Across the Middle East, there is concern about the nuclear deal with Iran. By releasing frozen assets and removing economic sanctions, the deal seems to facilitate renewed aggression. Won’t that encourage more violence from Iranian terror proxies, like Hezbollah and Hamas? The international community is preparing its response.Read more
President Obama’s deal with Iran is not even called an “agreement.” Technically, it’s a “joint comprehensive plan of action,” a mushy term adopted precisely to avoid the implication that it’s a formally binding agreement. In truth, it’s more like the sort of coordinated “plan of action” that desperate relatives negotiate with hostage-takers. Sometimes it works and the hostages come out alive. But lawyers are never required when negotiating this sort of arrangement. Law has nothing to do with it.Read more
Walter Berns, who died last week at 95, was a scholar who spoke for a more serious and more confident America. He did his best service in the 1960s and ’70s, when America was at its least sober and self-confident.
Aristotle says nature intends the gentleman to be physically imposing but does not always achieve this intention. Nature delivered for Walter Berns. Or anyway (which may have been Aristotle’s point), Berns made the most of nature’s gifts. He was imposing.Read more
The Commerce Department issued a low-key bureaucratic announcement on March 14: The government will not renew its contract with the Internet Corporation for Names and Numbers (ICANN), under which ICANN has administered the Internet’s domain name system since the mid-1990s. U.S. government supervision will be superseded next year, according to the announcement, by new arrangements to “support and enhance the multistakeholder model of Internet policymaking.”Read more
When President Obama addressed the U.N. General Assembly last September, he spoke about the importance of removing chemical weapons from Syria and emphasized that President Assad must give way to a more broadly accepted government. He did not mention human rights. He also spoke about his hopes for negotiating a settlement to the ongoing dispute over Iran’s nuclear program. But he insisted that he had no aim to change Iran’s “regime.” Again, he made no mention of human rights.Read more
When James Q. Wilson published Bureaucracy in 1989, Daniel Patrick Moynihan toasted it as Wilson’s “summa” and Wilson himself as “our Weber.” Like many pronouncements of Moynihan’s, that tribute was grand, right for the moment—but not quite right. What James Q. Wilson had in common with the German sociologist Max Weber was scholarly industry, an interest in bureaucracy—and not much else. The differences were all to our benefit.
Wilson certainly received wide recognition asRead more
Amidst his other pronouncements on Mideast peace in late May, President Obama warned Palestinians they couldn’t get their state by a show of hands at the United Nations. Soon after, Israeli officials predicted that the Palestinian Authority would pursue its case at the U.N. in September. It’s a safe bet that the Israeli government has a better understanding of Palestinian intentions than the Obama administration.Read more
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