Abetting Catastrophe in Lebanon

The U.S. and Israel are close allies, so perhaps it comes as no surprise when both make the same mistakes. Still, Israel always seemed to be more insightful and ruthlessly pragmatic than America. Yet just as the U.S. jumped into the Iraqi imbroglio based on fantasies about the peaceful, pro-American democracy that would soon arise, … Continue reading “Abetting Catastrophe in Lebanon”

Paying a Political
Price for Empire

Until now, virtually no one has paid a political price for the debacle in Iraq. President George W. Bush was reelected, and congressional Republicans increased their majorities in 2004. Leading administration officials have been lavished with praise, promoted to better jobs, and rewarded with medals. Never mind the growing death toll: Washington’s ivory tower warriors … Continue reading “Paying a Political
Price for Empire”

Readings in the Age of Empire

The One Percent Doctrine: Deep Inside America’s Pursuit of Its Enemies Since 9/11 Ron Suskind Simon & Schuster, 2006 366 pp. When George W. Bush came to Washington, a lot of Republicans talked about how the “adults” had taken over American foreign policy. For a time it looked like the claim might be true. After … Continue reading “Readings in the Age of Empire”

Endless Entanglements

Intervention begets intervention. No intervention is ever complete; new countries must be constantly conquered or transformed to finish the job. Having intervened, one must continue to intervene to achieve one’s original objectives. There are always unintended consequences to overcome. Running an empire, acting as the global policeman, and spreading liberty, truth, justice, and happiness around … Continue reading “Endless Entanglements”

Democracy, Iraq-Style

I love the president. President Vladimir Putin. At the G-8 summit in St. Petersburg, “our” president, George W. Bush, observed, apparently without irony: “I talked about my desire to promote institutional change in parts of the world like Iraq where there’s a free press and free religion, and I told him that a lot of … Continue reading “Democracy, Iraq-Style”

Readings in the Age of Empire

The Peace of Illusions: American Grand Strategy From 1940 to the Present Christopher Layne Cornell University Press, 2006 290 pp. Other than those who work in the White House, with no sense of shame, or act as court intellectuals, heaping praise upon the Bush administration, everyone recognizes that current U.S. foreign policy is a disaster. … Continue reading “Readings in the Age of Empire”

Can’t We Drop Even One Alliance?

Evidence that the American republic long ago ceased to be a republic in anything but name is the reluctance of policymakers – any policymaker in any administration – to drop even one military alliance, international commitment, security guarantee, or troop deployment, no matter how antiquated, irrelevant, costly, or dangerous. What has ever been must ever … Continue reading “Can’t We Drop Even One Alliance?”

Fiddling While Afghanistan Slides Away

Public attention is focused on Iraq, but a bitter war rages in Afghanistan as well. In mid-June, reported the Associated Press: “U.S. soldiers descended on a mountain ridge Sunday, quickly setting up fortified posts and mortar positions overlooking a key Taliban transport route as the coalition pressed a major offensive that has killed dozens of … Continue reading “Fiddling While Afghanistan Slides Away”

Readings in the Age of Empire

At the Point of a Gun: Democratic Dreams and Armed Intervention David Rieff Simon & Schuster 270 pp. It appears to be the season for second thoughts about American intervention in Iraq. William F. Buckley says the war was a mistake. National Review‘s John Derbyshire confesses the same error. Even Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) finally … Continue reading “Readings in the Age of Empire”

Misguided Theology Makes Bad Foreign Policy

Iraq is an unalloyed disaster. War with Iran would be even worse. Lebanon’s Cedar Revolution has empowered groups hostile to America. Where is the new democratic dawn in the Mideast that the administration promised? It certainly isn’t represented in the Israeli-Palestinian “peace process.” The West Bank is still occupied and Gaza is nearing civil war. … Continue reading “Misguided Theology Makes Bad Foreign Policy”