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In an eloquent intellectual defence of modern American conservatism–which is anything but conservative, and more radical libertarian–Rich Lowry and Ramesh Ponnuru of the National Review write an indictment of the American Left and the Obama Administration for failing to understand America’s exceptionalism. Although I disagree with the piece in its entirety, it’s still well written and is a cogent history of political philosophy in America.

Orhan Pamuk’s The White Castle, a novel that meditates on identity and Islam and the West, following the tale of an Italian enslaved in Constantinople.

I’m also following an online debate between “parachute journalist” Mary Bowers and XYZ, a blogger at Café Pyala, who takes issue with Bowers’ and other foreign journalists’ fetishization of Pakistan

Andrew Exum, also known as Abu Muqawama, and the writer of a blog with the same name, has announced that he will no longer blog on a daily basis because he feels that it conflicts with his research-oriented, deliberative work at the Center for a New American Security. He notes that blogging has “atrophied” his long-form writing skills.

I’m going to follow his lead for the time being. I have to write an obscene amount of pages over the next two weeks. I need to re-focus on long-form writing and need to concentrate my efforts on two serious papers. I won’t be blogging again until December 15th 25th.

Wasting time is something bloggers are keen to do–or perhaps that’s why we’re bloggers. Anyways, I found a cool tool called “typealyzer” that professes to analyze the personality of your blog.

Affaires étrangères, dear readers, is a blog of The Thinkers:

The logical and analytical type. They are especially attuned to difficult creative and intellectual challenges and always look for something more complex to dig into. They are great at finding subtle connections between things and imagine far-reaching implications.

They enjoy working with complex things using a lot of concepts and imaginative models of reality. Since they are not very good at seeing and understanding the needs of other people, they might come across as arrogant, impatient and insensitive to people that need some time to understand what they are talking about.

You’re getting smarter as you read it…


Not exactly current affairs, but today millions of people all over the globe are celebrating Gandhi jayanti, the birthday of M.K. Gandhi, more commonly known as the Mahatma (the great soul). However, for all the veneration that follows Mr. Gandhi, it must be noted that he was no saint. He was no deity or other worldly being, just a politician who had a talent for consensus-building and mass mobilization- no small feat when leading a country to freedom after two centuries of colonialism. Nonetheless the virtues that he extolled were commendable, which is why this international symbol of peace and ahimsa (non-violence) inspired the United Nations to name the anniversary of his birth the International Day of Non-Violence.

Go ahead, be the change you want to see in the world today…

– Pri

We have a new official contributor to Affaires étrangères–my dear friend and NYU political science grad student, Priyanka.