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Fixing the world after Iraq

By Louis René Beres
Seldom do our national leaders take time to look meaningfully behind the news. As we now see with considerable clarity, watching the spasms of growing sectarian violence in Iraq, the results can be grievously unfortunate, or even genuinely catastrophic.

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Error, metaphor, and the American road to war

By Louis René Beres
For too long, sheer folly has played a determinative role in shaping US military policy. Before Washington commits to any new war or “limited action” in the Middle East, it would be prudent to look back at some of our previous misjudgments.

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Striking Syria when the real danger is Iran

By Louis René Beres
As the world’s attention focuses on still-escalating tensions in Syria, Tehran marches complacently to nuclear weapons status, notably nonplussed and unhindered. When this long-looming strategic plateau is finally reached, most probably in the next two or three years, Israel and the United States will have lost any once-latent opportunities to act preemptively.

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Israel’s survival in the midst of growing chaos

By Louis René Beres
Nowadays, chaotic disintegration seems widely evident in world politics, especially in the visibly-fragmenting Middle East. What does it mean to live with a constant and unavoidable awareness of such fracturing? This vital question should be asked everywhere on earth, but most urgently in Israel.

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The essential human foundations of genocide

By Louis René Beres
“In the end,” says Goethe, “we are creatures of our own making.” Although offered as a sign of optimism, this insight seems to highlight the underlying problem of human wrongdoing. After all, in the long sweep of human history, nothing is more evident and palpable than the unending litany of spectacular crimes.

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To fix a broken planet

By Louis René Beres
Whatever our faith-based differences concerning immortality, death has an unassailable biological purpose — to make species survival possible. Nonetheless, we humans need not always hasten the indispensable process with utterly enthusiastic explosions of crime, war, terrorism, and genocide.

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Empathizing toward human unity

By Louis René Beres
According to ancient Jewish tradition traced back to the time of Isaiah, the world rests upon thirty-six just men — the Lamed-Vov. For these men who have been chosen and must remain unknown even to themselves, the spectacle of the world is insufferable beyond description. Eternally inconsolable at the extent of human pain and woe, so goes the Hasidic tale, they can never even expect a single moment of real tranquility.

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Democracy as distraction

By Louis René Beres
In our American republic, democracy is allegedly easy to recognize. We the people seek change and progress via regular presidential elections. Every four years, proclaims our national mantra, electoral politics offer us the best form of human governance. If only we can choose the right person, we will be alright. How could it be otherwise?

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Fears and celebrations

By Louis René Beres
Once each year, on my birthday, I look closely in the mirror, much more closely than on ordinary days. Each year, I grow more apprehensive, of the unavoidable ebbing away of life, of the lingering loneliness that has come ever so incrementally with the death of others, of the gnawing obligation as a husband, father and grandfather to stay alive myself, and of the utterly certain knowledge that there is nothing I can ever do to meet this “responsibility.”

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Israel and Iran at the eleventh hour

Professor Louis René Beres and General John T. Chain (USAF/ret.)
In world politics, irrational does not mean “crazy.” It does mean valuing certain goals or objectives even more highly than national survival. In such rare but not unprecedented circumstances, the irrational country leadership may still maintain a distinct rank-order of preferences. Unlike trying to influence a “crazy” state, therefore, it is possible to effectively deter an irrational adversary.

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Occupy Wall Street, Adam Smith, and the Wealth of Nations

By Louis René Beres
“Eat the rich.” This palpably unappetizing sign can still be seen at certain Occupy Wall Street demonstrations. Although obviously silly at a literally gastronomic level, the uncompromising message’s sub-text remains deeply serious. Above all, it reaffirms the steadily hardening polarities of growing class warfare in the United States. Plainly, America’s Edenic myth of “equality” continues to unravel before the sobering and relentless statistics of a continuously-entrenched plutocracy.

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Israel’s strategic nuclear doctrine: ambiguity versus openness

By Louis René Beres
Israel’s nuclear posture is always closely held. This cautious stance would appear to make perfect sense. But is such secrecy actually in the long-term survival interests of the Jewish State? The answer should be based upon a very carefully reasoned assessment of all available options.

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When science may not be enough

By Louis René Beres
We live in an age of glittering data analysis and complex information technologies. While there are obvious benefits to such advancement, not all matters of importance are best understood by science. On some vital matters, there is a corollary and sometimes even complementary need for a deeper –more palpably human – kind of understanding.

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Israel’s urgent strategic imperative

By Louis René Beres
It is hard to understand at first, but Israel’s survival is linked to certain core insights of the great Spanish existentialist philosopher, Jose Ortega y Gasset. Although he was speaking to abstract issues of art, culture, and literature, Ortega’s insights can be extended productively to very concrete matters of world politics.

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Ancient manuscripts and modern politics

By Louis René Beres
Oddly, perhaps, there are striking similarities between Western Epicureanism and Eastern Buddhism. Even a cursory glance at Lucretius, On The Nature of Things, reveals a characteristically “Buddhist” position on human oneness and human transience. Greek and Roman Stoicism, too, share this animating concept, a revealing vision of both interpersonal connectedness and civilizational impermanence.

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Geography, chronology, and Israel’s survival

By Louis René Beres
Modern science has spawned revolutionary breakthroughs in the essential meanings of space and time. Still, such major breakthroughs in human consciousness remain distant from the often overlapping worlds of diplomacy and international relations. This disregarded distance is dangerous, and, potentially, catastrophic. In the Middle East, especially, there is ample room for needed reconciliations between science and diplomacy.

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