Jan 16, 2009

Right place for a command of composure

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. — Dennis Blair, the man who is to become the new U.S. director of national intelligence, distinguished himself as chief of the U.S. military’s Pacific Command, an important fact behind his appointment by President-elect Barack Obama. He will oversee all U.S. ...

Jan 6, 2009

Prophet of world-culture clashes is dead

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. — A giant died early last week. His name was Samuel Huntington, a Harvard professor whose gigantism was intellectual. His ideas left huge footprints on our intellectual landscape, the way giant storms impact the Earth. Minds were shaken, sometimes stirred, and ...

Dec 28, 2008

China destined to be America's best friend

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. — When the holiday season ends and Barack Obama takes the U.S. presidential oath of office next month, will he notice that life has become less merry and more naughty and un-nice? This brilliant American politician will soon become aware that ...

Dec 21, 2008

Nail a North Korea deal by going to the top

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. — In a few months a former U.S. president — Jimmy Carter or Bill Clinton — may be asked to travel to North Korea in pursuit of military denuclearization. Or it will be new President Barack Obama. In 1994, Carter did ...

Dec 12, 2008

Obama and the vets: caring for a generation

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. — When Eric K. Shinseki, the first four-star U.S. Army general of Japanese- American ethnicity, was still his service branch’s chief of staff, he became a symbol of doubt about official competence in pursuit of the Iraq war. Regardless of whether ...

Dec 1, 2008

Look at the brighter side of the financial crisis

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. — One good way to counter depression (of the emotional and of the otherwise kind) is to emphasize the positive (of the imagined or otherwise kind). What I have been doing sometimes these days for therapy and equanimity is recalling the ...

Nov 25, 2008

West Coast appreciates destiny with Asia

LOS ANGELES — Serious intellectual narrowing can happen to even the brightest folk once nested down on the U.S. East Coast. They become preoccupied (almost neurotically, almost provincially) with the problems of the past — especially with the Middle East and Europe — and ...

Nov 14, 2008

Hu touches base with Obama on economy

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. — Guess who telephoned Barack Obama for one of the first, if not the first, substance-packed reachout to the next U.S. head of state. It was Chinese President Hu Jintao. The conversation focused on the global economic freeze, but Hu knew ...

Nov 9, 2008

McCain's heart wasn't really in it

LOS ANGELES — History’s losers can emerge later as history’s winners, especially in U.S. politics. John F. Kennedy lost his bid to become the Democratic vice presidential nominee in 1956, but his televised concession speech helped to propel him into the White House four ...

Nov 5, 2008

Beijing has enough of its own problems

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. — It would be a mistake to overestimate how much China can or will do to pitch in to the world dilemma as the roiling and unnerving global financial world proceeds apace. Many people don’t realize it, but China has a ...