The Trial of Robert D. Kaplan
April 25, 2013
The Atlantic writer's apologia for Henry Kissinger is incoherent and amoral all at once.
The Moral and Strategic Blindspot in Obama’s Pivot to Asia
November 20, 2012
The Obama administration deserves credit for the successes produced so far by its “pivot to Asia”, from the encouragement of political reform in Myanmar, to the creation of a permanent Marines base in Australia, to the initiation of joint military exercises with the Philippines.
George McGovern, 1922-2012: Is Decency in Politics Always Doomed?
October 21, 2012
McGovern's death reminds us of the longing for unapologetic good-government liberalism and its decimation in a fallen political world.
Is There Any Way To Help the People of North Korea?
December 21, 2011
Write it down. Write it. With ordinary ink on ordinary paper; they weren’t given food, they all died of hunger. All. How many? It’s a large meadow. How much grass per head?
Stephen Solarz (1940–2010)
December 02, 2010
The memory of Stephen Solarz, who died this week, should serve as a rude reminder of a time, not long ago but nonetheless ancient, when Capitol Hill was deeply immersed—when it led—in American foreign policy, and a congressman could become a significant figure on the world stage. The honorable gentleman from Brighton Beach had an impact upon the fate of nations.
Cambodia’s Democratic Warrior
December 02, 2010
On a Saturday morning in July, Cambodian opposition politician Mu Sochua traveled to the dusty, sun-baked suburbs of Phnom Penh for a rally. Close to 100 Cambodians—most of them poor women sitting on plastic chairs squeezed into the ground-floor room of a supporter’s house—stood and applauded when she arrived. Wearing a traditional sarong, with her silver-streaked brown hair tied back, the American-educated parliamentarian took a microphone and began to speak. “People are in the mood for change.
July 26, 2010
Yesterday, in Cambodia, a perpetrator of one of the twentieth century’s great crimes was sentenced. Kang Kek Lew, also known as Comrade Deuch, was the head of the infamous Tuol Sleng prison during the reign of the Khmer Rouge, and was at least partly responsible for the murder of more than 12,000 people.
Samantha And Fern
May 01, 2010
My old friend Samantha Power, a member of the president’s National Security Council staff, came to dinner last Sunday night after a showing of the movie Sergio, drawn from her book of the same title and directed by Greg Barton. The film is an HBO production which will air on May 6. Sergio was Sergio Vieira de Mello, the Brazilian head of the United Nations mission to Iraq who was killed in a terrorist explosion at the U.N.’s headquarters in August 2003, months after the American invasion and months before Saddam Hussein was snared in his cave of hiding.
How Much Is Nature Worth, Anyway?
November 23, 2009
Can we stick a price tag on nature? And even if we can—does that mean we should? In recent years, ecological economists have argued that people will never value natural resources properly unless that value can be expressed in terms of dollars and cents.
Ending Our Age of Suffering
October 10, 2009
Genocide is much discussed and poorly understood. It is regularly decried, yet little is done to prevent it. It is seen to be one of the most intractable of modern phenomena, a periodic cataclysm that erupts seemingly out of nowhere, often in distant places--Indonesia, Guatemala, Cambodia, Bosnia, Rwanda, Darfur--where ethnic conflict or hatred is said to have spun out of control. So we can do little about it.