Briefly Noted: A Foreign Policy They Can't Refuse

Francis Ford Coppola’s 1972 film The Godfather has become a cultural landmark, referenced in everything from The Simpsons to The Sopranos. With The Godfather Doctrine (Princeton), John C. Hulsman and A. Wess Mitchell have applied the differing views of mob boss Don Corleone’s three sons (excluding the hapless Fredo) to differing schools of American foreign policy. The hotheaded Sonny is a neocon, while adopted son and family consigliere Tom Hagen represents what the authors call “liberal institutionalism.” Michael Corleone represents the authors’ preferred model of realism, since he senses that a shift is under way on the streets toward a more diffuse power arrangement.

The analogy works up to a point, especially with Sonny, for whom violence is always the first option. But the authors stretch the idea beyond its limits. America’s alliances and enmities around the globe are too complex to be successfully squeezed into the template of three fictional gangsters dealing with Virgil “The Turk” Sollozzo.

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    My only point is that if you take the Bible straight, as I'm sure many of Reasons readers do, you will see a lot of the Old Testament stuff as absolutely insane. Even some cursory knowledge of Hebrew and doing some mathematics and logic will tell you that you really won't get the full deal by just doing regular skill english reading for those books. In other words, there's more to the books of the Bible than most will ever grasp. I'm not concerned that Mr. Crumb will go to hell or anything crazy like that! It's just that he, like many types of religionists, seems to take it literally, take it straight...the Bible's books were not written by straight laced divinity students in 3 piece suits who white wash religious beliefs as if God made them with clothes on...

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