From the Left



Steve Bannon has a legitimate point

From the Left / Fareed Zakaria /

NEW YORK -- The fire and fury over Michael Wolff's book has largely centered on the personalities and power struggles within the White House. But behind all of that lies an important political development, one that explains the real rift between Donald Trump and his former chief strategist, Steve Bannon. President Trump seems to have abandoned ...Read more

Iran faces a period of instability -- in an already volatile Middle East.

From the Left / Fareed Zakaria /

NEW YORK -- The most enlightening commentary on what is going on in Iran right now was written 162 years ago. In his book on the French Revolution, Alexis de Tocqueville explained, "Revolutions are not always brought about by a gradual decline from bad to worse. Nations that have endured patiently and almost unconsciously the most overwhelming ...Read more

The great global story of our age

From the Left / Fareed Zakaria /

Daniel Kahneman, who won a Nobel Prize in economics for reshaping our understanding of human motivation, once said: "No one ever made a decision because of a number. They need a story." That's as true for nations as for individuals. Countries have always oriented themselves within a larger international story. But what is today's global story?

...Read more

GOP tax bill would usher in a bleak future

From the Left / Fareed Zakaria /

NEW YORK -- If the Republican tax plan passes Congress, it will mark a watershed for the United States. The medium- and long-term effects of the plan will be a massive drop in public investment, which will come on the heels of decades of declining spending (as a percentage of GDP) on infrastructure; scientific research; skills training; and core...Read more

Trump demonstrates The Art of the Concession

From the Left / Fareed Zakaria /

NEW YORK -- With his decision to move the American Embassy to Jerusalem, President Trump did something puzzling for a person who claims to be a great deal-maker. He made a massive, pre-emptive concession to one side in a complicated negotiation without getting anything for it in return. If that's how he operates, it's no wonder so many of his ...Read more

Why plutocratic populism is working for Republicans

From the Left / Fareed Zakaria /

NEW YORK -- Watching the Republican tax plan race through Congress, one is reminded of a big apparent difference between Donald Trump's program and other populist movements in the Western world. In America, Trump is leading something that is best described as plutocratic populism, a mixture of traditional populist causes with extreme libertarian...Read more

Trump is now invested in a risky Saudi strategy

From the Left / Fareed Zakaria /

LONDON -- Donald Trump gave a speech this week grading his Asia trip. Not surprisingly, he thought it was a "tremendous success." "Our great country is respected again in Asia," he tweeted. All recent polling data from the region suggests the opposite. A core focus of Trump's trip was Japan and South Korea, but only 17 percent of South Koreans ...Read more

Strongmen have a new playbook for consolidating power

From the Left / Fareed Zakaria /

NEW YORK -- The news out of Saudi Arabia has been startling. A country famous for its stability to the point of stagnation is watching a 32-year-old crown prince arrest his relatives, freeze their bank accounts and dismiss them from key posts. But on closer examination, it should not be so surprising. Mohammed bin Salman is now applying to Saudi...Read more

Political pandering nurtures cancer of Islamic extremism

From the Left / Fareed Zakaria /

SINGAPORE -- This week's tragic terror attack in New York was the kind of isolated incident by one troubled man that should not lead to generalizations. In the 16 years since 9/11, the city has proved astonishingly safe from jihadi groups and individuals. And yet, speaking about it to officials in this major global hub 10,000 miles away, the ...Read more

China sees opportunity in America's declines

From the Left / Fareed Zakaria /

NEW YORK -- While news and analysis in America continue to be obsessed with Donald Trump's daily antics and insults, halfway around the world, something truly historic just happened. China signaled that it now sees itself as the world's other superpower, positioning itself as the alternative, if not rival, to the United States.

This is not my ...Read more

On North Korea and Iran, will Trump back down or double down?

From the Left / Fareed Zakaria /

NEW YORK -- Ken Burns and Lynn Novick's comprehensive documentary series on the Vietnam War is filled with the stories and voices of ordinary soldiers on all sides of the conflict. But the most tragic aspect of the tale, for me, was to hear Lyndon Johnson on tape, before full U.S. engagement, admitting that the war could not be won. Johnson's ...Read more

Tale of two climate strategies

From the Left / Fareed Zakaria /

WASHINGTON -- This week, The New York Times front page described the Trump administration's repeal of the Clean Power Plan, the Obama administration's attempt to slash carbon emissions from coal-fired power plants. "The war on coal is over," declared EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt. Right under that article was a story from halfway around the ...Read more

Stop talking about mental health -- It's a dodge

From the Left / Fareed Zakaria /

NEW YORK --"He's a sick man, a demented man," said Donald Trump, trying to explain the latest mass shooting in the United States. We hear this view expressed routinely, after every new incident. But it is a dodge, a distortion of the facts and a cop-out as to the necessary response.

There is no evidence that the Las Vegas shooter was insane. (I...Read more

The way out on North Korea

From the Left / Fareed Zakaria /

NEW YORK -- The confrontation between the United States and North Korea is in a more dangerous zone than at any point in decades. Each side has announced tough positions, issued threats, and underscored that its positions are non-negotiable. Each side is now boxed in, with little room to maneuver. How to get off this perilous path?

The Trump ...Read more

Trump's embrace of a post-American world

From the Left / Fareed Zakaria /

NEW YORK -- President Trump's speech to the United Nations was well delivered. But it was a strange mishmash of topics and tones, in parts celebrating realpolitik but then also asserting the importance of freedom and democracy. There was, however, one overriding theme -- the embrace of nationalism. And in striking that chord, Donald Trump did ...Read more


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