Plans To Memorialize a War Without End

On August 8, The New York Times Magazine‘s C.J. Chivers published a lengthy pre-mortem of the failures of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, noting how "Aside from displacing tyrants and leading to the eventual killing of Osama bin Laden, none of this turned out as pitched. Prominent successes were short-lived." This faint praise of … Continue reading “Plans To Memorialize a War Without End”

In Korea, We Should Welcome Anything Peaceful

After last week’s momentous meeting of Korean leaders – with North Korean dictator Kim Jung-Un coming to the South – it suddenly seemed like Donald Trump was about ready for a Nobel Peace Prize. Peace on the Korean peninsula and, indeed, an official end to the armisticed Korean War is still far away, but both … Continue reading “In Korea, We Should Welcome Anything Peaceful”

Missile False Alarm in Hawaii: How Wrong Buttons Can Wreak Havoc

On Saturday at 8:05 am, residents of Hawaii were terrified by a text message that said a missile was heading their way, and they should “seek shelter immediately.” Helpfully, the message also said, “this is not a drill.” And it wasn’t – it was merely a stomach-clenching error. Ten minutes after it was sent, it … Continue reading “Missile False Alarm in Hawaii: How Wrong Buttons Can Wreak Havoc”

Flirting With War in North Korea

The most surprising part about Donald Trump’s Wednesday speech, directed at the North Korean regime via Tokyo, is that more people of a certain type weren’t gushing over it. After all, if sending cruise missiles at Syria makes a man presidential, condemning North Korea accurately as “a hell that no person deserves” and sounding vaguely … Continue reading “Flirting With War in North Korea”

Moral Superiority Among Neocons and Nazis

We’re finally in agreement – there were Nazis marching in Charlottesville last weekend. Enough with the alt- right euphemisms. Nazis were marching with Nazi symbols and Nazi chants. It’s not a stretch to dub them as what they are. President Trump, utterly unable to schmooze like a normal politician, did a dreadful job in condemning … Continue reading “Moral Superiority Among Neocons and Nazis”

It Doesn’t Matter Who Controls the Military

There are more than 8,000 troops still fighting in America’s longest war. According to Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis, we need about 3,000 more. The idea that 3,000 troops will change a decade and a half long stalemate seems dubious, but that’s the number Mattis suggests. Others in the administration are reportedly arguing that that … Continue reading “It Doesn’t Matter Who Controls the Military”

Corbyn and Kelly: Two Very Different Responses to Terrorism

While he was a guest on Fox News’ Fox and Friends, Department of Homeland Security Chief John Kelly described the current safety of US citizens: "if [you] knew what I knew about terrorism, [you’d] never leave the house in the morning." Anywhere, any time, a terrorist attack can happen, according to Kelly. His very job … Continue reading “Corbyn and Kelly: Two Very Different Responses to Terrorism”

Justice for No One Except Jeff Sessions

Donald Trump is “America” in the most pejorative sense. "Make America Great Again" is a bitter, depressed motto that worked beautifully as the perfect slogan for a country that pushes other nations around, then plays innocent when the result is anger or even violence. Somewhere like Iran couldn’t possibly have a legitimate distrust of the … Continue reading “Justice for No One Except Jeff Sessions”

Yemen, Syria, the Press, and Trump the War President

How can you tell that Donald Trump is just another war president? Because in spite of the administrative chaos, the executive branch with its ever-shifting staff, and the half-conspiracies that surround him, the meat of the matter is the question, which near-war should the public pay attention to? The recent gas attack on civilians in … Continue reading “Yemen, Syria, the Press, and Trump the War President”

Is Trump Another Obama on Foreign Policy?

United States foreign policy involves miserable choices. Were George W. Bush’s two boots on the ground wars worse than Barack Obama’s dabbling in six different countries with war robots, and his precedent-setting assassinations of American citizens? Was FDR worse than Harry Truman for pure body-count, even though the latter is responsible for the only use(s) … Continue reading “Is Trump Another Obama on Foreign Policy?”