Thursday, January 11, 2007

Who is sovereign now?

(complimentary aperitivo and wine, prizes,)

Who is sovereign now?

This Friday Newspaper Seminar is teaming up with BC journal to apply
this years theme of "sovereignty and how it is defined in the 21st
century" to current events (for a full text of the theme and how to
submit go to: . The idea is to get you
to understand the applicability of the theme to a wide variety of
topics and to illustrate how many of the papers you are currently
writing can easily be tailored to fit submission criteria. The BC
journal staff will be on hand to field all your questions about
submissions and getting involved on many levels, as an editor, referee,
production, layout, fundraising and PR amongst other things. There
will as an added bonus:

FREE APeritvo - which means FREE WINE and FREE food, the food is going
to be special from the southern italian region of Puglia, provided by
"terra da sole" a gourmet wholesome eatery.

ok, before you get really excited keep your thinking caps on, we got
work to do, this is our last seminar and lets make the magic happen one
more time. Below are the readings I suggest you do, of all the pieces,
and they are all good, the highlight is the Eliot Cohen piece, who also
is a SAIS DC Director and professor of Strategic Studies.

Of the many things I have read on Iraq this past year this seems to be
the most clear and logical. Though professor Cohen one could argue, is
part of the reason we are in the mess to begin with, as he was an
staunch supporter of the war from its inception. The piece raises very
pertinent and interesting questions with regards to sovereignty. Cohen
argues, after the botched handling of Saddam Hussein's Execution, that
the United States for the time being needs to take a stronger role in
Iraq and says "Quite possibly, Prime Minister Maliki will refuse, on
the grounds of sovereignty and national pride, to allow Americans equal
control over Iraqi personnel policy. We should respond that when Iraq
is truly sovereign and standing on its own, we withdraw our advisers
and the joint board ceases to operate. In the meantime, we're not
potted plants. It is our advisers that force the ministries in Baghdad
to pay the Iraqi soldiers. It is our advisers on patrol risking their
lives and dying to reassure the Iraqi forces that they can prevail. As
long as we run equal risk, we deserve equal say in the selection of
competent leaders." I find all this talk of sovereignty amusing given
that it wasn't much of a concern on March 19, 2003. Read this article,
as we will use it as a launching point for the discussion and relate it
to the BC journal theme.

This next article is Kofi Annan's farewell speech. He calls for the
world to intervene and perhaps over-ride Sovereignty in the name of
human rights. Troubling, perplexing, controversial, it is a call for a
new world order (if we aren't there already). Its a type of left-wing

Climate change could well be the great sovereignty issue of the 21st
century, precisely because it is such a new and vexing problem.
Countries have warred over resources many times before, but consider
this (factoid from Al Gore's film): 40% of the world's population (in
India and China, mainly) rely on the melting snow from the Himalayas to
fill their rivers and supply them with drinking water. You think
conflict ain't going to break out if there ain't enough snow to feed
the Ganges, Yangtze, and other such rivers? The following article (from
today's Herald Tribune) touches on climate change/global warming
issues, on Europe's increasing energy dependence on Russia (raising the
vexing sovereignty issues an earlier article mentioned), and on
concerted action by that great incubator of post-sovereignty, the EU:

And finally and article about African politics. Does one proposed
intervention negate another? Wouldn't they both tend to violate
international legal norms? On the rarely-cited Somali-South African
connection (from Johannesburg's leading daily -- also interesting
because of African Union implications, although they're not mentioned
in this article -- what good might the AU be able to do in various
African conflicts, such as Darfur?):

That is that. I know it is long and you have a lot to read. if you
have to read just one, read the eliot cohen piece and the BC journal
staff will use the other articles to highlight how to apply the theme
to various issues and to get you motivated and prepared to submit. The
wine will flow, we will celebrate the end of the seminar for the
semester. Its been a wild ride. Join me one more time before finals
to get your news on, look forward to facilitating a lively discussion.

Peace, Love and Justice,


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