Laura Secor

Laura Secor is a freelance author living in New York.

Recent Articles


On June 30, a temporary, appointed Iraqi government will assume what the Bush administration now calls "limited sovereignty” over a country still policed by troops under foreign command. The six-month period during which that interim caretaker government, outlined Wednesday at the United Nations Security Council by special envoy Lakhdar Brahimi, will have nominal control of Iraq may well prove to be the most precarious of the entire Iraqi venture. A weak government that lacks popular legitimacy will attempt to exercise authority over a restive country bristling with militias, all while picking its way through the minefield that will be its relationship with the United States. If the caretaker government defies U.S. interests and is overruled by presumptive U.S. Ambassador John Negroponte, it will betray its powerlessness. If it accedes uniformly to U.S. wishes, particularly on matters of security, it appears to be nothing more than a vehicle for the continuation of the occupation. Its...

Foreign Discomfort

The Sorrows of Empire: Militarism, Secrecy, and the End of the Republic By Chalmers Johnson, Metropolitan Books, 400 pages, $25.00 America Unbound: The Bush Revolution in Foreign Policy By Ivo H. Daalder and James M. Lindsay, The Brookings Institution, 246 pages, $22.95 President George W. Bush's foreign policy has been nothing if not polarizing. Nearly all the Democratic primary candidates were able to throw darts at it in their stump speeches to cheers of approval. The front tables of urban bookstores teem with anti-Bush manifestos, and no end of exposés on the administration's mendacity circulate through networks of protesters over the Web. There's something intoxicating about all this, but also reason to be wary. Polarization can be a mixed blessing for the opposition in an election year. It doesn't only make Democrats and Republicans more energetically partisan; it also emboldens the radical fringes of both parties and draws them increasingly into the mainstream. Liberals know...