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Saturday, September 24, 2016
Thursday, September 22, 2016 11:10 AM
America’s “pivot” to East Asia — never carried out because we’re stuck in the Middle East — just developed a surprise hole: the Philippines. Manila’s newly elected President Rodrigo Duterte wants America out while he purchases . . .
  • What, influence peddling in DC? I’m shocked, simply shocked! But Washington is all about connecting special pleaders to political figures. K Street firms thrive by selling connections. What Hillary did as secretary of state . . .
  • Where the heck did Donald Trump get his Russia policy from? It may not matter much, as by the time you read this he may have qualified or discarded it, as he does with most of his bold positions. But it’s a lesson and a caution . . .
  • Russian use of an Iranian airbase led some to see a Russia-Iran axis. They jumped the gun and surmised too much. In less than a week, Tehran, perhaps remembering that the constitution of the Islamic Republic . . .
  • To take a vacation from the Middle East, in honor of the Rio Olympics let us turn to Latin America, where I thought military coups were over. Maybe not. Praetorianism — a tendency for coups, named after Rome’s Praetorian Guard . . .
  • Coming up on the 70th anniversary of George F. Kennan’s famous “X” article, “The Sources of Soviet Conduct,” makes one wonder if a latter-day Kennan could articulate analyses and policies to guide us through our long . . .
  • Our endless, indecisive wars — 15 years in Afghanistan, 13 in Iraq — have led some to seek a middle ground between intervening too much and too little called “offshore balancing.” With ships on the water instead . . .
  • Russia has been using cyber-penetration (and money) to influence European elections for years, but this seems to be the first time they’ve tried it in a U.S. election. Leaking hacked emails of the Democratic National Committee . . .
  • As in 1968, fear of violence favors the law-and-order candidate, the Republican who will “make America safe again.” To fight violence, a first step is to unbundle terrorism from individual psychopathology. . . .
  • News focuses on Hillary Clinton’s “extremely careless” use of home, non-secure servers for classified State Department business. Unquestionably, she broke regulations with a cavalier attitude. But this distracts . . .
  • Admittedly, this column is purely speculative, but much about Donald Trump’s candidacy does not add up. The conventional explanations usually focus on his narcissism, an ego as big as Montana that . . .
  • As William Butler Yeats’s grim 1919 poem “Second Coming” keeps reminding us, things indeed fall apart. Britain’s referendum to leave the European Union heralds widening gyres and centers . . .
  • According to one story, asked about “Brexit,” Donald Trump replied: “Just coffee.” How did we pick such a candidate? South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham worries that splits within both his . . .
  • I first heard of the Saudi religious outreach program on a 1991 tour of the tottering Soviet Union. In Uzbekistan, a student told me he had two scholarship offers: a small one for business . . .
  • Longshoreman-philosopher Eric Hoffer noted that “what starts as a movement turns into a business and ends up as a racket.” The author of “The True Believer” (1951) would find . . .
  • President Obama recently visited Vietnam and lifted the U.S. arms embargo. We have delivered weapons to Vietnam before — massively from the air to break Hanoi’s will. It didn’t work . . .
  • Why are so many Southerners and Republicans suddenly so vehement over who can use which bathrooms? The transgender-bathrooms issue sounds odd and overblown until you realize . . .
  • Bathrooms loom larger than foreign policy this year. Trade protectionism and forcing creditors to accept “haircuts” (OMG, instant Argentina!) are international matters, but we need to . . .
  • George Will, dean of conservative columnists, recommends Republicans work to elect Hillary Clinton this fall, to better clear the way for a Republican regeneration without trace of Trumpism . . .
  • Hillary’s recent primary victories ended Bernie Sanders’ chances. I shed one tear but not more. Bernie’s great contribution has been to restore the left in American politics, from which it had all but vanished. . . .
  • President Obama’s trip to Saudi Arabia this week underscores the difficulty of reconciling the two meanings of “realism.” The first, “being realistic,” just means correctly discerning reality. . . .