Seamos claros: lo que sucedió el miércoles 6 por la tarde en el Capitolio de Estados Unidos fue un intento de golpe de Estado, incitado por un presidente sin ley que intenta desesperadamente aferrarse al poder y alentado por sus cínicos facilitadores republicanos en el Congreso.
Quizás era inevitable que el mandato caótico e incompetente del presidente Donald Trump terminara entre disturbios y gases lacrimógenos. Desde que el general británico Robert Ross le prendió fuego a la residencia del presidente y al edificio del Capitolio, en 1814, no habíamos visto una escena así en la ciudadela sagrada de nuestra democracia: una multitud enojada y desilusionada, llevada al frenesí por el propio Trump, que forzó su entrada hacia el Capitolio para interrumpir la certificación oficial de la derrota electoral de Trump.… Seguir leyendo »
Si el presidente de Estados Unidos, Donald Trump, termina perdiendo la elección —como parece que sucederá—, la pregunta es qué tanto más daño puede hacer antes de que lo saquen a rastras de la Casa Blanca entre pataletas (o aspavientos). A juzgar por su comportamiento este jueves, me temo que deberíamos esperar lo peor.
Primero tuiteó “¡PAREN EL CONTEO!”, luego “¡PAREN EL FRAUDE!”. Sus demandas fueron tan antidemocráticas como contraproducentes: en ese momento Joe Biden, el candidato demócrata, iba a la delantera en suficientes estados como para obtener los 270 votos del Colegio Electoral y, por lo tanto, la presidencia.
Simpatizantes rabiosos de Trump se reunieron obedientemente afuera de edificios donde se estaban contando votos en Filadelfia, Phoenix, Las Vegas y otras ciudades, exigiendo que se detuviera el proceso electoral.… Seguir leyendo »
Al parecer, el presidente de los Estados Unidos, Donald Trump, pensó que podía evitar el juicio político usando mentiras y bravuconadas, pero estaba equivocado. Su lugar de deshonra en la historia ahora está casi asegurado.
El anuncio de la presidenta de la Cámara de Representantes, Nancy Pelosi, sobre el avance con artículos del juicio político era inevitable, y Trump no tiene a nadie a quien culpar más que a él mismo. Nadie lo obligó a intimidar a un gobierno extranjero para que lo ayudara en su intento de reelección. Nadie lo obligó a abusar del poder de la presidencia para beneficio personal.… Seguir leyendo »
Many performers can impress or delight, but only a few can astonish. Michael Jackson did it twice. The first time was October 1969, when the hit single "I Want You Back" introduced a cherubic 11-year-old boy who sang with unbelievable maturity, soulfulness and swing. The second was March 1983, when the prodigy -- now grown tall, thin and angular -- moonwalked through an electrifying "Billie Jean," leaving a national television audience slack-jawed at how effortlessly he defied the laws of physics.
Jackson's personal trajectory, though, was excruciating to watch. I've never put much stock in the idea that genius always devours those whom it favors.… Seguir leyendo »
I used to fear that President Obama was overestimating the power of his personal history as an instrument of foreign policy. Now I wonder if he might have been underestimating.
In several interviews during the long presidential campaign, Obama mentioned the potential impact in other countries of seeing an American president with an appearance and a life story like none of his predecessors. He spoke of how the Muslim world especially, addressed by a president who had a Muslim father and who spent years of his childhood in a Muslim country, might be more inclined to believe that the United States is not an enemy of Islam.… Seguir leyendo »
Mexico City is one of the greatest urban agglomerations in the world, a dense and teeming mountain valley with a population of more than 20 million. Wealthy enclaves have the sleekness of Manhattan or Beverly Hills, but much of the metropolitan area is gritty and anonymous. It must be an easy place in which to disappear.
Yet somehow, amid all the chaos and bustle, Mexican health authorities noticed an unusual cluster of deaths -- first just a handful, then a few dozen. That observation led to the identification of a new, potentially dangerous strain of influenza, and now governments worldwide are issuing travel advisories, readying stockpiles of medicine, canvassing hospitals for possible cases of "swine flu" and, of course, telling citizens not to panic.… Seguir leyendo »
Las muchas vías de investigación de las abusivas «técnicas de interrogatorio» practicadas por la administración Bush conducen a un hecho inconveniente y terco: la tortura no es sólo inmoral, sino también ilegal. Esto significa que una vez que sepamos toda la verdad, estaremos obligados por ley a actuar al respecto.Comprensiblemente, la Administración Obama quiere evitar entramparse en un largo y agotador drama legal que casi seguro será partidista y divisorio. Pero no estoy seguro de que sea posible esquivar las implicaciones delictivas de lo que ya sabemos, por no hablar de lo que podríamos descubrir en el curso de una investigación integral de estilo «comisión de la verdad» con acceso a todos los testigos y documentos relevantes.… Seguir leyendo »
The many roads of inquiry into the Bush administration's abusive "interrogation techniques" all lead to one stubborn, inconvenient fact: Torture is not just immoral but also illegal. This means that once we learn the whole truth, the law will oblige us to act on it.
Understandably, the Obama administration wants to avoid getting bogged down in a long, wrenching legal drama that almost certainly would be partisan and divisive. But I'm not sure it's possible to skirt the criminal implications of what we already know, let alone what we might find out in a full-scale "truth commission" investigation with access to all relevant witnesses and documents.… Seguir leyendo »
It's hard to argue with the results thus far from President Obama's "no drama" approach to campaigning and governing, but I think he should learn to chew a little scenery when the occasion demands. Theatricality is one of the weapons in any leader's arsenal, and a well-timed glower or growl can have more impact than a sheaf of position papers.
Obama's critics are upset that at the recent Summit of the Americas, held in Trinidad and Tobago, he treated his fellow leaders from around the hemisphere as peers. Obama's collegial attitude was, indeed, a break from tradition -- and was long overdue.… Seguir leyendo »
The Congressional Black Caucus delegation that visited Havana last week was naive not to notice -- or disingenuous not to acknowledge -- that Cuba is hardly the paradise of racial harmony and equality it pretends to be. Still, that's no reason for the United States to continue the illogical, ineffective, hard-line policies that have produced an unbroken 47-year record of failure.
President Obama's action yesterday -- he eased some restrictions on travel, gifts and remittances, but only for Cuban Americans -- is barely a start. He should go so far as to actually base our Cuba policy on reality. After all, we've tried everything else.… Seguir leyendo »
It was around 3 a.m. on Jan. 1, 1959, when Cuban dictator Fulgencio Batista slipped away to the airport and fled his island nation, hauling as much loot as his aircraft could carry. Hours later, the audacious young man whose badly outnumbered guerrilla forces had defeated Batista's army stepped onto a balcony overlooking Cespedes Park in the eastern city of Santiago. It was the first time that Fidel Castro had faced a cheering crowd as Cuba's unquestioned leader. It would hardly be the last.
The turning of the year marks the 50th anniversary of the Cuban revolution -- and yet another reminder of wrongheaded U.S.… Seguir leyendo »
The federal manslaughter indictment of five Blackwater Worldwide security guards in the horrific massacre of more than a dozen Iraqi civilians in Baghdad may look like an exercise in accountability, but it's probably the exact opposite -- a whitewash that absolves the government and corporate officials who should bear ultimate responsibility.
If what Justice Department prosecutors allege is true, the five guards -- Donald Ball, Dustin Heard, Evan Liberty, Nicholas Slatten and Paul Slough -- should have to answer for what happened on Sept. 16, 2007. The men, working under Blackwater's contract to protect State Department personnel in Iraq, are charged with spraying a busy intersection with machine-gun fire and grenades, killing at least 14 unarmed civilians and wounding 20 others.… Seguir leyendo »
A concept that excludes nothing defines nothing. That's why one of the most urgent tasks for President-elect Barack Obama's "Team of Rivals" foreign policy brain trust is coming up with a coherent intellectual framework -- and a winning battle plan -- for the globe-spanning asymmetrical conflict that George W. Bush calls the "war on terror."
Terrorism (for the umpteenth time) is a tactic, not an enemy; Bush might as well declare war against flanking maneuvers or amphibious landings. Everyone knows what Bush is trying to say, and no one can deny the potential of terrorist attacks to destroy lives and change the world.… Seguir leyendo »
"I have said repeatedly that I intend to close Guantanamo, and I will follow through on that. I have said repeatedly that America doesn't torture, and I'm going to make sure that we don't torture. Those are part and parcel of an effort to regain America's moral stature in the world."
That unequivocal passage from President-elect Barack Obama's first extended interview since the election, broadcast on "60 Minutes" Sunday night, was a big step toward healing the damage that the Bush administration has done not just to our nation's image but to its soul.
Amid the excitement of the election and the urgency of the economic crisis, it has been easy to lose sight of the terrorism-related "issues" that defined George W.… Seguir leyendo »
Few landmark Supreme Court rulings have been so widely predicted as yesterday's decision striking down the District of Columbia's ban on handguns. The mere fact that the court agreed to hear the case was a pretty good indication that the justices were itching to make some kind of big statement about the Second Amendment. Questions from the bench during oral arguments in March left little doubt as to which way the wind was blowing.
This case, for me, is one of those uncomfortable situations in which my honest opinion is not the one I'd desperately like to be able to argue.… Seguir leyendo »
It shouldn't be necessary for the Supreme Court to tell the president that he can't have people taken into custody, spirited to a remote prison camp and held indefinitely, with no legal right to argue that they've been unjustly imprisoned -- not even on grounds of mistaken identity. But the president in question is, sigh, George W. Bush, who has taken a chainsaw to the rule of law with the same manic gusto he displays while clearing brush at his Texas ranch.
So yesterday, for the third time, the high court made clear that the Decider has no authority to trash the fundamental principles of American jurisprudence.… Seguir leyendo »
For nearly five decades, the United States has pursued a policy toward Cuba that could be described as incredibly stupid.
It could also be called childish and counterproductive -- and, since the demise of the Soviet Union, even insane. Absent the threat of communist expansionism, the refusal by successive American presidents to engage with Cuba has not even a fig leaf's worth of rationale to cover its naked illogic. Other than providing Fidel Castro with a convenient antagonist to help whip up nationalist fervor on the island -- and prolong his rule -- the U.S. trade embargo and other sanctions have accomplished nothing.… Seguir leyendo »
Has anyone noticed that Iraq, supposedly transformed into an oasis of peace and tranquility by George W. Bush's troop surge, is growing less peaceful and tranquil by the day?
The nation's attention has been riveted by the presidential campaign, with its compelling characters and its edge-of-your-seat story line. Iraq is treated almost as a theoretical issue: What would happen there if Barack Obama became president, as opposed to what would happen if Hillary Clinton became president, as opposed to what would happen if John McCain became president? There has been little debate about what's happening in Iraq right now.
That seems likely to change.… Seguir leyendo »
Twenty years ago, when The Post decided to send me to South America as a foreign correspondent, the first thing I did was run out and buy a copy of Evelyn Waugh's "Scoop." Published in 1938, Waugh's great comic novel charts the misadventures of William Boot, a mild-mannered columnist who normally ekes out a living by writing, badly, about the English countryside -- "Feather-footed through the plashy fen passes the questing vole," goes one classic Boot line -- but mistakenly is sent to cover a civil war in the fictional African nation of Ishmaelia. High jinks ensue.
One of the book's many delights is its over-the-top depiction of the swashbuckling, cutthroat, hilariously amoral British press.… Seguir leyendo »