The Buzz

Not the First Hawk to Fly

As soon as Rick Santorum announced the suspension of his presidential campaign, pundits began to wax poetic on the surprising role he played in this year’s bloody battle of a primary.

Nuking a Straw Man

Of all President Obama’s initiatives since taking office, few have upset hard-line hawks more than his embrace of the goal of “global zero”—the elimination of all nuclear weapons worldwide. The most recent example is Keith Payne’s essay in the Weekly Standard, which decries Obama’s vision as “nuclear utopianism” and his arms-control efforts as “wishful thinking.”

Rove Headed for the Buzz Saw

Michigan senator Arthur Vandenburg’s admonition at the beginning of the Cold War that American politics would stop at the water’s edge seems downright quaint in today’s political environment. In fact, politics never stops at the water’s edge, and never has, but there was at least a respect for bipartisanship efforts on foreign policy matters in Vandenberg’s day. Not today.

The Flaws in International Justice

Sometimes it seems that hawks have so overwhelmed the liberal internationalist camp that there is little room left for another of their mainstays: tribunals for international justice. But a recent New York Times op-ed shows that advocates of robust international institutions are still around--and want to bring their theoretical models to the crisis in Syria.

The Other Tragedy of Trayvon Martin

Among America’s most probing thinkers on race is Shelby Steele, senior fellow at Stanford’s Hoover Institution and author of numerous books, including a 2007 volume called White Guilt. His April 5 Wall Street Journal piece on the Trayvon Martin episode cuts through a lot of the cant that unfortunately has surrounded that human tragedy in Sanford, Florida.

Defining Terrorism Down

Daniel Pipes is a man of strong opinions. But the ones he shares in his latest National Review Online piece are more than strong. They’re potentially dangerous.

Pipes accuses Western authorities of “[conjuring] up . . . lame excuses for Islamist terrorism.” He sees a “recurring problem of politicians, law enforcement, and the press with Islamist terrorism: their unwillingness to stare it in the face and ascribe murder to it.”

Moralism Meets Realism in Afghanistan

The April issue of Commentary is further proof that there is no problem that neoconservatives believe can’t be solved by military force applied in the service of moral values. In an essay grandly titled “Reclaiming the Moral Case for Afghanistan,” Jamie Fly contends that in addition to the national-security benefits, the Obama administration should emphasize the moral reasons for the Afghan war.