Iraq Falls Apart

Iraq Falls Apart

John Peeler: The American people (aside from a few neoconservative hawks) are not prepared for a permanent reoccupation of Iraq, and that is what it would take to stabilize the country. We’ve been there, done that.

Bergdahl Exchange: Getting Hammered No Matter What

Bergdahl Exchange

John Peeler: Those alleging that the price was too high would be the same folks who in other contexts would unleash florid rhetoric about no price being too high to bring back American prisoners or hostages. It’s a cheap shot from people who weren’t doing the negotiating.

Guantánamo: Obama Can Finish It Now

Obama Can Close Guantanamo

John Peeler: He could simply order the closing of the detention facility, the transfer of detainees and the entire Guantánamo operation to ships at sea, and the evacuation of the base.

Ukraine: A Feast of Fallacies

ukraine-vote-600

John Peeler: The world is messy and complicated. It’s easy to miscalculate, and when multiple actors pile one miscalculation on another, the consequences are always un intended, and usually unpleasant.

A New New Deal

fdr-poster-600

Equality and Democracy — Progressives should be prepared for the long game, building critical mass to seize the national agenda.

Mandela: Africa Without Him

mandela meme

John Peeler: He might have died in prison, tortured, broken, disappeared. And yet we can scarcely conceive how his country, his continent, the world would have been different without him. That is the measure of his greatness.

What To Say When They’re Ready to Talk

shutdown-roadblock-350

John Peeler: Suppose that employers could get rid of their healthcare paperwork obligation, offloading it onto the federal government: we could back into single payer as a way to respond to employers.

Debt Ceiling: Obama’s Nuclear Option?

gop-lemmngs-350

John Peeler: If President Obama defers to Congress and accepts a default on the debt, with its attendant catastrophic economic consequences, he would be a party to Congress’ violation of the Fourteenth Amendment.

Obama, Putin, and Assad: It Just Gets Weirder

putin and obama shake hands

John Peeler: Obama faces the likelihood of a defeat in Congress (and in public opinion), after which he would have to choose between acting anyway, in total political isolation, or backing off and looking weak. Either way he would look foolish.

Syria: Just Say No

assad neck deep

John Peeler: Barack Obama, apparently against his better judgment, is about to feed our nation’s addiction to addressing insoluble problems with bombs, with predictably perverse results. He ought to “just say no.”

Egypt and the Arab Spring

morsi sinking

John Peeler: There cannot be democracy in Egypt, or elsewhere in the Middle East, unless the Islamists are brought in, and eventually brought around to accepting that electoral victories do not confer absolute power.

Liberals vs. Democrats in the Arab World

egypt protest

John Peeler: Democracy in the Middle East as a whole, not just in Egypt, means Islamists in power, and it won’t be liberal. And as long as the urban, educated sectors and the military are opposed to Islamist democracy, it cannot be stable.

Coming to Terms with Iran

tehran street

John Peeler: Flynt and Hillary Leverett, almost alone among the Washington foreign policy elite, have for a decade been making the case for serious diplomatic engagement with the Islamic Republic.

Ríos Montt: Accountability at Last

efrain rios montt

John Peeler: The transition to democracy, now 30 years old, has passed a major test with the trial and conviction of Ríos Montt. The impediments to full democratization remain huge, but there is still good cause for Guatemalans to celebrate.

Exceptional: But Not in a Good Way

Cuban hospital

John Peeler: On guns and prisons, we are more like a Third World country than like other rich nations. On health care, Third World countries simply cannot afford to waste the amount of money we do. And it is doubtful that we can, either.

From Shining City on a Hill to Lighthouse on the Rocks

lighthouse in storm

John Peeler: A generation ago, even conservatives would acknowledge the need for stimulus, not deficit-reduction, at a time like this. That consensus is gone. The Tea Party is getting its wish: a government that cannot act.

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