The likely 2016 Democratic and Republican presidential nominees, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, are the most disliked major party candidates in American history. But of all the faults these candidates have, their darkest aspects are most visible in foreign policy. And for as much as Americans don’t like the two of them, imagine what the rest of the world must think as the most powerful nation on earth prepares to hold an election between an accomplished war criminal and a maniac who pledges to become one. Continue reading
Almost from the moment she lost to Barack Obama in 2008 predictions about Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign began. In the intervening eight years no other names were even seriously floated. Yet for all the presumptuousness and all the leg-ups she’s received from donors, corporate media and the Democratic establishment, the fact remains that she is just not a good candidate. Whether she ends up with the nomination or not, Clinton’s 2016 run has been a debacle highlighting the worst of American politics.
Clinton began the 2016 race as the only household name on the Democratic side. In the campaign’s early months she enjoyed national polling that consistently had her at a 60-point lead. Now she’s jockeying with Bernie Sanders for the national lead and with Sanders’s 13-point win in the Wisconsin primary, Clinton is on a six-state losing streak in the nomination process. She remains well ahead in delegate count, but considering the advantages she had she’s done about as badly as possible.
In an election that’s largely been a referendum on decades of neoconservative foreign policy and Washington’s coziness with Wall Street, Hillary Clinton is as entrenched a figure of that establishment class as there can be. It’s a testament to our system’s thorough corruption that she’s in the race at all. Continue reading
Sam Harris, the prominent secularist and neuroscientist, recently exchanged a series of heated emails with Noam Chomsky, a linguist and leading social and foreign policy critic since the 1960s. Their discussion was buzzworthy because both men are well-known public commentators with occasionally overlapping subject matter who have never shared a forum before. Unfortunately for Harris, who reached out to Chomsky initially, the conversation didn’t go as well for him as he seemed to hope it would when he embarked on it. Continue reading
War has been a popular theme for literature, poetry, music, theater and film since the earliest days of the mediums. Over such a long history, it’s been treated just about every way, from levity to grim reverence. Whatever else may be about American Sniper, it definitely falls into the second category. Continue reading
The Middle East has been the focus of great fuss in the century or so since the discovery of its oil. Iraq has been of particular interest to the U.S. since the 1980s, when the Reagan administration supplied Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein with weapons in his war against Iran, where a revolution had recently overthrown U.S.-installed leadership. When Hussein began acting aggressively without U.S. blessing in the early 90s, Washington turned on him. Since then, Iraq has been subjected to sanctions deemed “genocidal” by the UN diplomat responsible for overseeing them and military actions leading to the deaths of over a million Iraqis and the complete devastation of their infrastructure. In addition, there is widespread sectarian violence where previously there had been almost none as Sunnis and Shias turn on one another amid the chaos of war to fill political power vacuums. Continue reading