Best Of The Web
“For Washington, observing the chaos in Basra should be one more impetus of many to seek a drastic change in American foreign policy, reorienting to focus strictly on the defense of vital U.S. interests, narrowly defined. This agenda may not be familiar in Washington, but it does reflect what most Americans want. Indeed, “to the extent that we can read the views of the American public, more of them than not wanted out of Iraq when President Obama was elected,” notes MIT’s Barry Posen at Politico . They wanted the same thing when President Trump was elected—in fact, both men’s repudiation of the war in Iraq was key to their campaign success.
“Aside from the arguments of restraint advocates that [more] military efforts in Iraq are neither necessary nor wise, we should also consider whether they would be consistent with the democratically expressed views of the American people,” Posen continues. “Odd indeed to repudiate the product of democracy at home to pursue a futile quest to achieve it in a divided and violent society abroad.”
Americans are right to want more prudent, realistic foreign policy. Such a policy would not sacrifice U.S. blood and treasure on wars intended to spread democracy and reorder societies rather than focus on defending Americans. It would not attempt to impose an external military solution on the internal political problems of other nations. It would not burden America’s military with tasks for which it is not designed and to which it is not suited. It would not contribute to regional instability across the Middle East. The persistent hardships that resulted in the people of Basra marching this past week are difficult challenges—but they are Iraqi, not American, challenges.”
JJ Best Of The Web
"Donald Trump is the only President of the United States since the collapse of the Soviet Union who has been unable to “reset” the U.S. relationship with Russia."
"This past weekend Melania Trump’s spokeswoman penned an op-ed for CNN in which she criticized the media’s unrelenting criticism of the first lady... Is it true that the media have a fixation on the first lady’s fashion sense?"
"Ultra-Orthodox Jews are smarter consumers, have interest-free loan funds, and are satisfied even if they are poor, the Haredi Institute for Public Affairs has found."
"In Anti-Fandom: Dislike and Hate in the Digital Age, out January 8, Melissa Click delivers a collection of 15 essays by scholars exploring the many ways there are to hate, and why we love to do it."
"For more than a decade, ultrarich people from the former Soviet Union, China and the Middle East have turned to London mansions, New York high-rises, and chic properties in Vancouver, Miami and Paris to store their cash."
"Virtual worlds give back what has been scooped out of modern life . . . it gives us back community, a feeling of competence, and a sense of being an important person whom people depend on."
"It’s the end of 2019 and America’s bountiful harvest is in. But President Donald Trump is facing a crisis few contemplated the year before: a food shortage almost everywhere else in the world."
"Christopher Hitchens died seven years ago this Saturday, a decade after breaking ranks with onetime friend Gore Vidal and beginning a feud that symbolized major changes in left-wing politics."
"I could try to find out where my ancestors may have come from, but that is never going to show me what I’ve actually inherited."
"Have you eaten a Cheez-It sometime in the past eight years? If so, as they say on TV, call now because you may be entitled to compensation."
"An intelligent fish has stirred up a debate about how to measure self-awareness among animals—and what self-awareness even is in the first place."
"...either our youth walk out on Judaism or maintain a lukewarm relationship with Jewish observance; or, they become so obsessed by its finest points that they are incapable of seeing the forest from the trees."