Cup of News – June 18th, 2017
We want to wish a very happy Fathers Day to all our readers around the world who are dads or love theirs!
– Charles Johnson, Editor-in-Chief
To many Americans, left and right, the idea of state media produces a visceral reaction. However, the state-funded BBC in the U.K. is one of the most respected media outlets in the world. With the U.S. political media market becoming increasingly balkanized, is it time for a public-funded, regulated, and moderate news source in the U.S.? James Kirchick writes, “The BBC model is one that has been replicated across Europe, where most countries can boast quality public broadcasters that enjoy high levels of public trust. Contrast that to American attitudes on the media, which are overwhelmingly negative.”
The Republic of Georgia is undergoing yet another reform of its constitution, one of several in its 26 years of independence from the Soviet Union. The current proposed constitution continues Georgia’s Reaganomics-like practice of levying as few taxes as possible. While the South Caucasian country often boasts its friendly business atmosphere, it struggles to deliver the public services of the European state it aspires to be. Sopiko writes, “The Liberty Act is thoroughly undemocratic. It restricts taxation by the people’s representative body, the parliament, and ensures that the referendum necessary to increase taxes can only be initiated by the government”
It is rare the Cup of News will ever feature biographies or obituaries, but the legacy of Helmut Khol in modern European politics cannot be understated. Being a teenager during World War II, European wars always weighed heavy on his political conscious. When he set to re-unify Germany, the Khol doctrine (and that of his contemporaries) was that of a benevolently and economically entangled Europe that would never threaten world stability again.
For the second time this year, Russians protested corruption in the Putin government. Opposition leader Alexei Navalny was once again arrested, as were over a thousand people demonstrating in 120+ cities. Masha Gessen details the young new face of Russian liberal democrats who, while representing a very small faction of society, “but as long as some Russians, including some very young ones, are willing to brave streets filled with riot police, they keep an unreasonable hope alive, and they increase the chances that Alexei Navalny will survive and stay out of prison.”
It is rare to see a U.S. Secretary of Defense say, “We are not winning in Afghanistan right now. And we will correct this as soon as possible.” The youngest American soldiers currently fighting in South Asia likely have no personal memory of the September 11th attacks that launched America’s longest war. Currently the conflict is stagnated. However, as Scott Gilmore writes, “Ending the war in Afghanistan will likely mean more suffering for the Afghan people who will continue to endure poverty and corruption. They will still be abused by Afghan forces on both sides of the conflict.”
The West Will Have to Go It Alone Without the United States, Charles Kupchan, Foreign Policy
Much in the same vein as Charles Johnson’s and Matthew Brewer’s piece for RamenIR, Charles Kupchan looks at just how dramatically the U.S. under President Trump has divorced itself from European Affairs and Western globalism for that matter. However, Charles writes, “the EU should remain Atlanticist and continue to treat the United States as its wanted partner of choice — even as the transatlantic relationship becomes more transactional. After all, the Atlantic community has thrived for decades because of common interests, not just shared values and sentiments.”