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Friday’s Reading List

By Taylor Marvin

René Caillié, Timbuktu looking west, 1830. Via Wikimedia.

René Caillié, Timbuktu looking west, 1830. Via Wikimedia.

What I read this week:

Anne-Marie Slaughter counsels striking Syria — specifically, the regime’s fixed-wing air force — as a show of credibility to deter Vladimir Putin in Ukraine. Daniel Larison reminds that “Russia wasn’t impressed by the willingness to use force in Libya,” and questions why strikes in Syria should make any impression on Russia’s actions in Ukraine.

On a similar bent, Tom Nichols fears that a successful Russian dismemberment of Ukraine without serious punishment risks the entire international order by “accepting the return of war as a normal part of statecraft without even the pretense of self-defense.”

After the deadliest incident in the history of climbing Mount Everest, a look at where and how people die on the mountain.

While I am fairly wary of Robert D. Kaplan’s writing, an interesting review of his latest book and another on China’s rising ambitions.

Murderous opposition threatens environmental activists in Brazil and elsewhere. Killers and the interest are rarely punished, because forces who favor exploiting the land typically have far greater political weight than the environmentalists and indigenous groups who fight to conserve it.

Javier Corrales looks at why Venezuela’s protest have been dominated by the middle class, which he links to the country’s growing incomes and a broader world trend of middle class protest.

Mitchell Plitnick sees right-wing nationalism, not religious politics, as the real long-term threat to Israeli society.

After the death of famed author Gabriel García Márquez, Kevin Lees writes on how the Colombian author introduced him to Latin America. And via Patrick Iber, how should García Márquez’s long and close relationship with Fidel Castro color how we view his legacy?

Today marks the fortieth anniversary of the so-called Carnation Revolution that spelled the end of the Portuguese Estado Novo dictatorship and colonial empire, but after forty years of democracy Portugal faces depressing economic woes.

Finally, more linkage at Political Violence at a Glance.

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