Via Meadia featured several essays this week:
- President Obama’s was in Seoul, and Via Meadia put his actions—even the hot mic gaffe with Medvedev over missile defense—into the broader regional context of America’s repositioning in Asia.
- In the aftermath of the tragic murder of Jewish children in Toulouse, it’s clear that anti-Semitic habits of mind die hard in Europe—and that anti-Semitic incidents continue to happen on an ongoing basis in France.
- We took a long, hard look at how the health care fiasco in the Supreme Court shows that tired, overextended blue thinking is on its last legs.
- And we used Napoleon’s ambitious life as a model that young people might take to heart as they head out to climb the various ladders of life after college.
In China, the Bo Xilai saga continued unwinding, with allegations of murder mixing with critical reappraisals of his tenure as mayor Chongqing. Meanwhile, a survey of American businesses pointed to a growing consensus that the Chinese economy might be slowing down, even as internal unrest may be on the upswing and China’s policy of nonintervention may be undermining its business interests abroad. Nevertheless, Chinese president Hu Jintao was angling for advantage in the Asian game of thrones by courting India at the otherwise uninspiring annual BRIC summit.As the noose around Iran continued to tighten thanks to Turkey and India, Tehran doubled down on supporting its only Arab ally, Syria. And yes, Mr. Kristof, the geopolitical calculus around Iran is a lot more complicated than you think. In Syria, rebels were caught staging videos (an act both unhelpful and unnecessary), as Arab leaders met in Iraq (an emerging U.S. strategic ally?) to discuss what is to be done, without recourse to tired Arab nationalism. And the sunny Western narrative for the Egyptian chapter of the Arab Spring saga took another hit this week, as two leading liberals quit the a constitutional panel in protest for it being over-staffed by Islamists.Back in the USA, last year’s cheating scandal seemed to be going national, a serious moral and systemic failure of our educational system. In higher ed, a California college was experimenting with tiered demand-based pricing for its courses, an interesting though not necessarily flawless approach to meeting budget shortfalls. And the mainstream media caught on to an emerging trend we’ve been covering for a while: Democrats are turning against some of their key constituencies in order to try to make government more efficient.