The Geopolitics of the United Arab Emirates (Or, A Study In How Small Places Avoid Getting Wiped Out)

As my home for four years, I got to know the United Arab Emirates quite well.  It was a strange, fucked up place full of wonders that shouldn't have been there, ranging from green parks next to sand dunes to Indian dancing girls hidden beneath swanky bars full of Emirati men leering un-Islamically while drinking … Continue reading The Geopolitics of the United Arab Emirates (Or, A Study In How Small Places Avoid Getting Wiped Out)

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The How-To of Hegemony (Or: How To Rule The World And Get Away With It)

You had a bad day.  Plans fell through; a date went badly; something you really hoped would happen didn't.  But it's cool.  As the world's hegemon, you know you'll feel better once you've sent your drones against a beach full of screaming children.  Because you're the world hegemon, and you can pretty much do whatever … Continue reading The How-To of Hegemony (Or: How To Rule The World And Get Away With It)

Attention Americans! Yes, you should know where Ukraine is (and that’s just the beginning of where you should be informing your opinion)

Here now is a classic moment of why I started this website.  Americans, apparently, have stereotypically fuzzy knowledge of where Ukraine is.  If they can't even figure out where the fuck the place is, how can they decide if it's worth starting World War III over?  (Interestingly, the more ignorant, the more likely to support … Continue reading Attention Americans! Yes, you should know where Ukraine is (and that’s just the beginning of where you should be informing your opinion)

Somalia, Al Shabaab, and How Geography Screwed A Country

The odds are good you've seen Black Hawk Down, where the story of the disaster that was the battle of Mogadishu is told rather well.  With such a baseline of knowledge, you're aware that, at some point in the recent past, Somalia was a mess.  Things haven't changed much. Somalia is the king of Failed States … Continue reading Somalia, Al Shabaab, and How Geography Screwed A Country