US Cannot Force Regime Change in Pakistan

American thinker George Santayana once observed: "Those who don’t learn from history are doomed to repeat it." And German political philosopher Karl Marx, who had studied the policy miscalculations made by the European leaders of the 19th century, mused: "History repeats itself, first as a tragedy, second as a farce." The two renowned theorists were … Continue reading “US Cannot Force Regime Change in Pakistan”

The Tunnel at the
End of the Light

The recently published memoir of the late Arthur Schlesinger, the renowned American historian and former aide to U.S. presidents, recalls that whenever officials in Washington had pointed to signs of progress toward peace in the Middle East, Israeli diplomat Abba Eban would caution them that when it comes to that part of the world, one … Continue reading “The Tunnel at the
End of the Light”

When Reel Tales Rewrite
Real History

In his new revisionist study, No Simple Victory: World War II in Europe, 1939-45, renowned British historian Norman Davies challenges the “very superficial and Americanocentric view” of World War II reflected in the popular war histories. For instance, the American author Stephen Ambrose’s Band of Brothers and American director Steven Spielberg’s movie Saving Private Ryan … Continue reading “When Reel Tales Rewrite
Real History”

The Costs of Isolating Myanmar

President George W. Bush and First Lady Laura Bush, joined by Republican and Democratic lawmakers, the leading presidential candidates, human right activists, and Christian evangelists, have been condemning the violent crackdown on protesters led by Buddhist monks in Myanmar. While they have called for taking more steps to diplomatically isolate the military regime there and … Continue reading “The Costs of Isolating Myanmar”

The Surge Scam: Getting Rid of the Goat

There is an old Jewish story about a man who lives in a very small house with his wife, many children, no space, and very little money. So the man goes to his rabbi for advice: “Rabbi, you are so wise, and here I am living in a small house, with no light and little … Continue reading “The Surge Scam: Getting Rid of the Goat”

Dangerous Delusions

A television adaptation of Nebula Award-winning author John Kessel’s short story “A Clean Escape,” which aired on ABC’s new sci-fi anthology series titled Masters of Science Fiction, is set in a post-Apocalypse future, but it reminded me of current events. Psychiatrist Deanna Evans interrogates a distinguished but disoriented man who appears to be suffering from … Continue reading “Dangerous Delusions”

Hayek’s Insights Apply to Iraq War as Well

One of the major contributions of the renowned Austrian-British economist, political philosopher and a proponent of liberal democracy and free-market capitalism, Friedrich von Hayek, to economic and political thought was his notion that the scope of knowledge required for making decisions on the efficient allocation of resources in society is inherently decentralized. Mr. Hayek, the … Continue reading “Hayek’s Insights Apply to Iraq War as Well”

Time to Ignore the Middle East?

These days, conventional wisdom in Washington, DC holds that the Iraq War has been lost, that the Bush Doctrine of promoting unilateral regime change and spreading democracy in the Middle East has failed, and that the neoconservative ideologues who have dominated U.S. foreign policy since 9/11 are "out" while the realists are "in." But the … Continue reading “Time to Ignore the Middle East?”

The Wolfowitz Touch – or How to Lose US Credibility

One of the maxims that you learn in Politics 101 is that exerting leadership doesn’t require the use of coercion and force, and that in fact the most successful politicians and statesmen are those who can defend and advance their goals through guidance and persuasion. When heads of state resort to ordering the police to … Continue reading “The Wolfowitz Touch – or How to Lose US Credibility”

Iraq War May End With an Isolationist US

The war which resulted in the ouster of a dangerous despot ended and the US troops, who had fought in a bloody conflict overseas, were returning home. But the human and financial costs of the war were very high and its promise of helping to spread democracy in regions that had been ruled by authoritarian … Continue reading “Iraq War May End With an Isolationist US”