Weekly Roundup, Tuesday, February 22nd

Weekly Roundup: Ukraine, Fusion Power, and Jon Kay on the Ottawa Truckers

Claire Lehmann
Claire Lehmann
5 min read


Dear Readers,

As I compile the articles for this week’s newsletter, Russian tanks have entered Donbas. Appearing on Russian television, Putin addressed his nation arguing that "Ukraine [has] never had a tradition of genuine statehood," justifying the invasion. Ukraine’s President, Volodymyr Zelensky has stoically called for calm, while Biden has ordered his Ukraine embassy staff out of the country and into Poland.  

Last week we published our newsletter with three different articles on the crisis on Ukraine’s border. In case you missed them, you can read them here:

Weekly Roundup and Ukraine in the Balance
Dear Reader, This week’s dispatch focuses on the unfolding situation in Eastern Europe. We have three pieces for you on the subject, one from Chris Miller, a Grand Strategy expert, analysing Putin’s strategic intentions in What Putin Really Wants, another from regular Quillette contributor, Brian St…

On the other side of the world, China has attacked an Australian military aircraft with a laser, inside Australia’s exclusive economic zone, in a clear act of intimidation.

The world waits anxiously to see what Putin does next. At the time of writing, only the UK has responded to Russia vowing significant sanctions. Macron has called for "targeted European sanctions," while Biden has signed an executive order imposing "limited sanctions."

Will Putin's invasion of Ukraine expose weakness in the Western Alliance? It is too early to tell. But if so, the ramifications may be unpleasant. Historian Andrew Roberts wrote recently in Quillette about such a scenario:

The Decline of American Empire: A Kübler-Ross Cycle Analysis
How will the United States react domestically should she be dislodged from her role of global top-dog power by China? As well as the obvious economic and strategic ramifications of an end to American imperium, there will be profound emotional and psychological effects on a society that has taken its

As this situation unfolds, we will endeavour to bring you the best independent commentary and analysis from around the world. If you'd like to support our journalism, please become a paying subscriber today.

We thank you for your support.

Until next week,
Claire

Science

Fusion Power is Coming
On February 8th, scientists associated with the Joint European Torus (JET) fusion experimental facility located in Oxfordshire, UK, announced that they had achieved a sustained fusion reaction releasing 11 megawatts of thermonuclear fusion power burning a deuterium-tritium plasma mixture continuousl…

Politics

The Ottawa Trucker Protest Was Disruptive. The Hysterical Reaction to It Was Worse
In some cases, drawing the line between permissible and impermissible forms of public protest can be difficult. But the Canadian “Freedom Convoy” that occupied downtown Ottawa until Sunday wasn’t one of those cases. Thousands of anti-vaccine-mandate protesters, many of them driving trucks, took over…

Art and Culture

Authentic Immediacy—A Tribute to the Political Fiction of Frederick Forsyth
When the Berlin Wall fell and the USSR collapsed, one might have assumed that Cold War fiction would become irrelevant. That hasn’t turned out to be the case with Frederick Forsyth’s work. Consider, for instance, this passage from his 1979 novel, The Devil’s Alternative: The Union of
PJ O’Rourke—A Tribute
The thing about PJ O’Rourke, who passed away on Tuesday at the age of 74, was that everyone wanted to be around him. By “everyone,” I don’t just mean the right-wingers I hang out with, most of whom share PJ’s classical-liberal politics, but also neoconservatives like Bill

Psychology

The Tribal Threat to Liberal Democracy
Over the last few years we have witnessed the alarming growth of both left-wing and right-wing populist movements in both the developed world and countries with fragile democratic traditions. Although pundits and political scientists continue to debate the precise definition of “populism,” it is acc…
The Transmogrification of Harvey Weinstein
I was a close friend of Harvey Weinstein during his early years as a concert promoter, before he became Harvey Weinstein, movie mogul. We subsequently drifted apart, and while Harvey went on to find astronomic success in Hollywood, I worked as the chief psychologist at the Massachusetts Treatment Ce…
Diamonds Aren’t Forever(And Neither is Your Love)
Diamond is the most valuable, not only of precious stones, but of all things in this world. ~Pliny The Elder Loving someone, and having them love you back, is the most precious thing in the world. ~Nicholas Sparks, The Notebook At age 11, I first glimpsed the bewildering anthropologic sp…

Higher Education

The Problem of Sex Discrimination in Indigenous Archaeology
In January, as reporters were celebrating the first woman—and also the first transgender person—to win more than a million dollars on Jeopardy!, I was reading up on the discrimination still faced by biological women who toil away in my own fields of endeavor: anthropology and archaeology. This discr…
A Student Sleuth Found Evidence that Our University Practices Reverse Racism. Here’s Why I Advised Him Not to Publish It
At the American university where I teach, one of my assigned tasks is to advise undergraduates—mostly freshmen and sophomores. This essay describes a conversation I had in 2017 with one of those advisees. I will call him Daniel. Daniel was a sophomore at the time. He had been an

From Around the Web

Putin Chooses a Forever War
His partition of Ukraine is an attack on global peace.

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Claire Lehmann is the founding editor of Quillette.