Cornering the Russian Bear

As we know, the Bush administration has gifted us with two wars. It has also promulgated the "Bush Doctrine," which asserts the nation’s right to launch a preventive strike against any country that could potentially threaten the U.S. At the same time, this administration has supported expanding NATO to include former parts of the Soviet … Continue reading “Cornering the Russian Bear”

Will the Election Make a Difference?

Almost surely President George W. Bush will keep the American military in Iraq until he leaves office. He will kick the war down the calendar and leave it to the incoming president. So what should the president do when he or she takes office? The president can retain the Bush policy of attempting to Iraqize … Continue reading “Will the Election Make a Difference?”

The Curse of Power

We have all heard Lord Acton’s admonition, "Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely." Most of us believed this referred only to absolute rulers, but its scope is much more widespread. Today the U.S. is the only superpower; as such it has almost absolute power. It can go anywhere, wipe out any state, conquer any … Continue reading “The Curse of Power”

Permanent Bases: A Recipe for Permanent Terrorism

While the White House has often denied having a Plan B for Iraq, it turns out that the Pentagon has thought about what to do if Plan A, the "surge" doesn’t work. According to Steve Inskeep and Guy Raz of National Public Radio, plan B would involve maintaining a series of military bases around Iraq … Continue reading “Permanent Bases: A Recipe for Permanent Terrorism”

The Courage to Admit Defeat

No one wants to be a loser. In the sports world, some players and fans take losing so seriously that they resort to violence. The same attitude colors our approach to international relations, especially war. During the Vietnam War, many, including Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara and President Lyndon Johnson, knew we were unable to … Continue reading “The Courage to Admit Defeat”

The Presidential Lottery

As expected, President George W. Bush announced on Wednesday that he planned to increase the number of troops in Iraq. From his point of view, he had no other choice. To "stay the course" meant doing same thing with the same force. That hadn’t worked; after the "drubbing" of the election, he had promised a … Continue reading “The Presidential Lottery”

The Democrats’ Agenda

With the New Year, the Democrats have now taken over the Congress. In the last election the public turned against the mismanagement of the war in Iraq and against the war itself, leading the voters to throw out the Republicans. To respond to the voters, the politicians must rein in the war and bring it … Continue reading “The Democrats’ Agenda”

The Politics of Withdrawal

The midterm elections have produced a conundrum. Virtually everybody agrees that the Democratic sweep of Congress was largely attributable to anger about the war. Americans may be uncertain as to what should be done in Iraq, but they are unhappy with the current situation and want change. This sets up a nasty dilemma. Roll the … Continue reading “The Politics of Withdrawal”

Bush 0-for-3 With ‘Axis of Evil’

With the testing of a nuclear device in North Korea, the foreign policy of the Bush administration, whose major aim was to prevent the spread of weapons of mass destruction, has descended into complete failure. In his 2002 "axis of evil" speech, the president identified three countries as "evil": Iraq, Iran, and North Korea. Never … Continue reading “Bush 0-for-3 With ‘Axis of Evil’”

October Surprise?

When an administration is in trouble right before an election, it sometimes resorts to an "October surprise" designed to build support. Certainly this administration has trouble on a number of fronts, including the Abramoff scandal, congressional corruption, and a Republican representative who sent sexually oriented instant messages to congressional pages. The mother of all issues, … Continue reading “October Surprise?”