Unreliable narrators are a staple of literature. Consider the delusional, self-serving narrator of Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl or the way Humbert Humbert used his cultured references and gorgeous prose to dress up his crimes in Nabokov’s Lolita. Now along comes John Bolton and his account of time served in the Trump administration as national security… Continue reading Why Bolton Matters
John Bolton tried his best. The national security adviser entered the Trump administration as a predictable warmonger with an unslakable thirst for power. He streamlined the national security apparatus to maximize his access to the president. At least at first, he played the role of loyal adjutant to Trump. As in his days as an… Continue reading Threat of Bolton Has Receded But Not Threat of War
The worst thing you could be in the Soviet Union in the late 1940s was a “rootless cosmopolitan.” The epithet sometimes came with a death sentence. The Soviet Communist Party, under the strong guiding hand of Joseph Stalin, had long turned its back on the internationalism of its founders and their commitment to world revolution.… Continue reading The GOP’s Sinister New Nationalism
Only 70 days into his presidency, Ronald Reagan faced an assassination attempt. While he was in surgery and the vice president was mid-flight over Texas, Secretary of State Alexander Haig famously declared in front of the press, “As of now, I am in control here, in the White House.” Haig’s statement was a surprise to… Continue reading Bolton in Wonderland
My first trip to Washington, DC to do something other than protest on the streets was to interview for a Herbert Scoville Jr. Peace Fellowship, which brings young people to the nation’s capital to work on arms control and disarmament. It was 1987, around the time that Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev signed the Intermediate-Range… Continue reading A Farewell to Arms Control?
If you’re in the market for a troika of tyranny, Donald Trump, John Bolton, and Mike Pompeo certainly fit the bill. Or, if you’d rather focus on countries not individuals, you might single out Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Egypt as the three most likely candidates. Perhaps, if you’re in a confessional mood,… Continue reading Bolton and the Troika of Tyranny
Of all the bizarre things that Donald Trump utters — the lies, the garbled words, the fanciful stories — his comments on his relationship with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un are in a category by themselves. “I was really tough and so was he, and we went back and forth,” Trump told a crowd… Continue reading Summit Interruptus
Donald Trump wants to pull U.S. troops out of Syria as quickly as possible. Well, it’s Wednesday, so that’s what the president wants now. Tomorrow, who knows, maybe he’ll insist that Syria pay for the pullout. Maybe Trump will decide to hold a summit with Bashar al-Assad after deciding that the Syrian leader’s not such… Continue reading Trump Punts on Syria
Remarkable changes are taking place on the Korean peninsula. The two Koreas are actually starting to demilitarize the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ). Just in the last couple weeks, they have taken down 22 guard posts, demined the Joint Security Area, and established a no-fly-zone about the peninsula’s dividing line. They’ve pulled back from confrontation along their… Continue reading Is Korea’s Cold War About to End?
The news that Canada has caved on trade has me depressed. The glee with which Donald Trump has announced his latest “victory” is galling. Sure, he didn’t force Mexico and Canada to do everything he wanted in the NAFTA replacement. But he certainly can claim a public-relations coup. And his supporters in Congress are milking… Continue reading Do Bullies Always Win?