the most straightforward answer is that Iraq and Afghanistan were not conquered. The governments of Kabul and Baghdad never officially surrendered to Washington, and they never really had the capacity to wage war the way that Japan was able to wage war on the United States.

As always, I appreciate the clicks…

Nightcap

  1. West Coast jazz revival Ted Gioia, City Journal
  2. Augustine’s Cogito David Potts, Policy of Truth
  3. Iraq: A failure of ideas Sam Roggeveen, War on the Rocks
  4. Confucian patriarchy and the allure of communism in China Alan Roberts, Not Even Past

Nightcap

  1. ISIS never went away in Iraq Krishnadev Calamur, the Atlantic
  2. In search of “real” socialism Kristian Niemietz, CapX
  3. Localism and its trade-offs Jason Sorens, Law & Liberty
  4. Latin America’s greatest storyteller Thomas Meany, Claremont Review of Books

Nightcap

  1. The transformation of the liberal political tradition in the nineteenth century Pamela Nogales, Age of Revolutions
  2. Kurds have conditions for an alliance with Shiites in Iraq Omar Sattar, Al-Monitor
  3. Mau-Mauing Myself Harry Stein, City Journal
  4. Is the sharing economy exploitative? Per Bylund, Power & Market

Eye Candy: Kurdistan

NOL map Kurdistan.png
Click here to zoom (courtesy of the excellent Decolonial Atlas)

Countries with significant Kurdish populations in the Near East: Turkey, Syria, Iraq, and Iran.

Countries with significant Kurdish populations in the Near East that the United States has bombed or put boots on the ground in: Iraq and Syria.

Countries with significant Kurdish populations in the Near East that the United States has threatened to bomb and possibly invade: Iran.

Countries with significant Kurdish populations in the Near East that the United States is allied with: Turkey.

Three of the four countries with significant Kurdish populations in the Near East are (or was, in the case of Iraq) considered hostile to the US government, so the use of Kurds to further American Realpolitik in the region is almost obvious, until you consider that Turkey has been a longtime ally of Washington.

Suppose you’re a big-time Washington foreign policy player. Do you arm Kurdish militias in Syria, encourage continued political autonomy in Kurdish Iraq, finance Kurdish discontent in Iran, and shrug your shoulders at Istanbul? Seriously, what do you do in this situation?

Nightcap

  1. How Men In The Middle Ages Dealt With Gossiping Wives Katie Serena, ATI
  2. King’s Men & Bum’s-bailiffs Jonathan Healy, Social Historian
  3. Trump Shouldn’t Talk to Feds. And Neither Should You Ken White, Reason
  4. Frankenstein in Baghdad Robin Yassin-Kassab, New Statesman