I’m puzzled why many press reports about Joe Biden touting his foreign-policy expertise and using as example the plan he supported to divide Iraq into three ethnic enclaves. This was a terrible notion, and would have led to far more violence in Iraq than anything we have seen there, along the lines of the Balkan wars of the 1990s, but worse. It would have taken one security challenge and given us three or more even more difficult challenges. Furthermore the plan was opposed by 90 percent of Iraqis, and was being pushed only by a small group of inside-the-Beltway intellectuals who were certain they knew better what the Iraqis needed than the Iraqis themselves. It bespoke of a very unselfconscious type of imperialism. The partition plan was seen as the alternative to the Surge strategy, which once fully implemented turned out to be a highly effective means of reducing violence and increasing cooperation between the various ethnic and sectarian factions. The Surge was a more sophisticated approach than partition, surely. But why analysts cite the partition plan as evidence of Senator Biden’s national-security chops is a little perplexing since the plan was never implemented, never needed, and if attempted would have been a disaster.
Mitch McConnell says the president will sign the budget deal and he will also declare a national emergency to build the wall, as I expected. We’ll see the legal justifications he uses, but as a political and constitutional matter this is a long-term disaster. Oh, it might be good for Trump according to the ... Read More
One thing that is abundantly clear from reading the full text of President Trump’s declaration of a national emergency on the southern border — he’s barely even deigning to explain why there is a particular crisis today, or why that crisis is so grave that it requires the military to combat it. At its heart ... Read More
What a weasel word “collusion” is. In Washington, Senator Richard Burr (R., N.C.), chairman of the Intelligence Committee, has now seen fit to pronounce that, after two years of investigation, the panel has found no evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russian regime. Meanwhile, in a ... Read More
EDITOR’S NOTE: The following is Jonah Goldberg’s weekly “news”letter, the G-File. Subscribe here to get the G-File delivered to your inbox on Fridays. Dear Reader (But especially Sammie), I had my say on the emergency declaration yesterday, and I’m sure I’ll have to say it all again not very far ... Read More
The actor Jussie Smollett continues to talk about the alleged January 29 attack on him during a frigid night in Chicago, giving Good Morning America his fullest description yet of his claims. It differs substantially from what he told police initially after the alleged assault. Smollett told GMA that the ... Read More
'The most important political event of the twentieth century,” wrote Irving Kristol in 1976, “is not the crisis of capitalism but the death of socialism.” Plenty of self-described Marxist and socialist regimes existed throughout the world, Kristol recognized. It was rather the ideas behind such regimes that ... Read More
The story of capitalism since the 1980s has been that of a kind of cold war between capital and politics. In the decade prior, American government was at the nadir of its prestige and credibility. The so-called War on Poverty, launched with great fanfare and idealism in the late 1960s, quickly collided with ... Read More