Donald Trump would dearly like to add his face to Mt. Rushmore as the fifth presidential musketeer. His fireworks-and-fury extravaganza on July 3 was the next best thing. Trump’s dystopian speech was almost beside the point. Much more important was the photo op of his smirking face next to Abraham Lincoln’s. More fitting, however, would… Continue reading The Global Rushmore of Autocrats
In his infinite ignorance, Donald Trump has invited world leaders to the White House for a face-to-face meeting at the end of June. Unlike the other countries in the G7, the United States has yet to get the coronavirus pandemic under control. One of the hotspots that the White House itself has identified is none… Continue reading Is It Time to Boycott the United States?
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?
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
In the beautiful and terrifying novel The City of Devi, communal hatreds escalate in India and Pakistan until the two countries feel compelled to threaten each other with nuclear weapons. At least, it starts out as a threat. Pakistan vows to take out Mumbai, and India will level Karachi. But everyone involved knows that nuclear… Continue reading The World’s Most Dangerous Divide
Nuclear weapons have held the world hostage for more than 70 years. Although they possess terrifying power and the world has come close to nuclear war on several occasions, these weapons have only been used twice, in 1945, by the United States against Japan. Advocates of deterrence believe that nuclear weapons actually kept the peace… Continue reading North Korea: Nukes vs. War?
Conmen always keep up a patter. While they’re extracting the wallet from your pocket, they maintain a nonstop monologue so that you focus on their mouth and not what they’re doing with their hands. Beware the voluble stranger. Donald Trump has always been a talker. Even before he discovered Twitter, Trump was constantly bending people’s… Continue reading The Korean Shell Game
When, in early March, Donald Trump agreed to meet North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, the Washington foreign policy elite nearly suffered a collective heart attack. For one thing, the announcement came as a complete surprise. Trump had telegraphed his other foreign policy bombshells well in advance: leaving the Paris climate accord, ripping up the Iran… Continue reading Playing Trump for Peace
In a surprise announcement in early March, President Donald Trump said that he would meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un within two months. The preparations for the meeting were hampered by the lack of North Korea expertise within the administration, the short-staffed State Department, and the mercurial temperament of the president. The North Korean… Continue reading How Those Trump-Kim Talks Might Go: A Transcript