Jacob Heilbrunn

Why America is Hated

America is hated abroad. Today's International Herald Tribune features a long article on Pakistan that provides a reminder of why it is hated. Gen. Kayani has apparently been touring military installations in the wake of the humiliating snatch of Osama bin-Laden. "We can't" was his response when queried about why Pakistan should trust America. Pakistan is not alone. The perception abroad that America is a willful superpower bent on imposing its will is not confined to Pakistan. In Germany, America continues to be viewed as the most dangerous power in the world.

The Greek Financial Catastrophe

Is there a silver lining in the collapse of Greece for America? Actually, there could be silver linings. One might be the collapse of the Euro and the European Union. Looked at from a realist perspective, it would perhaps not be a bad thing to see a big economic contender go under as a unified block. America would continue to play off European countries against each other. But perhaps the most salutary lesson is the example of chaos in Athens. The cradle of democracy is rocking wildly.

The GOP Presidential Debate

The GOP presidential primary is doing something dangerous. It is adopting a serious tone. At least if yesterday's debate in New Hampshire is anything to go by. The candidates were fairly subdued. Tim Pawlenty and others even backed off of their attacks on presumptive frontrunner Mitt Romney.

It could have devolved into an ideological squabbling match. But it did not. Rather, Michele Bachmann, the lioness of the right, announced, "we need everybody to come together because we're going to win." Bold words. Are they true?

Should the GOP Move Right?

"I only support Republicans," former New Hampshire Governor John Sununu announced to the Los Angeles Times, when asked about whether or not he would support John Huntsman for the presidency. Strong words. But are they justified? Or is the GOP heading toward the breakdown lane? Conventional wisdom is that the GOP could lurch out of control.

The Obama Administration's Leak Case Falls Apart

The Obama administration's prosecution of former National Security Agency senior manager Thomas A. Drake for leaking classified information about data collection is collapsing. No one would argue that the government shouldn't prosecute violations of handling classified information. But the case against Drake, which relies on the dubious provisions of the 1917 Espionage Act, has always been unpersuasive.

The Myth of Rebuilding Afghanistan

The report of Senate Democrats about the failure of nation-building in Afghanistan is no surprise at all. At least to anyone who has occasionally looked at the front pages, or home pages, of a daily newspaper in the past few years. The billions that the Bush and Obama administration distributed to Afghanistan have mostly been wasted or feathered the pockets of local officials. What else is new?

Hitler's First Anti-Semitic Letter

In his recent book Hitlers November 9, the German historian Joachim Riecker shows how deeply the memory of Germany's surrender in 1918 impregnated everything that Hitler did. He traces the origins of the Holocaust to Hitler's fury at the so-called November criminals who had allegedly betrayed the German nation, foremost among them the Jews.

Moody's Blues

Moody's is getting the blues about America. It's threatening to downgrade the prized triple AAA rating that the U.S. government enjoys: "A credible agreement on substantial deficit reduction would support a continued stable outlook; lack of such an agreement could prompt Moody's to change its outlook to negative on the AAA rating." The dry language is a threat.

The Pornography of Anthony Weiner

 New York Rep. Anthony Weiner has been busted, or at least accused, or considered to be in trouble, or something, for a picture of his crotch clad in grey underwear sent from his Twitter account to a twenty-one year-old lass in Seattle. Was Weiner trying to lasso her?