The Atlantic »

Trump Shut Programs to Counter Violent Extremism

October 29, 2018 | post a comment | Philip Johnson

Set aside the question of whether President Donald Trump’s rhetorical flirtations with white nationalism enabled Saturday’s mass shooting in Pittsburgh. What’s undeniable is that his administration has hobbled the infrastructure designed to prevent such murders. Read more…

The Forward »

The Special Kind Of Hate That Drove Pittsburgh Shooter — And Trump

October 28, 2018 | post a comment | Philip Johnson

It happened on Parshat Vayera. The worst anti-Semitic attack in American history occurred while Jews around the world were reading the Torah portion that tells the story of Lot, an immigrant.

Lot moves to Sodom, and prospers there. The Midrash says he becomes a judge. His daughters intermarry with the locals. Then one day, while sitting at the gates of the city, the assimilating immigrant sees two strangers approach. He asks them to “spend the night and bathe your feet”— the Midrash says he learned to welcome strangers from his uncle Abraham, the first Jew. Lot “prepares them a feast.” Read more…

The Atlantic »

Trump’s New Cold War

October 23, 2018 | post a comment | Philip Johnson

Many people in Washington are angry at the Trump administration’s coddling of Saudi Arabia. They’re angry at Donald Trump’s efforts to exonerate Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman for Jamal Khashoggi’s murder. Outrage is spreading to America’s participation in Riyadh’s war in Yemen, where a Saudi blockade on the country’s main port has left 8 million at risk of starvation. Good. Given that the U.S. military is providing arms, intelligence, and fuel for a Saudi bombing campaign the United Nations calls a “war crime,” the indignation is overdue.

But it’s too limited. The Trump administration’s support for Saudi barbarism is a symptom. The disease is its enthusiasm for a new cold war in the Middle East. Read more…

The Atlantic »

Bernie Sanders Offers a Foreign Policy for the Common Man

October 15, 2018 | post a comment | Philip Johnson

Last Tuesday, Bernie Sanders delivered a speech entitled “A Global Democratic Movement to Counter Authoritarianism.” In so doing, he resurrected the legacy of a man mostly forgotten by the makers of American foreign policy: Henry Wallace.

Wallace is best known for his renegade 1948 presidential run, in which he argued for cooperation—not cold war—with the Soviet Union. But his most significant statement on foreign policy came six years earlier in a debate with the publisher Henry Luce. Read more…

The Forward »

Israel Has Detained An American Student For A Week. But No One Cares, Because She’s Not Jewish

October 9, 2018 | post a comment | Philip Johnson

When I was detained at Ben Gurion airport in August, Benjamin Netanyahu apologized. So why isn’t he apologizing to Lara Alqasem? After all, I was only detained for an hour; she’s been detained for a week. I was allowed into the country; she’s facing deportation. Read more…

The Atlantic »

Civility Has Its Limits

October 8, 2018 | post a comment | Philip Johnson

When it comes to Brett Kavanaugh, there are three camps. The first believes it’s a travesty that he was confirmed. The second believes it’s a travesty that he was smeared. The third believes it’s a travesty that the process was so divisive. Read more…

The Forward »

The 4 Arguments For Brett Kavanaugh’s Immediate Confirmation, Debunked

September 30, 2018 | post a comment | Philip Johnson

Brett Kavanaugh’s defenders have offered four main arguments for confirming him despite the allegations of Christine Blasey Ford and two other women who have accused him of sexual misdeeds. Read more…

The Atlantic »

America Is Finally Listening to Women. It’s Sparking a National Crisis

September 29, 2018 | post a comment | Philip Johnson

“The only consensus,” declared The Washington Post about Thursday’s Judiciary Committee hearings, “was that the Senate—and the nation—had hit a new low.” In The Weekly Standard, Jonathan Last added, “It’s impossible to look at the Ford-Kavanaugh hearings and not see America as a nation in decline.” A lot of respectable people believe that. It’s the kind of sentiment you hear from nonpartisan journalists and anti-Trump conservatives, the people who represent the supposedly thoughtful center in today’s Washington. Read more…

The Atlantic »

Once Christine Blasey Ford’s Humanity Was on Display, It Was All Over

September 27, 2018 | post a comment | Philip Johnson

The question is no longer whether Republicans have lost the fight over Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation to the Supreme Court. It’s how.

The answer is that they lost by allowing Christine Blasey Ford to speak. Yes, they didn’t subpoena Mark Judge; yes, they didn’t request an FBI investigation, as they should have done. But ultimately, it didn’t matter, because they made a far greater concession: They allowed Ford to show herself to be a human being. And once her humanity came through—once her sincerity and her agony became impossible for any decent person to deny—it was all over. Read more…

The Atlantic »

The Fear Driving Conservative Support for Kavanaugh

September 27, 2018 | post a comment | Philip Johnson

It’s remarkable: The more women accuse of Brett Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct, the more committed to his confirmation conservatives become. On Monday, after Deborah Ramirez became the second woman to accuse Kavanaugh of wrongdoing, the New York Times columnist Ross Douthat noted that among conservatives, the belief that Kavanaugh is innocent “actually gained momentum and support on the basis of the second allegation.” Over the course of Thursday, conservatives responded to the allegations of a third woman, Julie Swetnickby again doubling down. Read more…