Chiapas and Mexican Prospects

The victory this week in the southern Mexican state of Chiapas by Pablo Salazar, head of a coalition opposed to the long-ruling Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), is an important step in what appears to be the ongoing meltdown of PRI power in Mexico. It will certainly strengthen the hand of Mexican president-elect Vicente Fox, who … Continue reading “Chiapas and Mexican Prospects”

None But the Scruffy

At the Democratic Convention, as at the Republican get-together a couple of weeks ago, the only place you’re likely to hear anything beyond mild criticism of tactics in foreign policy is in the streets. Even the "Shadow Convention," which touts its desire to deal with issues the major parties won’t address, with Arianna Huffington as … Continue reading “None But the Scruffy”

Hard Choices the Parties are Avoiding

The General Accounting Office, Congress’s auditing and investigative arm, is known in Washington for producing often excellent analyses of government operations and departments that might serve as fodder for a speech or two but are subsequently ignored. It has produced an excellent report on military reform that the Washington Times recently acquired that is likely … Continue reading “Hard Choices the Parties are Avoiding”

Garet Garrett (1878-1954) On Empire

I have foregone writing about Garet Garrett in this space partly because Justin Raimondo has written so often and eloquently about him in his columns. Nonetheless, Garrett was such an interesting and articulate – if, in the end, forlorn and hopeless – critic of the system of US global meddling that it seems a pity … Continue reading “Garet Garrett (1878-1954) On Empire”

Peace in Kashmir?

Within the last week or so hope for peace in Kashmir, a region fiercely contested among India, Pakistan and Kashmiri separatists for decades has been raised by a couple of events few observers had expected. Abdul Majid Dar, commander of the militant Hizbul Muhajideen, generally viewed as being sponsored by the Pakistani government, announced a … Continue reading “Peace in Kashmir?”

Étienne de la Boétie (1530-1563) and Voluntary Servitude

Reading James Bovard’s excellent Freedom in Chains (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1999) forcefully reminded me of the importance of Étienne de la Boétie. Bovard quotes La Boétie here and there and it dawned on me that the latter’s Discourse on Voluntary Servitude, written in 1552 or ’53 and not published until after his death,1 … Continue reading “Étienne de la Boétie (1530-1563) and Voluntary Servitude”

‘Srebrenica’– Code Word to Silence Critics of US Policy in the Balkans

The Bosnian Serb military stands accused of committing some of the worst human rights crimes since World War II during and following the battle for Srebrenica in 1995. HOLOCAUST! GENOCIDE! ETHNIC CLEANSING! Claims of 7,000 (or 8,000, or 10,000, or whatever figure is needed to elicit the desired response) Muslim men and boys slaughtered and … Continue reading “‘Srebrenica’– Code Word to Silence Critics of US Policy in the Balkans”

Failing to Endorse

It is hardly reason for despair that the Camp David "summit" called mainly so Boy Clinton could burnish his legacy seems to have ended in ostensible failure. It is doubtful that the failure will erase the modern superstition that wise and enlightened diplomacy and sustained negotiations can solve any problem in the world. But if … Continue reading “Failing to Endorse”

Gustave de Molinari on States and Defense

Gustave de Molinari (1819-1912) was born in Belgium but spent much of his life in France as a member of the French laissez faire liberal school of economists. This school, which dominated economics in France during the 19th century, built upon the work of Jean-Baptiste Say, a far better economist than Adam Smith and a … Continue reading “Gustave de Molinari on States and Defense”