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The Humanitarian Replacement  

For the last few years the blogosphere, though only in its more obscure places, has been full of comparisons of the Spanish and Syrian civil wars. The Workers International to Rebuild the Fourth International called for a new International Brigade …



The Last Page  

Marshall was a good friend over many years—almost half a century; he was a political comrade for all those years; and he was a lovely human being. My wife, Judy, and I knew him first as a very vulnerable young …



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Dissent’s Sixtieth  

The following remarks were delivered at Dissent’s sixtieth anniversary celebration on October 24, 2013. In the summer of 1956, I had just graduated from Brandeis University; Judy and I were living in a tiny apartment on top of a noisy …



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Were We Wrong about Syria?  

According to a recent article in the New York Times, more than 2 million Syrians have fled or been forced out of the country, and more than twice that number have been displaced from their homes inside the country. This …



What is the Responsibility to Protect?  

The debate over what to do or not do in Syria has brought new attention to a legal doctrine that is also an internationalist commitment: “the responsibility to protect.” What is this responsibility? Whose is it? I want to try …



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Syria: What Ought to be Done?  

Many people have been criticizing President Obama for dithering over what to do in Syria. Not me; dithering seems an entirely rational response to what’s going on there. The difficulty is that we don’t really know what we want to …



What Obama Omitted  

Dissent is a magazine for people who worry. So here is something to worry about, highlighted by Barack Obama’s inaugural address. I am certainly glad that it was his inauguration, but what he said or, better, didn’t say, illustrates one …



Becoming a Dissentnik  

Now that I am about to become an ordinary Dissentnik, I want to describe how that happened once before—in 1954, when I held the first issue of the magazine in my hands. I grew up in the Popular Front, reading …



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Targeted Killing and Drone Warfare  

Here is the difficulty with drones: the technology is so good that the criteria for using it are likely to be steadily relaxed. That’s what seems to have happened with the U.S. Army or with the CIA in Pakistan and Yemen.



Feminism and Me  

A feminist friend asked me to write a piece addressed to this question: How would my work have been different if I had engaged with and learned from the feminists of the late 1960s and 1970s? I have tried to …