With his every hair in place and his virtually homespun quips perfectly timed, Zakaria at Yale on Wednesday offered yet another manifestation of himself as the $75,000-a-speech-giver at investment bank dinners.
Americans have been fighting in Afghanistan for longer than the Civil War, World War I, and World War II combined. America has overstayed its welcome. It's time to go home.
I serve because I believe national service is the most powerful idea we have to transform America. Through it, we redefine the foundation of citizenship and what we expect from all Americans.
We are damaging ourselves, our souls, and the earth. We are dealing out death at a distance, and slowly dying inside. Freedom is hard to bear. But so is war. So is our enslavement and inner blindness.
Unfortunately gun supporters are either accidentally or intentionally omitting the entire nature of the amendment.
American troops try hard. But they're heavily armed outsiders operating in a culture utterly foreign to them. Even when they seek to help, such help may breed resentment among a people with lots of dignity and pride.
Just what are we to make of the decade of military hagiography we've just passed through? What did it mean for two generals to soar to media glory while the wars they commanded landed in the nearest ditch?
America's military is astonishingly top heavy, with 945 generals and admirals on active duty as of March 2012. Such a dynamic leads to mediocrity rather than excellence.
Have we, those no longer in service, met our obligations to those still serving and to those who will serve? Have we honestly and critically examined our most recent histories and reported, candidly, what we saw, what we did, what we accomplished, whether or not it was worth it and what it meant?
Would this be an enormous undertaking? Certainly. But the country badly needs some nation-building at home and, aside from its goal of having us share the burden of military service, this could make a significant contribution to that process.
While Levin and his trustees have been deft managers of their storm-tossed craft, they've been poor visionaries and navigators for liberal education, whose course will require different risks and courage.
Murmurs of reinstating the draft are quietly pulsing through the media, and we should be listening. It may be a raw and terrifying idea to most, but the alternative -- being comfortable at war -- is so much worse.
This is the time to start publicly acknowledging we've won the war the United States declared in 2001 against those who "planned, authorized, committed or aided" the September 11 attacks, and those who harbored them. It's time to embark on a more rational counterterrorism policy.
There have been plenty of men -- from Lyndon Johnson to George W. Bush -- who were too stubborn to face facts, and sent more and more troops into a situation that called for fewer. We often confuse that bravado with leadership. It's not.
Liberal education probably couldn't survive without markets and states, but Yale's Richard Levin should be reminded that, in effect, in a liberal capitalist republic like ours, markets and states can't survive without liberal education.
The biggest obstacle to the strategy in Afghanistan wasn't American liberals' failure of nerve, as conservatives seldom pass up a chance to insist. The biggest obstacle was the delusion that Americans could do for Kabul and Kunduz what we refuse to do for New Orleans or Detroit.