A World Imagined: Nostalgia and Liberal Order

Recent political tumult and the election of Donald Trump to the U.S. presidency have driven anxious commentators to lament the collapse of a post-1945 “liberal world order.” Nostalgic for the institution building and multilateral moment of the early postwar era, they counsel Washington to restore a battered tradition, uphold economic and security commitments, and promote liberal values. On closer inspection, while it is true that the postwar world was more prosperous and peaceful than what came before, the claim that a unitary “liberal order” prevailed and defined international relations is...

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Syracuse National Security Program Director Registers as a Saudi Foreign Agent

The director of a national security program at Syracuse University’s Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs has registered with the U.S. Department of Justice as an agent of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, 28Pages.org is first to report. In his registration statement, retired U.S. Army Colonel Bill Smullen, former chief of staff to Secretary of State Colin Powell, indicated he has agreed to provide “public relations support” to the Saudi embassy for compensation initially projected at $8,000. Smullen’s National Security Studies program at Syracuse is billed as “a premier professional...

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Seymour Hersh’s New Memoir Is a Fascinating, Flabbergasting Masterpiece

At the beginning of Seymour Hersh’s new memoir, “Reporter,” he tells a story from his first job in journalism, at the City News Bureau of Chicago. City News stationed a reporter at Chicago’s police headquarters 24 hours a day to cover whatever incidents were radioed in. Hersh, then in his early 20s, was responsible for the late shift. One night, he writes, this happened: Two cops called in to report that a robbery suspect had been shot trying to avoid arrest. The cops who had done the shooting were driving in to make a report. … I raced down to the basement parking lot in the hope of getting...

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These are the unanswered questions that still remain after Yulia Skripal’s shock reappearance

Eighty days after being found with her father, collapsed on a bench near a Salisbury shopping centre, Yulia Skripal has made a near-miraculous reappearance. She was filmed at an anonymous park-like location, reading a handwritten statement about her plight. In substance, what she said added almost nothing to the two statements issued by the Metropolitan Police in her name before. But the whole short recording was crucial in the messages it was designed to send – to the British, Russian and international public. It was designed, first, to reiterate the official British version of what...

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Heralded by Palestinians as ‘angel’ and ‘merciful martyr,’ Razan Al-Najjar is an afterthought in western press

Let’s say Hamas fired a rocket that killed a young Israeli nurse while she was tending to the wounded from earlier rockets. Is there any doubt that the mainstream media would cover her death extensively, with photos, and interviews with friends and family? But when Israeli snipers murdered a 21-year-old Palestinian nurse named Razan Al-Najjar yesterday, the mainstream media was nearly silent. Today’s New York Times print edition only includes her as an afterthought, in a report by the usually reliable Rick Gladstone about Israel’s latest defeat at the United Nations. Gladstone’s article...

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The 1,500 ‘Missing’ Kids Are the Lucky Ones

If you’ve been on the internet in the past few days, it was impossible to avoid the articles and social media posts assailing the Trump administration for failing to keep track of 1,500 immigrant children who arrived at the United States border alone. Many well-intentioned people flooded the web with their outrage: How could the Trump administration release these children so quickly that it’s losing track of them? In fact, the problem is just the opposite. The administration is not releasing them fast enough. What has happened is that many people have confused the 1,500 children whom the...

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TSA and Border Patrol stole his life savings but never charged him with a crime

His American dream was helping his family in Albania. It ended when he walked through security at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport. A U.S. citizen for more than a decade, Rustem Kazazi was flying back to Europe to help his Albanian family repair their home and maybe even to buy a little beach house somewhere along the Adriatic Sea. He placed $58,100 into three clearly marked envelopes, then packed the money away in his carry-on luggage. It was 13 years of his life savings – and the federal government took every penny. TSA employees discovered the cash, and agents with U.S. Customs and...

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‘Jihadi Circuses’: The Anti-Muslim Police Training in San Angelo Was Worse Than We Thought

Earlier this month, Texas’ law enforcement accreditation agency rejected a police training given in San Angelo by the notorious anti-Muslim activist John Guandolo. The daylong course “paint[ed] an entire religion with an overly broad brush” and “provided no training value for law enforcement attendees,” wrote Texas Commission on Law Enforcement (TCOLE) Director Kim Vickers in a pair of letters announcing his decision. But the Observer obtained an audio recording of the May 4 training, and found that Guandolo’s message for police that day was a tad more extreme than Vickers’ tame language let...

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