FROM Ruth Wedgewood
Piracy: The Legacy of a Failed State Yesterday, President Obama promised to work with other nations to " halt the rise of piracy " in the Indian Ocean. Since then, four more ships—from the Philippines, Liberia, Greece and Togo have been attacked off the coast of Somalia. Naval vessels are in the region.
Piracy: The Legacy of a Failed State In the hours since President Obama promised to " halt the rise of piracy ," four more ships from the Philippines, Liberia, Greece and Togo have been attacked in the Indian Ocean, off the coast of Somalia. Naval vessels are in the region. Pirate leaders are threatening vengeance for those killed during French and American rescues. How much longer can fishermen in motorboats defy history's most powerful navies? Can merchant vessels defend themselves? Can military patrols be increased? Is it time to take action on shore either with force or to deal with the political chaos and economic deprivation behind an epidemic of lawlessness?
Should America Use 'Soft Power' in the Middle East? In the aftermath of World War II, the United States was known for generosity to allies and former enemies. Lately, the US is seen as an international bully as President Bush and his neo-conservative advisors project America's "hard power" militarily and economically. Now, isolated and overstretched, as the wars grind on in Iraq and Afghanistan, the US is losing the battles even some Administration officials now say should be fought with "soft power." Even Defense Secretary Robert Gates made a recent reference to this prime American asset when he said that American has "a variety of tools. Not all of them are hammers." What is "soft power?" Are Iran and China beating the US at what used to be its own game? How could "soft power" serve America's interests in a world of terrorism and nuclear weapons?
Terrorism and tweets, hate speech and murder Just days before an election, Britain is coping with a rash of deadly terrorism, and Prime Minister Theresa May is on the defensive. And again today, President Trump has tweeted criticism of the Mayor of London. Later, a double murder in Portland, Oregon has revealed the ugly past of a supposedly “progressive” city. One immediate question: is “hate speech” protected by the First Amendment?
What happens when America retreats from the world? Is President Trump taking his "America First" agenda to extremes, withdrawing the country from the international stage on trade and climate change, distancing America from its traditional allies across the Atlantic and even threatening to physically isolate the country through the building of a wall along its southern border? León Krauze guest hosts.
Who's to blame for the opioid crisis? Some of the lawyers who took on Big Tobacco are now going after Big Pharma. It’s all about the deadly epidemic of opioid use. Are the drug companies to blame? What about the users? Later, on today’s Talking Point: making sense of Britain’s upset election.
Is the threat from Russia missing from the Russia meddling probe? There's much being made about the Trump administration's possible ties with Russia. But the bottom line is Russia's effort to influence American democracy. Do the President and his aides care enough to take action before voters go back to the polls?