NATO and Trump’s Misconceptions

Again Trump has it backwards. According to NATO’s internal logic, the US should pay the members – not the other way around – for providing services to the empire and a tripwire for war. The empire doesn’t protect; it provokes and endangers. Who would willingly pay for that? As Andrew Levine, drawing on Andrew Bacevich, … Continue reading “NATO and Trump’s Misconceptions”

Brexit: Which Kind of Dependence Now?

Is Brexit a move toward British independence? Some Leave and Remain partisans may believe so, differing only over whether that’s good or bad. But, as usual, things are more complicated. We should hope that, in one respect, Britain’s exit from the EU will create a kind of dependence that did not exist while it was … Continue reading “Brexit: Which Kind of Dependence Now?”

What Do Terrorists Want?

After the terrorist violence in Brussels many people, including Barack Obama, said we should not change our way of life and live in fear because that is what terrorists want. Maybe, but is that all they want? It seems that something important is left out of the story. In the classical model of terrorism, instilling fear … Continue reading “What Do Terrorists Want?”

Trump’s Toxic Aggrieved-Nation Shtick

The key to Donald Trump’s presidential campaign – the feature that explains nearly everything else about that toxic dump – is his aggrieved-nation shtick. Just about everything Trump says (when he’s not adoring himself or belittling others) is about how the once-great American nation has been humbled by the rest of the world. To hear … Continue reading “Trump’s Toxic Aggrieved-Nation Shtick”

The Constitution and the Standing Army

The U.S. Constitution can reasonably be seen as a massive tax and mercantilist trade-promotion program. However, there’s a third leg to this stool. It was a national-security program as well – almost a proto-PATRIOT Act. Indeed, these three elements formed an integrated project: it gave the new central government independent power to raise revenue by … Continue reading “The Constitution and the Standing Army”

Bush, 9/11, and Iraq: Trump Gets It Right

Donald Trump, for all his obnoxious demagoguery, is adding value to the presidential campaign by calling former President George W. Bush to account for 9/11 and the Iraq war, which set in motion the growth and spread of al-Qaeda and the rise of the Islamic State. Former U.S. rulers rarely face consequences for the horrible … Continue reading “Bush, 9/11, and Iraq: Trump Gets It Right”

End, Don’t Extend, Draft Registration

This past week demonstrated with blinding clarity that 1) Republicans, contrary to their rhetoric, oppose individual liberty, and 2) the establishment news media really couldn’t care less about the presidential candidates’ views. After the last Republican debate, the media continued its obsession with the reality-TV and horse-race sides of the election. News readers, correspondents, and … Continue reading “End, Don’t Extend, Draft Registration”

Cruz and Rubio: Heirs to Bush-Obama Militarism

I see no point splitting hairs over whether Ted Cruz or Marco Rubio is the more egregious warmonger. Both love the bloody and costly U.S. empire. Both believe in American exceptionalism. (Rubio arrogantly calls for a “New American Century.”) Both want to make war in the Middle East (and beyond) and “stand behind Israel,” though … Continue reading “Cruz and Rubio: Heirs to Bush-Obama Militarism”

Trump and the Conservative Establishment Deserve Each Other

No one should need National Review‘s advice to steer clear of Donald Trump. For one thing, the messenger is a curious one indeed. Although Trump doesn’t talk like a neoconservative Wilsonian, he has not cleanly separated himself from that faction either. Yes, he courageously recommended against invading Iraq – a year after the invasion took … Continue reading “Trump and the Conservative Establishment Deserve Each Other”

Why Won’t Iran Act Like Our Enemy?

What a bad week for the war party. Darn you, Iran! The country that the armchair warriors most love to hate refuses to play the villain’s role assigned by the neoconservatives, “humanitarian” interventionists, Israel, Saudi Arabia, and the establishment media. First Iran quickly released 10 U.S. sailors whose armed boats had violated Iran’s territorial waters near … Continue reading “Why Won’t Iran Act Like Our Enemy?”