Category Archive: Foreign Policy

Apr 21 2014

Putin, Netanyahu and Neo-Con Cognitive Dissonance

A very interesting thing has happened in the wake of Vladimir Putin’s annexation of Crimea and hostile moves in the eastern Ukraine — he and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu are suddenly buddies. Israel even abstained from the UN vote that condemned Russia’s recent military actions. This poses a real problem for American neo-cons who …

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Apr 09 2014

Ignorance and Foreign Policy

Americans tend to be notoriously ignorant about the goings on in the rest of the world, which is why this article by several social scientists who did a clever survey about the situation in the Ukraine is not the least bit surprising. It found that the less people know about where the Ukraine is, the …

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Mar 22 2014

I’m Warmonger-Weary

Bill Kristol is clutching his pearls once again over the idea that the American people are “war-weary” and might not follow his inevitable advice to invade another country for no reason anytime soon. He quotes a letter to the Wall Street Journal from one Heidi Szrom of Valparaiso, Indiana:

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Mar 12 2014

Rice the Latest Foreign Policy Hypocrite

Former National Security Adviser and Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice joins the long list of current and former officials showing breathtaking but predictably hypocritical positions on Russia’s invasion of Crimea and other activities in the Ukraine.

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Mar 06 2014

Putin and Obama’s ‘Weakness’

Now that the Ukraine has blown up and Putin has sent troops into Crimea, the right is having a grand old time blaming it all on Obama being “weak” on foreign policy and thus making Putin feel “emboldened” that he could do it. Sarah Palin is even claiming to be a prophet, with Fox News …

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Mar 05 2014

Really, John Kerry?

The Academy Awards were Sunday night and the award for best actor really should have gone to John Kerry for managing to deliver this line about the Russian invasion of Crimea without busting a gut laughing. “You just don’t invade another country on phony pretext in order to assert your interests. This is an act …

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Mar 04 2014

Putin is the One Showing Weakness

As the right fires up its mantra machine and chooses “Putin is exploiting Obama’s weakness to invade the Ukraine” as its collective response to the situation there, Zack Beauchamp argues, correctly I think, that the one who is showing weakness here is Putin.

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Jan 10 2014

Gates: Obama Just Not Enthusiastic Enough

Former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, a Republican that President Obama asked to stay on in that position after the 2008 election, has a new book out that apparently makes some rather incoherent criticisms of the president. Greg Jaffe has a review of the book in the Washington Post. One of the odd positions he …

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Jan 04 2014

Afghanistan Likely to Turn Ugly When We Leave

The American intelligence community has apparently now concluded what anyone with even a modest understanding of history and human nature could — and did — predict back in 2001: That when the American occupation of Afghanistan ends this year, it’s likely to descend into civil war and chaos.

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Dec 29 2013

John Bolton’s Macho Foreign Policy

John Bolton, the far-right’s go-to guy on foreign policy, has a list of President Obama’s foreign policy “failures” that reveals much about the right-wing view of that subject. The psychological roots of that view, it seems to me, are found in typical American male psychology.

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Dec 09 2013

Iran and the Many Forms of Envy

George Will has a refreshingly sensible column about the recent and tentative agreement with Iran over nuclear power and weapons, taking to task those neo-conservative critics who are right in pointing out the weaknesses of the agreement but entirely wrong about there being a better alternative.

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Dec 04 2013

Can Congress Stop the Iran Agreement?

There’s been a fairly furious reaction to the Obama administration’s ongoing negotiations with Iran over nuclear power in some circles. The Republicans are pretty much universally opposed to it and many prominent Democrats, folks like Charles Schumer who are strongly beholden to the Israel lobby, are as well. Rosa Brooks says that the recently announced …

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Nov 27 2013

Conservative Foreign Policy: Chicken Hawks and Chicken Littles

The predictable conservative reaction to the Obama administration’s negotiations with Iran reminds us yet again that right wing rhetoric never really changes. Just like we are always on the verge of being taken over by the UN or China and perpetually at risk of being overrun by immigrants (fear and xenophobia being their primary currency), …

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Nov 26 2013

Deal Reached Over Iranian Nuclear Power

In a very big breakthrough, the Obama administration has brokered a deal between Iran, France, Germany, Britain, China and Russia to curb Iran’s nuclear weapons program while partially lifting the sanctions that have caused such damage to that country.

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Oct 29 2013

The Limits of National Hypocrisy

Andrew Sullivan quotes an article from Henry Farrell and Martha Finnemore in Foreign Affairs magazine (the article is subscription only, so I can’t read the context and there’s no point in linking to it) making the argument that national hypocrisy is necessary, at least within some limits:

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