FROM Gregory Gause
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?
Is Venezuela becoming a dictatorship? Venezuela may have the world's largest oil reserves, but it's a nation in trouble… economically and politically. Is a populist promise to rescue democracy turning out to be a prelude to dictatorship?
Trump's ethical conflicts pile up as transparency diminishes President Trump's refusal to reveal his income tax returns is just one example of a lack of transparency that could be hiding conflicts of interest. Other conflicts are already obvious from his appointments. And he's being sued for using his job to increase his profits.
In Janesville, WI, Middle America meets the new American dream Janesville, Wisconsin is the hometown of Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan. But he couldn't prevent the closing of the General Motors factory after 100 years. We hear what's happened to what once was a model of American middle-class unity.