The First Casualty
June 30, 2003
Foreign policy is always difficult in a democracy. Democracy requires openness. Yet foreign policy requires a level of secrecy that frees it from oversight and exposes it to abuse. As a result, Republicans and Democrats have long held that the intelligence agencies--the most clandestine of foreign policy institutions--should be insulated from political interference in much the same way as the higher reaches of the judiciary. As the Tower Commission, established to investigate the Iran-Contra scandal, warned in November 1987, "The democratic processes ...
The Ego and the Yid
April 07, 2003
A few years ago, Edward Said was invited to give a lecture at the Freud Society in Vienna, at Berggasse 19 no less, on the subject of "Freud and the Non-European." Then he chose to enact his vocation as an intellectual by gayly throwing a rock at an Israeli guardhouse across the Lebanese border, and the Freud Society withdrew its invitation. "Freud was hounded out of Vienna because he was a Jew," Said explained to The New York Times. "Now I'm hounded out because I'm a Palestinian." It was one of the more extreme expressions of Said's compassion for himself. It put me in mind of an autobiograph
October 28, 2002
A Race Against Death: Peter Bergson, America, and the Holocaust by David S. Wyman and Rafael Medoff (The New Press, 269 pp., $26.95) Twenty-five years ago, while researching Holocaust history for the Joint Distribution Committee in New York, and as I was preparing to immigrate to Israel, I came across a clipping from The New York Times from 1936.
Iran’s Nuclear Menace
April 25, 1995
Kenneth Timmerman offers a history and a primer on Iran’s Nuclear Menace.
January 10, 1994
My strange road trip with George Soros.
The Decline of the City Mahagonny
June 25, 1990
Robert Hughes explains how New York in the 1980s is *not* Paris in the 1890s. He gives a compelling account of the decline of the fine arts in America
The Shot Heard Round The World
July 18, 1988
"Here once the embattled farmers stood And fired the shot heard round the world." —Hymn sung at the completion of the Battle Monument, Concord, July 4, 1837 The claim in Emerson's line is expansive. Can it be true that the shot was heard round the world—when there were no satellites, no television, no radio, no telephone? Let us see. It then took from five to six weeks for news to cross the Atlantic.
Drawing The Line
April 21, 1986
Reagan's bombing of Libya was effective precisely because it combined a show of superior force with prudent restraint.
Thou Shalt Not Raise Prices
October 05, 1974
On the same day last week, President Ford, Treasury Secretary Simon and Secretary of State Kissinger—powerful and well-briefed men—described the world as teetering on the brink of an economic war that may pull down the structure of Western wealth. Although no shots may be fired, they warned, the war through its indirect impact on food production and credit arrangements may cause the death of millions and devastate national economies as effectively as did the armed battalions of World War II.