We are living in extraordinary times, as those with a sense of history can appreciate, while most people don’t. Just as in WW II and in 1945, it is up to us to shape the world in a way that carries the achievements of our civilization forward.
Jim Rowles continues to write about foreign affairs in his blog, The Trenchant Observer: International Law, Politics, and Security, which he began in 2009 to give vent to his outrage over torture, and in his Substack newsletter, Trenchant Observations, which he began in May 2022.
A writer and semi-retired international lawyer, he applies his expertise in international law and his knowledge of history in articles which seek to connect the dots and render complicated subjects intelligible to non-specialists.
Of course, this is an uphill struggle, as few people today seem to be interested in international affairs beyond catching the latest “breaking news” headlines. Jim reads leading English, French, German, and Spanish newspapers daily, in addition to the New York Times and the Washington Post, and brings a truly international and he would say unbiased perspective to bear in his columns.
He has one suggestion for the NSNC column competition: Add a category for international affairs. This is obviously self-serving, he admits, but believes it is urgently needed nonetheless.
Why should we care about international affairs and war in far-off places like Ukraine?
He cites a quote often misattributed to Leon Trotsky but actually by an American politicakpl scientist: “You may not care about war, but war cares about you.”
Jim is trenchand and at times even caustic in his columns, calling it as he sees it, regardless of the political party of the targets of his criticism.
Occasionally he resorts to satire, when the grim details of tge daily news suggest a need for humor.
Jim writes from the greater San Francisco Bay Area, from an independent point of view.
To learn more about what motivates hin to write about tge world, see