Talk to, Don’t Provoke, North Korea

There’s little more we can do than hope that some cool heads around Donald Trump are telling him he’d be nuts to attack North Korea. I don’t know who they might be. Still, we must hope. It doesn’t take a lifetime of study to know that, fortunately, no military resolution of the standoff is available. … Continue reading “Talk to, Don’t Provoke, North Korea”

What a Perverse Presidential Incentive System!

All I can say is, we’ve got a hell of a political system on our hands when the surest way for a president to win the adoration of those who thought him a dangerous, ignorant, narcissistic, erratic, and bullshitting blowhard yesterday is to drop a bomb or fire a cruise missile today. We already knew … Continue reading “What a Perverse Presidential Incentive System!”

The Bogosity of Trump’s ‘America First’

It says something about the complexity of language (and me perhaps) that I took so long to realize that Donald Trump’s “America First” slogan, which I found off-putting from the start, consists of the same words as the name of the pre-World War II organization I’ve respected for decades. The same phrase coming from Trump … Continue reading “The Bogosity of Trump’s ‘America First’”

Trump’s Military Budget Is Not NATO’s Fault

President Trump’s budget proposal would increase military spending $54 billion, not quite a 10 percent increase over the current level. According to Quartz, the increase alone is more than all but two countries – China and Saudi Arabia – spend on their militaries. (China spends $145 billion, Saudi Arabia $57 billion, Russia $47, and Iran … Continue reading “Trump’s Military Budget Is Not NATO’s Fault”

Trump Assumes Command of the American Church

As Donald Trump demonstrated in his first address to Congress, no matter how loathsome a ruler may be, he can bring an assembly of politicians to its feet and disarm some critics simply by invoking the quasi-secular faith – Americanism – and eulogizing the latest uniformed war-state employee to sacrifice his life for it. Trump … Continue reading “Trump Assumes Command of the American Church”

‘Isolationist’ Trump Rattles His Saber

A few libertarians and other principled opponents of the warfare state assured us we likely would sleep easier with Donald Trump, rather than any neoconservative or humanitarian interventionist, in the White House. How’s that working out? Not so well. I’m hoarding melatonin and buying stock in Lunesta. In its opening days the Trump administration has … Continue reading “‘Isolationist’ Trump Rattles His Saber”

Shimon Peres and the 9/11 Attacks

The death of former Israeli prime minister and president Shimon Peres (age 93), the last major figure of Israel’s founding generation, has brought an outpouring of tributes for a man who reputedly had, as President Obama put it in his eulogy, “the capacity to see all people as deserving of dignity and respect.” Unfortunately, the … Continue reading “Shimon Peres and the 9/11 Attacks”

US Rewards Israel’s Bad Behavior

Benjamin Netanyahu has been perhaps the most anti-Palestinian Israeli prime minister in a large rogue’s gallery dedicated to driving the aggrieved Palestinians out of the land they and their ancestors have lived in and worked for millennia. This oppression – which has included ethnic cleansing, savage war on the people of the Gaza Strip, routine … Continue reading “US Rewards Israel’s Bad Behavior”

NATO and Trump’s Misconceptions

Again Trump has it backwards. According to NATO’s internal logic, the US should pay the members – not the other way around – for providing services to the empire and a tripwire for war. The empire doesn’t protect; it provokes and endangers. Who would willingly pay for that? As Andrew Levine, drawing on Andrew Bacevich, … Continue reading “NATO and Trump’s Misconceptions”

Brexit: Which Kind of Dependence Now?

Is Brexit a move toward British independence? Some Leave and Remain partisans may believe so, differing only over whether that’s good or bad. But, as usual, things are more complicated. We should hope that, in one respect, Britain’s exit from the EU will create a kind of dependence that did not exist while it was … Continue reading “Brexit: Which Kind of Dependence Now?”