Tag: George W. Bush

There is something to be said for relatability in a politician. Even Franklin Roosevelt, whose background was as firmly patrician as that of any US president, managed through the medium of fireside chats delivered over the radio to convince Americans the he understood their situation and cared about their fate. (More…)

It is now nearly ten months since Donald Trump took up the reins of power in Washington. It is fair to say that this has been the oddest, and perhaps the most disturbing period since Watergate. Mr. Trump and his associates have been busy philosophizing with hammers, speaking as if they were making the word of their agenda flesh, but governing with a mixture of bluster and indecision. (More…)

In April, US President Donald Trump launched what is estimated to be the country’s 8,000th military strike against Syria. What makes this strike a game changer was that unlike previous strikes, which focused on Islamists, this one targeted the government, in retaliation for an alleged chemical attack that left dozens of civilians dead. (More…)

Many years ago, at JFK airport, after returning from abroad, I was stopped by a Customs and Border Patrol agent, who inquired about the purpose of my trip, and then followed up by asking what my profession is. When I told him I was a reporter, he accused me of purposely putting out negative misinformation about law enforcement. (More…)

I am wont, in these days of political turmoil, to find myself lying awake in the empty hours of the night. At such times I often read and reread the columns of Lewis Lapham. This is not only because of his consummate skill as a writer of short essays, but also because his writing from the 1980s, through the early noughties, functions like a sort of core sample of American culture. (More…)

It’s normal to hear NATO described as an “internationalist project” in Western Europe. Even the centre-left has long stood by the Atlantic alliance. Britain was signed up to NATO by the post-war Labour government. By contrast, France withdrew from NATO under the leadership of Charles de Gaulle as part of his politics of grandeur. Yet the NATO project may not have been so lost in the Cold War as it is today. (More…)

Many believe that Donald Trump’s apparent victory in the Republican primaries will ultimately lead to the party’s downfall. Others have countered that Hillary Clinton’s unpopularity with independent voters and the young people who support Bernie Sanders means the GOP might yet have the last laugh in November. (More…)

The beat goes on. A St. Louis grand jury declined to indict Darren Wilson in the shooting death of Michael Brown, an unarmed teenager who he had pursued for fifty yards down an open street. An NYPD officer in Brooklyn shot Akai Gurley to death with no warning and nothing even vaguely approximating probable cause (much less justification.) (More…)

Carl Bildt, Sweden’s outgoing foreign minister, apparently took a decision that shocked many across Europe last week. He announced that the representatives of the Right Livelihoods Award, who bestow the yearly Alternative Nobel Prize, were banned from announcing this year’s winner at his ministry, something they had been doing for 18 years. (More…)

The downing of Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 is America’s fault, I am told. Washington egged on the fascists in Kiev, who were trying to shoot down Vladimir Putin’s plane, but somehow got the wrong one.  Everything bad that happens in the world is the United States’ fault. It always is. (More…)

The first news I received about the events now snappily referred to as the #ISIScrisis was that 500,000 thousand Iraqis were fleeing to somewhere, from somewhere, because of something. Such is the degree to which upheavals in the Middle East have become white noise. (More…)

One of the difficulties of critically discussing the Soviet-Afghan war is conceptually imagining Soviet imperialism. Many leftists are hesitant to condemn the nature of Soviet militarism in countries like Afghanistan. While there are understandable reasons for this, it misses the crucial point. (More…)