FROM Robert Timberg
McCain POW Experience and the Presidency The one subject that seems to be the third rail in this otherwise no-holds-barred campaign is John McCain's POW experience in Vietnam 40 years ago and how that affects his qualifications now. At the GOP convention last week, numerous speakers described the details of McCain's ordeal as evidence of his moral fiber and suitability for the presidency. Even McCain, who had been reticent to talk abut the details in the past, devoted part of his acceptance speech to the subject. But what is the relevance of those five years to qualities needed in a president? We talk to former POW's who have insight into the question and look at McCain's naval upbringing. Was it a life that prepared him to understand the live of ordinary Americans?
White House flip flops: NATO, Syria and China In less than 100 days, President Trump has contradicted himself on a host of foreign policy issues — Syria, NATO, China and Vladimir Putin’s Russia. Is it a strength — or a weakness — for the United States when the world of power politics never knows what to expect?
The flight bumping heard around 'round the world Recent video of a passenger forcibly removed from a United Airlines plane is a worst-case example of what's happened since consolidation into just four US-based carriers. Management seems to be tone-deaf to a decline in service — and even abuse — of passengers.
Mixed Messages from US diplomats on the new hard line on Syria Since President Trump's surprise retaliation against Syria's use of chemical weapons, Bashar al-Assad has used the same airport to launch conventional attacks on his own people. It's not clear what the US, its allies — or Vladimir Putin's Russia -- plan to do now.