Imperial Fortresses

Blessed are the peacemakers, except those who oppose any war started by a Republican president.

Dissing War

On April 7, I wrote:

The very fact that it’s World War II that’s continually invoked (rather than the Korean War, the Vietnam War, the invasion of Panama, or the War of the Roses) is an indication that World War II was unique.

To which,  Paul Farah said:

I bet you would have stood idly by during the War of the Roses too, and just let the House of Hanover win over the House of Tudor.  If people listened to folk like you, we’d all be speaking English today! 

New TV Show

I have a new weekly Internet TV show on the Free Market News Network. Each week at 6pm Eastern time a new episode is posted on the FMNN website. Every episode is 30-45 minutes in length, and consists of several segments, including a different perspective on recent news items – and a guest with whom I have a spirited, but civil, debate on a current issue of the day.

Syria & the US

My friend, investor writer Doug Casey, travels the world – and his reports are always fascinating. In the April issue of his newsletter, he talks about a recent trip to see firsthand what’s going on in the Middle East. Before visiting Syria, he was in Dubai – where he obtained his Syrian visa.

I found this part of his report quite enlightening:

The Syrian Embassy was a perfectly ordinary, if rather rundown, house in a residential area, untroubled by security or guards – rather unlike the American consulate, which resembles a high-rise fortress with armed guards, metal detectors, steel doors with buzzers, and bullet-proof glass windows, behind which lurked surly clerks who might have been transplanted from the local DMV.

And that was just the Consulate; the U.S. Embassy for the U.A.E. in Abu Dubai (as well as the one in Qatar), is a massive high-tech affair, a blockhouse-style building, a bunker really, surrounded by a high blast-wall that leaves the whole compound looking as formidable as any prison. Very much the template for U.S. embassies around the world.

Not that I’m a connoisseur of embassy design, but I know of no other country employing such paranoid architects. It says a lot about the success of our foreign policy that such extreme measures are required.

April 16, 2005