Americans Can Do Two Things at the Same Time

Surely we have heard and seen enough by now that any lingering “optimism” about Trump governing as an anti-interventionist in foreign affairs has totally evaporated. What Trump promised in foreign policy terms in 2016, and what he instead delivered, are two radically different things—the same could be said of Obama, the so-called peace candidate of […]

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Review of 2018, Part 4 (October–December): Nationalism, Deglobalization, plus the US exit from Syria

OCTOBER Where US–Canada relations were concerned, as well as Trump’s trade strategy, NAFTA was the leading event opening the month of October. The US–Mexico–Canada Agreement (USMCA) On Monday, October 1st, came the striking news that at the last minute the US and Canada signed a new agreement which, together with Mexico, would replace NAFTA. While […]

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The Thickest Review of 2018: An Overview

Numbering 100 printed pages, at about 50,000 words, the thickest review of 2018 is about to be published here in four parts over the next few days. A year in the making, and more than just a chronicle, this work is based on a wide range of very different sources, including official documents, with a […]

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Syria: The New Terra Nullius

SYRIA, seat of an Islamic Caliphate. Syria, site of the Middle East’s newest liberal democracy. Syria, socialist paradise. Syria, a corrupt and murderous dictatorship that practices genocide. Syria, a failed state. Syria a state that is too strong. Syria, soon to be partitioned into ethnic enclaves. Syria, a pawn of Iran. Syria, a tool of […]

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Progress, Progressivism, and Progressives

Where does “progress” come from? What does “progressivism” mean? Which cultural tradition and ideological discourse makes “progressive” movements or parties thinkable? Why is it always important to be “moving forward,” as in the now clichéd phrase used by some many US politicians, journalists, and public commentators? When does thinking about “going forward” start to look […]

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What Happened to the American Empire?

Has anything out of the ordinary happened to the US as an imperialist power since the ascent of Trump to office? While the continuities between Trump and his predecessors are considerable, have there been any significant discontinuities that mark the first year of this presidency? Is there any reason to think that the rise of […]

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Privilege: White, American, or Imperial?

To the extent that “white privilege” continues to exist in the US, is it the highest form of privilege? How might a focus on domestic race relations misdirect us from an examination of US society in its proper geopolitical context? Related to the last question: is this introverted, America-centric focus itself a sign of “American privilege”? In practice today the tendency […]

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