Washington Diarist

"By Doing Nothing in Syria, Obama Ensured That There Is Nothing We Can Do."
November 08, 2013

The grim morality of our realpolitik stance on Syria

Stanley Kauffmann, 1916-2013
November 08, 2013

For thirty years it was my custom at editorial meetings to begin my report on the next week’s issue with the words: “We have Kauffmann.” The last time I did so, I had a tear in my eye.

America Is Becoming Heartless in the Face of Evil
September 18, 2013

Comrades, we have lost. The only achievement of the Obama administration in the Syrian crisis so far has been to eliminate the humanitarian motive from American foreign policy. We have lost.

"What I Saw Was a High, Gorgeous Pile of Figs"
August 30, 2013

The futility of one’s thoughts is no reason not to think them.

A Cop Out in the Shape of a Cruise Missile
August 27, 2013

The trouble with complexity in Syria

Oprah Lied at Harvard
August 09, 2013

Oprah's privileged optimism does not change the fact the failure exists.

Egypt's Pathetic Liberals
July 18, 2013

History's first cool coup is a disaster for liberalism in Egypt.

The American Left Turns Away from Syria's Agony
June 14, 2013

"Stay out of Syria!” screams the cover of The New York Review of Books. It would have been graphically cumbersome, I guess, or bad for newsstand sales, to have printed it this way: “Ignore the Murder of a Hundred Thousand People and the Massacre of Children and the Use of Chemical Weapons and the Bombing of a Civilian Population by Its Government and Millions of Displaced Persons Outside Syria and Millions of Displaced Persons Inside Syria and the Destabilization of Turkey, Lebanon, and Jordan and the Aggression of Hezbollah and the Ascendancy of Iran!” 

Idealism and Blindness
June 10, 2013

Many years ago, as I was leafing through a book in which I had no interest, I found one of the saddest stories in the world.

Obama's Timidity on Syria: Lessons from a Fiasco
May 08, 2013

A reporter who visited the White House last week brought back the news that the criticism of President Obama’s immobility about the Syrian disaster has “begun to sting.” Good. Something got through.