The end of Pax Americana in the Middle East

THERE are 1,001 reasons to disapprove of the current White House occupant and one could probably author a long volume explaining why he is not fit to hold the most powerful job in the world.

Trump's lack of a cogent US foreign policy exacts a toll

IT WAS bound to happen sooner or later. President Donald Trump ran for office and arrived in the White House challenging some of the most sacred beliefs of Washington's foreign policy establishment.

The age of the populists might be burning out

INTELLECTUALS are always in search for grand theories like The End of History or The Clash of Civilizations, and journalists are on a journey to uncover trends - like whether the fortunes of a particular leader or political party is waxing or waning - all for the purpose of making sense of our...

Are Americans turning into Europeans?

IN THE first decades following World War II, French and other continental intellectuals were warning that Europe was being "Americanised".

Trump without Bolton: More missteps ahead?

IN A recent segment of his HBO show, Real Time with Bill Maher, the popular American comedian pulled out an oversized, fake book called If Obama Did It.

Free traders may be losing the political fight

NOT so long ago in America, when a US president and/or protectionist law-makers on Capitol Hill were about to launch a new campaign to contain an alleged threat to the nation's economic security from this or that trade partner, you could predict that those moves would be followed by a powerful...

Does whatever Trump says make some sense?

EVERY time the current White House occupant says something that sounds really stupid, or perhaps even a bit crazy, my online Trumpist friends always come up with an explanation. You have to give them some credit. They do try to make sense of President Donald Trump's latest late night/early...

Bibi looks to Sept 17 - and also to Nov 2020

THREE 10-storey-high posters are hanging from the roof of the ruling Likud Party headquarters in Tel Aviv: On one side of the building, a poster shows the party's leader, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, hanging out with US President Donald Trump, Israel's top global ally and close personal...

Life, liberty - and the pursuit of conspiracy theories

IF you had entered an American bookstore during the late 1960s and the 1970s, you would have been able to find your favorite books in all the familiar sections - "fiction", "non-fiction", "mystery and suspense", "romance" and "travel guides".

White nationalists face an inconvenient truth

According to news reports, the suspected gunman who shot and killed at least 22 people and wounded 24 others in an El Paso, Texas, Walmart store on Saturday, identified as 21-year-old Patrick Crusius, has apparently authored a four-page document espousing racist and anti-immigrant views that...

The Democrats' dilemma: evolution vs revolution

FOR two nights last week, the US Democratic Party's presidential aspirants engaged in a heated debate during which they attacked each other and explained why their competitors should not be occupying the White House in 2021. They spent less time spelling out why they should defeat President...

Americans can't afford to tune out Trump

RESPONDING to the 24/7 bombardment of news and opinion through the print, broadcast and social media, I have developed my own protective mechanism that allows me to filter out information that for some reason is of no interest to me.

Will US-UK ties now bloom or wither?

WHILE it is true that a citizen of the United Kingdom who resides in the United States is regarded as a "foreigner" in the sense of being the holder of a passport of another country, in reality, many Americans (and especially members of its political intellectual elites) are more likely than not...

Identity to dominate 2020 US election race?

SINCE the 2008 financial crisis and the ensuing Great Recession, the political conventional wisdom among pollsters, pundits and academics has been that most Americans have become more sceptical of, if not hostile to, the free market dogma that has ruled Washington since the presidencies of...

From political heroines to villains, then victims

THE four freshmen minority Democratic lawmakers in the news this week were first celebrated as symbols of the political future of the Democratic Party (if not of America) and the demographic and cultural changes that are transforming it - from a nation with a white and Christian majority ruled...

When presidents answered the White House door bell

NOT a day passes without Massachusetts senator and Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren releasing a detailed new policy proposal. A plan to reduce student debt and a plan to increase the tax rates on large corporations. A plan to break up the large high-tech companies and one to...

Reaganism and Clintonism fade away

MANY ardent Trumpists like to compare the Republican politician they revere, the one occupying the White House, to another US president who has become a political icon as far as American conservatives and members of the Grand Old Party (GOP) are concerned.

Democrats have tough task to sway voters

AS HE was vying to become the GOP presidential nominee four years ago, members of the Republican Party establishment and most of Washington's political insiders were warning that Candidate Donald Trump's populist-nationalist agenda, including his attacks against the "globalist elites" and his...

Speak loudly and carry a small schtick

YOU can always count on him and his chaotic decision-making to get everyone in Washington, supporters and rivals alike, perplexed if not unhinged, making it difficult to figure out what the man is doing. With The Disrupter at the helm, it becomes close to impossible to deconstruct the way the...

Humming economy is Trump's main asset

Four years after the real-estate tycoon and reality TV show host glided down the escalator at Trump Tower in Manhattan and began his campaign for the White House - an event regarded in June 2015 as a political sideshow if not a joke - President Donald Trump announced his bid for re-election...

Teheran will not cave to Trump's dealmaking

AS HE was about to finish his latest letter to his buddy in Pyongyang, US President Donald Trump told himself that he now had enough material to write the second volume of his earlier bestseller, The Art of the Deal.

Presidential hopeful who's big on the nitty gritty

ONE of the conventional wisdoms of American politics is that while voters may be attracted to candidates with Big Ideas, they pay less attention to the specifics of policy proposals. Slogans energise your average voter; statistics make him or her fall asleep.