Imperialism

Iraq and “Last Days in Vietnam”

June 19, 2014




At the Los Angeles Film Festival I caught Rory Kennedy’s powerful and moving Last Days in Vietnam. If you think you are familiar with the story of the botched and frantic – and heroic – American evacuation of Vietnam, with the fall of Saigon, including some many tens of thousands of lucky Vietnamese, this film […]





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A Second Look: The Honor of the Mascot, or A Team by Any Other Name

October 8, 2013




The latest publicity over the very name of the Washington Redskins is only the most recent eruption in a longtime simmer. As recently as 2009, the Supreme Court refused to hear a case dating back to 1992. This should not surprise given that the Supreme Court has never overturned Johnson v. McIntosh, its 1823 decision […]





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The Obama Doctrine

May 24, 2013




. There is one. It is not simple and direct like the Monroe, Truman, or Carter doctrines. For this reason, those who are Obama’s foes and those who have always underestimated him, or who fail to see the world as he does, can easily caricature the manifestations of it. The Obama doctrine is more complex, […]





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Faking Foreign Policy

October 9, 2012




. From David Sanger in yesterday’s New York Times: But beyond his critique of Mr. Obama as failing to project American strength abroad, Mr. Romney has yet to fill in many of the details of how he would conduct policy toward the rest of the world, or to resolve deep ideological rifts within the Republican Party and […]





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Obama and the Vision Thing

October 3, 2011




. The big news of the weekend – bigger than the rise of Pizza Pie Guy in the John Birch Society’s GOP’s hot-air-balloon derby – is the growing rebellion against Wall Street. Occupy Wall Street may have been organized by the vanguard of diffuse, unfocused anarchy-romancing antiestablishmentarians railing against “the system,” but they have been […]





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Two and a Half Centuries before 9/11

September 6, 2011




  (9/11/11: the first in a series) Long ago loosed from popular memory, the Lisbon earthquake of 1755 was not only a natural catastrophe but a crisis of the enlightenment mind as well. The quake is estimated to have lasted ten minutes, with three distinct jolts. Modern seismological estimates, based on recorded observations of the […]





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What Gingrich Meant When He Called Obama an Anti-colonialist

January 6, 2011




Certainly you recall it. We had some discussion of it here, and here, and here, and here. The curious question at the root of the whole discussion was what it means at this p0int in history and the evolution of world culture to call someone an “anti-colonialist” and mean it as a pejorative? What does […]





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How We Lived on It (31) – Wealth and Health

December 18, 2010




“In this spectacular section of ‘The Joy of Stats’ Hans Rosling tells the story of the world in 200 countries over 200 years using 120,000 numbers – in just four minutes. Plotting life expectancy against income for every country since 1810, Hans shows how the world we live in is radically different from the world […]





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This Is the End (of History, War, the Enlightenment, and Western Civilization) Or Not

July 30, 2010




Andrew Becevich is appropriately critical of the American impetus to hegemonic empire that grew out of its post World War Two ascendency and the commitment to communist containment. That was the subject of his 2008 The Limits of Power: The End of American Exceptionalism. Essential to any continuing practicability of this American role, he argues […]





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A Tale of Modern Day Injustice

April 1, 2010




Through the interconnectedness, via Twitter, of people who do not in the least know each other comes to me this dreadful story of the horrible oppressiveness, in the service of their greater interests, of even the greatest modern democracies. If you have ever heard of Diego Garcia, it was likely during some period of U.S. […]





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Obama in Oslo: Power without Empire

December 11, 2009




I go and use a presidential juggling analogy in Obama Abroad: Liberal, Moderate, Careful, and my psychoanalytical interlocutor ShrinkWrapped decides to employ a fungo hit to test my own coordination. I’m still developing my response to Principia Liberalis Interruptus, and he takes a whack at the Obama post, putting a second ball in the air. […]





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