President Hugo Chavez and America’s “Backyard”

Hugo Chavez Mural

Joseph Palermo: The simple fact remains: Chavez, who died of cancer at the age of 58, was the only president of Venezuela in modern memory who did ANYTHING for the poor people of that country who make up the vast majority of its nearly 30 million citizens.

Ethel and Julius Rosenberg’s Son Robert

death-penalty-wide

We don’t often hear about the minor children of people who have been sentenced to die. The media typically covers the story up to and including the execution. Rarely are we given any insight into what happens in the lives of children in the aftermath of their parents execution.

GOP 2012: The Pro-Fiction Campaign

flaky santorum

Tina Dupuy: Warning of a zombie nation feasting on the metaphorical brains of the U.S. is consistent with a party now completely untethered from basic American history, science or any other evidence-based practice: The GOP is now a party standing proudly on a pro-fiction platform.

Gorbachev and Obama

Mikhail-Gorbachev-wide-2

Walter Moss: I have come to fear that Obama may possess two of the flaws that led to Gorbachev’s downfall — an inability to forge a political consensus and a failure to articulate a political vision that can inspire average people.

Sudan’s Lessons for Iraq

south-sudan

Ivan Eland: The U.S. occupation has grown so unpopular in Iraq that those same receptive Iraqi politicians, including Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, are scared to publicly advocate a long-term U.S. military presence.

Being Right or Being Good

debate

Steve Hochstadt: The ability to offer anonymous and uncensored opinions to the world, that is now offered for free by the internet, has greatly increased the forcefulness with which more and more people assert their superior knowledge and everyone else’s confusion.

Ronald Reagan Revisionists

ronald reagan

H. Scott Prosterman: Perhaps the greatest myth, and one of the greatest spin jobs in history, is the notion that Reagan’s foreign policy brought the collapse of the Soviet Union . Communism was a flawed political-economic theory whose weaknesses caused it to collapse upon itself.

The End of America’s Middle East Empire

middle east empire

As we’ve watched the dramatic events in the Middle East, you would hardly know that we had a thing to do with them.  Oh yes, in the name of its War on Terror, Washington had for years backed most of the thuggish governments now under siege or anxious that they may be next in line [...]

Obama Ignored the Elephant in the Room

deficit wolves

Robert Reich: Obama’s failure to address the decoupling of American corporate profits from American jobs, and explain specifically what he’ll do to get jobs back, not only risks making his grand plans for reviving the nation’s “competitiveness” seem somewhat beside the point but also cedes to Republicans the dominant narrative.

Reliving the Soviet Experience in Afghanistan

russian troops in afghanistan

Tom Engelhardt: If, as 2011 begins, you want to peer into the future, enter my time machine, strap yourself in, and head for the past, that laboratory for all developments of our moment and beyond.

Recession Is Over! (If You Want It)

combat

Joseph Palermo: The National Bureau of Economic Research tells us the Great Recession is “over.” The only thing this announcement reveals is just how out of touch and compassionless those who view human society through the lens of quantitative measurements can be.

Defending Everything is Defending Nothing

Madeleine Albright

Ivan Eland: Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright recently led a panel of experts in coming up with a report, “NATO 2020,” which will be used to draft a replacement for NATO’s current strategic concept, adopted in 1999. The report essentially advocates a continuation and expansion of NATO’s quest to be all things to all people. Unfortunately, this effort resembles the “expand or die” mantra that was applied to NATO as its primary mission—countering the Soviet Union—was tossed into the dustbin of history. Instead of expanding in territory and mission after the Cold War ended, NATO probably should have died back then and may die—or be severely crippled—by its likely loss in Afghanistan.

JFK’s “How To” Manual

obama and jfk

Joseph Palermo: Obama took so many daring chances during the 2008 presidential campaign but when it comes to governing it seems he has become risk averse. The Democrats’ slogan for 2010 should be: “If Ben Nelson Doesn’t Like It — We Won’t Do It!”

In War, Winners Can Be Losers

WWI

Of course, a case can be made that it is better for a nation to win a war than to lose it. But perhaps it is time to learn from the world’s tragic, blood-stained history that there is a third alternative: using our intelligence and creativity to resolve conflicts without war.

Obama Speaks (Some) Truth From Power

Peace-Prize

President Obama’s Nobel lecture might have showed us that the United States has reached a turning point: either the national security monster we’ve created is going to eat us alive by bankrupting the country or we’re going to have to shift course. We must begin to spin off the 700 or so military bases and installations around the world and focus on building a better life for our own people here at home.

The GOP Floats Out To Sea, Alone on a Shrinking Iceberg

repubs

There isn’t much point showing the Republican Party that they’ve lost it completely and are floating out to sea, alone and abandoned on a shrinking iceberg like an aged bull walrus driven from the herd. After all, new party chairman Michael Steele doesn’t know that when you work, you have a job and vice versa, [...]

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