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Friday’s Reading List

By Taylor Marvin

 Franz Marc, "Fighting Forms", 1914. Via Wikimedia.

Franz Marc, “Fighting Forms”, 1914. Via Wikimedia.

What I read this week:

The White House is preparing to increase the “scale and scope” of its involvement in Syria in response to alleged Assad regime chemical weapons use. CJ Chivers and Max Fisher explain why small arms supplies are unlikely to shift the conflict in the rebels’ favor. Sara Bjerg Moller argues that Washington’s policy shift couldn’t come at a worse time.

Dan Drezner sees the decision as evidence that Obama cynically wants al Qaeda and Hezbollah to bleed each other dry, and Daniel Nexon assesses the administrations’s Syria policy: “The problem, of course, is that ‘prudence’ and ‘deliberation’ can translate into ‘hoping for the best.'” 

Gayle Tzemach Lemmon recently profiled the divisions on Syria between the State Department and Pentagon, and Daniel Larison accurately describes the policy shift as one that will satisfy no one. 

Why Assad is loving the protests in Turkey.

While I missed it last week, Jeremy Pressman offers an interesting retrospective on the anniversary of the Six-Day War.

Iain Banks has died. Patrick Thaddeus Jackson has a nice retrospective on his value as a writer and thinker. If you haven’t read Look to Windward (probably one of the best books on loss I’ve ever read) or Use of Weaponsplease, please do.

A beautiful map of all the rivers in the United States, and nothing else.

Given that Star Trek’s an explicitly money-free utopia, Planned Parenthood might have rethought this framing:


Equal work for equal pay, but only when remuneration in exchange for labor is an obsolete concept. 

Yusef Lateef – The Plum Blossom.

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