Jacob Heilbrunn

How Bad Was Franco?

 No, I'm not referring to actor James Franco. Instead, my attention was caught by a fresh dispute that has been triggered in Spain by the publication of its dictionary of national biography. Professor Luis Suarez, an admirer of Gen. Francisco Franco, has apparently written the entry for him.

The Greening of Germany: Abandoning Nuclear Power

 Has Germany gone nuts? Or is it a trailblazer, a pioneer of where the rest of the world needs to go? Chancellor Angela Merkel has made the call to jettison nuclear power by 2022. Meanwhile, France is applauding its neighbor and continuing to rely on nuclear power. In Eastern Europe new nuclear power plants will be going up as well.

Exposing Obama

Exposures seem to be much in the air at the National Interest these days. Paul Pillar has a withering critique of Israeli leader Benjamin Netanyahu for what he sees as patent obfuscations about the peace process. Meanwhile, Richard Cohen, in today's Washington Post, has written a stimulating column about the Netanyahu clan, father and son, and the old man's service to Vladimir Jabotinsky, the hardest of the Zionist hardliners.

Obama and Jerusalem

So President Obama called for a return to Israel's 1967 borders. I suppose he can say that he is just reiterating American policy. But it was apparently done over the objections of Dennis Ross. And Hillary Clinton? Is this a new instance of Powerism—Samantha Power is a longstanding critic of Israel and its conduct in the West Bank.

Lars Von Trier and Nazi Weirdness

Lars Von Trier is the not-so-great Dane. Great Scot! That is what most Europeans must be thinking about the filmmaker's recent remarks about what a swell fellow Hitler—you know, the guy who had a small obsession about wiping out the Jews—must have been. And how much he liked the architecture of Albert Speer, a convicted war criminal.

Dominique Strauss-Kahn and Anti-Americanism

You have to hand it to the French. It didn't take them long to blame America for Dominique Strauss-Kahn's problems. The French satyr, as Maureen Dowd calls him, is in a peck of trouble, sitting in Riker's Island with the hoi polloi. Bad food. Nasty inmates. Confinement. None of it can be very much fun, not to speak of comparing it to his digs at the Sofitel, where he's accused of having attempted to attack a chambermaid, an immigrant from (French?) Africa.