"Nattering nabobs of negativism," is probably the most enduring of the many alliterative pronouncements of Spiro Agnew, vice president in the Nixon administration until forced to resign because of corruption. This particular phrase, penned by Nixon speechwriter William Safire, derogatively denigrated diligent reporters for placing bad news above good.
This Christmas season, devoted to charity and peace, is also the 70th anniversary of the Battle of the Bulge, the largest land battle in the history of the United States. The U.S. military remains engaged in Afghanistan, and involved elsewhere on the globe even after withdrawal from Iraq. Do lessons of the Second World War apply?
Winds of change are blowing in the Caribbean, and warming the historically rigid and frigid relations between Cuba and the United States. On Dec. 17, U.S. President Barack Obama announced plans to resume diplomatic relations, along with an exchange of imprisoned individuals.
Barbarism and the law collide in war. The law is vital for mitigating the most brutal aspects of collective killing.
Over the past several weeks, Taliban attacks have markedly increased. At least a dozen strikes have occurred, many in capital Kabul, with foreigners clearly priority targets. So far this year, 36 aid workers have been killed and 95 wounded.
U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel's sudden resignation has significance beyond the immediate event. Media commentary has primarily focused rather narrowly on the personalities involved, in particular alleged reported conflicts with national security adviser Susan Rice.1 Comment
Bad vibrations, as hip types used to say way back in the 1960s.
The immediate aftermath of Veterans Day, and all the related media commentary, is a good time for reflection on our military and our democratic nation. National Public Radio interviews with two leaders are especially instructive.
While U.S. midterm elections provided a distraction, Russia President Vladimir Putin solidified control of eastern Ukraine. Rebel forces opposed to the national government organized elections in Donetsk and Luhansk on Nov. 2. Not surprisingly, those favoring independence scored an estimated eighty percent of the votes.
'Be careful what you wish for' comes to mind when reflecting on the ongoing waves of public protest, revolt, violence and war in the Middle East and North Africa. Across the broad region, long-ruling dictatorships have collapsed.