John J. Tierney Jr. is a Professor Emeritus at IWP and Former Special Assistant and Foreign Affairs Officer for the U.S. Arms Control and Disarmament Agency.
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A House Divided

Lincoln and the Civil War In 1858, Abraham Lincoln declared for posterity that “a house divided against itself cannot stand.” This reflection, now iconic, is actually both innocent and wrong. Innocent since anything truly divided will collapse, be it a “house” or a nation. Wrong since the American “house” had slavery from the beginning, while…

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Liberty vs. Equality

One hates to quarrel with, perhaps, the greatest political document in history, but it is not “self-evident” that “all men are created equal.” Indeed, precisely the opposite is true. Why, then, did the Founders (i.e. Jefferson) put that clause in? At face value, it is ridiculous. No doubt, Jefferson was referring to a much higher…

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The Idea of White Privilege

In a recent political debate, one participant discussed how to make “our communities stronger.” But after two hundred-plus years of American communities, why are they now in need of “strength”? Her answer: acknowledge “white privilege.” What is she talking about? Privilege By the dictionary, “privilege” is “special rights or immunities.” That, however, begs the question:…

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Greenland

Trump wants to buy Greenland: What else is new?

Speculation that President Trump has expressed interest in purchasing Greenland from Denmark has inspired gossip in the media as to how “serious” he is. In history, countries either expand by conquest or by purchase, the former being the most common. Should Trump announce that the U.S. will occupy and seize the island, speculation would undoubtedly…

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Franklin D. Roosevelt and Churchill in Casablanca

The Twentieth Century

I frequently ask my history class “what is the most significant enduring fact of the twentieth century”? In explaining, I emphasized “enduring” rather than single event. In most cases, the most significant fact was the beginning of something/someone. For America, it was July 4, 1776, for the airplane, the Kitty Hawk event, for the telephone,…

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What Foreign Policy Shall We Have?

The above question, attributed to Leon Trotsky after the Bolshevik revolution in 1917, was an ideological admission that world Communism would soon remove the need for any “bourgeois” remnants of history that might survive Marxism’s final triumph. Assuming the inevitable, “scientific” victory of worldwide Communist-Socialism, the Bolsheviks of that time had complete faith that their…

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Political Hysteria: American as Cherry Pie

While most readers do not recall political history back to “I Like Ike,” I certainly do, and I am, thus, appalled (but not surprised) by the fever-pitch of “hysteria” that has been ongoing for at least three years. Hysteria is defined as “…overwhelming or unmanageable fear or emotional excess.” Synonyms are “frenzy, rage, fury, rampage,…

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The Russians Are (Always) Here

Recently, I wrote that evidence demonstrating Russian involvement in the 2016 election was fragmentary, ambiguous, and certainly not “public knowledge.” The testimonies of both Special Counsel Robert Mueller and Attorney General William Barr did little to dispel this conclusion, but Mueller is scheduled to testify to Congress next week. Evidence in the Mueller Report One…

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Remembering Pat Derian, human rights activist

Undoubtedly, few readers will remember this name, yet she was the chief architect of American foreign policy during the Carter Administration, 1977 – 1981. She was neither Secretary of State, nor a member of the National Security Council. Her background was exclusively domestic, as an activist for civil and voting rights for blacks in Mississippi…

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Isolationism: The People’s Choice

George Washington’s 1796 Farewell Address set the stage for more than 150 years of “isolationism” for American foreign policies. While the advice was challenged prior to both world wars and brought the U.S. into each, the idea of abstention from external political affairs became a near-sacred political “theology” for most American history. Even after it…

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