Truman, Treaties, and the Bricker Amendment

One of the noteworthy features of the very late 20th and very early 21st centuries is the way in which everything that was once an historical accusation has become a defense. Thus, if on the evidence, FDR had a really good idea where the Japanese fleet was and where it was going in early December … Continue reading “Truman, Treaties, and the Bricker Amendment”

The Crazies Who Preceded the Loonies

I suppose there are people who imagine that the conservative movement was pretty much on the right track, before it succumbed to a boarding party of former Cold War liberals – some of whom had been Trotskyites before they were Cold War liberals. Certainly, some important changes stem from that hostile takeover, but in the … Continue reading “The Crazies Who Preceded the Loonies”

On Some Rhetorical Devices of the War Party

This Tuesday, all will be revealed and all our lingering doubts stilled. We shall stand in wonder at whatever New Doctrines the Great Man, who holds the Great Office, has for us. It is very likely that the new doctrines will grow out of, and represent bolder statements of existing doctrines. I can hardly wait. … Continue reading “On Some Rhetorical Devices of the War Party”

War and Its Discontents

Of late, sundry elevated Neo-Conservatives have been facing up to the implications of their demands on History’s Muse. In passing, I note that for a movement said, "not to exist," they have been all over the place with their latest cogitations. Have their recent cogitations led them to draw back from their program of world … Continue reading “War and Its Discontents”

The Unresolved Problem of the United Nations

Did I just call the United Nations a problem? I suppose I did. Long ago and far away – back in the 1960s actually – the John Birch Society used to put up billboards calling for the US to get out of the UN and the UN out of the US. I understand the sentiment, … Continue reading “The Unresolved Problem of the United Nations”

Masters of All They Survey

One of the useful things done by the late Michel Foucault was to remind us of what a looney Jeremy Bentham was. He did this by setting up Bentham’s screwball plans for a "panopticon" prison, as a central metaphor in his Birth of the Prison. This pretty much exhausts my interest in Foucault, and we … Continue reading “Masters of All They Survey”

‘Crackpot Realism’ Again?

In the field of foreign policy one hears a lot about "realists" vs. "idealists," Marxists, and so on. In such discussions the term "realist" does not necessarily mean hard-headed, feet-on-the-ground, practical, pragmatic, worldly, ready to do what needs to be done, etc. – as opposed to persons or polices lacking those interesting qualities. No, here … Continue reading “‘Crackpot Realism’ Again?”

The Once Controversial Question of War Finance

With regard to the war or “war,” the hot-and-cold rhetoric of the Bush II administration, lo! these many months, has been wonderful to behold: first they say that “we” must launch an aggressive war against Iraq now, or “we” are doomed. Tomorrow will be too late! Then they say that, on the other hand, the … Continue reading “The Once Controversial Question of War Finance”