Thursday October 02, 2014
September 18th, 2014
Whether President Barack Obama's plan to combat the Islamic State actually degrades and destroys the organization may take years to determine, but the debate in the coming weeks over that policy will tell us whether America can have a public discussion about the use of military power during a time of high anxiety.
Over the last decade, the views of Americans on foreign policy have swung sharply from support for intervention to a profound mistrust of any military engagement overseas. Over the same period, political debates on foreign affairs have been bitter and polarized, defined by the question of whether the invasion of Iraq was a proper use of the nation's power or a catastrophic mistake.
Wish I'd said that! Earlier this week, Jesse Eisinger of ProPublica, writing on The Times' DealBook blog, compared people who keep predicting runaway inflation to "true believers whose faith in a predicted apocalypse persists even after it fails to materialize." Indeed.
Scottish nationalist leader Alex Salmond's bid for independence lost ground in an opinion poll a week before a referendum that could lead to the breakup of Britain after more than three centuries.
How does a war-weary president convince a war-weary nation to start another war? In a prime-time address to the nation on Wednesday evening, President Obama tried.
Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba has launched the marketing "roadshow" for a $21 billion-plus initial public offering to take place this month. If all goes according to the company's plans, it could be the biggest IPO in Wall Street history.
In New York, so many potential investors flocked to see Alibaba founder Jack Ma at a Waldorf Astoria ballroom that the line to get on the elevator ran through the lobby.
It's a tough time to be a concerned citizen. The truth of the matter is, the job has always been messy.
But it's way worse when the subject is foreign policy.
Again the sports world is rattled by men behaving badly, but this time with a twist: NFL player Ray Rice tried to stay when he should have gone, while NBA team owner Bruce Levenson left despite good reasons for him to stick around.
The only good thing to be said about Rice's case is the argument it makes for security cameras.
No, it's not a rock group. You're lucky if you can't remember. It's a disease that was gone, and now it's back. So, by the way, is whooping cough, another dreaded childhood disease that had been effectively wiped out.