Foreign Policy & War

How George W. Bush Redefined American Freedom

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George W. Bush is gone from Washington but his legacy, like an abandoned toxic waste dump, lingers on. Like President Franklin Roosevelt before him, President Bush helped redefine American freedom. And like Roosevelt’s, Bush’s changes were perversions of the clear vision the Founding Fathers bequeathed to us. What did freedom mean in the era of George Bush? In Iraq in ... [click for more]

Bombings Worse than Nagasaki and Hiroshima

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The world knows all too well about the atomic bombs the United States dropped on Hiroshima on Monday, August 6, 1945 (“Little Boy”), and on Nagasaki on Thursday, August 9 (“Fat Man”). “Dropping the bombs ended the war,” said President Harry Truman. They may have ended the war, but they did not end the bombing of Japan. On August 14, 1945, ... [click for more]

The Media As Enablers of Government Lies

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Why do politicians so easily get away with telling lies? In large part, because the news media are more interested in bonding with politicians than in exposing them. Americans are encouraged to believe that the media will serve as a check and a balance on the government. Instead, the press too often volunteer as unpaid pimps, helping politicians deceive ... [click for more]

A Prudent Foreign Policy

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Smart Power: Toward a Prudent Foreign Policy for America by Ted Galen Carpenter (Cato Institute, 2008); 352 pages. Change has come to Washington in the form of a new administration. Yet the cast of characters looks much the same. Their philosophies, while differing in degree, remain solidly interventionist. The question ... [click for more]

McNamara’s Other Debacle

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Former Defense Secretary Robert McNamara, who died on July 6, was best known for ratcheting up the Vietnam War thanks to the false claims he provided to President Johnson, Congress, and the American people. Despite his lies that vastly expanded an unnecessary conflict and cost more than a million American and ... [click for more]

Still Meddling After All These Years

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American presidents have long regarded Latin America as their “backyard.” The Monroe Doctrine warned the European powers to stay out — by what right? — and since then American chief executives have deemed it entirely proper to intervene when things did not go as they liked. Mexico, Nicaragua, Guatemala, the ... [click for more]

The Early History of a Worldwide Nuisance

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Few federal agencies have as much bipartisan support as the National Endowment for Democracy. Created in 1983, NED’s stated mission is to “strengthen democratic institutions around the world through nongovernmental efforts.” In actuality, NED allows U.S. politicians to meddle in foreign elections at the same time they pretend ... [click for more]

Shut Up about Iran

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Here’s some advice for Barack Obama, John McCain, and any other U.S. politician who feels the urge to issue a declaration about the election in Iran: Shut up. True, Obama has said he does not wish to interfere in the Iranian election. Others, such John “Bomb Bomb Bomb, Bomb Bomb Iran” McCain, ... [click for more]

The Pentagon’s Favorite Demon

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In 1991, as pressure was mounting in the U.S. Congress to cut the Cold War-era military budget, Chairman of the Joint Chief of Staffs General Colin Powell said: “I’m running out of demons. I’m running out of villains. I’m down to Castro and Kim Il Sung.” North ... [click for more]

Obama’s Empire

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Why isn’t the honeymoon over yet? That all peace advocates still haven’t broken with Barack Obama is ominous, indeed. Do they really hate war, empire, and colonialism? Or did they just hate George W. Bush and Dick Cheney? Obama has been in power more than 100 days, which is time enough to judge ... [click for more]
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