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”

Who Lost Russia?

“Magnanimity in politics is not seldom the truest wisdom; and a great empire and little minds go ill together,” Edmund Burke admonished the haughty rulers of the British Empire of his time. Our American empire is suffering from a similar want of wisdom and plenitude of the hubris that cost George III his 13 colonies. … Continue reading “Who Lost Russia?”

Baiting a Trap for Bush?

If Syria’s Bashar Assad was behind the assassination of ex-Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri of Lebanon, he is, in the edited version of Gen. Tommy Franks’ phrase, “the dumbest … man on the planet.” The Beirut car bombing that killed Hariri smashed Assad’s hope of any rapprochement with the United States, forced him into a collision … Continue reading “Baiting a Trap for Bush?”

Misdiagnosing the Malady

If a doctor, even a God-fearing, Bible-believing evangelical Christian, misdiagnoses a mortal malady, there is a probability the medicine he prescribes will do no good and the surgery he proposes may worsen the patient’s condition. Rereading the president’s inaugural and State of the Union, this seems an apt metaphor for U.S. war policy. In his … Continue reading “Misdiagnosing the Malady”

Is Democracy on the March — or Revolution?

Following the attempted assassination of Israel’s ambassador in London in 1982, Menachem Begin and Ariel Sharon invaded Lebanon to eradicate the PLO nest of Yasser Arafat, then holed up in Beirut. Mission accomplished. The Israelis triumphed. Arafat and his PLO were expelled to Tunis. But that was not the end of it. In occupied Lebanon, … Continue reading “Is Democracy on the March — or Revolution?”

Inaugurating Endless War

Where Woodrow Wilson was going to make the world safe for democracy, George W. Bush is going him one better. President Bush is going to make the whole world democratic. As he declared in his inaugural address, our “great objective” is “ending tyranny” on earth. And how does the president propose to achieve it? “So, … Continue reading “Inaugurating Endless War”

Does Wilson’s Fate Await Bush?

Will the Bush presidency end as did Wilson’s? Will George W. Bush be defending to his dying day, against the pitiless evidence of events, his “global democratic revolution”? Contingent upon what happens in Afghanistan and Iraq, that may well be his fate. For, as Bush’s strength is Wilson’s strength, his flaw is Wilson’s flaw. Both … Continue reading “Does Wilson’s Fate Await Bush?”

A Bush-Neocon Parting of the Ways?

Last Thursday, word spread across Washington that U.S. trade rep Robert Zoellick would become Condi Rice’s No. 2 at State. This was followed by word that State’s super-hawk, John Bolton, whom neoconservatives had touted for No. 2, would be leaving “for the private sector.” In a Friday Washington Post piece, “Wolf at the Door,” Al … Continue reading “A Bush-Neocon Parting of the Ways?”