The U.S. presidential election in November will most likely pit current president Donald Trump against former vice president Joe Biden. These two elderly men have already begun to attack each other in speeches, in TV ads, and through their political surrogates. They are challenging each other’s fitness for office, their respective policy positions, and the… Continue reading Is Obama Running Again in 2020?
Afghanistan has long been touted as the “graveyard of empires.” The British and the Soviets certainly discovered that lesson to their great regret. Perhaps future historians will judge the failure of the United States to defeat the Taliban in Afghanistan over a two-decade period as a critical factor in the loss of American hegemony as… Continue reading Afghanistan: Out of the Graveyard and into the Pyre?
He was a rich businessman, an outspoken outsider with a love of conspiracy theories. And he was a populist running for president. In 1990, when Donald Trump was still beyond the furthest outskirts of American politics, Stanislaw Tyminski was trying to become the new president of post-communist Poland. He shared something else with the future… Continue reading Welcome to the Birthplace of Trumpism
On race relations, the United States has slipped into the same category as Burundi and Iraq. After the violence in Charlottesville earlier this month — and the outrage generated by President Trump’s response — the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination issued an “early warning.” As the chair of the committee, Anastasia… Continue reading The Racism Heard Round the World
For Obama supporters, the last eight years have been a victory of wise leadership over the forces of darkness in Congress and the world at large. For critics of the outgoing president, Obama could do no right as he plunged the United States into the worst crisis in its 200-plus years of history. Between the… Continue reading Obama the Time Traveler
The voters vowed to take their revenge at the polls. They’d missed out on the country’s vaunted prosperity. They were disgusted with the liberal direction of the previous administration. They were anti-abortion and pro-religion. They were suspicious of immigrants, haughty intellectuals, and intrusive international institutions. And they very much wanted to make their nation great… Continue reading Donald Trump and America B
Of all the accomplishments and disappointments of the Obama presidency, his nuclear weapons policy is the greatest. Yes, you read that correctly. Obama’s approach to nukes will be his most significant legacy as well as his most salient failure. Obama promised “hope and change” in 2007. The paradox of his nuclear weapons policy is that… Continue reading Obama’s Nuclear Paradox
In fairy tales, the hero makes a wish. After a few trials the wish comes true, and everyone lives happily ever after. But only in this Disney version of fairy tales is wish fulfillment so straightforward. In Goethe’s modern fairy tale, a scholar dreams of knowledge and power. A stranger grants his wish, but the… Continue reading Obama: The Fairy-Tale President?
It was only a couple years ago that I was bemoaning Obama’s failure to fulfill his promise to resolve major confrontations in the world diplomatically. “Smart power,” in the Obama lexicon, had largely been window dressing on the same old exercise of hard power — the widespread drone strikes, the surge in Afghanistan, the intervention… Continue reading Obama’s Triple Crown
In one of the most enduring images from the lead-up to the 2008 Democratic primaries, frontrunner Hillary Clinton appeared in a rogue political ad as Big Brother. It was a take-off on the infamous 1984 Super Bowl commercial that pitted upstart Apple against Big Blue (IBM) and urged consumers to “Think Different.” In the campaign makeover two… Continue reading Disrupting Hillary