Honoring Otto Warmbier

North Korea is not a tourist destination that I generally recommend for Americans. South Koreans have special reasons to visit the country – to see members of their divided families, to visit legendary places like Mt. Paektu, to experience an alternative Korean reality. Chinese tourists visit North Korea to get a taste of their own more austere Communist past. Humanitarian workers from a...
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America’s Violent Century

John Dower is one the most preeminent historians of World War II’s Pacific theater and the aftermath of the conflict in Asia. His book War Without Mercy (1986) described the racial component of the U.S. campaign against Japan. In Embracing Defeat (1999), he examined the post-war U.S. occupation of Japan. He has long taken a critical look at U.S. foreign policy, subjecting the vaunted...
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Russia vs. Jobs

Donald Trump’s approval ratings remain dismal, yet the Democrats are 0 for 4 in congressional elections in 2017. Not only do a majority of Americans believe that the president has tried to obstruct investigations into Russian interference in the 2016 elections but, by a 2 to 1 margin, Americans believe former FBI chief James Comey’s account of his firing over Trump’s version. And...
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The Coming Conflict with Iran

The Saudi war in Yemen is really directed at…Iran. Donald Trump’s first overseas visit to Saudi Arabia and Israel was specifically targeted at…Iran. The Saudi-led isolation of Qatar is actually about…Iran. The escalation of U.S. military actions against the Syria government is… well, do I really need to spell this out any further? Donald Trump has identified several number-one enemies...
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The Politics of Paper

Appropriation is a tricky issue from a legal point of view. You can’t use someone’s name or image for commercial purposes, without his or her permission, or risk a lawsuit. You can’t use someone’s words without attribution or risk charges of plagiarism. You can’t sample another person’s music without running afoul of copyright law. But what if you appropriate a lifestyle or some...
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