Mcnamara's Other Legacy
July 07, 2009
As one would expect, coverage of Robert McNamara's death has focused on his management of the Vietnam war and his later reappraisal of its necessity, but the former secretary of defense left an equally important--and far more positive--legacy regarding U.S. nuclear policy. When McNamara joined the Kennedy administration in 1961, American nuclear "strategy" called for launching the entire nuclear arsenal--nearly 3,500 weapons--at the communist bloc if the Soviets made any move against Western Europe. This approach had severe flaws.
The Shah of Venezuela
April 01, 2009
The ideas that keep Hugo Chavez in power.
December 24, 2008
If we needed reminding, the carnage in Mumbai proved yet again that South Asia is home to some of the world's deadliest Islamist terrorists. Usually missing from press coverage, though, is any sense of the origin of these movements, which are often assumed to be tied to the grievances of the Arab Middle East and the fate of Jerusalem. That is a misconception. Historically, the roots of radical Islam belong at least as much in South Asia as in the Middle East. And one individual, wholly unfamiliar to most Westerners, played an indispensable role in founding and shaping that movement.
Debt Man Walking
December 03, 2008
For those Americans who are not daily readers of the Financial Times, the past few months have been a crash course in the abstract and obscure instruments and arrangements that have derailed the nation's economy. From mortgage-backed securities to credit default swaps, the financial health of the country has undergone a gory public dissection.
February 13, 2008
Living Together, Living Apart: Rethinking Jewish-Christian Relations in the Middle Ages By Jonathan Elukin (Princeton University Press, 193 pp., $24.95) ALL HISTORIES have their sorrows,but those of Jewish history are more studied than most. The chronicles of Israel’s sufferings—the groaning under Pharaoh in Exodus, the Lamentations over lost Jerusalem, Isaiah’s consolations for her captivity—have helped the countless faithful of numerous religions explain God’s puzzling tendency to afflict his followers on earth.
The Pope's real enemy.; Cross Purposes
November 13, 2006
Left and right found plenty to disagree about in Pope Benedict XVI's September address at the University of Regensburg in Germany, but,on one point, there was virtual unanimity: that the Pope was out to defend the West against the Muslim world.
June 19, 2006
This article was adapted from The Thinking Fan's Guide to the World Cup. There have been revolutions to create socialism, democracy, and authoritarian dictatorship. But humankind has yet to fight a revolution to guarantee one of the most vital elements--if not the most vital element--of the good life. That is, a winning soccer team. If we were to take up arms for this reason, what kind of government would we want to install? Political theory, for all its talk about equality and virtue, has strangely evaded this question.
February 20, 2006
The riots currently engulfing the Islamic world, prompted by a Danish newspaper’s decision to caricature the Prophet Mohammed, require two responses. The first is easy: horror. In the physical assault on Denmark’s embassies and citizens, and in the diplomatic assault on Denmark’s government—all because a free government won’t muzzle a free press—multiculturalism has become totalitarianism. Religious sensitivity, say the zealots marching from Beirut to Jakarta, matters more than liberty. Indeed, it matters more than life itself.
February 06, 2006
THE MIND OF THE MASTER CLASS: HISTORY AND FAITH IN THE SOUTHERN SLAVEHOLDERS’ WORLDVIEW By Elizabeth Fox-Genovese and Eugene D. Genovese (Cambridge University Press, 828 pp., $70) DWELLING PLACE: A PLANTATION EPIC By Erskine Clarke (Yale University Press, 601 pp., $35) I. FOR ALL THE INK THAT HAS been spilled, for all the quarrels and the debates that have erupted over the past century and a half, popular and scholarly understandings of the Civil War almost universally share one view in common: that the war was a great tragedy in American history and American life.
Crisis of Faith
May 02, 2005
"In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem. Government is the problem."--Ronald Reagan, January 20, 1981 "We have a responsibility that, when somebody hurts, government has got to move."--George W. Bush, September 1, 2003 Conservatism isn't over. But it has rarely been as confused. Today's conservatives support limited government. But they believe the federal government can intervene in a state court's decisions in a single family's struggle over life and death. They believe in restraining government spending.