Changes in the US Foreign Policy

Reader el left the following link:

Intelligence officials to Congress: Israel ‘crossed red lines’ in spying on U.S.

Newsweek quotes confidential briefings to Congress and says Israel’s massive spying is behind the failure to provide visa waiver to Israelis entering U.S.
The Newsweek article included very strong statements against Israel, verging on anti-Semitism. The writer, Jeff Stein, stated that “since Israel is as likely to stop spying here as it is to give up matzo for Passover, the visa barriers are likely to stay up.”

The link is from Haaretz, and that’s a publication with well-known and obvious biases but it does, in my opinion, raise an interesting issue of the changes we are witnessing in the US foreign policy. Of course, I’m not basing what follows in this post on this article alone. The Ukrainian debacle is more evidence that the developments I’m discussing are real.

The entire foreign policy of the US at the moment is that of a massive retraction, withdrawal into itself and away from high-level activities in the world arena. Old alliances are being quietly abandoned and the idea of “Why should we get involved if this doesn’t directly concern us anyway?” is fostered on every level.

Of course, as we say in Russian-speaking countries, a holy space never remains empty. Somebody will step in to fill the void and will become the #1 World Super Power. To me, with all the immense flaws in its foreign policy of the XXth century, the US is better in that role than any of the possible contenders, so I’m not very happy at this turn of events.

This development will entail a profound transformation of the US national identity and lead to a much greater degree of internal political, class and cultural polarization (because that’s how identity works). The level of economic well-being will suffer, too.

I’m not saying that this transformation in the US foreign policy is good or bad per se because nothing is either good or bad. It’s just something that is going on, and we need to analyze it to be prepared for the changes that lie ahead.

These are my predictions. What are yours?

Leave Links

I have just added a new page to this blog called “Leave Links.” Feel free to leave interesting links there. I see all of the comments to all pages in my blog app in the order they appear, with the most recent comment on top, so I will see the links for sure.

I hope this helps us avoid situations where people want to leave links but don’t know where to post them.

The Bad Word Database

The Russian authorities are developing software that will scan blogs and other online resources for bad words and obscene pictures. A blogger whose posts and comment threads (even ones from years ago) contain curse words will be closed down and the blogger will face varying degrees of punishment.

Obviously, a popular and prolific blogger can’t reread all of her or his posts and comment threads dating back to the time the blog was established and censor them for bad words. At the same time, even if the blogger were to undertake that time-consuming assignment, it is very easy for anybody to leave any number of swear comments to old posts at any given time, turning the unsuspecting blogger on whose blog such comments are left into a criminal. This is the perfect way of shutting down blogs and persecuting independent journalists.


I just got invited by a very prestigious journal in my field to review an article on Bildungsroman. I’m choosing to take this as a sign that people are becoming aware that I’m THE authority on this genre these days. Even though I quit Bildungsroman after my book was accepted for publication.

Does anybody know if such things should be put on a tenure dossier? Under service?