The Symbol or the Substance?

The UN Security Council was set to vote this morning on new sanctions/strengthening existing sanctions targeting Iran.  The US administration seems to be keen on building up just how tough these new sanctions are.   I have to wonder how much of this is simply rhetorical and how much reflects an actual belief in the efficacy of sanctions within the Obama administration. 

China, Sudan, and the British Empire

As the opening of the Olympics in Beijing nears, NPR is running a few series on the foundations and future of China’s global power within the context of the country’s history and economic position.  Today’s installment, “China and Sudan: A Marriage Sealed in Oil, History,” is the first of stories that will outline China’s influence in Africa.  The story recounts the tale of Major General Charles Gordon of Great Britain.  He worked to secure trading lines with China, and later to manage Britain’s colonial possession at the time, Sudan. The relationship between Sudan and China is widely believed to be Continue reading China, Sudan, and the British Empire