Will’s Take: U.S. Should Beware of ‘Narcissistic Policy Disorder’

“We must beware at an occasion like this of what’s been called ‘narcissistic policy disorder,’” Will said on Fox News Sunday. “That is the belief that everything in the world is about us: Either we did or said something, or didn’t do or didn’t say something, and if we did something or said something, it would all be well. We can’t do that now.”

Freedom House Ratings: United States Profile

Ratings Change:

The United States’ political rights rating declined from 1 to 2 due to growing evidence of Russian interference in the 2016 elections, violations of basic ethical standards by the new administration, and a reduction in government transparency.


The United States is arguably the world’s oldest existing democracy. Its people benefit from a vibrant political system, a strong rule-of-law tradition, robust freedoms of expression and religious belief, and a wide array of other civil liberties. However, in recent years its democratic institutions have suffered erosion, as reflected in partisan manipulation of the electoral process, bias and dysfunction in the criminal justice system, and growing disparities in wealth, economic opportunity, and political influence.

Key Developments in 2017:

  • Newly elected president Donald Trump, who took office in January, defied ethical standards observed by his recent predecessors, for instance by retaining and promoting his private business empire while in office, naming his daughter and son-in-law as presidential advisers, and refusing to divulge his tax records.
  • The president repeatedly made major policy decisions with little prior consultation or transparency even within the executive branch—including a January executive order restricting travel to the United States from a group of Muslim-majority countries and a July directive that sought to ban transgender people from serving in the military—prompting legal challenges, revisions, and reversals.
  • Investigations into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election gathered force under the leadership of a special counsel, former Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) director Robert Mueller. Mueller was appointed in May after Trump fired FBI director James Comey, who had been overseeing the probe.

The Photos the U.S. and Saudi Arabia Don’t Want You to See

Human Rights Watch has repeatedly concluded that many Saudi airstrikes were probable war crimes and that the U.S. shares responsibility because it provides the Saudis with air-to-air refueling and intelligence used for airstrikes, as well as with much of the weaponry.

 .. Yet victims like Buthaina aren’t on our television screens and rarely make the news pages, in part because Saudi Arabia is successfully blocking foreign journalists from the rebel-held areas.
.. But Saudi military jets control this airspace and ban any flight if there’s a journalist onboard.
.. “More than 20 million Yemenis are in need of emergency assistance, and a child dies every five minutes. Yet few Americans know about the daily bloodshed, near-famine conditions and a raging cholera epidemic.”
.. But it’s our side that appears to be responsible for the most deaths: A draft U.N. report says that the Saudi-led coalition is responsible for 65 percent more deaths of children than the Houthis and their allies, and it’s the Saudis who have imposed the blockade that is leading to starvation.
.. 5,000 Yemenis are infected with cholera each day.
.. “U.S. policy is being driven by its pro-Saudi proclivities and its own desire to contain Iran. But by enabling Riyadh, it’s only making an already fraught situation worse.”
.. A remarkable 47 senators in June voted to block a major arms sale to Saudi Arabia, largely because of qualms about Saudi conduct in Yemen.
.. We Americans have sometimes wondered how Russia can possibly be so Machiavellian as to support its Syrian government allies as they bomb and starve civilians. Yet we’re doing the same thing with Saudi Arabia, and it’s just as unconscionable when we’re the ones complicit in war crimes.