Making the Subgrand Tour

George W. Bush was once again a beneficiary of what he has called, in another context, the "soft bigotry of low expectations" during his not-so-grand tour of Europe. To the surprise of nobody except the credulous and those who get their information from late-night comics, he uttered only a few Bushisms and managed to avoid … Continue reading “Making the Subgrand Tour”

CHINA’S YOUTH REVOLUTION

In 1989, students were at the forefront of the protests that ended in bloodshed in Tiananmen square. The protests called for democracy and reform, but they actually began with a demand for better conditions on Chinese campuses. Crowded dorms without electricity coinciding with high inflation and rampant corruption brought students and urbanites into the streets. … Continue reading “CHINA’S YOUTH REVOLUTION”

RED EUROPA

When Umberto Bossi, the leader of Italy’s Northern League – now “Minister of devolution” in the newly-installed government of Silvio Berlusconi – described the European Union (EU) as “the Soviet Union of the West,” Europe’s elites went ballistic: Belgian Foreign Minister Louis Michel spluttered that Bossi and some of Berlusconi’s other coalition partners “spout values … Continue reading “RED EUROPA”

THE CONQUEST OF THE BALKANS

As President George W. Bush arrived in Europe to the sneers and jeers of the Europeans, coverage of his trip was dominated by a focus on the irrelevant: Star Wars missile defense (we’re going ahead with it, whether they like it or not), America’s position on the anti-technology, anti-Western Kyoto treaty (none of the European … Continue reading “THE CONQUEST OF THE BALKANS”

THE ‘NEW’ UNILATERALISM

Just when you were wondering what direction George W. Bush’s foreign policy will be taking, Charles Krauthammer has it all figured out: in his Washington Post column [June 8, 2001] and in the Weekly Standard, the secret doctrine that animates our seemingly random and even haphazard foreign policy – on the surface not all that … Continue reading “THE ‘NEW’ UNILATERALISM”

The State’s Dark Underside

Various loyal acolytes including CNN, most of the newspapers and the major networks worked diligently to make the killing of Timothy McVeigh into something of a solemn religious event that bolstered the power and dignity of the State and the Empire it fitfully tries to run. But I’m not sure it worked as it might … Continue reading “The State’s Dark Underside”

The Peculiar U.S. Theory of Self-Defense

A CLASSIC WORK REVISITED Albert K. Weinberg’s Manifest Destiny: A Study of Nationalist Expansionism in American History (Chicago: Quadrangle Books, 1963 [1935]) still repays close and careful reading. Already in 1935, this work brought together most of the themes which would inform the later works of Charles A. Beard as well as the postwar works … Continue reading “The Peculiar U.S. Theory of Self-Defense”

CHAOS IN KATMANDU

The vortex of intrigue and international politics swirling around the murder of Nepal’s King Birendra – a deed supposedly committed by his own son – and the slaughter of practically the entire royal family threatens to engulf the Himalayan kingdom, and unhinge the delicate balance of power in South Asia. The official story is that … Continue reading “CHAOS IN KATMANDU”