Foreign Policy

Silk Road Odyssey: A Future for Islam Lite?

Eighteen days in central Asia leave a visitor with indelible impressions of societies that, while poor by Western standards, are doing far better than many wealthier countries. A central facet of life in the three “Stan” countries I visited — Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, and Turkmenistan — is that they wear their Islamic faith lightly. Their societies survived seven decades of harsh Read More ›

Silk Road Odyssey: A Future for Islam Lite?

Eighteen days in central Asia leave a visitor with indelible impressions of societies that, while poor by Western standards, are doing far better than many wealthier countries. A central facet of life in the three “Stan” countries I visited — Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, and Turkmenistan — is that they wear their Islamic faith lightly. Their societies survived seven decades of harsh Read More ›

Obamacare: Whodunit?

Michelle, in the Oval Office with a candlestick?….. Guess whose college chum landed the no-bid contract for the ObamaCare website software, acing out three other aspirants? On, now to Kathleen Sebelius: Please, please–PUH-LEEZ!–keep her, Mr. President.  She is the perfect exemplar of all ObamaCare represents: pray that Sebelius KEEPS her job.  She is part Nurse Ratched (3:10), except that the Read More ›

Obamacare Roll-Out Bombs

A fiasco for the governmental ages…. Begin with ObamaCare’s latest humiliation statistic: more people have signed up to go to Mars when technology permits, than have signed up at the federal government’s health care website.  At a time of record public distrust of government and their leaders, this happens. As for the president’s telemarketing pitch from the Rose Garden on Read More ›

“The Donald” Tells a Story

We learn why O-Care roll-out crashed & burned…. Last night Donald Trump, the honoree at TAS’s annual Robert L. Bartley dinner (RLB was the legendary Wall Street Journal editorial page guru for three decades), told an anecdote that explains why governments mess up so often.  During the mayoralty of Ed Koch the city tried to renovate Wollman’s skating rink, a Read More ›

The Wars: Big Ideas II

More Big Picture viewpoints: Churchill’s memorable twin cautions about the Middle East.  In 1929, after the victorious powers had carved up the region, WC explained: The whole of the Middle East is intimately related. Beneath the smooth surface of British rule and the slender garrisons which normally sustain it are smouldering the antagonisms of centuries. There are always feuds and Read More ›

The Wars: Big Ideas I

What President Obama and too many others miss…. Herewith recent Big Picture viewpoints: Several top analysts, Michael Ledeen (“It’s War, You Idiots!”), David Goldman (“America’s Problems in the Middle East Are Just Beginning”), Roger Kimball (“Cairo is Burning? Where is President Obama?”) shred the feckless Mideast policies & naive worldview of the Obama administration. Ledeen writes: [T]here’s a global war, Read More ›

Nuclear Detection Ace?

A US firm’s possible security game-changer …. Decision Sciences (DS) offers an overview of its revolutionary product designed to detect hidden nuclear weapon material.  Its muon technology is explained by its CEO’s NBC interview (10:43).  And here is another DS CEO interview on CBS Defense News (6:56–an earlier interview that does not account for what now is an operational product, Read More ›

More Privacy and More Sunlight

Recent disclosures have generated rising popular concern over an increasing lack of personal data privacy. The technology tetrad of computing, television, telephony and vast databases has called forth comparisons to legendary writer George Orwell’s iconic novel about “Big Brother” dictatorship, 1984. In 1999 computer executive Scott McNealy said: “You have zero privacy anyway.” Millions of people perceive the specter of Read More ›

How To Think about Egypt’s Revolutions

Egypt’s second revolution in two years resurrects a debate over what role, if any, the United States should play in promoting human rights around the globe. Much of the confusion surrounding this ongoing debate stems from Americans’ tendency to project their own revolutionary experience onto other situations that arise in vastly different cultural and civilizational contexts. This idealism is sometimes Read More ›