Herbert London

Herbert London: Division

Apr 26, 2017

Abraham Lincoln noted poignantly that a “House divided cannot stand.”  Recent events indicate the Republican party has much to learn from the past. A party divided cannot govern. And a president with his majority party split cannot exercise his Constitutional authority.

Herbert London: Facing The Budget

Apr 19, 2017

Each year legislators sharpen their knives, consider key constituent needs and meet to pass a budget. This year isn’t very different except that when the Republicans could not unify to replace the Affordable Care Act, unexpected questions about the party emerged.

Herbert London: Fraying Alliances In The Middle East

Apr 12, 2017

Alliances in the byzantine Middle East have a life span roughly equivalent to how long it takes for the ink to dry. In 2013, when the Obama administration invited the Russians into Syria to monitor and control Bassar Assad’s use of poison gas, Putin used this occasion to cement an alliance with Iran, the Revolutionary Guard and Hezbollah. From the standpoint of the parties involved, this alliance made eminent sense.

Herbert London: Unity In The Trump Government?

Apr 5, 2017

During a meeting with several high level foreign diplomats, the question of the Trump administration’s unity kept coming up. How is it, said these diplomats, that the replacement and removal of Obamacare could not be achieved? Moreover, how does one explain the leaks that have repeatedly embarrassed the Trump organization?

Herbert London: Defense Spending And Threat Assessment

Mar 29, 2017

During President Trump’s recent address to the Congress, he said we must add $54 billion of spending to the defense budget in order to bolster the nation’s defense capabilities. Considering the $1 trillion in defense sequestration during the eight Obama years, this number may be relatively modest. The problem, is making an assessment of what is adequate and necessary.

Herbert London: The New Democratic Party

Mar 22, 2017

Where is the Democratic party? The party of political giants like FDR, LBJ and JFK is missing in action along with the letters that defined its heroes. This is now the party of Obama, Schumer, Pelosi – a facsimile of the past and a party without direction and policy guidelines.

Herbert London: What The World Sees In The U.S.

Mar 8, 2017

The secular religion of America is in disarray. Black Lives Matter disavow loyalty to the Constitution. Many Americans of various ethnicities have detached themselves from the bedrock beliefs that made this nation unique in the history of the world.

Herbert London: Revanchism And Crisis Management

Mar 1, 2017

Revanchism, from the French revanche or “revenge”, is the will to reverse territorial losses following war or social movement. The dismantling of the Soviet Union, to cite one example, has led to a Putinesque policy of irredentism, the reclamation of territory once within the Soviet orbit. In a strange way revanchism has become the twenty- first contrary foreign policy perspective.

Herbert London: Democracy v. Republic

Feb 22, 2017

Plato argued that democracy by its very nature cannot work. The direct involvement of the people in the affairs of state will lead to a situation where takers outnumber givers thereby rendering the economy precarious. But that isn’t the only issue the demos introduces. Direct participation can lead to the belief a majority rules denying the rights of minorities or there is justification for “the people” to take matters into their own hands.

If one relies on Alexis de Tocqueville’s Democracy In America, the great strength of the U.S. in the nineteenth century was its mediating structure that maintained social equilibrium. By that, Tocqueville meant the family, the church, the schools and the alliances – institutions that created coherence and solidarity without reliance on government.

Herbert London: Fading U.S. Influence In Asia

Feb 8, 2017

If one requires any evidence that the United States is a fading power, the recent events in the South China Sea offer ample evidence. Two Chinese fighter jets intercepted U.S. military reconnaissance aircraft and, to add to the humiliation rebuked the Obama administration for any surveillance near China. The incident took place in international airspace on what has been described as a “routine U.S. patrol.” This latest encounter comes on the heels of another interception in which Chinese jets mimicked an all-out attack on a U.S. naval vessel that sailed close to a disputed reef. These are merely two recent war like actions by the Chinese in a series of interception since 2014.

In his book The Open Society and Its Enemies Karl Popper, as an advocate of tolerance, argued that intolerance should not be tolerated, for if tolerance allowed intolerance to succeed, tolerance itself would be threatened. As Popper put it, “Unlimited tolerance must lead to the disappearance of tolerance.”

Herbert London: Who Really Won The Cold War?

Jan 25, 2017

In 1989 the Berlin wall tumbled like Humpty Dumpty amid a joyous celebration in Germany and across the West. The symbol of the Russian Communist dictatorship was blasted into bits of concrete. In the subsequent couple of years those states caught in the grip of the Soviet orbit seceded reducing the Russian population by about 150 million people. NATO expanded to embrace many of these former states including the Baltic nations contiguous to Mother Russia. While the West viewed this new reality with promise liberal democracy would spread, former KGB officials regarded this defeat as humiliation, a humiliation that had to be redressed.

Herbert London: Remembering Roy Innis

Jan 18, 2017
Roy Innis
Kishi2323 / Wikimedia Commons

He was a friend, a mentor, a hero and a courageous American. On Saturday, January 7, 2017 he passed this mortal coil. I am referring to Roy Innis, national chairman of the Congress of Racial Equality since his election to that post in 1968.

In the last debate of the 2012 presidential race Governor Romney discussed the potential threat of Russia. He was widely criticized by President Obama who maintained the Cold War ended in the 1980’s. Since then, of course, we have had a national “reset.” Vladimir Putin’s aggressive action in eastern Ukraine, Syria and his openly provocative statements about the Baltic states and the use of nuclear weapons offer revealing insights into Russian aims. Still there are those who believe Russia can be an ally, at least in areas where U.S.-Russian interests converge, e.g. battling militant Islam.

At the end of the Second World War the United States established a liberal international order that included an institutional commitment to free trade and freedom of the seas. It also included unprecedented assistance to weak nations incapable of fending for themselves, through the Marshall Plan, NATO and other alliances. However one describes the U.S. rule, it did provide a period of equilibrium, notwithstanding challenges from the Soviet Union.

It is clear based on this stage of political evolution in the West that democracy – to the extent it has meaning – is a form of inclusiveness, expanding the horizons of political participation. On one level it makes sense, why should anyone be denied participation when interests in the aggregate are why we employ the term representative government?

Herbert London: The Indefensible Obama Policies

Dec 21, 2016

On December 6 President Barack Obama defended his strategy for combating terrorism, a strategy – if one can call it that – based on restraint and withdrawal. Without mentioning Donald Trump’s name, the president went on to contrast his ideas with those enunciated by the president elect. He clearly attempted to make the case for why his successor should adhere to his approach.

Herbert London: EDAP And NATO

Dec 14, 2016

While the Euro declines in value reaching parity with the dollar, with debt overwhelming the underbelly of European states and with serious questions arising about the viability of the Union itself, the EU at the Bratislava Summit in September 2016 concluded that the time has come for its own military force.

Herbert London: Grand Strategy And Grand Illusion

Dec 7, 2016

Is it possible to detoxify the United States’ relations with Russia, China and the Muslim world? Is there a grand strategy that could maintain the honor of America and at the same time introduce stability in areas of the globe fraught with tension?

Herbert London: Leadership And National Unity

Nov 30, 2016

The recent American election raised a host of hypotheses about how to make America great again, to quote Mr. Trump. What it suggests is what made America great in the first place. Clearly America is based on a Constitution and Bill of Rights that give and constrain simultaneously in a symphony of Judeo Christian beliefs. The free market opened avenues of wealth and opportunity. Most significantly, the nation was blessed with great leaders from Washington to Reagan.

Herbert London: Israel And UNESCO

Nov 23, 2016

In 1945 UNESCO was organized to respond to the belief political and economic agreements are not sufficient in themselves to create a lasting peace. Peace, it was argued, must be established on the basis of humanity’s moral and intellectual solidarity. And so UNESCO exists to build understanding and respect for cultural diversity.

For those who believe President Obama is a lame duck simply waiting for his departure from the White House and the commencement of wealth pursuits, there is a likely surprise coming. The president has signaled that he may seek a U.N. Security Council Resolution which embodies a Palestinian state with pre-1967 lines, notwithstanding a different stance by President Elect Donald Trump.

For those who follow popular culture, the slide into debasement is palpable. From the f-bomb to pornographic exposure, America has become the land of anything goes. The once provincial, laced up nation, challenged by the liberal view of expression, has lost. Victorian notions of modesty are as outmoded as horse-drawn plows.

Herbert London: The Reemergence Of Tribalism

Nov 2, 2016

For those who believe in a “one-world” thesis - the union of people in a harmonized legal system – these are unsettling days. Rather than singing kumbayah each morning, tribes are displaying a form of loyalty bred in the bone. In fact, tribalism is alive and well and driving political judgments across the globe.

Herbert London: The Radical Turn In World Affairs

Oct 26, 2016

The voice of an angry populace will be heard. Recent elections in Germany, Austria, and Spain suggest the migration of displaced Syrians across the continent is leading to political convulsions rarely seen since World War II. Some will describe it as the radicalization of conventional politics. Others will describe these convulsions as a safety valve for the Europeans obliged to deal with the migration issue. For many, any party willing to say “stop” will receive a hearing.

Herbert London: Watermelon Politics In America

Oct 19, 2016

Watermelon politics are on the rise in the United States. The green Islamist groups intent on undermining the West through self-proclaimed “civilizational jihad” have aligned themselves formally and informally with the red radicals such as Black Lives Matter (BLM). For many, this union seems unlikely. Islamist’s want to turn the clock back to the Seventh Century and BLM is eager to push the clock ahead to a time when race consciousness is a national preoccupation.

Herbert London: The New World Order

Oct 12, 2016

Recently the Russian military force deployed an advanced anti-missile system and sophisticated radars over Syria. In doing so, Russia and its allies in Iran and Hezbollah realize the ability of the U.S. to assist the rebel groups in Aleppo is severely limited. Gary Johnson, the Libertarian candidate for president, may not know what Aleppo is, but for anyone following current events this city of 250,000 is now a “killing field.”

Herbert London: Withstanding A Second Muslim Invasion

Oct 5, 2016

After two months of an onslaught by troops of the Ottoman Empire, the Habsburg Monarchy along with the Polish Commonwealth and the Holy Roman Empire under the command of King John Sobieski rose to defend Christianity at Kahlenberg Mountain near Vienna in September 1683. The battle marked the turning point in the 300 year Ottoman-Hapsburg wars with Christianity on the European continent prevailing.

Herbert London: The Rising Taliban

Sep 28, 2016

On 9/11 Americans recalled the 15th anniversary of the vicious al Qaeda attack on the United States that took 2800 lives. It was yet another day in infamy. Although largely forgotten in the public memory bank, the Taliban of Afghanistan harbored the terrorists and assisted in the planning of the attack. President George W. Bush’s final act of retaliation was to strike back at the Taliban.

Pages