Where are the Republicans for Peace?

One definition of insanity is responding to failure by doing more of the same. Such as marginally increasing the number of troops in Iraq and making war on both Sunni insurgents and Shi’ite militias. Unfortunately, President George W. Bush has done no more than ritualistically acknowledge his past mistakes and still refuses to make a … Continue reading “Where are the Republicans for Peace?”

Failure Personified: Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice

After six years, the administration’s foreign policy team is a wreck. The president’s poll ratings look good only in comparison to those of the vice president. Both the original defense secretary and deputy defense secretary are gone, discredited by the Iraq debacle. The original secretary of state and deputy secretary of state also have left, … Continue reading “Failure Personified: Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice”

Readings in the Age of Empire

Economic Origins of Dictatorship and Democracy Daron Acemoglu and James A. Robinson Cambridge University Press, 2006 416 pp. Why are some countries democracies? Why are others dictatorships? The answers obviously are complex. History, culture, tradition, and accident all play a role. So does economics. Daron Acemoglu, a professor of economics at MIT, and James A … Continue reading “Readings in the Age of Empire”

Losing Lives or Face: Time to Leave Iraq

Iraq is a disaster, probably America’s greatest strategic mistake since World War II. It will be years, if not decades, until we see, let alone overcome, all of the consequences of George W. Bush’s misbegotten war. Most people – other than President Bush, who admits that “we’re not winning” but still thinks the invasion was … Continue reading “Losing Lives or Face: Time to Leave Iraq”

Libertarian Warmongers?

The libertarian movement appears close to suing conservatives for divorce. The vaunted “fusion” between liberty-oriented and virtue-oriented conservatives that helped propel Ronald Reagan into the presidency is breaking down. If Republicans are going to spend like Democrats, expand government like Democrats, and centralize power in Washington like Democrats, then why should someone with libertarian inclinations … Continue reading “Libertarian Warmongers?”

Readings in the Age of Empire

The End of Iraq: How American Incompetence Created a War Without End Peter Galbraith Simon & Schuster, 2006 261 pp. Fiasco: The American Military Adventure in Iraq Thomas E. Ricks Penguin Press, 2006 482 pp. Losing Iraq: Inside the Postwar Reconstruction Fiasco David L. Phillips Westview, 2005 292 pp. Blood Money: Wasted Billions, Lost Lives, … Continue reading “Readings in the Age of Empire”

Uncle Sam and His Hostile Latin Relations

So far from God, so close to the United States, runs the classic Mexican complaint. These days virtually everyone in Latin America seems to believe that the U.S. is too close. The average Central or South American politician wants an embrace by Washington about as much as he or she would desire a kiss from … Continue reading “Uncle Sam and His Hostile Latin Relations”

Who Decides on War With Iran?

Iraq is a wreck and Afghanistan is deteriorating, but that doesn’t foreclose war with Iran. To the contrary, there is no evidence that the president realizes how much destruction he has wrought. Give him enough time, he seems to believe, and pro-American democracies will bloom across the Mideast. So why not make it a trifecta? … Continue reading “Who Decides on War With Iran?”

Readings in the Age of Empire

The Elephant in the Room: Evangelicals, Libertarians, and the Battle to Control the Republican Party Ryan Sager Wiley, 2006 248 pp. The Conservative Soul: How We Lost It, How to Get it Back Andrew Sullivan HarperCollins, 2006 294 pp. Religious Americans always have been involved in politics. In recent years, evangelicals have become more active. … Continue reading “Readings in the Age of Empire”

The Wreck of the War Party

The wild, drunken neocon joyride is over. After running as the candidate of national restraint and humility, George W. Bush metamorphosed into a modern Alexander the Great, promising to bring civilization and democracy to both the known and unknown worlds. He mobilized popular support for war in Iraq by manipulating dubious intelligence and spinning idyllic … Continue reading “The Wreck of the War Party”