Timor Complications

I got several objections to my recent column on East Timor pointing out that Indonesia had taken over the former Portuguese colony by force in 1975, an acquisition not recognized diplomatically by a number of countries and protested by numerous human rights campaigners. So the general rule under the older theory, that the "international community” … Continue reading “Timor Complications”

The Military in the Post-Cold War Era

(Note: This is an expanded version of a piece that ran in the Orange County Register August 29, 1999 but wasn’t put on the newspaper’s Web site.) The twin concerns – after almost 25 years of a voluntary military that met its recruitment goals with mostly qualified and competent people – of the military falling … Continue reading “The Military in the Post-Cold War Era”

THE ‘LOSS’ OF CHINA, McCARTHY, KOREA, AND THE NEW RIGHT

A NEW CRUSADE TAKES FORM In March 1947, President Harry Truman announced his Doctrine of "containing" communism by giving aid to all nations, anywhere, resisting it. The proposal he set before Congress was an aid package to defeat the Communist-led insurgency in Greece and promote the security of Turkey. In a reversal of later ideological … Continue reading “THE ‘LOSS’ OF CHINA, McCARTHY, KOREA, AND THE NEW RIGHT”

RANDOM THOUGHTS, MOSTLY ON BOMBING

BOMBING: IS THERE ANY AMERICAN CONSCIENCE AT ALL? Every year in August, someone is moved by the anniversary of Hiroshima and Nagasaki to say this or that about the morality of the first – and only – use, by anyone, of the Americans’ very own patent medicine of mass destruction. First, a well-meaning liberal of … Continue reading “RANDOM THOUGHTS, MOSTLY ON BOMBING”

IS ANYBODY SURPRISED?

It is difficult to imagine that anybody with more than a few months’ experience as an interested observer was actually surprised by the report from the international Office of High Representation – a marvelously vague but impressive-sounding title for the investigative arm of the international aid agencies – that a billion dollars or so has … Continue reading “IS ANYBODY SURPRISED?”

POLITICS AND THE AMERICAN LANGUAGE

If the truth is the "first casualty of war," then the honest use of language must be "collateral damage." George Orwell rather famously dealt with some of the details in his essay, "Politics and the English Language" (1945). My topic is different insofar as I deal with the American language. That there is an "American … Continue reading “POLITICS AND THE AMERICAN LANGUAGE”