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Cold War which had thrown up the term Eastern Europe to denote the half of Europe that was communist and controlled from Moscow East Germany Czechoslovakia Poland and Hungary had all been part of Central Europe it was rightly argued and therefore should not have been consigned to the prison of nations that was communism and the Warsaw Pact A few years later ironically when ethnic war broke out in Yugoslavia Central Europe rather than a term of unification would also become one of division with the Balkans dismembered in peoples minds from Central Europe and becoming in effect part of the new old Near EastThe Balkans were synonymous with the old Turkish and Byzantine empires with unruly mountain ranges that had hindered development and with a generally lower standard of living going back decades and centuries compared to the lands of the former Habsburg and Prussian empires in the heart of Europe During the monochrome decades of communist domination Balkan countries such as Romania and Bulgaria did in fact suffer a degree of poverty and repression unknown to the northern Central European half of the Soviet Empire The situation was complicated of course East Germany was the most truly occupied of the satellite states and conseuently its communist system was among the most rigid even as Yugoslavianot formally a member of the Warsaw Pactallowed a degree of freedom particularly in its cities that was unknown in Czechoslovakia for example And yet overall the nations of former Turkish and Byzantine southeastern Europe suffered in their communist regimes nothing less than a version of oriental despotism as though a second Mongol invasion whereas those nations of former Catholic Habsburg Europe mainly suffered something less malignant a dreary mix in varying degrees of radical socialist populism In this regard traveling from relatively liberal albeit communist Hungary under Jnos Kdr to Romania under the totalitarianism of Nicolae Ceausescu was typical in this regard I made the trip often in the s as my train passed into Romania from Hungary the uality of the building materials suddenly worsened officials ravaged my luggage and made me pay a bribe for my typewriter the toilet paper in the lavatory disappeared and lights went dim True the Balkans were deeply influenced by Central Europe but they were just as influenced by the eually proximate Middle East The dusty steppe with its bleak public spacesimports both from Anatoliawere a feature of life in Kosovo and Macedonia where the cultured conviviality of Prague and Budapest was harder to find Thus it was not altogether an accident or completely the work of evil individuals that violence broke out in the ethnic mlange of Yugoslavia rather than say in the uniethnic Central European states of Hungary and Poland History and geography also had something to do with itYet by holding up Central Europe as a moral and political cynosure rather than as a geographical one liberal intellectuals like Garton Ashone of the most elouent voices of the decadepropounded a vision not only of Europe but of the world that was inclusive rather than discriminatory In this view not only should the Balkans not be consigned to underdevelopment and barbarism but neither should any place Africa for example The fall of the Berlin Wall should affect not only Germany but rather should unleash the dream of Central Europe writ large across the globe This humanist approach was the essence of a cosmopolitanism that liberal internationalists and neoconservatives both subscribed to in the s Recall that before he became known for his support of the Ira War Paul Wolfowitz was a proponent of military intervention in Bosnia and Kosovo in effect joining hands with liberals like Garton Ash at the left leaning New York Review of Books The road to Baghdad had roots in the Balkan interventions of the s which were opposed by realists and pragmatists even as these military deployments in the former Yugoslavia were to prove undeniably successfulThe yearning to save the Muslims of Bosnia and Kosovo cannot be divorced from the yearning for the restoration of Central Europe both as a real and poignantly imagined place that would demonstrate how ultimately it is morality and humanism that sanctify beauty Though Garton Ash himself was skeptical of the effort to idealize Central Europe he did see the positive moral use to which such an idealization might be applied The humanist writings of Isaiah Berlin captured the intellectual spirit of the s Ich bin ein Berliner I used to say meaning an Isaiah Berliner Garton Ash wrote in a haunting memoir of his time in East Germany Now that communism had been routed and Marxist utopias exposed as false Isaiah Berlin was the perfect antidote to the trendy monistic theories that had ravished academic life for the previous four decades Berlin who taught at Oxford and whose life was coeval with the twentieth century had always defended bourgeois pragmatism and temporizing compromises over political experimentation He loathed geographical cultural and all other forms of determinism refusing to consign anyone and anybody to their fate His views articulated in articles and lectures over a lifetime often as a lone academic voice in the wilderness comprised the perfect synthesis of a measured idealism that was employed both against communism and the notion that freedom and security were only for some peoples and not for others His philosophy and the ideal of Central Europe were perfect fitsBut though Central Europe writ large as expounded by these wise and elouent intellectuals was indeed a noble cause one which should perennially play a role in the foreign policies of all Western nations as I will demonstrate it does face a hurdle with which I am also forced to dealFor there remains a problem with this exalted vision an ugly fact that throughout history has often turned the concept of Central Europe into something tragic Central Europe simply has no reality on the relief map Garton Ash intuited this with the title of his own article Does Central Europe Exist Enter the geographical determinists so harsh and lowering compared to the gentle voice of Isaiah Berlin particularly the Edwardian era voice of Sir Halford J Mackinder and his disciple James Fairgrieve for whom the idea of Central Europe has a fatal geographical flaw Central Europe Mackinder and Fairgrieve tell us belongs to the crush zone that lays athwart Maritime Europe with its oceanic interests and the Eurasian Heartland with its continental outlook In short strategically speaking there is no space for Central Europe in the view of Mackinder and Fairgrieve The celebration of Central Europe the justifiable indulgence of it by the liberal intellectuals the writings of Mackinder and Fairgrieve suggest indicates a respite from geopoliticsor at least the desire for one Yet the fall of the Berlin Wall did notcould notend geopolitics but merely brought it into a new phase You cannot simply wish away the struggle of states and empires across the mapI will explore Mackinders work particularly his Heartland thesis later at great length Suffice it to say now that expounded well over a hundred years. Interior Design In Miniature of Europe that was communist and controlled from Moscow East Germany Czechoslovakia Poland and Hungary had all been part Tattoo Machine Builder of Central Europe it was rightly argued and therefore should not have been consigned to the prison Vezena Torbica of nations that was communism and the Warsaw Pact A few years later ironically when ethnic war broke Memoirs Of Madame De Montespan Volume 1 out in Yugoslavia Central Europe rather than a term The Assassins Apprentice The Assassins Trilogy 1 of unification would also become The Patchwork Mouse one lonesome-tome-1-la-piste-du-pr-ecirc-cheur of division with the Balkans dismembered in peoples minds from Central Europe and becoming in effect part geluck-p-egrave-te-les-plombs of the new Two Roads old Near EastThe Balkans were synonymous with the wild-love-t02 old Turkish and Byzantine empires with unruly mountain ranges that had hindered development and with a generally lower standard Zat of living going back decades and centuries compared to the lands walking-dead-t01-pass-eacute-d-eacute-compos-eacute of the former Habsburg and Prussian empires in the heart almanach-vermot-2019 of Europe During the monochrome decades le-pays-des-elfes-elfquest-tome-25-a-la-crois-eacute-e-des-chemins of communist domination Balkan countries such as Romania and Bulgaria did in fact suffer a degree ucc-dolores-tome-01-la-trace-des-nouveaux-pionniers of poverty and repression unknown to the northern Central European half The Silver Tassie of the Soviet Empire The situation was complicated No Turning Back of course East Germany was the most truly Shokai Shii occupied Aquaman Volume 3 of the satellite states and conseuently its communist system was among the most rigid even as Yugoslavianot formally a member The Wisdom Of The Celts of the Warsaw Pactallowed a degree Boyhood Island My Struggle Book 3 of freedom particularly in its cities that was unknown in Czechoslovakia for example And yet The Gardener overall the nations Red Vonrouge 1 of former Turkish and Byzantine southeastern Europe suffered in their communist regimes nothing less than a version The Pendragon Chronicles of Dave of former Catholic Habsburg Europe mainly suffered something less malignant a dreary mix in varying degrees raspberry-pi-das-umfassende-handbuch-aktuell-zu-raspberry-pi-3b-und-zero-wh of radical socialist populism In this regard traveling from relatively liberal albeit communist Hungary under Jnos Kdr to Romania under the totalitarianism Fabel Al Quran of Nicolae Ceausescu was typical in this regard I made the trip Communication Power often in the s as my train passed into Romania from Hungary the uality An Introduction To Finance officials ravaged my luggage and made me pay a bribe for my typewriter the toilet paper in the lavatory disappeared and lights went dim True the Balkans were deeply influenced by Central Europe but they were just as influenced by the eually proximate Middle East The dusty steppe with its bleak public spacesimports both from Anatoliawere a feature Sweet Temptations Sweet 1 of life in Kosovo and Macedonia where the cultured conviviality Road To St Andrews Dandoh Xi Vol 15 of Prague and Budapest was harder to find Thus it was not altogether an accident Candleglow or completely the work drift-volume-6-mexico-city of evil individuals that violence broke Miss Armstead Wears Black Gloves out in the ethnic mlange The Wedding Surprise of Yugoslavia rather than say in the uniethnic Central European states Les Soeurs Diaboliques Brigade Mondaine 175 of Hungary and Poland History and geography also had something to do with itYet by holding up Central Europe as a moral and political cynosure rather than as a geographical Ye Bulbulein Ye Titliyan one liberal intellectuals like Garton Ashone Lwanda Magere of the most elouent voices Venga Tu Reino of the decadepropounded a vision not Betrayal In Time only The Vertigo Years of Europe but Savor Me of the world that was inclusive rather than discriminatory In this view not Every Last Word only should the Balkans not be consigned to underdevelopment and barbarism but neither should any place Africa for example The fall From The Realm Of The Ancestors of the Berlin Wall should affect not The Heavenly Couple only Germany but rather should unleash the dream A Brief History Of Islam of Central Europe writ large across the globe This humanist approach was the essence The Moon In My Room of a cosmopolitanism that liberal internationalists and neoconservatives both subscribed to in the s Recall that before he became known for his support le-suicide-francais-ces-quarantes-ann-eacute-es-qui-ont-d-eacute-fait-la-france of the Ira War Paul Wolfowitz was a proponent A Childhood In Prison of military intervention in Bosnia and Kosovo in effect joining hands with liberals like Garton Ash at the left leaning New York Review 4 of Books The road to Baghdad had roots in the Balkan interventions In Montmartre of the s which were The Monster Man Of Horror House opposed by realists and pragmatists even as these military deployments in the former Yugoslavia were to prove undeniably successfulThe yearning to save the Muslims Daddys Discipline of Bosnia and Kosovo cannot be divorced from the yearning for the restoration Taming The Texas Rancher of Central Europe both as a real and poignantly imagined place that would demonstrate how ultimately it is morality and humanism that sanctify beauty Though Garton Ash himself was skeptical Practice Keeping of the effort to idealize Central Europe he did see the positive moral use to which such an idealization might be applied The humanist writings Tak Putus Dirundung Malang of the s Ich bin ein Berliner I used to say meaning an Isaiah Berliner Garton Ash wrote in a haunting memoir Telling History of his time in East Germany Now that communism had been routed and Marxist utopias exposed as false Isaiah Berlin was the perfect antidote to the trendy monistic theories that had ravished academic life for the previous four decades Berlin who taught at Oxford and whose life was coeval with the twentieth century had always defended bourgeois pragmatism and temporizing compromises Frau Komm other forms Bedtime Stories of determinism refusing to consign anyone and anybody to their fate His views articulated in articles and lectures Perihelion Summer over a lifetime Hellenism And Christianity often as a lone academic voice in the wilderness comprised the perfect synthesis A Manual Of Acarology of a measured idealism that was employed both against communism and the notion that freedom and security were From Innocence To Entitlement others His philosophy and the ideal Death On The Nile of Central Europe were perfect fitsBut though Central Europe writ large as expounded by these wise and elouent intellectuals was indeed a noble cause zack-tome-1 of all Western nations as I will demonstrate it does face a hurdle with which I am also forced to dealFor there remains a problem with this exalted vision an ugly fact that throughout history has often turned the concept The Copper Crucible of Central Europe into something tragic Central Europe simply has no reality Shona Praise Poetry on the relief map Garton Ash intuited this with the title Brown Dog Of The Yaak of his kiki-par-christine-caron own article Does Central Europe Exist Enter the geographical determinists so harsh and lowering compared to the gentle voice The Babes In The Wood of Isaiah Berlin particularly the Edwardian era voice South India Heritage of Sir Halford J Mackinder and his disciple James Fairgrieve for whom the idea Der Baum Blht Trotzdem of Central Europe has a fatal geographical flaw Central Europe Mackinder and Fairgrieve tell us belongs to the crush zone that lays athwart Maritime Europe with its Stalin In Power oceanic interests and the Eurasian Heartland with its continental Walk By Faith outlook In short strategically speaking there is no space for Central Europe in the view Reflections Of Being of Mackinder and Fairgrieve The celebration Armageddon The Salvation War 1 of Central Europe the justifiable indulgence Menfreya of it by the liberal intellectuals the writings Tied Between of Mackinder and Fairgrieve suggest indicates a respite from geopoliticsor at least the desire for 30 Second Maths one Yet the fall Hodajui Na Rukama of the Berlin Wall did notcould notend geopolitics but merely brought it into a new phase You cannot simply wish away the struggle Sains Amp Spiritualitas Dari Nalar Fisika Hingga Bahasa Para Dewa of states and empires across the mapI will explore Mackinders work particularly his Heartland thesis later at great length Suffice it to say now that expounded well Tori Koro Volume 1 over a hundred years.

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The Revenge of Geography: What the Map Tells Us About Coming Conflicts and the Battle Against Fate

ExcerptKaplan REVENGE GEOGRAPHYChapter IFROM BOSNIA TO BAGHDADTo recover our sense of geography we first must fix the moment in recent history when we most profoundly lost it explain why we lost it and elucidate how that affected our assumptions about the world Of course such a loss is gradual But the moment I have isolated when that loss seemed most acute was immediately after the collapse of the Berlin Wall Though an artificial border whose crumbling should have enhanced our respect for geography and the relief mapand what that map might have foreshadowed in the adjacent Balkans and the Middle Eastthe Berlin Walls erasure made us blind to the real geographical impediments that still divided us and still awaited usFor suddenly we were in a world in which the dismantling of a man made boundary in Germany had led to the assumption that all human divisions were surmountable that democracy would conuer Africa and the Middle East as easily as it had Eastern Europe that globalizationsoon to become a buzzwordwas nothing less than a moral direction of history and a system of international security rather than what it actually was merely an economic and cultural stage of development Consider a totalitarian ideology had just been vanuished even as domestic security in the United States and Western Europe was being taken for granted The semblance of peace reigned generally Presciently capturing the zeitgeist a former deputy director of the US State Departments Policy Planning Staff Francis Fukuyama published an article a few months before the fall of the Berlin Wall The End of History proclaiming that while wars and rebellions would continue history in a Hegelian sense was over now since the success of capitalist liberal democracies had ended the argument over which system of government was best for humankind Thus it was just a matter of shaping the worldin our own image sometimes through the deployment of American troops deployments that in the s would exact relatively little penalty This the first intellectual cycle of the Post Cold War was an era of illusions It was a time when the words realist and pragmatist were considered pejoratives signifying an aversion to humanitarian intervention in places where the national interest as conventionally and narrowly defined seemed elusive Better in those days to be a neoconservative or liberal internationalist who were thought of as good smart people who simply wanted to stop genocide in the BalkansSuch a burst of idealism in the United States was not unprecedented Victory in World War I had unfurled the banner of Wilsonianism a notion associated with President Woodrow Wilson that as it would turn out took little account of the real goals of Americas European allies and even less account of the realities of the Balkans and the Near East where as events in the s would show democracy and freedom from the imperial overlordship of the Ottoman Turks meant mainly heightened ethnic awareness of a narrow sort in the individual parts of the old sultanate It was a similar phenomenon that followed the Wests victory in the Cold War which many believed would simply bring freedom and prosperity under the banners of democracy and free markets Many suggested that even Africa the poorest and least stable continent further burdened with the worlds most artificial and illogical borders might also be on the brink of a democratic revolution as if the collapse of the Soviet Empire in the heart of Europe held supreme meaning for the worlds least developed nations separated by sea and desert thousands of miles away but connected by television Yet just as after World War I and World War II our victory in the Cold War would usher in less democracy and global peace than the next struggle for survival in which evil would wear new masksDemocracy and better government would in fact begin to emerge in Africa of all places But it would be a long and difficult struggle with anarchy in the cases of several West African countries insurrection and outright wickedness in the case of Rwanda rearing their heads for considerable periods in between Africa would go a long way toward defining the long decade between November and September between the collapse of the Berlin Wall and the al aeda attacks on the Pentagon and World Trade Center a twelve year period that saw mass murder and belated humanitarian interventions frustrate idealist intellectuals even as the ultimate success of those interventions raised idealist triumphalism to heights that were to prove catastrophic in the decade that began after In that new decade following geography a factor certainly in the Balkans and Africa in the s would go on to wreak unmitigated havoc on Americas good intentions in the Near East The journey from Bosnia to Baghdad from a limited air and land campaign in the western most developed part of the former Turkish Empire in the Balkans to a mass infantry invasion in the eastern least developed part in Mesopotamia would expose the limits of liberal universalism and in the process concede new respect to the relief mapThe Post Cold War actually began in the s before the collapse of the Berlin Wall with the revival of the term Central Europe later defined by the journalist and Oxford scholar Timothy Garton Ash as a political cultural distinction against the Soviet East Central Europe Mitteleuropa wasof an idea than a fact of geography It constituted a declaration of memory that of an intense deliciously cluttered and romantic European civilization suggestive of cobblestone streets and gabled roofs of rich wine Viennese cafs and classical music of a gentle humanist tradition infused with edgy and disturbing modernist art and thought It conjured up the Austro Hungarian Empire and such names as Gustav Mahler Gustav Klimt and Sigmund Freud leavened with a deep appreciation of the likes of Immanuel Kant and the Dutch Jewish philosopher Baruch Spinoza Indeed Central Europe among so many other things meant the endangered intellectual world of Jewry before the ravages of Nazism and communism it meant economic development with a sturdy recall of Bohemia prior to World War II as having enjoyed a higher level of industrialization than Belgium It meant with all of its decadence and moral imperfections a zone of relative multiethnic tolerance under the umbrella of a benign if increasingly dysfunctional Habsburg Empire In the last phase of the Cold War Central Europe was succinctly captured by Princeton professor Carl E Schorske in his troubling icy eyed classic Fin de Sicle Vienna Politics and Culture and by the Italian writer Claudio Magris in his sumptuous travelogue Danube For Magris Mitteleuropa is a sensibility that means the defence of the particular against any totalitarian programme For the Hungarian writer Gyrgy Konrd and the Czech writer Milan Kundera Mitteleuropa is something noble a master key for liberalizing political aspirationsTo speak of Central Europe in the s and s was to say that a culture in and of itself comprised a geography every bit as much as a mountain range did or every bit as much as Soviet tanks did For the idea of Central Europe was a rebuke to the geography of the. Dare To Run our sense How To Stuff A Wild Zucchini of geography we first must fix the moment in recent history when we most profoundly lost it explain why we lost it and elucidate how that affected The Beginners Guide To Meditation our assumptions about the world Of course such a loss is gradual But the moment I have isolated when that loss seemed most acute was immediately after the collapse Self And I our respect for geography and the relief mapand what that map might have foreshadowed in the adjacent Balkans and the Middle Eastthe Berlin Walls erasure made us blind to the real geographical impediments that still divided us and still awaited usFor suddenly we were in a world in which the dismantling Brianna My Brother And The Blog of a man made boundary in Germany had led to the assumption that all human divisions were surmountable that democracy would conuer Africa and the Middle East as easily as it had Eastern Europe that globalizationsoon to become a buzzwordwas nothing less than a moral direction Faktor Adab Dalam Meraih Berkat Ilmu of history and a system Die Fout By Ons Sterre of international security rather than what it actually was merely an economic and cultural stage Manatsu Vol 4 of development Consider a totalitarian ideology had just been vanuished even as domestic security in the United States and Western Europe was being taken for granted The semblance Day Of The Rangers of peace reigned generally Presciently capturing the zeitgeist a former deputy director the-fisher-queen-s-dynasty of the US State Departments Policy Planning Staff Francis Fukuyama published an article a few months before the fall An Instrument Of Revival of the Berlin Wall The End Key Lime Pie A Culinary Mystery 4 of History proclaiming that while wars and rebellions would continue history in a Hegelian sense was Interior Design In Miniature over now since the success Tattoo Machine Builder of capitalist liberal democracies had ended the argument Vezena Torbica over which system Memoirs Of Madame De Montespan Volume 1 of government was best for humankind Thus it was just a matter The Assassins Apprentice The Assassins Trilogy 1 of shaping the worldin The Patchwork Mouse our lonesome-tome-1-la-piste-du-pr-ecirc-cheur own image sometimes through the deployment geluck-p-egrave-te-les-plombs of American troops deployments that in the s would exact relatively little penalty This the first intellectual cycle Two Roads of the Post Cold War was an era wild-love-t02 of illusions It was a time when the words realist and pragmatist were considered pejoratives signifying an aversion to humanitarian intervention in places where the national interest as conventionally and narrowly defined seemed elusive Better in those days to be a neoconservative Zat or liberal internationalist who were thought walking-dead-t01-pass-eacute-d-eacute-compos-eacute of as good smart people who simply wanted to stop genocide in the BalkansSuch a burst almanach-vermot-2019 of idealism in the United States was not unprecedented Victory in World War I had unfurled the banner le-pays-des-elfes-elfquest-tome-25-a-la-crois-eacute-e-des-chemins of Wilsonianism a notion associated with President Woodrow Wilson that as it would turn ucc-dolores-tome-01-la-trace-des-nouveaux-pionniers out took little account The Silver Tassie of the real goals No Turning Back of Americas European allies and even less account Shokai Shii of the realities Aquaman Volume 3 of the Balkans and the Near East where as events in the s would show democracy and freedom from the imperial The Wisdom Of The Celts overlordship Boyhood Island My Struggle Book 3 of the Ottoman Turks meant mainly heightened ethnic awareness The Gardener of a narrow sort in the individual parts Red Vonrouge 1 of the The Pendragon Chronicles old sultanate It was a similar phenomenon that followed the Wests victory in the Cold War which many believed would simply bring freedom and prosperity under the banners Dave on the brink raspberry-pi-das-umfassende-handbuch-aktuell-zu-raspberry-pi-3b-und-zero-wh of a democratic revolution as if the collapse Fabel Al Quran of the Soviet Empire in the heart Communication Power of Europe held supreme meaning for the worlds least developed nations separated by sea and desert thousands An Introduction To Finance our victory in the Cold War would usher in less democracy and global peace than the next struggle for survival in which evil would wear new masksDemocracy and better government would in fact begin to emerge in Africa Sweet Temptations Sweet 1 of all places But it would be a long and difficult struggle with anarchy in the cases Road To St Andrews Dandoh Xi Vol 15 of several West African countries insurrection and Candleglow outright wickedness in the case drift-volume-6-mexico-city of Rwanda rearing their heads for considerable periods in between Africa would go a long way toward defining the long decade between November and September between the collapse Miss Armstead Wears Black Gloves of the Berlin Wall and the al aeda attacks The Wedding Surprise on the Pentagon and World Trade Center a twelve year period that saw mass murder and belated humanitarian interventions frustrate idealist intellectuals even as the ultimate success Les Soeurs Diaboliques Brigade Mondaine 175 of those interventions raised idealist triumphalism to heights that were to prove catastrophic in the decade that began after In that new decade following geography a factor certainly in the Balkans and Africa in the s would go Ye Bulbulein Ye Titliyan on to wreak unmitigated havoc Lwanda Magere on Americas good intentions in the Near East The journey from Bosnia to Baghdad from a limited air and land campaign in the western most developed part Venga Tu Reino of the former Turkish Empire in the Balkans to a mass infantry invasion in the eastern least developed part in Mesopotamia would expose the limits Betrayal In Time of liberal universalism and in the process concede new respect to the relief mapThe Post Cold War actually began in the s before the collapse The Vertigo Years of the Berlin Wall with the revival Savor Me of the term Central Europe later defined by the journalist and Oxford scholar Timothy Garton Ash as a political cultural distinction against the Soviet East Central Europe Mitteleuropa wasof an idea than a fact Every Last Word of geography It constituted a declaration From The Realm Of The Ancestors of memory that The Heavenly Couple of an intense deliciously cluttered and romantic European civilization suggestive A Brief History Of Islam of cobblestone streets and gabled roofs The Moon In My Room of rich wine Viennese cafs and classical music le-suicide-francais-ces-quarantes-ann-eacute-es-qui-ont-d-eacute-fait-la-france of a gentle humanist tradition infused with edgy and disturbing modernist art and thought It conjured up the Austro Hungarian Empire and such names as Gustav Mahler Gustav Klimt and Sigmund Freud leavened with a deep appreciation A Childhood In Prison of the likes 4 of Immanuel Kant and the Dutch Jewish philosopher Baruch Spinoza Indeed Central Europe among so many In Montmartre other things meant the endangered intellectual world The Monster Man Of Horror House of Jewry before the ravages Daddys Discipline of Nazism and communism it meant economic development with a sturdy recall Taming The Texas Rancher of Bohemia prior to World War II as having enjoyed a higher level Practice Keeping of industrialization than Belgium It meant with all Tak Putus Dirundung Malang of relative multiethnic tolerance under the umbrella Telling History of a benign if increasingly dysfunctional Habsburg Empire In the last phase Frau Komm of the particular against any totalitarian programme For the Hungarian writer Gyrgy Konrd and the Czech writer Milan Kundera Mitteleuropa is something noble a master key for liberalizing political aspirationsTo speak Bedtime Stories of Central Europe in the s and s was to say that a culture in and Perihelion Summer of itself comprised a geography every bit as much as a mountain range did Hellenism And Christianity or every bit as much as Soviet tanks did For the idea A Manual Of Acarology of Central Europe was a rebuke to the geography

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Ago it proved remarkably relevant to the dynamics of World War I World War II and the Cold War Stripped down to their most austere logic the two world wars were about whether or not Germany would dominate the Heartland of Eurasia that lay to its east while the Cold War centered on the Soviet Unions domination of Eastern Europethe western edge of Mackinders Heartland This Soviet Eastern Europe by the way included in its domain East Germany historic Prussia that is which had traditionally been territorially motivated with an eastward Heartland orientation while inside NATOs oceanic alliance was West Germany historically Catholic and industrially and commercially minded oriented toward the North Sea and the Atlantic A renowned American geographer of the Cold War period Saul B Cohen argues that the boundary zone that divides the East from West Germanyis one of the oldest in history the one which separated Frankish and Slavonic tribes in the Middle Ages In other words there was little artificial about the frontier between West and East Germany West Germany according to Cohen was a remarkable reflection of Maritime Europe whereas East Germany belonged to the Continental Landpower Realm Cohen supported a divided Germany as geopolitically sound and strategically necessary because it stabilized the perennial battle between Maritime and Heartland Europe Mackinder too wrote presciently in that the line through Germanyis the very line which we have on other grounds taken as demarking the Heartland in a strategical sense from the Coastland So while the division of Berlin itself was artificial the division of Germany was less soCohen called Central Europe a mere geographical expression that lacks geopolitical substance The reunification of Germany according to this logic rather than lead to the rebirth of Central Europe would simply lead to a renewed battle for Europe and by inference for the Heartland of Eurasia Which way in other words would Germany swing to the east and toward Russia with great conseuences for Poland Hungary and the other former satellite countries or to the west and toward the United Kingdom and the United States providing a victory for the Maritime realm We still do not know the answer to this because the Post Cold War is still in its early stages Cohen and others could not have foreseen accurately the debellicized nature of todays united Germany with its aversion to military solutions existing at a deep cultural level something which in the future may help stabilize or destabilize the continent depending upon the circumstances Precisely because they have occupied the center of Europe as a land power Germans have always demonstrated a keen awareness of geography and strategy as a survival mechanism This is something which Germans may yet recover allowing them to move beyond the uasi pacifism of the moment Indeed might a reunited and liberal Germany become a balancing power in its own rightbetween the Atlantic Ocean and the Eurasian Heartlandpermitting a new and daring interpretation of Central European culture to take root and thus providing the concept of Central Europe with geopolitical ballast That would give those like Garton Ash credence over Mackinder and CohenIn sum will Central Europe as an ideal of tolerance and high civilization survive the onslaught of new great power struggles For such struggles in the heart of Europe there will be The vibrant culture of late nineteenth century Central Europe that looked so inviting from the vantage point of the late twentieth century was itself the upshot of an unsentimental and specific imperial and geopolitical reality namely Habsburg Austria Liberalism ultimately rests on power a benign power perhaps but power neverthelessBut humanitarian interventionists in the s were not blind to power struggles nor in their eyes did Central Europe constitute a utopian vision Rather the restoration of Central Europe through the stoppage of mass killing in the Balkans was a uiet and erudite rallying cry for the proper employment of Western military force in order to safeguard the meaning of victory in the Cold War After all what was the Cold War ultimately about except to make the world safe for individual freedom For liberal internationalists Bosnia has become the Spanish Civil War of our era wrote Michael Ignatieff the intellectual historian and biographer of Isaiah Berlin referring to the passion with which intellectuals like himself approached the BalkansThe call for human agencyand the defeat of determinismwas urgent in their minds One recalls the passage from Joyces Ulysses when Leopold Bloom laments the generic conditions imposed by natural law the decimating epidemics the catastrophic cataclysms and seismic upheavals To which Stephen Dedalus responds by simply poignantly affirming his significance as a conscious rational animal Yes atrocities happen it is the way of the world But it doesnt have to be accepted thus Because man is rational he ultimately has the ability to struggle against suffering and injusticeAnd so with Central Europe as the lodestar the road led southeastward first to Bosnia then to Kosovo and onward to Baghdad Of course many of the intellectuals who supported intervention in Bosnia would oppose it in Iraor at least be skeptical of it but neoconservatives and others would not be deterred For as we shall see the Balkans showed us a vision of interventionism delayed though it was that cost little in soldiers lives leaving many with the illusion that painless victory was now the future of war The s with their belated interventions were as Garton Ash wrote searingly reminiscent of W H Audens low dishonest decade of the s True but in another sense they were much too easyAn ambitious and challenging new bookThe Revenge of Geographydisplays a formidable grasp of contemporary world politics and serves as a powerful reminder that it has been the planets geophysical configurations as much as the flow of competing religions and ideologies that have shaped human conflicts past and presentMalise Ruthven The New York Review of BooksRobert D Kaplan the world traveling reporter and intellectual whose fourteen books constitute a bedrock of penetrating exposition and analysis on the post Cold War worldstrips away much of the cant that suffuses public discourse these days on global developments and gets to a fundamental reality that geography remains today as it has been throughout history one of the most powerful drivers of world events The National InterestKaplan plunges into a planetary review that is often thrilling in its sheer scaleencyclopedic The New Yorker The Revenge of Geography serves the facts straight up Kaplans realism and willingness to face hard facts make The Revenge of Geography a valuable antidote to the feel good manifestoes that often masuerade as strategic thoughtThe Daily Beast A remarkable new bookWith such books as Balkan Ghosts and Monsoon Kaplan an observer of world events who sees what others often do not has already established himself as one of the most discerning geopolitical writers of our time The Revenge of Geography cements his status National Review From the Hardcover editi.

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