A Foreign Policy of Failure

Rare is it to find a president whose foreign policy has imploded as dramatically and catastrophically as has that of George W. Bush. Little more than a year after taking office, the candidate who espoused humility turned into the chief executive who embraced empire. Four years later, the administration’s drive for global primacy irrespective of … Continue reading “A Foreign Policy of Failure”

Readings in the Age of Empire

Without Precedent: The Inside Story of the 9/11 Commission Thomas H. Kean and Lee H. Hamilton Alfred A. Knopf, 2006 370 pp. By every measure, Sept. 11 was a disaster. The most obvious victims were the nearly 3,000 people who died in the terrorist attacks in New York City and Washington, D.C., along with their … Continue reading “Readings in the Age of Empire”

The Korean Imbroglio: Disengage and Ignore

You have to wonder what America has done to deserve to be stuck in Korea. What curse are we suffering under? On the one side are the South Koreans, whom we have defended for five decades. Large numbers think more highly of China and North Korea than of America; many view the U.S. as the … Continue reading “The Korean Imbroglio: Disengage and Ignore”

The Faux Liberal Foreign Policy Debate

President George W. Bush has faced surprisingly little serious opposition while taking the U.S. down an international primrose path. The Left was divided on his mad adventure in Iraq, with most leading Democrats, including 2004 Democratic nominee John Kerry and potential 2008 Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton backing the administration. Many of those who opposed Bush … Continue reading “The Faux Liberal Foreign Policy Debate”

Readings in the Age of Empire

C. Fred Bergsten, et al., China: The Balance Sheet (New York: Public Affairs, 2006), 206 pp. Jed Babbin and Edward Timperlake, Showdown: Why China Wants War With the United States (Washington, D.C.: Regnery, 2006), 226 pp. Ted Galen Carpenter, America’s Coming War With China: A Collision Course Over Taiwan (New York: Palgrave, 2005), 216 pp. … Continue reading “Readings in the Age of Empire”

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”