Herbert London

Herbert London: The Syrian War Goes Global

Aug 29, 2018

Prior to World War I alliances across Europe created an environment in which one event, the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand, could set in motion mobilization of forces that led inexorably to conflict. It was as if this was a natural and inevitable slide into the abyss.

Herbert London: Diplomacy

Aug 22, 2018

From the ambassadors representing the Italian City States to Castlereagh and Henry Kissinger, a nation’s international relations were managed through representation aboard. Over centuries understandings evolved, including sanctuary for the visitor. While there weren’t any specific rules attached to diplomacy, protocols evolved. Discretion subtlety and delicacy were part of the attitudinal stance.

Herbert London: NATO Redux

Aug 8, 2018

It has been said time and again that NATO is indispensable as a defense of the West. Even Trump accepts this assertion. What he doesn’t accept is the U.S. burden to sustain the treaty. A combative President Trump has made it clear member states must meet their obligation to spend at least two percent of gdp on defense. The U.S. presently spends 3.6 percent or about twice the average expenditure.

Herbert London: Independence For What?

Jul 18, 2018

When the great American experiment began it was as a letter to King George III to explain why the Continental Congress voted to declare independence from Great Britain. It was on June 7, 1776 at a meeting of the Continental Congress in the Pennsylvania State House that Virginia delegate Richard Henry Lee introduced a motion calling for the colonies’ independence. On July 2 the Continental Congress voted unanimously in favor of Lee’s resolution, even though New York initially abstained. The White House held its first July 4th party in 1801, even though many thought of themselves as citizens of Great Britain. “Yankee Doodle,” one of the most popular songs sung on this holiday, had its provenance in a tune that marked the “Yankee” who British soldiers fought during the French and Indian War.

Herbert London: Solzhenitsyn 40 Years Later

Jul 11, 2018

In June 1978 Solzhenitsyn delivered the commencement address at Harvard entitled “A World Split Apart.” It was a speech devoted to the emergence of “different worlds,” including our own Western society. On one side of the divide is a freedom diverted to unbridled passion with the accumulation of material riches to be valued above all else. Man is the center in this equation as there isn’t any power above him resulting in a moral poverty searching for meaning.

Herbert London: Social Justice Warriors

Jun 27, 2018

In a new book that provides a powerful theological basis for something now ritualistically called “the social justice movement,” Jewish reformers among others seized on the concept of “healing the world.” Leftists in the Jewish community call it tikkun olam or “healing of the world.” Believers assert that Jews must endeavor to make the world a place better than what we now experience. As a consequence, an overwhelming number of Jews embrace this movement and the actions that result from it as biblically mandated. However, there is one problem as Jonathan Newmann in his book To Heal The World? points out, the bible says no such thing.

Syria has become the “sick man” of the Middle East, a territory laden with death and homelessness. In 2014 erstwhile president Barak Obama invited the Russians into the region to control the use of poison gas by their surrogate Bashar Assad. In 2015, as the Russians intervention expanded President Obama said this “is just going to get them stuck in a quagmire.” Senator McCain responded on the Senate floor that the policy of the Obama administration “replaced the risk of action with the perils of inaction.”

The factors behind the agenda are all too visible.

First, President Trump is committed to a North Korea without nuclear weapons, albeit some backsliding on the matter may be in the discussion, particularly the time-table.

Herbert London: Madeline Albright’s Fascism

Jun 6, 2018

With great fanfare Madeline Albright’s book, Fascism: A Warning, is being circulated to the leading lights in the publishing world. As the New York Times noted, “Who better to address these questions than Albright, whose life was shaped by fascism and whose contribution to the cultivation of democracy as a stateswoman and private citizen is unparalleled.”

Herbert London: The Emerging Constitutional Crisis

May 30, 2018

Clandestine activity in the CIA is designed to promote U.S. interests abroad and when occasion undermining governments hostile to our interests and to the local populace. Who would have guessed that this organization would use its assets to undermine a president of the United States perceived as a threat to their interests? In a manner unprecedented in American history, the CIA and the FBI conspired to undermine the presidency of a duly elected figure who captured 57 percent of the electoral vote.

North Korea’s abrupt cancellation of talks with the South this week undoubtedly weakens prospects for a June summit with the United States and underscores the volatility of relations on the Korean peninsula. Moreover, this decision by Kim Jung-un was precipitated by the joint military activity between South Korea and the U.S. planned months earlier with the North Korean government fully aware of the maneuvers. Was Kim using this matter to secure certain negotiating advantages with the U.S.?

Herbert London: When Alfie Evans Comes To America

May 16, 2018

The story of little Alfie Evans reveals a cultural direction for the West that should set off alarm bells in every capital. As National Review’s David French wonders, how does a nation essentially kidnap a child from a loving, functioning family, yank that same child off life support, deny him care as he unexpectantly fights to stay alive and then block attempts by a foreign government to… “provide him top notch care free of charge?” This bizarre condition was a function of bureaucratic directives emanating from the British Healthcare system.

Herbert London: The Karl Marx Legacy

May 9, 2018

The bicentennial anniversary of Karl Marx on May 5 came and went. This marginal thinker who became a curious voice of the disenchanted has haunted the globe with puerile economic analysis that a class of people has embraced as its own.

"South Pacific” has made its way to the Korean Peninsula with a lot of “Happy Talk.”  

News accounts would have you believe the meeting of Kim Jong-Un and his South Korean counterpart Moon Jae-In was a historic event aimed at denuclearization. In this highly choreographed event, Kim became the first leader of the North since the Korean War to set foot in the South. The two men shook hands as shutter bugs flashed photos. They acted like buddies in a scene belying the truth. Kim even signed the guest book noting: “A new history begins now — at the starting point of history and the era of peace.” Seoul officials reported that Kim told Moon he “won’t interrupt your early morning sleep anymore,” with nuclear tests.

Herbert London: Britain’s Lost Consciousness

Apr 4, 2018

In the midst of world changing events in Asia, Putin’s serial aggressions in Europe suggest the collapse of Western principles, specifically the defense of national interest. Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson in the United Kingdom said it is “overwhelmingly likely” Putin personally ordered the nerve agent attack on former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in the English city of Salisbury. Hours before these revelations, Scotland Yard said it was treating the death of Nikolai Glushov, another Russian expatriate and an associate of Putin’s critic, as murder.

Herbert London: The Ideological Crackup

Mar 28, 2018

The ideological crack-up between Left and Right was readily apparent when thousands of students marched against guns – guns that killed 17 Florida students in a violence that would awaken passion in even the most cold blooded. What it means, however, is seemingly less significant than the symbolism. Educators and politicians who should know better encouraged students to engage in protests. Mayor De Blasio in New York said students would not be punished if they left their desks to participate in the rallies.

Herbert London: The Unlikely Summit

Mar 21, 2018

Lawrence Eagleburger, a key President Reagan adviser, told the president to remove a reference to Star Wars in a national speech. The president balked. Eagleburger tried again and again he failed to persuade Reagan. Clearly the president marched to his own drummer and, in this case, employed use of the theoretical Star War possibilities to extract concessions from Soviet leaders.

Herbert London: The Fraud Accompanying March Madness

Mar 14, 2018

On a recent television program a former professional athlete, upset by the reflective knee bend as a protest during the national anthem at professional games, argued that sports aficionados should rely on the “purity” of the college game. As March Madness approaches, it is evident college basketball is far from pure. It is afflicted with fraud. Felony convictions have already occurred, and more are fully anticipated.

Herbert London: Defending Western Civilization

Mar 7, 2018

For those in the West who have lost their way, no longer sure of whether to believe in their traditions or believe at all, it is useful to recall that liberty is our overarching concern. Liberty, as Edmund Burke counsels, “must inhere in some sensible object; and every nation has formed to itself some favorite point, which… becomes the criterion of happiness.”

Herbert London: The U.S.-China Relations

Feb 28, 2018

It was part and parcel of the “new world order” espoused by Bush and Obama that a China integrated into the organizational structure of global affairs would not challenge the status-quo. Yet try as Washington has, China has its own agenda somewhat impervious to post-Cold War optimism.

Herbert London: Due Process Circa 2018

Feb 21, 2018

In defending an aide accused of wife beating, President Trump asked, “Is there no such thing any longer as Due Process?” Alas, without defending all such claims, the president has a point that allegation often translates into culpability without an adherence to due process.

Herb London: Trump’s Foreign Policy

Feb 14, 2018

Writing on the pages of The Weekly Standard Michael Warren contends President Trump does not have a foreign policy. According to him, “Trump’s foreign policy has been incoherent and usually reflected the views of whoever was most influential with the president at any given moment. Advisers have had to race to keep up with the wavering lines.”

Herbert London: Reliving The Lessons Of A Free Market

Feb 7, 2018

It is axiomatic to suggest that presidents get more credit than they deserve when the economy does well, and more blame than they deserve when the economy goes south. However, in the case of President Trump he is given almost no credit for the soaring economic market, despite the fact his tax reduction bill and executive orders cutting excessive regulation are in some manner catalysts for the market upswing.

Herbert London: God And Football

Jan 31, 2018

There were five seconds left in the playoff game between the Minnesota Vikings and the New Orleans Saints. The Saints had a two point lead and a virtual lock on the victory. But in one of the strangest events in National Football, Case Keenum, the Vikings’ quarterback, threw a pass to Stefon Diggs in the flat. He jumped up and dashed to the end zone. What was a virtually assured Saints’ victory became a Vikings visit to the NFL championship game.

Herbert London: From Innocence To Cynicism

Jan 24, 2018

In 1959 I made a record, a song that reflected the virtues of bourgeois culture: “We’re Not Going Steady.” The lyrics were pure “bubblegum,” silly yet nostalgic. “We’re not going steady because we’re never alone, I can’t even love you, love you on the telephone.” I was reminded of my foray into the rock world as I watched Kendrick Lamar and the half time entertainment at the College Football Championship. All I could think is how culture has been debased in six decades.

Herbert London: The Secret Alliance

Jan 17, 2018

A Swiss newspaper, Basler Zeitung, reported recently that a secret alliance between Israel and Saudi Arabia aimed at restraining Iran’s imperial desire for a land mass between Tehran and the Mediterranean was moving into a new phase. While there aren’t formal diplomatic ties between the two countries, military cooperation does exist. In fact, the Saudi government sent a military delegation to Jerusalem several months ago to discuss Iran’s role as a destabilizing force in the region.

Herbert London: 2017 - The Year That Never Was

Jan 10, 2018

With the election of Donald Trump came a spate of predictions suggesting the U.S. was spiraling into a cataclysm. CNN, MSNBC and a host of other networks argued a monumental market crash was just around the corner. Several analysts said war is inevitable in the first few months of the new administration. Some, relishing the opportunity to attack the new president, contended that someone as erratic as Donald Trump would bring the nation to the brink of nuclear war.

Herbert London: Terrorism Shows Its Ugly Face Again

Jan 3, 2018

A Bangladeshi man reportedly inspired by ISIS set off a pipe bomb strapped to his body sowing mass chaos in New York’s Port Authority, but fortunately causing few, if any injuries. It is believed the terrorist detonated his low-tech device prematurely.

Herbert London: Parsing The National Security Strategy

Dec 28, 2017

During the 2016 presidential campaign Donald Trump presented a revised version of U.S. foreign policy, one that as he suggested was a departure from the “new world order” espoused by President Bush and modified by President Obama.  With the release of the national security strategy it is obvious President Trump has a handle on “realism” and a belief – justified in my view – that the world is an increasingly dangerous place.

Herbert London: The Taylor Force Act

Dec 13, 2017

In an unusual display of bipartisanship, the U.S. House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed a bill to reduce U.S. funding for the Palestinians unless official bodies stop subsidizing the families of killers.