The loose lips that sink ships, as in a memorable World War II cautionary slogan, can sink a careless candidate, too. West Virginia was a reliable blue state in 1999 when Gov. George W. Bush and Vice President Al Gore were preparing for what would become an epic battle for the White House. West Virginia looked safe for the Democratic nominee; the state had not voted for a Republican in 36 years.
The endless wars in the Middle East continue. America and the West, despite the most fervent wishes, can’t escape them. Despite President Obama’s insistence that he has pulled America out of the conflicts, an American role continues. It’s the curse of big power.
Words, words, words. Words are the evil that makes life miserable. Some people think if only we could abolish words, everyone would live in perfect peace, happy harmony and sweet silence. Hillary Clinton demonstrated the other day just how destructive words can be. She thought she was needling her wayward husband, and it turned out she was cutting herself.
Rewriting history was a full-time job in the old Soviet Union, with bureaucrats in the Kremlin staying up late to eliminate public figures from the nation’s collective memory, depending on whomever collided with a whim of the dictator of the day. Out-of-favor comrades of Lenin, Stalin and others were arrested, tried in kangaroo courts, and executed.
Among the reliable allies of the United States in the modern era, dating from the end of World War II and the arrival of the Cold War in Asia, few have been more reliable than Japan. Friendship between Japan and the United States remains the keystone of American strategy for peace and stability in the region.