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?”

What Do Terrorists Want?

After the terrorist violence in Brussels many people, including Barack Obama, said we should not change our way of life and live in fear because that is what terrorists want. Maybe, but is that all they want? It seems that something important is left out of the story. In the classical model of terrorism, instilling fear … Continue reading “What Do Terrorists Want?”

Trump’s Toxic Aggrieved-Nation Shtick

The key to Donald Trump’s presidential campaign – the feature that explains nearly everything else about that toxic dump – is his aggrieved-nation shtick. Just about everything Trump says (when he’s not adoring himself or belittling others) is about how the once-great American nation has been humbled by the rest of the world. To hear … Continue reading “Trump’s Toxic Aggrieved-Nation Shtick”

The Constitution and the Standing Army

The U.S. Constitution can reasonably be seen as a massive tax and mercantilist trade-promotion program. However, there’s a third leg to this stool. It was a national-security program as well – almost a proto-PATRIOT Act. Indeed, these three elements formed an integrated project: it gave the new central government independent power to raise revenue by … Continue reading “The Constitution and the Standing Army”