Was There ‘Revolution’ in the American Revolution?

‘THE PATRIOT’ While Mel Gibson’s recent film still remains in the public mind, it might be good to look at a few issues it raises. The first is the "kids with guns!" problem so dear to a number of reviewers. All I can say to this is that young men probably matured earlier in the … Continue reading “Was There ‘Revolution’ in the American Revolution?”

Serbia and the Grand American Strategy

The election of Vojislav Kostunica as the new president of the Yugoslav federation will undoubtedly present the citizens and political elites of Yugoslavia with an opportunity to re-conceptualize and re-articulate the political relations that define the current common state between Serbia and Montenegro. Concurrently, the new president will be confronted with many difficult obstacles in … Continue reading “Serbia and the Grand American Strategy”

Another Missed Opportunity?

This is being written before this week’s presidential debate, but I suspect it is not high-risk prognostication to suggest that the major-party candidates will sidestep this opportunity determinedly, if not necessarily with agility. Events in the Middle East over the past several weeks could open up the possibility of a thoroughgoing discussion of the unnecessary … Continue reading “Another Missed Opportunity?”

Imperial Meddling in Jerusalem

The most striking thing about the current violence in the Middle East is the manic meddling by various elements of the "international community," that floating craps game of diplomats, bureaucrats and experts who consider themselves the avatars of good sense and acceptable international behavior. Whether it’s President Clinton frantically working the phones as if this … Continue reading “Imperial Meddling in Jerusalem”

Rebels Against State-Building: The General Crisis of the 17th Century

CONVENTIONAL HISTORIANS AND POLITICAL DISCONTENT Historians often view calamitous periods in human history through too many lenses. Take an imaginary happy kingdom, Ozarkia, ruled over by a hereditary monarch, Clinton Jefferson Williams. Here is a ruler with little interest in public affairs but an abiding interest in private ones. He allows his officials to terrorize … Continue reading “Rebels Against State-Building: The General Crisis of the 17th Century”

Sad Triumph of Reality

Nobody wants to acknowledge the possibility that the current violence in Jerusalem is not so much an anomaly as something like the release of pent-up hostilities on both sides that have been papered over – that there are simply too many unresolved hostilities between Palestinians and Israelis to make talks of a "peace process" anything … Continue reading “Sad Triumph of Reality”

Is the Union Older Than the States?

ANOTHER EXERCISE IN ‘OLD TIMES THERE ARE NOT FORGOTTEN’? I suppose someone might reasonably ask the importance and relevance, at this late date, of the above-named topic. Someone might also ask what such an issue is doing in a column said to be mainly about foreign policy and war. And "Someone," to quote Lonzo and … Continue reading “Is the Union Older Than the States?”

Promoting or Deterring Democracy?

Whether or not there is a runoff election, and even whether or not Slobodan Milosevic leaves office in the near future, it seems likely that the political leadership and perhaps even the political atmosphere in Yugoslavia is about to change seriously. It is still unclear whether the change is likely to be better for the … Continue reading “Promoting or Deterring Democracy?”

Wen Ho Lee, John Deutch and the Future of Intelligence

It remains to be seen whether the impulse has “legs,” as they say in show biz and in that branch of it that they call politics. But the freeing of physicist Wen Ho Lee from solitary confinement in New Mexico has focused renewed attention on the case of John Deutch, the former CIA director who … Continue reading “Wen Ho Lee, John Deutch and the Future of Intelligence”

Some Unsaxon Chronicles

SAXON INSIGHTS CAREFULLY SET FORTH How would our forefathers speak of the wild and crazy times in which we live? I mean, in sooth, our forebears in speech, who gave us our English tongue, wherewith we talk, write, wrangle, and broadly hoodwink one another. I spell this out, lest tightly-wound, high-minded busybodies within the wider … Continue reading “Some Unsaxon Chronicles”