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The Crossroads on Syria  

Yesterday, in an interview aired by PBS, President Obama said that the United States must now attack Syria. The reason was the imminent danger that, if we do not, the Assad government will use chemical weapons against Americans on the U.S. mainland. This fantastic and hollow pretext comes so close to a statement made by Tony Blair in the run-up to the Iraq war that the two assertions invite a comparison.



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The Senators Will Bear the Burden  

Click here to read the rest of our election symposium. 2012 may be remembered as the presidential election in which we chose between candidates about whom we could not be sure who they really were. Neither man was a new …



The Meaning of Patriotism in 1789  

If you look at recent academic discussions about the good and bad energies brought into play by patriotism, you are struck by a certain elusiveness regarding the commitment of the commentators. Patriotism, the love of our country, is sometimes presented …



Michael Foot: 1913-2010  

Michael Foot, who died on March 3, 2010, at the age of ninety-six, was the soul of the democratic Left in England. His political engagements started in the late 1930s, with editorials against the appeasement policy of Neville Chamberlain and …







The Persistence of Empire  

The resolution required to get out of an imperial or a humanitarian-improvement occupation is not different in kind from the heave of the will required for getting in. The problem is that getting in was made possible by a morale …





Norman Mailer (1924-2007)  

Norman Mailer came to public attention as the young author of a best-selling novel of 1948, The Naked and the Dead. It quickly became one of three war novels by Americans that any reader of that generation was likely to …



Constitutional Democracy Colloquium  

The slanting of intelligence estimates, early plans for the war in Iraq concealed from the Congress and from the secretary of state, internal memos to create a rationale for torture and the abrogation of due process-it would be hard to …



The Disappearing Underground  

When I was fourteen and fifteen, I used to ride my bike three miles to a bookshop run by people whom I thought of vaguely as beatniks. The owner was a man in his late twenties, dark-haired, bearded, scholastically gaunt. …



The War and the Republic  

The most fateful and clever decision made by George W. Bush’s administration in the days just after September 11, 2001, was the decision to call the American response to terrorism a war. So much becomes possible in a war that …



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