Author: Maitra (Page 1 of 15)

Three major lessons from recent referendums in Kurdistan and Catalonia

International Relations theorists don’t have the opportunity to conduct lab experiments like scientists. They have to rely on natural experiments, or in other words, deduce and infer from events that shape and transform in front of our eyes, happening in real time.

Recent events on the Catalan crisis and the Kurdistan referendum are important case studies for a few ideas that IR theorists have talked for, for a while.

Read More

Let’s be prudent about Myanmar

I wrote a recent piece in The Federalist on the hysteric Western liberal media coverage of the Rohingya crisis is looking very similar to the ones during the early days of Libyan and Syrian civil wars. Naturally, the reaction to that, was…let’s say…quite extreme.

Anyway, here’s what we are seeing now. the same appeal to emotions, same arguments of ethnic cleansing, and genocide, without any understanding of the history and context of the crisis. It will soon lead to arguments of regime change, and sanctions, if UN peacekeepers. And it is specifically for that reason, every neighbouring country should be wary of the situation in Myanmar.

With more than 310,000 people having fled to Bangladesh in recent weeks, there are daily reports of violence in Myanmar border. The UNHRC, which bizarrely had Saudi Arabia as a chair, of all countries, noted that Myanmar is apparently having an ethnic cleansing. An official was quoted by Guardian, saying, “I call on the government to end its current cruel military operation, with accountability for all violations that have occurred, and to reverse the pattern of severe and widespread discrimination against the Rohingya population.”

The Rohingya issue is not new. It originates from the forced demographic change during the British times, when the northern Myanmar was socially engineered by the British colonial governance, to provide for cheap labour. It created centuries of sectarian tension and separatism, and worse, anti-Burmese violence in the 40s and 50s. Over 50000 Myanmar Buddhists were killed in the 1940s, a wound that still lives in Myanmar. Recently, since the 1980s, the Rohingya separatism, acquired an Islamist character. It is important to note that there’s a huge connection between Islamists in North India, and Xinjiang, and Rohingya and the Moro Liberation front. While most of these groups started with political or economic demands, over time, they have acquired a religious character which cannot be negotiated with.

It is in this time, the latest Rohingya crisis started.

Read More

Game of Thrones and IR Theory

 

Here you go. My second long essays in a day. This one’s more fun, of course.

Yours truly, for Acculturated.

Excerpt:

” Daenerys Targaryen’s journey which turned her from humanitarian interventionist to overstretched hegemon who ultimately failed to keep peace is similarly instructive. You can invade a region and try to establish a rule of law, but you cannot win wars, establish long lasting peace, and transform an alien society in a matter of days with only kindness and norms. If any established order is overthrown, there will inevitably be insurgency, and counterinsurgency is rarely achieved by winning hearts and minds (or merely breaking chains). Modern Realist research on Counterinsurgency corroborates what ancient Romans understood, and what Dany, as well as our current policy makers refuse to believe: Carthago Delenda est.

This is a Machiavellian paradox. Fear didn’t help Robert keep the throne, but honor didn’t help Ned (or his son Robb) survive either; benevolent rule of law didn’t help Dany to secure order. A sovereign cannot rule only through norms; he or she needs to balance it with fear—or at least the threat of severe repercussions. A society that is too liberal and free turns degenerate, just as a society that is too repressed eventually rebels. In the first scenario, it is invaded and destroyed by external, disciplined, cohesive, martial forces; in the latter case a Leviathan rises to bring back order amidst chaos. 

Let me know what you think?

The defining culture war of our times is just starting

The debate about Transgenders in military is complicated unlike any others. 

My essay in The Federalist.

Read More

Not the bloody trade war talk again

As the talks of trade war heat up from across the pond again, it is time to highlight some home truths. A beleaguered US Presidency, completely sabotaged by opposing domestic interests between several differing factions, found a rare bipartisan point of solidarity, as hawkish Democrats urged on Trump to be stern in face of a possible trade war. The argument lies like this. Chinese economic prowess has coerced several American companies, to start joint ventures or lose Chinese markets. That led to diffusion of technology, and sharing of intellectual property. Technology and Intellectual property is now proving to be new battleground, as Bob Lighthizer, the United States trade representative, is apparently now preparing a trade case against extensive misuse of IP.

That’s, however, easier said than done.

Read More

Takedown of Post-Modernism by Shermer

An article in the esteemed Scientific American, quotes me and my Quillette piece and ties it to the original sin, the capture of the academy by the Post-modernists and the causation of race based arguments.

Everything that we see around us, including the cyclical tit-for-tat violence, is a direct result of our academics teaching students to see everything from the lens of race, and nothing else.

The original piece was written after the Berkeley riots.

Read them both, and let me know what you think!

 

 

All you need to read about the Google Manifesto

Google’s Diversity Problem – WSJ Editorial.

No, the Google manifesto isn’t sexist or anti-diversity. It’s science. – Debra Soh, Globe and Mail, Canada.

The Google Memo: Four Scientists Respond – Jussim, Miller, Schmitt, Soh, in Quillette Magazine.

Google Firing Employee Over Diversity Discussion Is Frighteningly Authoritarian – Maitra, The Federalist.

Google’s War Over the Sexes – Douthat, NYT.

In Defense of the Google Manifesto – Mali, Areo Magazine.

Google’s sexist memo has provided the alt-right with a new martyr – Jones, Guardian.

The Most Common Error in Coverage of the Google Memo – Friedersdorf, Atlantic.

A Googler’s memo shows there is work to be done – FT View Editorial

Googler fired for diversity memo had legit points on gender – Cathy Young, USAToday

It isn’t anti-diversity and it’s not a tirade – Toby Young, Spectator UK

Lena Dunham and Google Demonstrate Why Our Free Speech Culture Is Slipping Away – French, NRO.

Google Can’t Seem to Tolerate Diversity – Ou, Bloomberg.

Hey Mashable, why am I listed as Alt-Right?

So, unsurprisingly, Mashable came out with this dross.

Bizarrely, my semi-viral tweet was listed in the blog post.

Read More

The Sophoclean irony of Google memo

 

By yours truly, in The Federalist. Read the whole piece here.

 

 

“This weak piping time of peace…”

Shall these enjoy our lands? Lie with our wives?
Ravish our daughters?!

March on, join bravely, let us to’t pell-mell
If not to heaven, then hand in hand to hell.  ”

 

The city center square of Leicester is a typical Midlands city center, with Islamic preachers setting up roadside tables to sell books which are supposed to promote the virtues of Islamic life, a couple of Nigerian pastors shouting that Bible says the world is going to end soon, somehow managing to exist peacefully, perhaps aided by the fact that two unarmed “police-couple” (it’s usually a man and a woman in England, gender equality and all that) watching over for signs of trouble. There were a few yobs sitting in the market square, heavy rank of weed. Over all sunny day, and indifferent people.

It however looks like a complete different city when you cross around five hundred meters to Leicester Cathedral. Empty street, very English, with pubs, and tea shops, and lots of overhanging lavenders and limoniums,  with a few curious passerby looking at me. Enter the huge Cathedral, and you will see very familiar twenty year olds sitting and munching kebab, in the Cathedral lawn. So much for respect for historical sites.

I was met with curious looks, every where I went. The group in the lawn munching kebab was curious, as was the incredibly polite lady of the cloth, who was surprised that I actually knew about the Battle of Bosworth, and more or less familiar with English history.

I don’t blame them. They don’t probably see many Asians, other than Chinese people in tour groups taking selfies in front of fountains and gargoyles. Indians and Pakistanis, the former subjects of the British crown, either are typical Labour voters, which means they either dislike, or are indifferent about everything about ancient Britain and carries a colonial legacy, or are just here for work and jobs, and don’t often come to Cathedrals or read up about obscure Kings who died in battles in the middle ages.

Except, Richard the Third wasn’t obscure.

Read More

Page 1 of 15

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén

Get the most important and interesting articles right at your inbox. Sign up for B+D periodic emails.