The Big Change (Part II)

This war has already increased the power of government by leaps and bounds, and liberals were quick to sense their opportunity. Senator Tom Daschle wasted no time in going on the offensive on the tax issue, and the liberal punditocracy, from Al Hunt to the Washington Post, gleefully proclaimed that "big government is back!" The … Continue reading “The Big Change (Part II)”

Strange Versions of Democracy

What passes in most media accounts as the “international community,” that floating collection of international diplomats who seem to have a stronger sense of loyalty to the international system, the ideal of diplomacy and agreements as ends in themselves – not to mention all the cushy international conferences – than to their own countries of … Continue reading “Strange Versions of Democracy”

The Big Change (Part I)

As a post-9/11 bromide, "everything’s changed" has become a journalistic mantra, a theme with endless variations endlessly repeated, and it is easy to become thoroughly sick of it, and suspicious at the same time. For, if "everything’s changed," then perhaps we don’t need the Bill of Rights anymore, as a virtually unanimous Congress agreed in … Continue reading “The Big Change (Part I)”

Conserving Nothing

To address this question, there is little need to tackle the present “war.” The whole thing is a bit of a muddle anyway. War hasn’t exactly been “declared” constitutionally, yet the whole thing can be said to rest on a broad-beamed class of 20th-century precedents, from at least 1940 forward. Combined with ad hoc international … Continue reading “Conserving Nothing”

India’s ‘Amen Corner’

It’s amazing, really, when you think about it: no sooner had the Pakistan-India conflict reared up as a consequence of America’s "new war," then Israel’s amen corner in the US had already taken up the cudgels on New Delhi’s behalf. Gee, these guys are fast. That always-reliable barometer of elite opinion, Andrew Sullivan, succinctly summarized … Continue reading “India’s ‘Amen Corner’”

Talkin’ About the F-Word

First, they came for the terrorists, and I didn’t speak up, because I wasn’t a terrorist. Then they came for the foreigners, and I didn’t speak up, because I wasn’t a foreigner. Then they came for the Arab-Americans, and I didn’t speak up, because I wasn’t Arab-American. Then they came for the radical dissenters, and … Continue reading “Talkin’ About the F-Word”

Making Artificial Distinctions

Last weekend President Bush said, in response to questions about when the war in Afghanistan might be over, that he would stay in touch with Tommy Franks and other military commanders and declare victory the moment the military experts said the task was done – and not one moment sooner. In so doing he reinforced … Continue reading “Making Artificial Distinctions”

India’s Terrorist Minister

As India took full advantage of the instability in Central Asia to push its agenda in Kashmir, and force a showdown with Pakistan, the rattling of the nuclear saber by Indian defense minister George Fernandes sent a collective shiver down the world’s spine. The Pakistanis, emphasizing the need for negotiation, were rebuffed by New Delhi’s … Continue reading “India’s Terrorist Minister”


My last New Year’s column contained a statement that stands out, in retrospect, as a prediction and a warning that, unfortunately, went unheeded. America, I wrote, "Stands astride the world, a global Gulliver lording it over the Lilliputians. But at the apogee of its power, the US is subject to the irony of world hegemony … Continue reading “FASTEN YOUR SEATBELTS”