Sunday, December 5, 2010

Heads-up for 5 December 2010

History According to Bob
The Germanies 1949 to 1961
This show is the rise of West Germany and the stress it put on East Germany which led to the Berlin Wall .
(review, feed)

Philosophy Bites
Helen Beebee on Laws of Nature
What is a law of nature? Is it merely a generalisation about how things behave? Or does it have a different status? Helen Beebee investigates these questions in conversation with Nigel Warburton for this episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast. Philosophy Bites is made in association with the Institute of Philosophy.
(review, feed)

The impending war - LSE podcast

At the London School of Economics there are always a lot of lectures to recommend. Just now, I heard one by Dana Allin, which I think is also very much worth listening to, yet I would like to send you on the road with some advanced knowledge. (feed)

Allin's lecture comes forth from the book he wrote with Steve Simon The Sixth Crisis: Iran, Israel, America, and the Rumors of War. The subject of the lecture is the American political and diplomatic conundrum of how to deal with Iran's nuclear program and its becoming a (potential) nuclear power. In Allin's view, the issue is closely linked to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and therefore the divergent policies of the US and its ally Israel towards Iran. That makes the crisis with Iran a sixth crisis for the US with Israel.

Unfortunately Allin does not enumerate the prior five crises and therefore leaps in the middle of the subject without framing it. That is a pity and I think it helps if I gave them here. The first crisis is the 1956 Suez Crisis. The second starts with the six-day war in 1967 and continues thruough the ensuing war of attrition and 1973 Yom Kippur War. Then the 1979 Islamic revolution in Iran is a third crisis - wider than just a crisis with Israel and also a first indicator that the world is not entirely triggered by the Cold-War power balance. The fourth crisis, I would say begins with the Intifadah, but if that were no crisis for the US, it sure became one in 1991 with the Gulf War. Finally, the fifth crisis, also larger than just the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is 9/11 terrorist attacks and the resulting wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Barely this fifth crisis is over (if at all) and there is the crisis around Iran.

More LSE:
Quest for meaning,
The plundered planet,
China and India,
The China Hegemony,
The myth of work.