Imperial America and the End of Progressivism

As America hardens into empire, and the assumptions and conceits of imperialism become the social and political norm, the American “left” is morphing into a mutant caricature of itself: we see this in the recent decision by the San Francisco “Gay Pride” parade committee to revoke an earlier decision to honor whistle-blower Bradley Manning. Manning, … Continue reading “Imperial America and the End of Progressivism”

Good Night, America, and Good-Bye

It is interesting to note just how well this imperialism thing has worked for the American people. At the end of last year the U.S. was kicked out of Iraq after spending some trillions of dollars and producing the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Iraqis and Americans. Al-Qaeda, which was not present in Iraq … Continue reading “Good Night, America, and Good-Bye”

America Is a Great Country, but Its Attitude Overseas Needs Work

Since World War II, America has conducted an interventionist foreign policy that is atypical historically. Most Americans are oblivious to data that clearly show that the United States has been the most aggressive nation in the world during the postwar period — in fact, it was the most aggressive even during the Cold War when … Continue reading “America Is a Great Country, but Its Attitude Overseas Needs Work”

An Empire of Failed States

Imperial powers hedge their bets. The most striking recent example we have of this is in Egypt. While the Pentagon was pouring money into the Egyptian military (approximately $40 billion since 1979), it turns out—thank you, WikiLeaks!—that the U.S. government was shuttling far smaller amounts (millions, not billions) to various “American government-financed organizations” loosely connected … Continue reading “An Empire of Failed States”

All the Strangeness of Our American World in One Article

Have you ever thought about just how strange this country’s version of normal truly is? Let me make my point with a single, hardly noticed Washington Post news story that’s been on my mind for a while. It represents the sort of reporting that, in our world, zips by with next to no reaction, despite … Continue reading “All the Strangeness of Our American World in One Article”

Entering the Soviet Era in America

Mark it on your calendar. It seems we’ve finally entered the Soviet era in America. You remember the Soviet Union, now almost 20 years in its grave. But who gives it a second thought today? Even in its glory years that “evil empire” was sometimes referred to as “the second superpower.” In 1991, after seven … Continue reading “Entering the Soviet Era in America”

Fixing What’s Wrong in Washington… in Afghanistan

Explain something to me. In recent months, unless you were insensate, you couldn’t help running across someone talking, writing, speaking, or pontificating about how busted government is in the United States. State governments are increasingly broke and getting broker. The federal government, while running up the red ink, is, as just about everyone declares, "paralyzed" … Continue reading “Fixing What’s Wrong in Washington… in Afghanistan”

The US Can No Longer Afford Its Empire

President Obama has presented Congress with a spending request of $3.8 trillion for the next fiscal year in 2011, but with a third of it not paid for with taxes, thus resulting in a $1.3 trillion deficit (a whopping 8.3 percent of GDP). The small piece of good news is that this deficit is smaller … Continue reading “The US Can No Longer Afford Its Empire”

The Quiet American

The quiet American was the hero of Graham Greene’s novel about the first Vietnam War, the one fought by the French. He was a young and naïve American, a professor’s son who had enjoyed a good education at Harvard, an idealist with all the best intentions. When he was sent to Vietnam, he wanted to … Continue reading “The Quiet American”