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Mitt Romney's foreign policy is REALLY scary

by Jerome a Paris Fri Jun 1st, 2007 at 05:11:31 PM EST

As a companion to Barack Obama's own article on the topic (which I discussed yesterday on the big orange - with 1,100+ comments... - and here on ET), Foreign Affairs has a parallel text written by Mitt Romney about his vision on foreign policy. Cutting to the chase, I'd say that he raises interesting questions, but provides really, really nasty and scary answers.

Okay, let's deal quickly with the one thing I liked in Romney's text: the prominent feature of energy policy, and the (indirect) acknowledgement that it is a foreign policy issue. Of course, he talks only about the dependency aspects, and not abouyt how oil influences US policies (more on this below) and, unfortunately, but not unexpectedly, his proposed remedies that are worse than the problem, i.e. he focuses on the traditional 'solutions' of the Republicans: more, more, more, i.e. supply-side crap:

It will also mean increasing our domestic energy production with more drilling offshore and in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, more nuclear power, more renewable energy sources, more ethanol, more biodiesel, more solar and wind power, and a fuller exploitation of coal.

ANWR? Coal? Bleh.

The other thing that might have been interesting is his idea that international civilian policies of the USA should be coordinated like the military ones are. But he turns that into a frankly scary idea to create super-prefects to supervise each region of the world:

We need to fundamentally change the cultures of our civilian agencies and create dynamic, flexible, and task-based approaches that focus on results rather than bureaucracy. We need joint strategies and joint operations that go beyond the Goldwater-Nichols Act to mobilize all areas of our national power. Just as the military has divided the world into regional theaters for all of its branches, the work of our civilian agencies should be organized along common geographic boundaries. For every region, one civilian leader should have authority over and responsibility for all the relevant agencies and departments, similar to the single military commander who heads U.S. Central Command. These new leaders should be heavy hitters, with names that are recognized around the world. They should have independent objectives, budgets, and oversight. Their performance should be evaluated according to their success in promoting America's political, military, diplomatic, and economic interests in their respective regions and building the foundations of freedom, democracy, security, and peace.

This is almost naked empire building. Heavy hitters with the control of the full might of the US government, and in charge of "freedom, democracy, security, and peace" in their respective areas of the world? How long before they'd start dictating policies to local governments and attempting to run the countries under their purview? This has been a permanent temptation for American foreign policy in the past half-century, but this would create a formal structure to explicitly do it, and it is unlikely that, after having built the tool, it would remain unused. This is truly megalomaniac stuff.

:: ::

I was harsh about Barack Obama's focus on threats, and his strong words about reinforcing the US military, and his support for American exceptionalism, but it was quite mild compared to Romney's inclinations in there respects. (As I acknowledged in the comments of yesterday's diary, I deliberately focused in that diary on what I found to be the worrying aspects of Obama's text, because, on balance, I found them too strong compared to the less objectionable, or even laudable parts of his article, and the overall proportion left me with a bad impression. I found Obama's "good bits" insufficient, but at least they were there)

The perception of a threatening world dominates his text, with genocide, Darfur, Hugo Chavez's Venezuela and China's rise adding to the threat from the Middle East. And that last threat is seen as an all-encompassing struggle:

Many still fail to comprehend the extent of the threat posed by radical Islam, specifically by those extremists who promote violent jihad against the United States and the universal values Americans espouse. Understandably, the nation tends to focus on Afghanistan and Iraq, where American men and women are dying. We think in terms of countries because countries were our enemies in the last century's great conflicts. The congressional debate in Washington has largely, and myopically, focused on whether troops should be redeployed from Iraq to Afghanistan, as if these were isolated issues. Yet the jihad is much broader than any one nation, or even several nations. It is broader than the conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq, or that between the Israelis and the Palestinians. Radical Islam has one goal: to replace all modern Islamic states with a worldwide caliphate while destroying the United States and converting all nonbelievers, forcibly if necessary, to Islam. This plan sounds irrational, and it is. But it is no more irrational than the policies pursued by Nazi Germany in the 1930s and 1940s and Stalin's Soviet Union during the Cold War. And the threat is just as real.

So, a worldwide struggle with an ideology as dangerous as nazism and stalinism. And it is a struggle to death, as they want the destruction of the US. And they use evil weapons like clerics, children and the internet. A sneaky, devious enemy. And they want nuclear weapons to attack the US.

And of course, it is Clinton's fault that this threat was not recognised for what it is, and that the US military was so weak as a result to strike back. I kid you not.

Look at how long it took the U.S. government to confront the reality of jihadism. Extremists bombed our marines in Lebanon. They bombed our embassies in East Africa. They bombed the U.S.S. Cole. They even set off a bomb in the basement of the World Trade Center before we truly saw the threat they posed.


After President George H. W. Bush left office, in 1993, the Clinton administration began to dismantle the military, taking advantage of what has been called a "peace dividend" from the end of the Cold War. It took a dividend, but we did not get the peace. It seems that our leaders had come to believe that war and security threats were gone forever;


The equipment and armament gap continues to this day. Even as we have increased defense spending to meet the challenges in Iraq and Afghanistan, our budgets for procurement and modernization have lagged behind. This is a troubling scenario for the future, and it puts our country and our troops -- present and future -- at risk, as we wring the life out of old and inadequate equipment.

Thus he proposes, not surprisingly, a massive increase in the military budget, and commits "to spending a minimum of four percent of GDP on national defense", like in the good old days of the cold war.

Beyond the military build up, he proposes "energy independence" as described above via more drilling more coal and more ethanol (neither of which will make a dent in oil consumption, and each of which will create massive additional problems, whether environmental damage, increased carbon emissions or competition with food supplies). He proposes the new imperial prefects I also discussed, and has an additional section on "revitalising alliances" which is essentially a long rant against the UN Human Rights Council (which is indeed mostly a joke, but is not an alliance, and, being part of the UN, is not meant as an interventionist body, and has never been a significant tool of US policy at any time). He mentions the OSCE as an example (suggesting that it was responsible for the peace in Europe after WWII, ignoring that it was created in the 1970s, and, as expected, failing to mention the EU), and quotes neocon (and out-of-power) Spaniard Aznar as to how NATO should be used to kick ass around the world.

Throughout, he peppers his text with references to the "greatest generation", and the need for similarly strong action and, naturally, on America's mission:

We are a unique nation, and there is no substitute for our leadership.

Thus the themes that I flagged in Obama's speech (the perception of threats, the need for more military firepower, and the sense of exceptionalism) are present in an even more exarcerbated fashion. I guess this does not surprise me too much coming from a Republican, which is why I'm using less outraged words, but it's a toxic combination that scares and alienates me and many around the world.

And of course, no mention of global warming, no mention of ending Guantananmo, no mention of ending torture, no mention that allies might have been alienated by Bush. (I will apologize to Obama supporters on this point: Barack Obama is absolutely unambiguous on all these topics. I guess that I saw it as such a basic requirement that it did not strike me as remarkable - but noting their absolute absence in Romney's text shows that it is by no means a trivial issue, and thus I salute Obama's words on this more explicitly today.)

:: ::

As a wider point, I'd like to make explicit my positions on a number of issues, which underpin some of my reactions to the proposed foreign policies. Just for the avoidance of doubt, these are personal opinions and I certainly do not claim to represent European or world opinion on these points.


To me, the threat of terrorism is vastly overrated. Terrorism is fundamentally (i) a law enforcement issue, and (ii) a political issue linked to our noxious policies in the region.

Terrorism's significance is vastly exagerated. With the admittedly big exception of 9/11, its actual impact on our lives is unsignificant (just look at statistices for death and damages from any other cause, whether car accidents, firearms, arson, etc...). Even 9/11, while exceptionally huge, did not have any material impact on the US economy beyond that in our heads. Terrorism works when it makes us change our behavior and become fearful, vengeful or hateful and lose our values in the process. The more we ignore it, the less it will have an actual impact. Terrorism should be treated like car accidents. It's a tragedy when you're caught in one, but it's a statistic for the country. (I'll get back to nuclear below).

As a law enforcement issue, it does require international action, but not military action at all. The opportunity to push for a much more active international justice was lost (probably for a long time, one of the most terrible legacies of Bush) in the late months of 2001, when many countries hostile to it could have been coerced into it by the USA, as an alternative to all out war, but that does not mean that law enforcement cannot work today. As a basic first step, existing laws should apply to all detainees, and normal legal procedures should apply to terrorism, with minor tweaking, as has been done in a number of countries. We have to uphold the law if the fight against these criminals is to mean anything.

As a political issue, the requirement is to go for the root causes: our support for corrupt, dictatorial regimes in the expectation that this will secure our access to oil. This is silly (Iran has been a reliable supplier and actually is more open to foreign investment than Saudi Arabia), and terribly counterproductive, as whole populations have grown up with the equation dictature = the West and have found, as their only outlet for political action, support for religious movements (which have a strong social role in many countries and thus high on-the-ground legitimacy), and have equated democracy = islam. Our priority should be to let these populations make the democratic choice they want, i.e. accepting that religious leaders gain power in a number of these countries. Again, the contrasting examples of Iran (where they did gain power and would have been kicked out of power by their population, had we not given them the populist opportunity to rally Iranians around the flag - and them - by threatening the country) and Algeria (where Islamists who won elections in the early 90s were forcibly pushed out by the military, with Western support, which led to a bloody civil war and terrorism in Europe) shows that it's not clear that our preferred solution is really better for us.

As an additional factor, we should reduce on dependence on the oil they produce, which means reducing our demand, not producing more (as that feeds demand and only pushes the problem to a bit later, while making it bigger).


I consider that the tension with Iran is mostly generated by the USA. Sure, they are hostile to Israel, sure they have a crazy (but mostly powerless) president. Sure they are trying to get nukes.

But look at it from their perspective: the US has already invaded two of their (non-nuclear armed) neighbors, has troops in a couple other neighbors (Turkey and Azerbaijan) and keeps hinting that it want to do the same to them. The US is also strangely inactive towards countries that do have nuclear weapons (North Korea and Pakistan). Put two and tow together: nuclear weapons protect you from the proven threat of US invasion and occupation.

And remember that the humiliation of 1979 was preceded, in Iranian minds, by the US-backed coup of 1953, when their democratically elected leader was pushed out in favor of a nasty US-friendly dictator.

It's time for Americans to put the embassy crisis behind them, and to commit to peace with Iran. They want it - they've made the diplomatic moves; they'll get it via a nuclear weapon otherwise, it's hard to blame them for it - and it's hard to see that as a danger. Just as India and Pakistan going officially nuclear has actually calmed things down between them, it's very much likely that the same would happen with Israel, as both countries face the responsibility of MAD. Iran has a long history as a country, and its leaders are just as pragmatic and keen to remain in power as elsewhere. A nuclear attack against a country with several hundred nukes (and a close ally of the US) is unlikely to lead to any of that. Nuclear weapons in the hands of states are not offensive weapons - they cannot be - the only people deluded enough to think that are US neocons. and a State giving nuclear weapons to terrorists will easily be identified, and treated as if it had used the weapon. I cannot imagine that Iranian leaders would want to take that risk with fundamentally uncontrollable groups.

Which leaves us with nuclear proliferation, and the risk of a terrorist attack using a nuclear device. quite frankly, that riks does not come from Iran or Iraq. If it exists at all, it comes from the former Soviet Union (ignored by Romney but addressed by Obama) or Pakistan (ignored by both). It can only be solved by close international cooperation between police and spies from various countries. That requires trust, and it requires give-and-take, not diktats and threats.

In the meantime, again, terrorism's main effect is on *our* behavior. If we drop our values, treat all Others as enemies or even go to war, terrorists have won without even needing to blow up any bomb. The "war on terror" can only be won in our heads.

US leadership

I'm often told that Europeans had it easy, and had the luxury of going about cooperating and using soft power because they were protected by US military might. Besides the fact that this overlooks the fact that we were meant to be the battlefield in any war with the Soviets, and had a stake in protecting our homes (and thus did contribute to the military effort), I'm not sure how that argument works today. Who is the US protecting us from today?

The only thing that I see here is the protection of sea lanes for trade, mostly, if implicitly, done by the US Navy all over the world. Naturally, that includes oil trade, which brings us to energy policy (*We need to use less oil*. Reduce demand. Think conservation rather than looking for more supply. Etc, etc...), but beyond this?

Actual US leadership came from undisputed economic power, bringing goods, business practices, investment and technology around the world. Today? It's spreading around Goods (and demand for commodities) come from China. Standards come from Europe (just look at REACH, the EU directive on chemical products coming into force today, which imposes high health and safety standards that will apply in Europe but will become de fact oworld standards as they are the toughest around). Engineers come from India. Capital comes from all over and is loyal to no country.

So what's the claim to leadership today, beyond the ability to invade countries at will? Might makes right is unlikely to work very long in today's world. Thus my wariness at proposals to reinforce the military, and my dismay at Romney's package.

Ack... too much bolding... I think you've also said "Terrorism is overrated" and then "Terrorism is underrated" very close together and it looks like a typo.
by Metatone (metatone [a|t] gmail (dot) com) on Fri Jun 1st, 2007 at 05:34:30 PM EST
formatting corrected - and yep, i alos caught the inconsistency in that sentence - now corrected as well.


In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Fri Jun 1st, 2007 at 05:43:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Good diary, btw. I just didn't have anything to add.
by Metatone (metatone [a|t] gmail (dot) com) on Sat Jun 2nd, 2007 at 04:12:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
the Illuminati will let him do what he wants.  Anything which destroys the US will be allowed however.
by Lasthorseman on Fri Jun 1st, 2007 at 07:15:48 PM EST
Obama is on the coal bandwagon

imho the predicament the dominant culture has got itself into (the fossil fuel binge, overcapitalisation, liquidation of resources, growth cult and that whole nexus) cannot be solved w/in the terms of the religion of neolib economics that created it.  all attempts to work w/in the profiteer, rentier, or finance-capitalist (call it what you will) model will fail because of DeAnander's Law:  it is always more profitable to do things wrong.  thus all the neg-sum games that are touted as the "fix" for the energy crunch.  they are 'profitable' because they are neg-sum.  [Hornborg, Prigogine, Georgescu-Roegen...]

you can do things wrong -- i.e. stupidly, inefficiently, twice or thrice over, with diminishing returns, with massive embezzlement, with ratcheting bandaid effects, etc -- for a long time, provided that you have a vast periphery to loot for additional raw inputs to cover up the loss and waste in the process.  kind of like this:  you can tolerate a massive tapeworm in your gut so long as you have an enormous food supply and can eat like a hog to support both organisms (you and your intestinal buddy).  but when the food supply runs short the diversion of resources to the parasite becomes a survival issue and one or both will die:  either the host sheds the parasite and the parasite dies, or the host dies and the parasite dies with it (parasites not being notably bright or forward-looking).  the periphery is shrinking, and it's picked over and threadbare.

the global climate issue, the peak oil issue, the drawdown of every other resource on the planet, cannot be addressed by the Cult of More because the legerdemain, the glut of raw material that feeds the hopper is running out -- that's the heart of the problem.  but high profit margins depend on carelessness, waste, haste, and inefficiency:  less profit is made if transactions don't churn over as frequently, so things must be made shoddy and disposable, thus chewing up more and more raw materials to meet the same needs (or appetites).  taking more time to do things right "costs money" so corners are cut, indigenes are shot and tortured, forests are clearcut, topsoil is destroyed, toxins are dumped and all the rest.

and all the pols, all the analysts, all the academics, all the bankers, and even the proles in the streets, are firmly indoctrinated members of the Cult of More -- prisoners of the Village of Enterprise (and I'm thinking Patrick McGoohan here, lava lamps, man on the pennyfarthing, "why did you resign", that village).

the old saying is that a paradigm does not change until its believers are dead.  this is not, at this juncture in history, a reassuring dictum (and I think I'll go pull the covers over my head again).

The difference between theory and practise in practise ...

by DeAnander (de_at_daclarke_dot_org) on Fri Jun 1st, 2007 at 09:09:32 PM EST
4 for 'cult of more' and 'deanander's law', your bull's eye definitions are getting better and better!

it looks like romney would be an extension of pax americana as we know and love it, his only mission to be a kinder, gentler giuliani.

unfortunately he looks 'presidential' in that 'squeezed from the tube' comicbook, lantern-jawed way the american media love....

reaches for barfbag...

from a moron to a mormon...dare we call this an improvement?

a-n-y-t-h-i-n-g but rudi, please, that man makes mccain look like a saint, and romney an angel.

my bet is that it's hilary's to lose, unless gore steps in.

edwards strange obsession with unwindblown hair has cost him valcred (valuable credibility!) two campaigns in a row.

while i'm mining the chunks on the surface, does anyone else think that bizarre lump in mccain's jaw is a winning image?

i'm reminded of a photoshop plug-in called 'bulge'.

jerome, your obama diary was spot-on, and brought up some good discussions.

as for romney, another chip off the old authoritarian block.

a name like a baseball glove...dogwhistle rousing.....

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Sat Jun 2nd, 2007 at 01:33:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
But in fact new paradigms can sneak up faster than people might think.

Hotmail, Napster, Skype and so on spread "virally" at amazing speed, and I believe that napsterised , "partnerised", enterprise is capable of spreading at the same rate.

In a partnership, there is no profit and no loss - merely mutual creation and exchange between members of "value" in all its forms. In this model it is in peoples' interests to cooperate rather than to compete.

In an "asset-based" financial system - which requires no changes to any law to introduce and is already emerging - developing for Quality and energy efficiency is rational, not as now, irrational.

"The future is already here -- it's just not very evenly distributed" William Gibson

by ChrisCook (cojockathotmaildotcom) on Sat Jun 2nd, 2007 at 06:00:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]
you got a point there -- a model far more based in biotic reality (co-evolution, symbiosis, dynamic balance) than the present one.  but the vested interests!  their attempts to command and control become more and more intrusive and smothering.

it occurs to me that a shift in scale and communication has something to do with our ills.  this is not well thought out, just a wild notion that came to me while reading your riff on 'napsterisation', but I consider that... at the village mercado level, the zocolo, the bazaar, most people are known to each other and gossip and rumour travel like wildfire (i.e., a very rapid and ubiquitous reputation service).  knowledge is largely shared and equalised, most people can tell a good canteloupe from a bad 'un and they buy their meat still squawking so they can tell how old it is and whether it's healthy.

when trade becomes long-haul, global, etc. the lines of communication are slower and also expensive, so only the elite have full knowledge of provenance and process and quality, and the proles and customers are working in an information vacuum.  the products we buy and consume have had their meanings and histories amputated.  what the internet would do, if truly ubiquitised (wifi everywhere, $10 palmtops in every pocket, open source OS, net neutrality -- dream on, but let's go with the thought experiment), is restore the village gossipnet to the global market, so that producer and consumer once again become dynamic, individual, and shifting roles instead of a fixed, cumbersome feudal hierarchy and hierophancy.

if this notion of popular communications lagging elite transport and finance mobility by several centuries, but starting to catch up, has any validity, then it would explain the sudden panic of the elites and their attempts to throttle the internet.  I am watching wimax with interest -- the uunet of the future?  decentralisation is imho the only way to get out from under the command/control freaks.

The difference between theory and practise in practise ...

by DeAnander (de_at_daclarke_dot_org) on Sat Jun 2nd, 2007 at 02:47:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Good stuff!

Be seeing you ...

by Number 6 on Mon Jun 4th, 2007 at 06:35:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
More gloom, doom and now "REALLY scary" stuff ! - if it continues like this, will we all be cowering in whatever corners we can find on June 16th? :-)

This might cheer some people up - not those who expect US presidential contenders to be a bit to the left of Chomsky and just know everything will turn out bad whatever happens of course :-)

More problems for the Right in the US, and persistent work by old-style muck-raking journalist Greg Palast ( who REALLY scares the RIGHT in the US) and - let's give them credit when due - given a platform by the BBC:

US Attorney Resigns Following Conyers' Request for BBC Documents

by Greg Palast June 1, 2007

"Tim Griffin, formerly right hand man to Karl Rove, resigned Thursday as US Attorney for Arkansas hours after BBC Television `Newsnight' reported that Congressman John Conyers requested the network's evidence on Griffin's involvement in `caging voters.'

 Greg Palast, reporting for BBC Newsnight, obtained a series of confidential emails from the 2004 Bush-Cheney campaign.  In these emails, Griffin, then the GOP Deputy Communications Director, transmitted so-called `caging lists' of voters to state party leaders.

Experts have concluded the caging lists were designed for a mass challenge of voters' right to cast ballots. The caging lists were heavily weighted with minority voters including homeless individuals, students and soldiers sent overseas.

Conyers, Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee investigating the firing of US Attorneys, met Thursday evening in New York with Palast. After reviewing key documents, Conyers stated that, despite Griffin's resignation, "We're not through with him by any means."

Conyers indicated to the BBC that he thought it unlikely that Griffin could carry out this massive `caging' operation without the knowledge of White House Deputy Chief of Staff Rove.

Griffin has not responded to requests by BBC to explain this 'caging' operation.  However, in emails subpoenaed by Conyers' committee, Griffin  complains to Monica Goodling, an assistant to Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, about the BBC reporter's reproduction of caging lists in Palast's book, "Armed Madhouse."

In the email dated February 5 of this year, Griffin stated that the purpose of 'caging' was to identify "fraudulent" voters.  This contradicts one explanation of the Bush campaign to BBC that the lists were of potential donors and not in any way created to challenge voters.

Griffin confidentially wrote:  "The real story is this:  There were thousands of reported illegal/fake voter registrations around the country, so some of the Republican State Parties mailed letters welcoming new voters to the newly registered voters. ... The Republican State Parties ultimately wanted to show that thousands of fraudulent registrations had been completed."

Last Wednesday, Goodling testified under a grant of immunity before the House Judiciary Committee that Gonzales' Deputy Paul McNulty, "failed to disclose that he had some knowledge of allegations that Tim Griffin had been involved in vote 'caging' during his work on the President's 2004 campaign."

Goodling's testimony prompted Conyers' request to the BBC for the Griffin emails.

Last night Palast showed Conyers a Griffin email from August 2004 indicating that Griffin not only knew of 'caging,' but directed the operation.

And check out this story from Slate:  Raging Caging - What the heck is vote caging, and why should we care?  

Here:  http://www.slate.com/id/2167284/pagenum/all/#page_start

Greg Palast is the author of the New York Times bestseller, ARMED MADHOUSE:  From Baghdad to New Orleans -- Sordid Secrets and Strange Tales of a White House Gone Wild.  For information, go to www.GregPalast.com

Maybe it's because I'm a Londoner - that I moved to Nice.

by Ted Welch (tedwelch-at-mac-dot-com) on Sat Jun 2nd, 2007 at 01:15:26 PM EST
Could you please use the blockquote boxes when you quote external documents, it would make your comments a lot easier to read.

It's really simple. Just type (blockquote) before, and (/blockquote) after, replacing the ( by < and the ) by >.

< blockquote >

text to be quoted

< /blockquote >

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Sat Jun 2nd, 2007 at 04:33:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
OK, sorry about that.

And I echo yally04's comment:

"By the way, Jerôme, I don't know how you do it: a family, a job in investment banking, and regular articles on European Tribune and Daily Kos. Do you have any spare time?"

Beware burnout:

1. Do you feel run down and drained of physical or emotional energy?

2 Do you find that you are prone to negative thinking about your job? [ or the world in general]

3 Do you find that you are harder and less sympathetic with people than perhaps they deserve? [Obama perhaps ? :-) ]



Maybe it's because I'm a Londoner - that I moved to Nice.
by Ted Welch (tedwelch-at-mac-dot-com) on Sat Jun 2nd, 2007 at 05:09:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Hmm, looks like I've been burnt out for a looong time.

Can the last politician to go out the revolving door please turn the lights off?
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Jun 2nd, 2007 at 05:13:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Hey, 53 out of 75, what do I win?

(Of course seeing as I feel I have time to do this test while at work I should probably subtract a bit ...)

by Number 6 on Mon Jun 4th, 2007 at 08:15:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
A longtime lurker on ET, I'd like to make my first comment by giving three cheers for Jerôme for reminding us how little terrorism actually affects most people (unless we let it).

I happened to be preparing a presentation sort of on the subject for a seminar this week and came across the following vivid reminder:

In almost all years, the total number of people worldwide who die at the hands of international terrorists anywhere in the world is not much more than the number who drown in bathtubs in the United States.

Who knew?

Ok, maybe lots of people, but this overworked grad student is a little out of the loop. If only there was a 35-hour week for students in Paris!

Link: A False Sense of Insecurity? [ PDF]

Some interesting fun facts in that one. Makes you never want to drive again. But I wonder what the odds are on rollerblading in taxi/bus/bike lanes ...

by yally04 on Sat Jun 2nd, 2007 at 04:22:52 PM EST
Welcome (back) yally.

Our knowledge has surpassed our wisdom. -Charu Saxena.
by metavision on Sat Jun 2nd, 2007 at 04:38:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Thx. It's nice not to be sulking in the shadows for once.
by yally04 on Sat Jun 2nd, 2007 at 05:45:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
By the way, Jerôme, I don't know how you do it: a family, a job in investment banking, and regular articles on European Tribune and Daily Kos. Do you have any spare time?

You're like the crazy Affaires Publiques kids I go to school with who always make me look like a jackass in class, except that you could do it in English too. Sigh ...

by yally04 on Sat Jun 2nd, 2007 at 04:36:13 PM EST
ET is what I do in my spare time... The trick is to do the important things first, and then do what you want with what's left.

Blogging has mostly taken away from my reading books time.

But I'm lucky enough to be able to blog from work, in that I have the luxury of absolute control over how I spend my time at work and blogging is actually useful at times for work-related purposes. And I guess I do things pretty fast, too.

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Sun Jun 3rd, 2007 at 06:26:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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