Joe Biden’s US Foreign Policy: Return to the Old Normal?

US President Biden bellicosely proclaimed, “American is back,” in his major foreign policy priorities speech at the Munich Security Conference on February 19. Repeated twice for effect, Biden signaled the end of the Trump interregnum. No more assuring words could have been uttered for George W. Bush’s former Defense Secretary Colin Powell and the 70 odd Republican national security officials, who wrote an open letter endorsing Biden out of fear that Trump would upset the bipartisan foreign policy consensus of regime change, forever wars, and the NATO alliance. Republican neo-cons now shelter in the Democrat’s big tent, today’s party of war. More

How Real Nazis Came to the Americas: the Recruitment of Klaus Barbie

By the time Klaus Barbie went on the payroll of an American intelligence organization in 1947, Klaus Barbie had lived several lifetimes of human vileness. Barbie sought out opponents of the Nazis in Holland, chasing them down with dogs. He had worked for the Nazi mobile death squads on the Eastern Front, massacring Slavs and Jews. He’d put in two years heading the Gestapo in Lyons, France, torturing to death Jews and French Resistance fighters (among them the head of the Resistance, Jean Moulin. ) After the liberation of France, Barbie participated in the final Nazi killing frenzy before Allies moved into Germany. More

What Lawrence Ferlinghetti Means to Me

The anarchist, pacifist poet, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, whom I knew for forty years was shy and introverted, even while he was a public figure who wanted to be recognized and appreciated as an artist. A decade older than me, he cared deeply about his friends in the city, in Bolinas and in Big Sur. He also valued his own privacy. At events at the San Francisco public library, where he stood out from the crowd, he often meant to be witty, but his one liners would fall flat. He took many of the changes in San Francisco—the arrival of the dot comers, the Google buses, the influx of wealth, the price of real estate—personally and spoke out, and so I admired his candor. More

“Islamo-Leftism”: Macron’s Witch Hunt Against Critical Academics

Speaking recently on CNews, France’s equivalent of Fox News, the higher education minister launched an unprecedented attack on the whole French academic community. Frédérique Vidal argued that French academia is “gangrened by Islamo-gauchisme” or “Islamo-leftism”. The “Islamo-leftism” tag is today used uncritically by members of the government, large sections of the media and conservative academics. It is reminiscent More