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Spring 2009

In Ian McEwan’s Saturday, the complacent protagonist wonders at the Western metropolis around him—“millions teeming around the accumulated and layered achievements of the centuries, as though around a coral reef, sleeping, working, entertaining themselves, harmonious for the most part, nearly everyone wanting it to work.” The problem, as Adam Kirsch notes in these pages, is what to do about the people who don’t want it to work.Someone ought to put the question to the Obama team. In thrall to their own delusions, many of its members speak as though a change of presidential administration has, in and of itself, rid the earth of nasty and divisive political impulses. In this telling, their predecessors were not presented with threats to which they were obliged to respond so much as they spun these threats from whole cloth. ... Read More

Not So Huddled Masses: Multiculturalism and Foreign Policy

Twenty years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, America has entered a new era of ethnicity and foreign policy, whose contours are only just now emerging.

Tarnished Brass: Is the U.S. Military Profession in Decline?

Quietly, fitfully, but progressively, American military professionalism is eroding, argues Richard H. Kohn, the nation’s preeminent scholar of civil-military relations.

Dear Mr. President ... On Good and Evil

P. J. O’Rourke ponders the president’s take on good and evil, and the limits of the olive branch.

Drunken Nation: Russia’s Depopulation Bomb

A specter is haunting Russia today. It is not the specter of Communism—that ghost has been chained in the attic of the past—but rather of depopulation.

Freedom’s Untidy: Democracy Promotion and Its Discontents

The scale of the catastrophe in Iraq not only invites a long, hard stare at the wreckage but ignites the question of what to conclude.

Turkish Delight: A Sour Delicacy

Turkey poses particular problems for the foreigner attempting to make sense of it. Istanbul, especially, appears to be quite Western, and in many ways it is. This seduces the observer into thinking it is more intelligible than it is.

Zionism and Racism, Again: Durban II

U.S. participation in the United Nation’s Durban Review Conference on Racism, otherwise known as Durban II, would have been a fool’s errand.

Coming Soon

Lessons Lost: The Futility of Experience

In 2008, many Americans who called for change at home seemed reluctant to do so abroad, having been warned that a reversal of course would be regarded as weakness by our enemies and thereby encourage a military challenge. Such aggressions never happened after the Korean or Vietnam wars, nor during the Cold War at all. (Abstract)