FROM Richard Bulliet
Is the Great Satan a Big Blunderer? Polls show that vast numbers of Middle Easterners believe the US wants to divide their region, take over their oil and replace Islam with Christianity. Al Jazeera TV, newspapers and magazines promote the idea of a grand conspiracy by an invincible Superpower. Conspiracy theories about western imperialism have a rich history in the Middle East. While recently, it's the United States that gets the blame—or the credit—for events that might otherwise be inexplicable, the chaos of the Iraq occupation appears to be changing public opinion. Is America incompetent after all? Can it be defeated? With public opinion changing, where does that leave the governments supported by the US? What will it mean for American interests in a volatile region?
'Do-or-die' time on healthcare bill President Trump has demanded a House vote today on replacing Obamacare…whatever the details might be. Despite his campaign promise that nobody would lose health insurance, that's possible for 24 million people if he were finally to sign this bill into law.
The 'deconstruction' of the administrative state President Trump has failed to fill high-level positions in important agencies — and some people he has named want to phase out the agencies they're supposed to lead. We look at the possible consequences for delivering services and providing security — and at top aide Steve Bannon's plans for "deconstructing the administrative state."
Further revelations into Russian involvement in 2016 election Last week's failure to "repeal and replace" Obamacare was an early setback for the Trump Administration. There may be long-term danger of a different kind in multiple investigations into ties with Russia among campaign workers, the White House staff and the Chief Executive himself. We look as some of the threads they're following.