Tale of two massacres and the price of withdrawing from Afghanistan and Pakistan

Tale of two massacres and the price of withdrawing from Afghanistan and Pakistan

Sol W. Sanders [See Archive Two recent deeply intertwined violent events demonstrate the terrible burden hanging on the outcome of U.S. intervention in Afghanistan and Pakistan. An American soldier’s rampage allegedly taking the lives of 17 Afghan villagers paralleled the attack of a Franco-Mahgrebian youth resulting in seven deaths of French [Muslim] veterans and Jewish […]

What good are technological advances if common sense is going the way of dinosaurs?

What good are technological advances if common sense is going the way of dinosaurs?

Sol W. Sanders [See Archive Imagine a graph representing world problems: There are two mounting growth lines. One represents “technology”, defined as “the application of scientific knowledge for practical purposes.” The other charts “common sense”, defined as “sound and prudent judgment based on a simple perception of the situation or facts.” At the upper corner […]

Morality and foreign policy: Once again, the U.S. is asked, ‘for God’s sake, do something!’

Morality and foreign policy: Once again, the U.S. is asked, ‘for God’s sake, do something!’

Sol W. Sanders [See Archive A perennial American foreign policy debate sets “realism” against “idealism”, national interest versus morality. The dichotomy is often overstated. The two currents divide and merge incessantly in the flow of implementation of any concrete overseas policy and tactics. American statesmen have argued — contemporary politicians still do as did The […]

Liquidate the World Bank!

Liquidate the World Bank!

Sol W. Sanders [See Archive] An old adage holds bureaucracies may successfully pursue their original goals for only a generation. After that their efforts go to feathering their bureaucratic nest. Freddy Mac and Fannie Mae are examples: outrageous executive compensation and payoffs to Congressional friends, all contributing to a housing bust, now requiring more billions […]

Classic showdown for Western civilization: Not in Brussels, but in Greece

Classic showdown for Western civilization: Not in Brussels, but in Greece

Sol W. Sanders There is a terrible poignancy to the current Greek crisis. Its essence does not revolve around Greece’s role in the European Union or the Eurozone, per se. After all, before the fall, Greece contributed only 1.8 percent of the gross national product of the world’s largest trading bloc. Nor, indeed, as time […]

World waits for someone to do something, and then waits some more

World waits for someone to do something, and then waits some more

Sol W. Sanders Looking around the world, the striking characteristic is waiting out a number of crises. Their outcome seems almost artificially suspended, and their interaction on one another and their ultimate effect on the world is at issue. We start with the Euro. Chancellor Angela Merkel’s supplications in Beijing were perhaps laudable but a […]

Can this global mess wait until January 2013?

Can this global mess wait until January 2013?

Sol W. Sanders Diverted by the essential — if sometimes burlesqued — pursuit of America’s quadrennial search for leadership, policymakers have tried to put international problems on hold. But dealing with wannabe-totalitarian outcroppings throughout the Islamic world from Casablanca to Zamboanga, is as critical and demanding and may take as long as the struggle with […]

Never mind the facts: Our love affair with China goes on and on

Never mind the facts: Our love affair with China goes on and on

Sol W. Sanders Old friend columnist Joseph Alsop once told me of arriving in China with a clanking sword he had hassled across the Pacific, given him by his cousin, FDR, along with an instant “Inside-the-Beltway” Navy commission. President Roosevelt sent him immediately after Pearl Harbor to Chungking as “political adviser” to Claire Lee Chenault […]

High stakes: Obama’s ace, Iranian oil and the 2012 election

High stakes: Obama’s ace, Iranian oil and the 2012 election

Sol W. Sanders President Barack Obama has launched new international diplomatic poker with “a trailing hand”. It is impossible to exaggerate the forces at play, economic as well as political, foreign and domestic, and their interplay. When he signed Dec. 31st the latest Iran provisos, Mr. Obama was handed new clout to cut Iran’s energy […]

Amateur hour in year four

Amateur hour in year four

Sol W. Sanders Back in prehistory, during The Cold War, students of arcane Kremlinology — the science and art of trying to unravel what Winston Churchill called “a riddle wrapped in an enigma” — identified a dangerous heresy. “Mirror-imaging”, it was called, defined as attributing to Moscow our own motivations, rather than understanding Soviet Communist […]