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Friday’s Reading List

By Taylor Marvin

Rembrandt, "The Fall of Haman", 1665. Via Museo Nacional del Prado.

Rembrandt, “The Fall of Haman”, 1665. Via Museo Nacional del Prado.

What I read this week:

Newsweek leads with a story arguing that concerns over Iran’s nuclear program are greatly exaggerated, terming it a repeat of the supposed threat from Iraq that lead to war — “except this time, the intelligence world knows there are no weapons of mass destruction.” Matthew Duss asks if Netanyahu can tolerate a potential deal between the US and Iran, a deal that the Israeli leadership very much would like to block.

The talk of the week is the federal government shutdown. An excellent BBC piece illustrates that while the extreme House Republicans driving the impasse might not represent America as a whole, they do represent their districts. In the New Yorker Ryan Lizza writes that these representatives “represent an America where the population is getting whiter, where there are few major cities, where Obama lost the last election in a landslide, and where the Republican Party is becoming more dominant and more popular.”

How does the shutdown look abroad?

“There is this sense that the shutdown is a symptom of a larger national decline. Talking to people you get the sense that the U.S. is no longer considered the most serious country in the world, that an extreme right wing group is running things, and that this is what you get in a capitalist system. Right or wrong, that’s the perception.”

Josh Busby passes along the above quote from former Bolivian ambassador to the United States Jaime Aparício OteroKevin Lees checks in on how America’s government shutdown looks to the rest of the world, and Russians wish they could have a government shutdown of their own.

What does China want in space? Rajeswari Pillai Rajagopalan and Arvind K. John doubt that China will surpass the United States’ space program any time soon, namely due to the country’s lack of a commercial space sector.

I have more linkage on political violence at PVG.

Hassan Erraji & Arabesque — Nikriz.

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