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Sunday, April 27, 2003

Planitarchis.

John Brady Kiesling, the US diplomat to Greece who resigned over President Bush's war with Iraq, explains why he quit in today's Boston Globe Magazine. He also describes the United States' global situation quite succinctly:

In Greece, they refer to the president of the United States as the Planitarchis, the Ruler of the Planet. . . The title is one we have earned, in several senses. Without the United States, the world cannot act on the global scale that a shrinking world and an expanding world population require. It is not just that fear of our military deters cross-border aggression around the world or that our excess consumption fuels the world economy or that American marketing genius has altered forever the language and culture of the planet. The United States is the sine qua non of the international system. To the extent that international law has utility, it is because we accept it. Neither the world's interests nor our own can be protected without the engagement of the United States, either as first among equals in the evolving law-based international system we largely created, or if, as now seems the case, we are rejecting that system, then as autocrat in whatever system or non-system we replace it with. And the American president is the face and voice of the United States to the world.

The post-war. Another must-read this weekend: journalist and blogger Dan Kennedy's Boston Phoenix interviews with foreign-policy hot-shots about waging the post-war. Kennedy talked to just about everybody whose opinion I'd like to hear: Samantha Power, Fareed Zakaria, Joseph Nye, Paul Berman, Khaled Abou El Fadl (whose book The Place of Tolerance in Islam I reviewed for UU World), and several others. (If you're more hawkish than I am, there's the New Republic's Lawrence Kaplan. If you're more dovish, there's the Nation's Katrina vanden Heuvel.)

Copyright © 2003 by Philocrites | Posted 27 April 2003 at 10:50 AM

Previous: Paul Berman watch.
Next: More than words.

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