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Saturday, April 28, 2007

Brrr ......

More chill in East-West relations (funny sounding term, huh?) as Putin says that Russia will put a moratorium on implementing the Conventional Forces in Europe (CFE) treaty.

The Economist says it won't quite use the term "new Cold War", but notes the CFE withdrawal and a slip of the tongue by Condi Rice, in which she allegedly refers to "Soviet" rather than Russia.

I am glad to hear that Putin reasserted that he'll step down as Russian President, though I do wonder who will be next, and he will be like.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Ségo v. Sarko

Not terribly surprising. It was definitely the safest bet, though of course "safe" is not a word one generally uses in connection with predicting French election outcomes.

The FT characterizes this as a return to the classic Left-Right confrontation, which is hard to disagree with. But my sense is that things are more concentrated around the Center, with Le Pen's poor showing and a paltry 1.9% for the PCF candidate.'s lead story is, perhaps predictably, a little weird. In particular, there is a strongly gendered dichotomy on offer here. First, this:
The choice is now between two starkly different visions for France -- the pro-American hardline ex-interior minister promising swift change or the first woman with an honest chance at becoming the country's leader, a candidate who is promising a gentler approach to reform.
So, the man is "hard" (or some derivation thereof) and the woman is "gentle"? Hm. Then, this:
Royal, a lawmaker and feminist who says she makes political decisions based on what she would do for her children
Feminism of a sort, I guess.

Anyway, should be an interesting two weeks. If I had to go out on a limb I'd guess Sarkozy takes it on May 6th, but I don't feel particularly confident about it.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Right On, Francis

The EU's attempt to transcend sovereignty and traditional power politics by establishing a transnational rule of law is much more in line with a "post-historical" world than the Americans' continuing belief in God, national sovereignty, and their military.
So saith Francis Fukuyama.

HT: Sully.