James M. Lindsay

The Water's Edge

Lindsay analyzes the politics shaping U.S. foreign policy and the sustainability of American power.

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Showing posts for "TWE Remembers"

Ten Americans Who Died in 2013 Who Shaped U.S. Foreign Policy

by James M. Lindsay
American flags fly at half mast. (Jonathan Ernst/Courtesy Reuters) American flags fly at half mast. (Jonathan Ernst/Courtesy Reuters)

Year’s end is a time for taking stock, counting successes, and assessing failures. It is also a time for remembering those who are no longer with us. Here are ten Americans who died in 2013 who through their vision, service, intellect, or courage helped shape U.S. foreign policy. They will be missed. Read more »

Ten Historical Anniversaries of Note in 2014

by James M. Lindsay
Pictures of victims of the 1994 Rwandan genocide on display at the Gisozi memorial in Kigali. (Radu Sigheti Pictures of the Year 2004/Courtesy Reuters) Pictures of victims of the 1994 Rwandan genocide on display at the Gisozi memorial in Kigali. (Radu Sigheti Pictures of the Year 2004/Courtesy Reuters)

Anniversaries are how we mark the passage time of time, celebrate our triumphs, and honor our losses. Two thousand and thirteen had its share of historical anniversaries of note: the five hundredth anniversary of Juan Ponce de Leon’s discovery of Florida, the two-hundred-and-fiftieth anniversary of the end of the French and Indian (or Seven Years’) War, the one-hundred-and-fiftieth anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg, the fiftieth anniversary of John F. Kennedy’s assassination, and the twentieth anniversary of the Oslo Accords, to name a few. Two thousand and fourteen will also see anniversaries of many significant events in world history. Here are ten of note: Read more »

Happy Birthday to the United States Marine Corps!

by James M. Lindsay
U.S. Marine Corps Major General Michael Dana uses a saber to slice a cake for the Marines' 237th birthday (Chip East/Courtesy Reuters). U.S. Marine Corps Major General Michael Dana uses a saber to slice a cake for the Marines' 237th birthday (Chip East/Courtesy Reuters).

The Marine Corps turns 238 years-old today. On November 10, 1775, the Continental Congress adopted a resolution to create a Marine force composed of two battalions. Since then, the Marines have been “from the halls of Montezuma to the shores of Tripoli” and many other places as well. Read more »

Answers to the July 4th Trivia Quiz

by James M. Lindsay
People gather to watch the Independence Day fireworks display in Independence, Iowa (Jessica Rinaldi/Courtesy Reuters). People gather to watch the Independence Day fireworks display in Independence, Iowa (Jessica Rinaldi/Courtesy Reuters).

Here are the answers for the third annual TWE July 4th trivia quiz. If you got all the questions right without Googling for the answers, a tip of the TWE cap to you. However well you did, take some time today to read the Declaration of Independence. Its message is timeless. This is a great country. Enjoy the holiday. Read more »

July 4th Trivia Quiz

by James M. Lindsay
Fireworks light up the sky over Washington, seen from the U.S. Marine Corps Memorial in Arlington, Virginia (Jonathan Ernst/Courtesy Reuters). Fireworks light up the sky over Washington, seen from the U.S. Marine Corps Memorial in Arlington, Virginia (Jonathan Ernst/Courtesy Reuters).

Tomorrow is July 4th. It’s my favorite holiday: it celebrates a great historical event, hot dogs are the food of the day, and I don’t have to buy anyone a present. To celebrate the holiday, I am offering up the annual TWE July 4th trivia quiz, which began in 2011 and was repeated again in 2012. Below you will find thirteen new questions in honor of the original thirteen colonies that threw off the yoke of British tyranny. Google away for the answers if you wish. Or you can wait until I post the answers tomorrow. Either way, have a fun and safe Fourth of July! Read more »

TWE Remembers: John F. Kennedy’s “Ich bin ein Berliner” Speech

by James M. Lindsay
A crowd watches President Kennedy as he delivers his “Ich bin ein Berliner” speech at Rudolph Wilde Platz in West Berlin (Robert Knudsen. White House Photographs. John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston). A crowd watches President Kennedy as he delivers his “Ich bin ein Berliner” speech at Rudolph Wilde Platz in West Berlin (Robert Knudsen. White House Photographs. John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston).

Being president is a tough job. Your every mistake is relentlessly dissected and replayed. Even when you get it right, people sometimes insist you got it wrong. Just ask John F. Kennedy. On June 26, 1963, he gave a rousing speech to several hundred thousand cheering West Berliners. Yet that speech is misremembered by many people a half century later for a mistake he did not make. Read more »

TWE Remembers: Winston Churchill’s “Finest Hour” Speech

by James M. Lindsay
A statue of Winston Churchill stands outside the Houses of Parliament in London (Toby Melville/Courtesy Reuters). A statue of Winston Churchill stands outside the Houses of Parliament in London (Toby Melville/Courtesy Reuters).

One for all and all for one. That simple principle underlies all alliances. But what happens when the all dwindles and the one ends up alone? That’s the position Britain found itself in the late spring of 1940. Poland, Norway, Denmark, Belgium, the Netherlands, and France had all fallen under the Nazi jackboots. Britain was the only thing standing between Adolf Hitler and control of Europe. With Britain tottering on the abyss, its prime minister, Winston Churchill, gave one of the great rallying cries in world history, the “finest hour” speech of June 18, 1940. Read more »

TWE Remembers: Herbert Hoover Signs the Smoot-Hawley Tariff Into Law

by James M. Lindsay
Representative Willis G. Hawley (R-OR) and Senator Reed Smoot (R-UT) on the steps of the Senate office building (Courtesy Library of Congress). Representative Willis G. Hawley (R-OR) and Senator Reed Smoot (R-UT) on the steps of the Senate office building (Courtesy Library of Congress).

Economists are said to be too smart for their own good and not smart enough for anyone else’s. If so, should presidents take their advice? One president who wishes he had is Herbert Hoover. In June 1930, more than 1,000 economists signed a letter urging him to veto a bill that Congress had sent to his desk. Hoover disregarded their counsel, however, and on June 17, 1930 signed into law the Smoot-Hawley Tariff. The law intensified the Great Depression and helped solidify Hoover’s ranking as one of the worst presidents in American history.
Read more »

Birthday Wishes to the United States Army!

by James M. Lindsay
Members of the U.S. Army Band perform during the Army's birthday celebration at Times Square on June 14, 2012 (Shannon Stapleton/Courtesy Reuters). Members of the U.S. Army Band perform during the Army's birthday celebration at Times Square on June 14, 2012 (Shannon Stapleton/Courtesy Reuters).

Doughboy. GI. Grunt. Dogface. Warrior. Whatever term you prefer, if you see an active duty, former, or retired member of the United States Army today, wish their service Happy Birthday. The United States Army just turned 238 years old.

The Army website provides a short but thorough overview of its history. Here are five tidbits worth knowing: Read more »