GOROKH | Nerve Gas, Spies and Secret Briefings

Following politics can be frustrating. You see decisions made on the basis of private motives and private information. Whatever efforts you make in inferring the missing pieces are often thwarted by the fact that some actions are motivated by nothing but plain human stupidity. So instead I kick back and stream the new season of Homeland (which involves plots about as unrealistic but a whole lot more entertaining than those on CNN). But then sometimes, especially when it comes to my homeland Russia, I just can’t help it.

SCHULMAN | Prioritize Privacy Over Partisanship

It is also comically partisan to prioritize Russian influence over CIA overreach. This is the first time Democrats view the CIA more keenly than Republicans. This change in sentiment isn’t ideological — at least I hope not. Giving the CIA a pass for hacking foreign governments but throwing a fit when Russia hacks us is incredibly hypocritical.

RUBASHKIN | A Dream of America

In 1925, after three weeks spent in steerage on the USS America and three years spent in a German refugee camp, a seven-year old Jewish boy named Benjamin Karasik stepped foot on the island of Manhattan. He and his family had fled from the horrors of the Russian Civil War, and now they arrived in America speaking no English and with only meager savings. Twenty-five years later, Captain Benjamin Karasik was commissioned as a doctor during the Korean War. And in a few short months, decades after passing under the shadow of the Statue of Liberty, Grandpa Ben will celebrate his 99th birthday surrounded by his friends and family. Grandpa Ben was one of the lucky ones; by extension, I am one of the lucky ones as well, as are both of my sisters, my mother and all my cousins.

The New Great Game

Since the fall of the Soviet Union the United States has been incrementally increasing its influence in the former Eastern Bloc, as well as countries that have historically been considered part of Russia (whether or not that’s good is a separate issue from whether or not it’s true.) The recent crisis over Georgia is the first of what will most likely be a long and sustained reaction and attempt to reassert Russian control in its former backyard.

Panel Discussion Held for Georgia

Cornellians are often said to be living in the “10 square miles surrounded by reality” that is Ithaca. Yesterday afternoon, however, the Guerlac Room in A.D. White House was packed with students attending a panel discussion called “A New Cold War? The Crisis in Georgia and Its Implications for East-West Relations.”
In the event organized by the Cornell International Affairs Review, Prof. Valerie Bunce, government, joined Georgian author and political figure Irakli Kakabadze and spoke to about 100 people. About 20 members of the audience stood at the entrances of the small room throughout the two-hour discussion.