Foreign Policy Thin-Sliced (8/8/13)

AssadPrivacy: Destined for the “Dustbins of History”

Civil libertarians can protest about how the government will track us on these devices, too, but as long as the public and the political Establishment of both parties remain indifferent, the prospect of substantial change is nil. The debate would be more honest, at least, if we acknowledge our own responsibility for our “choices as a society.” Those who complain about the loss of privacy have an obligation to examine their own collaboration, whether by intent or apathy, in the decline and fall of the very concept of privacy. We can blame terrorists for many things that have happened since 9/11, but too many Americans cavalierly spilling TMI on too many porous public platforms is not one of them.

When Privacy Jumped the Shark, Frank Rich, New York Magazine

Presidency Redefined

“Assad is powerful now, not as a president who controls a state but as a warlord, as someone who has more and more sophisticated weapons than the others,” said Hassan Hassan, a Syrian commentator at the Abu Dhabi-based English-language newspaper The National.

Momentum Shifts in Syria, Bolstering Assad’s Position, Ben Hubbard, the New York Times

“When we act, we create our own reality

“War crimes are defined by the winners,” a death-squad leader points out. “I’m a winner, so I can make my own definition.”

The Act of Killing, Dana Stevens, Slate

Muslim Brotherhood, Egyptian Military, Same Difference

One way of looking at the assault on the Muslim Brotherhood is that it was nothing more than a militarized solution to an intra-bourgeois class struggle within the context of Egyptian society, and had nothing to do with the interests of the fragmented and institutionally-weak opposition.

Egypt: Requiem for a Revolution that Never Was, Ajamu Baraka, Focal Points

Where Would Charity Be Without Poverty?

Inside any important philanthropy meeting, you witness heads of state meeting with investment managers and corporate leaders. All are searching for answers with their right hand to problems that others in the room have created with their left.

The Charitable-Industrial Complex, Peter Buffett, the New York Times