Friday, July 10, 2009

The Bedtime Disinterest

It may be borderline child-abuse, but my kids have been particularly resistant to bedtime lately. So, to get them to sleep I've taken to reading excerpts from the foreign policy journal The National Interest to them. I'm not sure if my motivations are (to put it in the terms of statecraft) deterrence, distraction, or punitive. Whatever my intent, even a few sentences along these lines and my kids begin to protest (I'm fascinated):
The question is: are these arguments of sufficient weight to justify resistance to closer U.S.-Russian coordination on issues of strong mutual interest?

An even-more complex question is whether there is innate resistance within the American foreign-policy community to an improved relationship with Russia. Are we holding the Russians to a higher standard of performance than we do other nations with whom we deal? And, if so, why? The continued existence of the Jackson-Vanik amendment—which withheld trade benefits in an effort to force the Soviet Union to allow freer emigration—almost two decades after Communism’s collapse seems to be proof positive.
By the time it got good, the kids were screaming.

What do they have against Jackson-Vanik anyway?

So when I pulled out the latest issue they begin to howl.

"No," I said pointing to the cover, "This is Harry Potter 8, Voldemort's revenge. Look at the cover, you know they cast some cool spells."

"No it isn't, it's your magazine, the National Boring"

When I began to read, my son grabbed it away and it flew open.

"See," I said quickly pointing to the picture on the open page, "It's Dumbledore!"

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