Politics & Current Events

What to do about North Korea?

Jul 22nd, 2017 | By
iipi20170722

North Korea recently launched an intercontinental ballistic missile, a vivid demonstration of its potential nuclear reach. The missile traveled only 580 miles, but in doing so it traveled 1,700 miles into space and re-entered the atmosphere before crashing into the Sea of Japan. If you flatten this out, such a missile could reach Alaska. This frightening reality means that North Korea is on the verge of reaching a capability to attack the homeland of the United States with nuclear missiles.



The Six-Day War: 50 Years Later

Jun 17th, 2017 | By
iip20170617

The 50th anniversary of the famous Six-Day War of 1967 is upon us. With it are coming the normal cries and accusations against Israel for its “occupation” of Palestinian land. For much of the world, Israel remains a nation unforgiven for its occupation and its refusal to seriously negotiate with the Palestinians. The BDS (boycott, divestment, sanctions) movement against Israel is popular on American college campuses, if nowhere else. . . Let’s do a quick review of what actually happened 50 years ago and in the subsequent decades:



Is Donald Trump “Our Dream President?”

Jun 10th, 2017 | By
iipi20170610

President Trump delivered the Commencement address at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia this year. This is the institution founded by Jerry Falwell, founder also of the Moral Majority and other organizations in the late 20th century. Falwell epitomized the attempt by evangelicals to influence the direction of Republican Party politics in 1980s and 1990s. In many ways, he also symbolized what became known as the “Religious Right” in those decades. His son, Jerry Falwell, Jr., is now Liberty University’s president. In introducing President Trump a few weeks ago, the young Falwell called him “our dream president.”



Understanding Globalism and the American Economy

Jun 5th, 2017 | By
iipi20170617

As I have argued in previous editions of Issues in Perspective, one of the major debates occurring within the American political culture and which is also an aspect of international affairs is globalism vs. economic nationalism. The appeal of economic nationalism over globalism explains the electoral victory of Donald Trump and, to some extent, the Brexit phenomenon. But as with so many things, there is a need for balance and clear thinking in this debate.



Globalism and the Upending of American Politics

May 20th, 2017 | By
iipi052017

Republicans responded to the presidencies of Bill Clinton and Barack Obama with a visceral disdain and hatred for these two presidents. American evangelicals joined enthusiastically in such responses. Now Democrats are responding in almost identical ways to Donald Trump. As hardened as American conservatives were toward Clinton and Obama, now the American left is equally as hardened toward Trump.



What the War in Syria Has Exposed

May 6th, 2017 | By
iipi20170506

The Syrian Civil War is now in its 7th year and shows no signs of ending soon. In my opinion, this war has exposed the depths of human depravity like no other recent conflict. Allow me to defend this proposition.



The Entitlement Behemoth: Medicaid—The Other Medical Crisis

Apr 29th, 2017 | By
iipi20170428

During the recent failure of Congress to replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA; aka Obamacare) with a scaled down medical entitlement, few noticed one of the key elements of both the ACA and the revision proposed by the Republican Congress. That key element is Medicaid. Let me explain. Medicaid was created more than 50 years ago as a part of the Medicare program advocated by Lyndon B. Johnson and passed by the Congress in 1965. Medicaid was designed as a small program to cover poor people’s medical bills. But over these past five decades, Medicaid has surpassed Medicare in the number of Americans it covers, for it provides for the medical needs of one in five Americans (74 million people) from the womb to the grave. How has it grown into this bureaucratic behemoth?



Israel and the New Troika of Evil: Iran, Hezbollah and Russia

Apr 15th, 2017 | By
Jerusalem

As 2017 unfolds, Israel, the only functioning democracy in the Middle East, is doing well. Its economy is growing at 3.2% per year. The main opposition party to Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud Party is in disarray. In terms of its foreign affairs, Israel enjoys a positive relationship with Russia and its ties to both Africa and Asia are the best ever. Although absolutely no progress has been made in resolving the issues with the Palestinians (a major sticking point during the Obama years), Israel now enjoys a better relationship with the United States under Donald Trump. . . But Israel is increasingly anxious about two major developments in the Middle East. Each poses an existential threat to the state of Israel.



American Exceptionalism, Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin

Feb 25th, 2017 | By
iipi20170225

America is exceptional and unique. Its exceptionalism has a moral, an ethical, a spiritual and a political dimension to it. There really is no other nation quite like the US—and that is at the heart of its exceptionalism. Let me highlight a few of these distinctive aspects. The United States was birthed as a nation when two powerful forces came together in the 18th century—the desire for both political liberty and religious liberty.



Nationalism versus Globalism: Vladimir Putin as Hero?

Jan 28th, 2017 | By
iipi012817

Last week in Issues in Perspective (21 January 2017), I argued that the new ideological struggle in the world is between the forces of nationalism and the forces of globalism. This struggle explains Brexit and the rise of Donald Trump among other developments. This week I want to address the curious role that Vladimir Putin plays in this ongoing struggle between nationalism and globalism.