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Cecily Cecily

Writing Worth Reading

Abe’s Long March

Japan’s government plans to “reinterpret” the postwar constitution to allow Japan to intervene militarily on behalf of allies; a momentous change without even a parliamentary vote; in keeping with prime minister Shinzo Abe’s nationalist agenda. It’s hard to say which prospect will please China less: A Japan defended by America, or a Japan with its own nuclear weapons and an independent foreign policy (900 words)

Prison Of The Mind

Review of Liao Yiwu’s “extraordinary” prison memoir, For A Song And A Hundred Songs. Liao’s offence was to write and perform a poem mourning the dead of Tiananmen. “Liao is a literary man, and this actually makes his prison memoir even more compelling. He is ruthlessly candid about his weaknesses, and his fears.” Much harrowing detail of torture, violence, hardship. “One ravenous inmate caught a rat, skinned it alive, and ate it raw” (3,200 words)

Monnet’s Ghost

Jean Monnet was one of the architects of the EU, a planner, a technocrat. Uniting Europe was benign, noble ideal. “The problem with technocrats, however, is that they tend to be oblivious to political consequences of their plans”

The Lynching Of Libya

The problem with rough justice, in the form of revenge, is not that it is immoral. The problem is that it provokes further revenge. If Saif al-Islam Gaddafi cares about Libya, the best thing he could do for it is stand trial

The Crimes Of Ratko Mladic

Is it wise to try Mladic for genocide as well as war crimes? Sparkling mini-essay suggests not. “Ethnic cleansing, though reprehensible, is not the same as genocide. And loose definitions will encourage more military interventions”

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