The Atlantic »

There Is No Immigration Crisis

June 27, 2018 | post a comment | Philip Johnson

Are Democrats walking into a trap on immigration? Three of America’s most astute and iconoclastic political commentators—David FrumAndrew Sullivan, and Fareed Zakaria—all immigrants themselves, fear the answer is yes.

In recent days, each has made a version of the same argument. Yes, they acknowledge, President Trump’s policy of separating families at America’s southwestern border was monstrous. Democrats were right to protest it. But now, by opposing even the detention of families, Democrats are overreaching. By rejecting the harsh but necessary steps required to end America’s illegal immigration crisis, they’re becoming—or at least looking like—advocates of open borders. And when that happens, Trump wins. Read more…

The Atlantic »

Why Can’t Democrats Give Trump Credit on North Korea?

June 15, 2018 | post a comment | Philip Johnson

For congressional Democrats, it’s payback time. Ever since 2015, when Barack Obama struck a nuclear deal with Iran, prominent Republicans—including Donald Trump and his top foreign policy advisers—have accused Obama and his Democratic supporters of, in Mike Pompeo’s words, “surrender.” They’ve accused Obama of signing a deal that doesn’t meaningfully restrain Iran’s nuclear ambitions and, by seeking a warmer relationship with its regime, of betraying Iran’s long-suffering people. Read more…

The Atlantic »

Trump Takes His Party Back to the 1920s

June 14, 2018 | post a comment | Philip Johnson

The last few days—as President Donald Trump has savaged America’s allies over trade, demanded that they readmit Russia to the G7, and embraced North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un—make something clear: Cold War conservatism is dead. What’s replacing it resembles less the foreign-policy outlook that has animated conservatives since World War II than the sentiment that prevailed before it. Read more…

The Atlantic »

Trump Could Transform the U.S.–North Korea Relationship

June 11, 2018 | post a comment | Philip Johnson

Donald Trump is an ignorant, egotistical man. And in his summit on Tuesday with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, those character defects may be America—and the world’s—best hope. Read more…

The Forward »

Bernie Sanders’ Criticism Of Israel Is Radical. And He’s Taking It Mainstream

June 11, 2018 | post a comment | Philip Johnson

Not many in the media are noticing, which is understandable given the burden of keeping up with Donald Trump, but in the shadow of Trump and Benjamin Netanyahu, Bernie Sanders is dramatically challenging Beltway discourse on Israel.

In 2020, when Sanders likely runs for president, and journalists begin paying attention, they’re going to be shocked. The Israeli government and the American Jewish establishment will be scared out of their minds. Read more…

The Atlantic »

How Sanctions Feed Authoritarianism

June 5, 2018 | post a comment | Philip Johnson

The United States has a long history of intervening overseas to solve one problem and inadvertently creating others. In the 1980s, the Reagan administration armed rebels fighting Afghanistan’s Soviet-backed government only to find that some of them later targeted the United States. During that same decade, America armed the government of El Salvador in a gruesome civil war against leftist rebels that spawned the migration that produced the now notorious gang, MS-13. Read more…

The Atlantic »

A Radical Pick for the National Security Council

June 1, 2018 | post a comment | Philip Johnson

On Wednesday, National-Security Adviser John Bolton chose Fred Fleitz—who for the last five years served as a senior vice president at the Center for Security Policy—to be the National Security Council’s executive secretary and chief of staff. What makes that choice extraordinary is that, for more than a decade, the Center for Security Policy (CSP) has been arguing that American Muslims who observe shariah, or Islamic law, don’t deserve the protections of the First Amendment. Read more…

The Atlantic »

Trump’s and Bolton’s Instincts Form a Toxic Combination

May 25, 2018 | post a comment | Philip Johnson

Why did the Trump administration cancel its much-hyped nuclear summit with North Korea? And why the confusing semi-backtrack the following day, in which Trump embraced North Korea’s “warm and productive statement” regretting the cancellation, and left the door open to a meeting he’d ditched barely 24 hours before? The answer lies in the toxic interplay between Donald Trump’s instincts and John Bolton’s. Each man’s foreign-policy views are dangerous enough in and of themselves. Put them together and you have the perfect cocktail for the decimation of American power. Read more…

The Forward »

Trump Has Freed Progressive Democratic Senators To Finally Criticize Israel

May 15, 2018 | post a comment | Philip Johnson

The Forward has learned that on Friday night, thirteen Democratic Senators—including Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren—sent a letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo urging the Trump administration “to do more to alleviate the ongoing humanitarian crisis in the Gaza Strip.” Read more…

The Forward »

Israel’s Choice To Shoot Palestinians Should Horrify — But Not Surprise Us

May 15, 2018 | post a comment | Philip Johnson

The other day, a thoughtful acquaintance, who is to my right politically, asked me a question. He asked what I’d advise Israel to do when faced with thousands of Palestinians, some likely bent on violence, who are trying to storm the fence that separates the Gaza Strip from the rest of Israel. (I say “rest of Israel” because I believe Gaza still remains under Israeli occupation). Read more…