When the Washington Post's David Ignatius writes a column headlined "Putin Steals the CIA's Playbook on Anti-Soviet Covert Operations," is that supposed to be a criticism or a compliment?
What should we make of the so-called "trifecta" of scandals hitting the Obama White House? And what questions should we ask about the IRS/Tea Party story? Also this week: Chris Matthews wants Obama to take charge–just like the union-busting Ronald Reagan. And the Newseum decides two Palestinian journalists shouldn't be considered part of their tribute to journalists who died reporting the news.
In the new issue of Time (12/12/11), Fareed Zakaria writes in the first sentence of his column: It is difficult to find a country on the planet that is more anti-American than Pakistan. In a Pew survey this year, only 12 percent of Pakistanis expressed a favorable view of the U.S. It's not that difficult. The same survey of seven countries found one of them, Turkey, with an even lower 10 percent favorable opinion of the U.S., and Jordan just a hair above at 13 percent. More important is Zakaria's conclusion: There is a fundamental tension in U.S. policy toward […]
Under the headline "Nations Hope Veil Lifts From Libya's History of Terrorism," John Burns writes in today's New York Times (8/30/11): Television footage of the only man convicted in the Lockerbie bombing lying in bed, purportedly comatose with advanced prostate cancer at his Tripoli home, has provided a focal point for a question asked with new urgency in places far from Libya: With Col. Muammar el-Gadhafi's government in ruins, what reckoning is likely for the terrorist bombings that were once a signature of the former Libyan leader's war with the Western world? So terrorism was Gadhafi's "signature," and many "nations" […]
In his new book, Ron Reagan says he saw early signs of Alzheimer's disease in his father, Ronald Reagan, while the late president was still in the White House. When he said as much on ABC's 20/20 last Friday (1/14/11), he infuriated many on the right, including his older brother Michael Reagan. Over the weekend, the older Reagan son took to Twitter, writing over the course of several messages, "My brother seems to want [to] sell out his father to sell books…. My father did not suffer from Alzheimer's in the '80s…. Ron, my brother, was an embarrassment to my […]
Time columnist Joe Klein (12/3/09) was not altogether impressed by Obama's announcement of a 30,000 troop escalation in Afghanistan (an "iffy proposition," as Klein put it). But Klein's main point was that Obama should have justified the war differently: "Once you have made the decision to go, or to redouble your efforts, you must lead the charge–passionately and, yes, with a touch of anger." Then he describes the better way: Ronald Reagan would have done it differently. He would have told a story. It might not have been a true story, but it would have had resonance. He might have […]
In his latest Salon blog entry (5/1/09, ad-viewing required), Glenn Greenwald displays his find of "a perfect illustration of how severely our political spectrum has shifted in the last two decades and how depraved and extremist our political and media classes have become"–one quote of the Washington Post's Charles Krauthammer rebutting those who "believe you never torture. Ever": Torture is an impermissible evil. Except under two circumstances. The first is the ticking time bomb. . . . The second exception to the no-torture rule is the extraction of information from a high-value enemy in possession of high-value information likely to […]
The New York Times' Travel section featured a February 8 piece by Ned Martel headlined, "In Grenada, Leaving the Past Behind," where the reporter refers to the 1983 U.S. invasion of the tiny Caribbean nation. A more accurate headline might have read, "Leaving the Facts Behind." Here's how Martel summed up the invasion story: In 1983, American satellites peered down on Point Salines, the southwest corner of Grenada, and detected a newly paved lane toward the sea, plus some nearby armaments and fuel tanks. Cubans had arrived on the island, abetting some coup plotters who captured and then executed the […]