Leon Hadar, a foreign policy analyst whose books and articles for the libertarian Cato Institute have long argued for a foreign policy of restraint, worries aloud in the Business Times that George W. Bush may lose support if he doesn’t invade somebody, somehow, and soon. While support for the President is at an all-time high, … Continue reading “THE INCOMPETENCE OF EMPIRE”

New War May Reveal New Superpower

On this 52nd anniversary of the founding of this magnificent nation, not much transpired. Girls dressed up as they always do and pranced around this or that stage. Men toasted each other, bought stuffed toys for 200 yuan, pretending to be rich. Pink ballons were the rave this time around. The balloon hawkers stared into … Continue reading “New War May Reveal New Superpower”

Anti-Terrorism for the Long Haul

Despite some absurdly bellicose rhetoric and impossible goals – I don’t know many people who think terrorism and evil can be wiped out once and for all – U.S. leaders have so far moved with a certain amount of deftness in the wake of the September 11 atrocities. But while some sort of military or … Continue reading “Anti-Terrorism for the Long Haul”

From Infinite Justice to Infinite Jihad

All the media coverage and commentary has neglected to ask the big question: why is it or how is it that the new U.S. war will differ from the Soviet experience in Afghanistan? That 1980-88 war was labeled by many Americans as the "Soviets’ Vietnam," which raises yet another current glaring omission, that being a … Continue reading “From Infinite Justice to Infinite Jihad”

Reap the Whirlwind

"For they have sown the wind, and they shall reap the whirlwind." ~ Hosea 8:7 Executive Summary: When our Washington elites funded and trained Afghanistan’s Mujahadeen "freedom fighters" to harass the Soviet Union, America sowed the wind. On September 11, 2001, if our talking heads are to be believed, Osama bin Laden, one of numerous … Continue reading “Reap the Whirlwind”

Big Government, Having Never Gone Away, Is Now Said To Be ‘Back’

A POSSIBLE USE FOR HISTORY This column is called The Old Cause because I think of it as a place to sketch out certain continuities between past and present. William Appleman Williams once wrote that history is "a way of learning." From our excursions into the past, "we return with a broader awareness of the … Continue reading “Big Government, Having Never Gone Away, Is Now Said To Be ‘Back’”


Although it is far too early to tell, it looks like the grand-scale invasion of Afghanistan – and virtually the entire Middle East – envisioned by our more aggressive warhawks is not about to happen. While the President’s speech to Congress clearly identified the Taliban as a threat right up there with "fascism, Nazism, and … Continue reading “KILL ‘EM – AND GET OUT”

The First Casualty

This first week of the war has produced a rare unity between the Republicans and the Democrats on Capitol Hill. Every war in U.S. history began with something very close to political unity, and each war progressed at different rates toward different degrees of Congressional dissent. Only time will tell how long it will take … Continue reading “The First Casualty”

Flying the Guarded Skies

I think I’ll leave the big-picture opining for another time. I don’t know how many Americans will be interested in one person’s experience flying domestic airlines this past weekend. But that’s what’s on my mind as I sit in an airport waiting for a connecting flight, with time on my hands and a yellow legal … Continue reading “Flying the Guarded Skies”