Our Man in Riyadh

Our Man in Riyadh

WIB politics November 28, 2018

What does Pres. Donald Trump’s recent nomination of retired Army general John Abizaid to become the next U.S. ambassador to Saudi Arabia signify? Next to nothing — and arguably quite a lot. Abizaid’s proposed appointment is both a non-event and an opportunity not to be wasted. It means next... Read more
Unsolicited Advice for an Undeclared Presidential Candidate
Dear Sen. Elizabeth Warren: As a constituent, I have noted with interest your suggestion that you will “take a hard look” at running for president in 2020, even as you campaign for reelection to the Senate next month. Forgive me for saying that I interpret that comment to mean... Read more
After Donald Trump

After Donald Trump

WIB politics September 13, 2018

Donald Trump’s tenure as the 45th U.S. president may last another few weeks, another year or another 16 months.  However unsettling the prospect, the leaky vessel that is the S.S. Trump might even manage to stay afloat for a second term. Nonetheless, recent headline-making revelations suggest that, like some... Read more
Infinite War
“The United States of Amnesia.” That’s what Gore Vidal once called us. We remember what we find it convenient to remember and forget everything else. That forgetfulness especially applies to the history of others. How could their past, way back when, have any meaning for us today? Well, it... Read more
What Happens When a Few Volunteer and the Rest … Just Watch
The purpose of all wars, is peace. So observed St. Augustine early in the first millennium, A.D. Far be it from me to disagree with the esteemed Bishop of Hippo, but his crisply formulated aphorism just might require a bit of updating. I’m not a saint or even a... Read more
Still Waiting for Americans to Wake Up to Their Country’s Wars
What makes a Harvey Weinstein moment? The now-disgraced Hollywood mogul is hardly the first powerful man to stand accused of having abused women. The Harveys who preceded Harvey himself are legion, their prominence matching or exceeding his own and the misdeeds with which they were charged at least as... Read more
Autopilot Wars

Autopilot Wars

WIB politics October 10, 2017

Consider, if you will, these two indisputable facts. First, the United States is today more or less permanently engaged in hostilities in not one faraway place, but at least seven. Second, the vast majority of the American people could not care less. Nor can it be said that we don’t... Read more
The Post-Cold-War Consensus Collapses
Like it or not, the president of the United States embodies America itself. The individual inhabiting the White House has become the preeminent symbol of who we are and what we represent as a nation and a people. In a fundamental sense, he is us. It was not always... Read more
In Obsessing Over Trump, the Media Ignore What Matters More
Donald Trump’s election has elicited impassioned affirmations of a renewed commitment to unvarnished truth-telling from the prestige media.  The common theme — you know you can’t trust him, but trust us to keep dogging him on your behalf. The New York Times has even unveiled a portentous new promotional... Read more
The U.S. President Has a Blank Check for Waging War
Let’s face it — in times of war, the Constitution tends to take a beating. With the safety or survival of the nation said to be at risk, the basic law of the land — otherwise considered sacrosanct — becomes nonbinding, subject to being waived at the whim of... Read more
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