Free Trade Follies

China has not made much of an appearance in the presidential contest so far. Either of the two Chinas. I’m not talking about Mainland vs. Taiwan. I mean the two Chinas of the American imagination. There’s the cute, cuddly, panda-bear China, as...

Second Thoughts

My first introduction to the Second Thoughts crowd was in 1989 when I attended a conference at Krakow’s Jagiellonian University and took a seat in the audience near Fawn Hall. Yes, that Fawn Hall: the secretary who dutifully shredded compromising documents for...

A New Kosovo

Someone should erect a monument in Pristina to Slobodan Miloševic as the godfather of the new country. If he had not abolished Kosovar autonomy, practiced a form of apartheid for a decade, and rounded it off with a brutal episode of ethnic cleansing and mass...

Myanmar, the UN, and ASEAN

United Nations envoy Ibrahim Gambari’s latest round of intense shuttle diplomacy since September’s “saffron revolution” produced no major breakthroughs in Yangon. It merely confirmed the suspicions of close Myanmar watchers that the military...

Kosovo in the Balance

Like a bad cold that won’t go away, the Kosovo question continues to plague international diplomacy long after it was expected that it would be resolved. If everything had gone according to plan, there would have been agreement by now for a settlement of...

Make Your Own Foreign Policy

Bush is on the ranch in Crawford, Texas. Members of Congress are back at home or are abroad doing important “research”. With the policymakers who have steered our country in the wrong direction absent from Washington, now is the time for YOU to start...

Memo to the President, 2020

As a member of the transition team, I’ve been asked to give a backgrounder on the “loss of global influence” issue that played such a major role in the last election. I’ve submitted my study entitled End of Empire and I would encourage you to...

Is the Right Really Rising Up Against the Iraq Occupation?

The sudden “surge” of anti-war positions among powerful Republican senators, most recently John Warner and Richard Lugar, and other elite forces (such as the editors of the New York Times) is putting intense new bi-partisan pressure on the White House to...

The Bush Veto

The veto demonstrates the extent of White House extremism; it is not rejecting a “bring all the troops home and end the war” bill but rather rejecting a compromise bill that would provide $100 billion to continue the war, sets only a “goal” of...

The Yes Man

It’s a scandal worthy of the Yes Men. Over the course of three years, this band of merry pranksters impersonated World Bank officials and told bemused audiences that Spain should outlaw the siesta, corporations should adopt “compassionate slavery”...

The Self-Hating State

The state, according to classical liberals, is a problem. It meddles in the economy. It over-regulates. Through the tax system, it robs Peter to pay Paul. If only the state would get out of the way, these purists argue, then the invisible hand of the market would...
The Iraqi Refugee Crisis

The Iraqi Refugee Crisis

With the violence in Iraq showing no sign of slowing down, civilians increasingly suffer. The UN estimates that 2.6 million Iraqis have fled violence in their country since 2003 and at least 40-50,000 more Iraqis are leaving their homes every month. Two million have...

Tampering With the Evidence

Last year in Hamdania, west of Baghdad, eight U.S. soldiers abducted an Iraqi man from his home, threw him in a ditch, and shot him. The soldiers placed an AK-47 and a shovel near his body. They wanted to make it seem as though he were an insurgent digging holes to...

Escalating Threats of U.S. Attacks on Iran

Dear friends, four years ago today 12 or 13 million people took to the streets and The World Said ‘No’ to War. Today, we continue. We say it again. At some point they will have to listen. Please note these Talking Points are quite a bit longer than usual,...

Rise and Fall of Nations

At the beginning of Chinese filmmaker Jiang Yimou’s popular movie Hero , a martial arts master arrives at the court of the powerful Xin ruler. The master swordsman, an orphan who goes by the moniker Nameless, harbors a secret desire to assassinate the king on...