Jeffrey LewisDinner from Hell

We scholars of international relations often emphasize the role that large, impersonal forces play in driving policy. The habit is as old as recorded history, running all the way back to Thucydides, who said of the Peloponnesian War:

The real cause I consider to be the one which was formally most kept out of sight.

The growth of the power of Athens, and the alarm which this inspired in Lacedaemon, made war inevitable.

Sometimes, though, a couple of diplomatic gaffes followed by some non-hallal rubber chicken can be plenty of trouble.

I submit what Reuters is calling “the meal from hell”: A World Economic Forum dinner designed to promote dialogue between Iran and the United States that “began with a comic strip series of diplomatic and gastronomic blunders, and ended with a sharp exchange over nuclear weapons.”

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