Joseph Shattan

Joseph Shattan is the author of Architects of Victory: Six Heroes of the Cold War.

Santa’s Nuclear Wish List

 

So the just concluded nuclear agreement with Iran isn’t really an agreement after all. As State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki replied, when asked when the interim deal, which is supposed to last for six months, goes into effect: “That’s a good question.” The “next step,” she continued, is a series of “technical discussions at the working […]

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Schlesinger on Krauthammer

 

Charles Krauthammer’s adult life has been a profile in courage. He has never succumbed to self-pity, nor has he asked for special treatment because of his paralysis. But critics haven’t hesitated to make fun of his condition, as this excerpt from eminent Kennedy court historian Arthur M. Schlesinger’s Journals (p. 544) reveals: [December 11, 1986:] Last night I […]

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The Show Horse President

 

In a brilliant 1982 memoir of his career with LBJ, George Reedy, a key member of Johnson’s senatorial and presidential staffs, explained Johnson’s philosophy when he dominated the Senate: He thought of the Senate as a workshop for resolving political, social, and economic problems rather than as an arena of conflict for contrasting ideologies. Therefore, […]

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The Show Horse President

 

In a brilliant 1982 memoir of his career with LBJ, George Reedy, a key member of Johnson’s senatorial and presidential staffs, explained Johnson’s philosophy when he dominated the Senate: He thought of the Senate as a workshop for resolving political, social, and economic problems rather than as an arena of conflict for contrasting ideologies. Therefore, […]

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Putin’s Soul

 

The most striking line in Vladimir Putin’s New York Times column was its final sentence: “We are all different, but when we ask for the Lord’s blessings, we must not forget that God created us equal.” It brought to mind George W. Bush’s description, in his memoirs, of his first meeting with Putin:  The summit […]

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Confronting Evil

 

In his 2010 memoir, Decision Points, former president George W. Bush describes how, as he struggled to decide whether to attack Saddam Hussein, he sought out the advice of scholars, Iraqi dissidents in exile, and others outside his administration: One of the most fascinating people I met with was Elie Wiesel, the author, Holocaust survivor, […]

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Unintended Consequences

 

Advocates of U.S. military intervention in Syria argue that a failure to act would undermine our credibility. America’s credibility in the Middle East is certainly at an all-time low, but bombing Syria would only bring it lower. Barack Obama struck the greatest blow to America’s credibility back in 2011, when he joined the mob calling […]

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Rustin’s Peace

 

Bayard Rustin: Troubles I’ve Seen: A Biography
By Jervis Anderson
 (HarperCollins, 418 pages, $30) Besides being a brilliant political strategist and organizer, Bayard Rustin was one of the civil rights movement’s most vivid and original personalities. A close aide to Martin Luther King, Rustin played a pivotal role in mobilizing the American conscience against Jim Crow. […]

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Avoiding Germany’s Fate

 

I don’t often agree with a top Egyptian diplomat, but I thought Egypt’s ambassador to the United Kingdom, Ashraf el-Kholy, was right on target when he compared Egypt’s Moslem Brotherhood to the Nazis. As he told the Telegraph on August 19: “Morsi was elected president and held office for one year, but in that time […]

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Up From Totalitarianism

 

LESZEK KOLAKOWSKI WAS a philosopher and historian of ideas. He received his doctorate in 1953 for his study of Spinoza. Under different circumstances, he might have led a satisfying but obscure academic life, publishing dense scholarly works that hardly anyone read, and remaining largely aloof from the world’s troubles and turmoil. It was Kolakowski’s misfortune, […]

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