Right Field

Wickets for Peace

You won’t see many cricket items in this blog, but yesterday’s India-Pakistan match, which India took by the narrow margin of 29 runs on its home pitch at Mohali (there, don’t I sound like I know what I’m talking about?), had geopolitical ramifications, as these two fierce rivals (in sport and everything else) completed the event peacefully and amicably, with the two nations’ prime ministers watching the action together. Predictably enough, the Obama administration has released a statement praising the match as a diplomatic breakthrough; soon, presumably, we can expect the president (who must be quietly mourning the loss by his beloved Pockystahn) to announce a global sports initiative aimed at building world peace through hitting, kicking, and throwing balls.

That idea would not be entirely crazy, at least to those old enough to remember Richard Nixon’s “ping-pong diplomacy.” Yet sports can also inflame tensions, sometimes even to the point of military conflict, as in the 1969 “Soccer War” between El Salvador and Honduras. Of course, in that part of the world, countries used to fight over just about anything — including bat droppings. Still, as Right Field readers will understand, a sporting event is a good place for any sort of discussion: You sit side by side without having to stare each other in the face, and whenever you don’t feel like talking, you just look at what’s happening on the field. If Abraham Lincoln and Jefferson Davis had just sat down at a baseball game together, that whole Civil War thing might have been avoided . . .

Fred Schwarz — Fred Schwarz is a deputy managing editor of National Review.

Most Popular

Film & TV

In Unsane, Aetna Meets Kafka

Unsane doesn’t take the form of a horror film; at first, it appears to be a Hitchcockian thriller about mistaken identity or perhaps getting ensnared in a web of bureaucracy. Yet with clinical detachment it develops into a nerve-flaying story almost too agonizing to endure. Unlike most horror movies, it isn’t ... Read More

Viva l’Italia?

Italy has just had elections, with very interesting results. I wanted to talk with Alberto Mingardi, which I have. He is one of the leading classical liberals in Italy -- the director general of the Bruno Leoni Institute, in Milan. (Mingardi himself is Milanese.) He is also an authority in arts and letters. In ... Read More

Putin and the Cult of Leadership

On Sunday, Russian dictator Vladimir Putin won an unsurprising reelection-campaign victory against Communist Party candidate Pavel Grudinin, by a margin of 76.7 percent to 11.8 percent. The results were unsurprising because Putin is a tyrant who murders or imprisons political rivals, and who isn’t afraid to use ... Read More

Trump and Brexit Derangement Syndrome

I am not one of those Brexiteers who believe that Brexit and Trumpism are essentially the same phenomenon in two different countries. To be sure, they both draw on some of the same political trends, notably a distrust of elites and an upsurge of popular anger over evident failures of public policy such as illegal ... Read More

Stand Up to Putin

President Putin’s landslide victory in Russia’s presidential election was achieved against the lackluster competition of a group of mediocre candidates from which the sole serious opponent had been excluded; amid plausible allegations that his security services had tried to poison two Russians in England by ... Read More