Who’s Afraid of Radical Islam?

Given a choice, most politicians prefer a symbolic fight to a substantive one. To see how, consider the fight over the term ‘radical Islam’. Even by the low standards typically set by American politicians, the argument stands out for its inanity. It’s worth asking: what are Americans so afraid of? Continue reading

The Road Not Taken – Obama’s Syrian Mistake

Obama came into office promising not to repeat the errors of the George W. Bush presidency, and by and large, he hasn’t. But he’s been so zealous in implementing the lessons of the Iraq War – “don’t do stupid stuff” – that he’s built his own trap by ignoring the fact that when you’re President of the United States, you don’t have the privilege of inaction. Continue reading

A Deal With Iran Gives the US the Most Options

Last week brought President Obama what he hopes will be a definitive breakthrough in his foreign policy: a negotiated deal with Iran that would deny that country a nuclear weapon as well as the key elements necessary for building a nuclear weapon, all while avoiding yet another war in the Middle East. The stakes, it should be clear, are dire. The options, however, remain murky. Continue reading

The Bergdahl Scandal is a New Low in US Politics

America got back its last POW in a trade that saw five Taliban fighters released from GITMO – and the country quickly shifted into scandal mode. Sometimes in a fight, the most relevant question isn’t who’s right and who’s wrong, but rather, “How in the world did we end up fighting like this?” Continue reading