For a considerable period I have argued that President Obama’s foreign policy was feckless, a function of inexperience and amateurish advisement. The overarching goal of removing the U.S. from harm’s way seemed absurd since even if you want to avoid war, it sometimes has a way of finding you. But there is logic in a foreign policy position that avoids overreaching.
For intellectuals and government officials in Egypt, American foreign policy is an enigma. From Syria to Afghanistan questions are posed about the stance of the Obama administration. To cite one example, an official asked, how do you explain the president’s argument for bombing Syria only to end up not bombing Syria?
For Americans, military matters are rarely considered. After all, without a draft, less than one-half of one percent of the nation has any direct involvement with military issues. The Congress is in a similar state largely unaware of military concerns as a Chinese wall has been erected between the military brass and the civilian leadership that makes decisions about its future.
L’affaire Sterling is nearing an end. Almost every sentient human being is aware of Don Sterling’s rancid racist comments. He has been banned from the NBA forever and he is being forced to sell his team, the Los Angeles Clippers. All of this is known. Adam Silver, Commissioner of the NBA, has been heralded for his quick, and “appropriate” action. The legendary Michael Jordan summarized the view of players and owners by noting: “As an owner, I’m obviously disgusted that a fellow team owner could hold such sickening and offensive views. As a fellow player, I am completely outraged. There is no room in the NBA – or anywhere else – for the kind of racism and hatred that Mr. Sterling allegedly expressed.”
The Republican strategy for the 2014 November election has been cast in stone: “Obamacare, Obamacare, Obamacare.” Leadership in the House, the Republican Study Group, the National Republican Committee and a variety of pollsters are persuaded that the Affordable Care Act, and the president’s name attached to it, represent a winning formula. Speaker Boehner is so convinced of this claim that he systematically refuses to consider other campaign issues. After all, other issues would dilute the message and confuse the voting public.
Amid the celebration of the Connecticut University victory in the NCAA basketball tournament the team’s star player, Shabazz Napier, used the moment to broadcast a message: “I want to get everybody’s attention right quick. Ladies and gentlemen, you’re looking at the hungry Huskies…. This is what happens when you banned us.” Napier was referring to the one-year postseason penalty the National Collegiate Athletic Association issued in 2012 for the team’s failure to meet minimum academic requirements, requirements as minimum as infrequent attendance in “Mickey Mouse” courses.
Torquemada has landed in America. This nation of free and open inquiry has been seized by totalitarians who refuse to entertain other points of view. The debate about global warming is over say adherents of this position. When, if ever, has the debate about any scientific issue been over?
What do college students read? According to one survey Shades of Gray, the sado-masochistic novel, was the most widely read book outside the classroom. Another survey indicated that The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, dealing with her battle with cancer and racial grievance, was the most popular book.
From the birth of the state of Israel in 1948 to the 1980’s, comments about this Jewish nation were uniformly and reflexively positive. Jews and non-Jews alike took pride in the resourcefulness of a people who could make the desert bloom and who had the backbone and will to defend themselves against Arab invaders.