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TLP Week in Review, 11/12-11/18
Your weekly summary of what we've been up to here at The Liberal Patriot.
What We’re Reading (and Watching and Listening To…)
“The West’s Incoherent Critique of Israel’s Gaza Strategy”: In Foreign Policy, RAND Corporation researcher Raphael S. Cohen argues that calls for a “more targeted” Israeli military operation against Hamas in Gaza fail to deal with the reality of the situation on the ground. In the end, “the battlefield geography of Gaza means that any operation in Gaza, however targeted it may be, would turn into what we see unfolding today: a bloody, highly destructive ground operation, with a lot of civilians caught in the crossfire.”
“The People’s Liberation Army is not yet as formidable as the West fears”: This Economist special report takes an in-depth look at China's military and concludes that it's perhaps not as mighty as everyone worries. “To feel assured of victory in a conflict such as one over Taiwan, [the Chinese military] must overcome several old problems, including a convoluted command structure, inadequate logistics and a lack of combat experience, having not fought a war since the one with Vietnam [in 1979]. It must also confront new challenges, including lessons from the war in Ukraine, American curbs on high-tech exports to China and a dearth of technologically skilled recruits.”
“Meet Washington’s shadow diplomat. Spoiler ... it’s NASA.”: Politico reports on the growing foreign policy influence wielded by NASA and its administrator, former Senator Bill Nelson, as the aerospace agency drums up international support for its plans to return astronauts to the Moon with the Artemis Program. “In July alone, he flew to South America to meet with the leaders of Brazil, Argentina and Colombia, nations weighing allegiances between the U.S. and China. He convinced them to sign a Washington-backed accord on space exploration rather than one Beijing is pushing.”
The Marvels: None of you went to go see this delightfully silly cosmic comic book adventure, and it’s your loss. Young Iman Vellani steals the show as Kamala Khan/Ms. Marvel, and Brie Larson’s Captain Marvel actually has a personality this go around. It even bucks the trend of ever-longer movies, coming in at just over an hour-and-a-half long.
The Killer: Fans of director David Fincher will want to check out his latest well-crafted thriller. Michael Fassbender stars as a contract assassin who muffs a job, returns home to find his girlfriend nearly killed by goons sent to take him out, and then embarks on a methodical revenge spree that features some pretty brutal action sequences.
Cat Power Sings Dylan: The 1966 Royal Albert Hall Concert: Chan Marshall recreates the famous Bob Dylan-goes-electric concert song-for-song on her new record. The actual Dylan show of lore—a fan famously called him “Judas” for his sins against folk purity—took place in Manchester, not London, but came to be known as the Royal Albert Hall show. Marshall chose that spot for her own live rendition, and her version of “Ballad of a Thin Man” is a real gem.
What We’ve Posted
“Pragmatic Politics for Energy Abundance and Affordability” by the Breakthrough Institute’s Alex Trembath, Ashley Nunes, and Ted Nordhaus.
“The Eerie Complacency of the Democrats” by TLP politics editor Ruy Teixeira.
“Are The Kids Alright?: The news for Biden is not quite so dire in 2024” by TLP contributor Dan Cox.
“What Comes After the War in Gaza?” by AEI senior fellow and TLP contributor Danielle Pletka.
“What Should Be the Goal of U.S. Industrial Strategy?” by American Affairs founder and editor Julius Krein.
“Democrats Should Defend Sex-Based Rights for Women and Girls” by feminist writer and activist Kara Dansky.
Just one more thing…
Rare, uniquely-flavored Japanese Kit Kat bars are worth their weight in gold, apparently: one $250,000 shipment became central to “an ultimately frustrating saga of shell email accounts, phantom truckers, supply-chain fraud and one seriously bewildered cargo freight broker.”