Reviving the Foreign Aid Racket

“Debt Cut Is Set for Poorest Nations” was the headline in Sunday’s Washington Post over the lead story. “The world’s wealthiest nations,” wrote Paul Blustein, “agreed yesterday to cancel more than $40 billion in debts that some of the world’s poorest nations owe to international lenders – a move inspired by the belief that full … Continue reading “Reviving the Foreign Aid Racket”

Bringing the Arab Street to Power

With no weapons of mass destruction found and nothing to tie Saddam to Sept. 11, the White House has justified the war as America’s way to democratize Iraq and, through it, the Arab world. Exhibit A in the White House case is the January elections. Kurds and Shi’ites courageously voted for an assembly to write … Continue reading “Bringing the Arab Street to Power”

Speed Bumps on Democracy Boulevard

“When the people of the Palestinian territories went to the polls,” said President Bush in Riga, Latvia, “they chose a leader committed to negotiation instead of violence. … The direction of events is clear in the Middle East. Freedom is on the march.” Well, freedom may be on the march, but in Palestine it may … Continue reading “Speed Bumps on Democracy Boulevard”

Was WWII Worth It?

In the Bush vs. Putin debate on World War II, Putin had far the more difficult assignment. Defending Russia’s record in the “Great Patriotic War,” the Russian president declared, “Our people not only defended their homeland, they liberated 11 European countries.” Those countries are, presumably: Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Poland, East Germany, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, … Continue reading “Was WWII Worth It?”

What Is Bush Celebrating in Moscow?

To Americans, World War II ended with the Japanese surrender on Aug. 15, 1945, following detonation of atom bombs over Hiroshima and Nagasaki on Aug. 6 and Aug. 9. But for Russians, who did not enter the war on Japan until Aug. 8, 1945, “The Great Patriotic War” ended on May 9, with the surrender … Continue reading “What Is Bush Celebrating in Moscow?”

Bye-Bye, Bush Doctrine

“The United States of America will not permit the world’s most dangerous regimes to threaten us with the world’s most dangerous weapons.” This excerpt from his “Axis-of-Evil” State of the Union of 2002 is the heart of the Bush Doctrine. Under it, we invaded Iraq. To our eternal embarrassment, we found Iraq had none of … Continue reading “Bye-Bye, Bush Doctrine”

What Does ‘Democracy’ Mean – Over There?

“Life has changed for the worse,” said Bushra Mahmoud, a mother of three, sitting in the waiting room of the Princess Salon in Baghdad. “There is a creeping zealousness among men and women that is really frightening. You sit on the bus and have abuse heaped on you by the fanatics because you are not … Continue reading “What Does ‘Democracy’ Mean – Over There?”

New Democrats: Hamas and Hezbollah

“We do not negotiate with terrorists!” How many times have we heard statesmen so declaim, even as they worked back channels to cut deals with the men with bloody hands with whom they publicly refused, on principle, to negotiate? FDR negotiated with Stalin, who conducted what historian Robert Conquest calls “The Great Terror.” Nixon went … Continue reading “New Democrats: Hamas and Hezbollah”

The Unpredictability of Revolutions

Freedom and democracy are on the march. So, says President Bush. And, surely, something is on the march. Though from the look of that Beirut crowd of 500,000, roaring for Sheik Nasrallah of Hezbollah, it may be premature to call this democracy. A day after that monster rally in a land of 4 million, the … Continue reading “The Unpredictability of Revolutions”

A Republic, Not a Democracy

As Herr Schroeder was babbling on in Mainz, during his joint press conference with President Bush, about a need for carrots to coax Tehran off its nuclear program, Bush interrupted the chancellor to issue yet another demand – that “the Iranian government listen to the hopes and aspirations of the Iranian people.” “We believe,” said … Continue reading “A Republic, Not a Democracy”