What Russian Folklore Can Tell Us About Russia

Russian history is largely the history of war, as Russia found itself engaged in military confrontation between the 13th and 20th centuries.  For most of its history, Russia anticipated confrontation on its long border with China in the East; with the legacy of the Mongols on its “sensitive southern frontier,” and with the Western invaders—Napoleon and Hitler.  Putin and his ilk come by their paranoia, xenophobia, and siege mentality quite naturally.

U.S. Intelligence Boasting Intensifies Russian-American Proxy War

York Times’s international affairs columnist Thomas Friedman is arguably the most influential editorial writer in the country.  Last week, his editorial aptly warned the Biden administration of the “huge unintended consequences” of its unplanned and impromptu remarks regarding Russian President Vladimir Putin and the savagery of his tactics in Ukraine.  Friedman reprised the World War II slogan, “Loose lips sink ships.”

New York Times’ Hall of Shame: Ross Douthat Rivals Duranty & Miller

Several presidential administrations used the mainstream media to make the case for war to a naive American public.  The classic examples were the Spanish-American War in the 1890s; the Vietnam War in the 1960s; and the Iraq War in 2003.  In each case, the national security teams of Presidents McKinley, Johnson, and Bush respectively politicized available intelligence, using phony intelligence to persuade the media of the case for war.  The poster child for such corruption was the late Secretary of State Colin Powell, who embarrassed himself and his nation with his presentation to the United Nations in which he argued for the invasion of Iraq.  The mainstream media have been too willing to serve as loyal surrogates in these exercises.

Clinton’s Revisionism on NATO Expansion

Former President Bill Clinton will retain a certain notoriety over the years because of L’Affaire Lewinsky and his initial efforts to lie his way out of a political disaster that led to his impeachment.  In the current issue of The Atlantic, Clinton has engaged in an act of historical revisionism to put the best face possible on his fateful expansion of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) in the 1990s. 

Albright & Clinton: Two Peas in the Pod of “Liberal Interventionism”

Sadly, there are few prominent political figures willing to challenge the conventional wisdom on U.S. national security and the resort to the use of force.  Yale Professor Samuel Moyn argues in his recent book, “Humane: How the United States Abandoned Peace and Reinvented War,” that “We fight war crimes but have forgotten the crime of war.”

Biden Gets a Chance to Get the Refugee Issue Right

The arrival of 100,000 Ukrainians would be one of the largest resettlement operations in U.S. history, but would make only a small dent in view of the ten million displaced Ukrainians.  The Biden administration also announced last week that the 75,000 Ukrainians already in the United States on student, tourist, and business visas would be given temporary humanitarian protection from deportation, which will allow them to apply for work permits.