The Ebola travel ban debate: Shut Up, the Washington Post explained

Relax, it’s just a joke. Brad Pitt would never fly commercial.

A lot of people are scared about Ebola, far more than they should be. The media’s response has been either to pump up the terror, or to assist the White House in assuring us that all is well and that top men — top men — are on it.

The question of whether to restrict visas for people from the plague-hit areas — inaccurately called a “travel ban” — is driving everyone crazy, especially the people who feel they’ve been tasked to defend the President’s dismissal of the idea. (When the President actually orders it, as he probably will, the whiplash is going to hurt.) Continue reading →

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Who I represent, and who I don’t

© Justin Ide, Harvard News Office

You – yes, you. Stand still, laddie.

It’s the political season, and we’re hip-deep in scandals and wars. I have views on many of these events, as almost three years of this blog attest. (There’s a midterm election coming in three weeks, and you can bet I have a deep interest in it, particularly in the Senate races — because I’m a political scientist, and also, you know, a former Senate staff member.)

But just where do my views come from, and whom do they represent? If you don’t care about that, you can close this page and move on. But if you’re interested in issues of academic freedom, partisan politics, and national security debates, then keep reading. Continue reading →

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When I predicted the current era of intervention: Read the first chapter of Eve of Destruction

Obama-Syria-570x332In 2008, I wrote a book called Eve of Destruction, in which I predicted the current era of intervention, humanitarian and otherwise. Thanks to the generosity of my publisher, the University of Pennsylvania, you can read the first chapter of Eve of Destruction free of charge via the PDF here and get a quick look at the overall argument. Written between 2004 and 2007 and originally spurred by things I’d followed in Russia and France rather than the war in Iraq, I predicted that there would be more, rather than fewer U.S., Russian, and Western interventions in the world: the problem was not limited to one U.S. administration, but began after the end of the Cold War and wouldn’t end with Iraq. Continue reading →

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Glad to help out the Colbert Report

Stephen Colbert, like a lot of other people, had some fun with Bill O’Reilly’s idea of a mercenary force to fight terrorism, which I commented on (as you can see in my previous post). I guess Colbert thought what I said was funny, because he riffed off my comments on his show this week:


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