Jewish World Review Nov. 15, 2002 / 10 Kislev, 5763
http://www.NewsAndOpinion.com | Vacation's over, folks.
Put down those Peoples and those Oprahs. Let those subscriptions to Woodworking Weekly lapse. Remove those headphones, and put down that remote.
Open up your copies of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Policy. Yes, they're really magazines. Yes, dozens of people not in the State Department actually read them without being forced to.
Start skimming. Learning about the roots of Arab anti-Americanism and the looming economic disaster in Myanmar will make you a better citizen. It's time to start paying serious attention to our foreign entanglements again.
First, some background to bring you no-good isolationists up to speed.
Since Kurt Cobain and the Soviet Union died, America has become the only superpower. And as some of you might have heard, there was some trouble with Middle Eastern terrorists on our East Coast last Sept. 11, and since then America's military has been really busy overseas. Plus, we've got another war with Iraq coming up in a month or two.
In short, we've got a big messed-up world we Americans have to keep track of and worry about and try to fix.
As a good citizen, you know you are expected to be able to competently advise your congressman when he makes his next vote on whom to support in Rwanda's off-year elections or how high to set tariffs on mittens from Nepal.
So instead of whining about how dull Foreign Affairs and Foreign Policy are, you should thank them for keeping their eyes on every little troubled corner of the globe.
Actually, you might want to stay away from Foreign Affairs. It costs $22 for six copies a year and, although it's put out by those zany guys at the Council of Foreign Relations, it's pretty academic.
In fact, its gray-on-gray-on-gray November/December issue is 212 pages deep and packed with so much insight, analysis and intelligence about geopolitical, geo-economic and geo-cultural events and trends and crises it'd put a U.S. president to sleep.
Tips on how to keep wayward NATO members in line. Critiques of how America's tariff policy hurts the world's poorest economies. Essays about the state of Russia, U.S. trade policy and the real roots of Arab anti-Americanism.
Good stuff to learn by November 2004, if you want a job as one of Hillary Clinton's security advisers. But if you merely want to learn to use hegemony in a sentence or keep tabs on what's up with the economy in the country formerly known as Burma, Foreign Policy is the ticket - especially if you enjoy great color photos, illustrations and lively page designs.
FP's rich and rewarding current issue contains a piece that nicely debunks the myth that Earth's media are being taken over by the same three mega-corporations.
And while it six-part cover story, "What Ever Happened to …," doesn't tell us where Arsenio Hall went, it includes fine essays on the demise of once-starry ideas such as Marxism, Limits to Growth, the Military Industrial Complex and everyone's Cold War favorite, Mutual Assured Destruction.
FP is accessible to anyone still reading this column, but beware. Unless you've already picked up your M.A. in Security Studies at Georgetown, it will read more like an SAT test than Entertainment Weekly.
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