2015

Trump, the Islamic State, and the Cliche of Civilizations

I was listening to a German parliamentarian the other night. She was making some anodyne comments about transatlantic friendship and the importance of culture. And then she veered off to mention the recent attacks in Paris and the threat of the Islamic State. This issue, she said, required an urgent response from the “free world.”… Continue reading Trump, the Islamic State, and the Cliche of Civilizations

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Kumbaya (Not)

In his new film Taxi, Iranian director Jafar Panahi is having a conversation with his young niece. They’re sitting in the cab Panahi is driving. The Iranian government has banned the director from making films, so he’s ostensibly found an alternative means of making money and of making films. He’s set up a camera on… Continue reading Kumbaya (Not)

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After Obama: Clinton vs. Sanders

Last week, Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton gave a major foreign policy speechthat provided a glimpse of one possible post-Obama future. In many ways, it was not a pretty picture. But let’s first look at the good points. Clinton endorsed the Iran deal that just squeaked through Congress despite unanimous Republican opposition. “Either we move… Continue reading After Obama: Clinton vs. Sanders

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2014

The Standoff in Ukraine (and also in Washington)

As the fate of Ukraine hangs in the balance, U.S. politicians from both parties have been scrambling to take advantage of the crisis. Republicans in Congress have slammed President Barack Obama for his “trembling inaction.” Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton has revived the hawkish approach of her pre-secretary of state years by comparing Russian leader Vladimir Putin’s… Continue reading The Standoff in Ukraine (and also in Washington)

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