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The Unz Review: An Alternative Media Selection

A Collection of Interesting, Important, and Controversial Perspectives Largely Excluded from the American Mainstream Media
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 Eric Margolis Archive
September 1961. Geneva, Switzerland. A Turkish classmate of mine named Turgut burst into my room, crying, ‘those bastards just hanged my father!’ The ‘bastards’ in question were Turkey’s generals. They had overthrown the civilian government of Adnan Menderes and hanged my friend’s father. Since, then, the mighty Turkish armed forces has tried to overthrow the... Read More
The French have a saying, ‘un malheur n’arrive jamais seul.’ That translates into ‘when it rains, it pours.’ This week, the heavens opened and poured on the nation’s national fete, Bastille Day. The day began with highly embarrassing revelations by a French satirical newspaper that the unpopular president, Francois Hollande, had a staff hairdresser making... Read More
This week’s Chilcot report on Britain’s role in the 2003 invasion of Iraq was as polite and guarded as a proper English tea party. No direct accusations, no talk of war crimes by then Prime Minister Tony Blair or his guiding light, President George W. Bush. But still pretty damning. Such government reports and commissions,... Read More
Britain just shot itself in both feet by voting to quit the European Union. After this tragedy comes the farce. London’s ruling class Tory toffs are now making even bigger fools of themselves by indulging in an ugly, backstabbing power struggle worthy of the TV drama, ‘Game of Thrones.’ Boris Johnson, the presumptive heir to... Read More
War with Russia appears increasingly likely as the US and its NATO satraps continue their military provocations of Moscow. As dangers mount, our foolish politicians should all be forced to read, and then re-read, Prof. Christopher Clark’s magisterial book, ‘The Sleepwalkers: How Europe Went to War in 1914.’ What is past increasingly appears prologue. Prof.... Read More
My beloved British godfather, Lynn Perkins, always used to warn me of the manifest evils of Europe and beyond, “remember, Eric, the wogs begin in Calais (pronounced ‘Callis’ by the Brits.)” Wog is a nasty British term for oily, untrustworthy foreigners. I recall the Perkins warning because of the upcoming British referendum to stay in... Read More
NEW YORK CITY – America is falling apart. Anyone who travels in this great land knows it. This great city is crumbling. I’m scared to take the underwater tunnels to Long Island or New Jersey. Our local airport, LaGuardia, should be in Zimbabwe. The American Society of Civil Engineers warns that crumbling roads, rusting bridges,... Read More
PARIS – ‘To arms, Frenchmen! Man the barricades!’ No, it’s not the French Revolution of 1789 but a sort of déjà vu. France is now gripped by an increasingly ugly, dangerous leftist uprising that could ignite similar unrest across Europe. The world’s premier tourist destination is being plunged into chaos. A ham-handed attempt by the... Read More
For those, like this writer, who esteem the arts of modern fortification, Metz is the Florence of military architecture. I greet the spring each year in Metz. This imposing city combines the dazzling, art modern architecture of the France’s Maginot Line with the pre-World War I older forts of the great builder, Serré de Rivières.... Read More
PARIS – Ah, the joys of Paris in the springtime. Riots every day and night; vandals smashing store windows and looting; traffic jams horrendous even by this city’s standards; air, train and metro disruptions. Tear gas wafts in the air. Add to this toxic mess the ongoing guerilla war between Uber cars and Paris’ notoriously... Read More
NEW YORK – It’s been a treat watching the arrogant, Masters of the Universe Republicans wring their hands and ululate over the terror that is Donald Trump. Most of my serious Republican friends don’t know what to do: they yearn to be close to power, but fear backing Trump will make them pariahs at their... Read More
During the 1973 Arab-Israeli War, Syrian forces had surprised Israel and were fast approaching the edge of the steep Golan Heights, captured by Israel during the 1967 war. It seemed as if Syrian armor and infantry would retake Golan, then pour down into Israeli Galilee. Soviet recon satellites observed Israel moving its nuclear-armed, 500km-range Jericho... Read More
Poor President Barack Obama flew to Saudi Arabia this past week but its ruler, King Salman, was too busy to greet him at Riyadh’s airport. This snub was seen across the Arab world as a huge insult and violation of traditional desert hospitality. Obama should have refused to deplane and flown home. Alas, he did... Read More
The great, long-awaited counterattack against ISIS has finally begun. The offensive that spans Syria and western Iraq is targeting the ISIS-held cities of Raqqa and Mosul, Iraq’s second largest city. For a variety of reasons, the much ballyhooed “final offensive” against ISIS is moving with all the speed of a medieval army of drunken foot... Read More
Should Japan and South Korea be permitted to develop nuclear weapons? That was the very good question posed last week by candidate Donald Trump. Washington’s elite and neocon war party threw up their hands in horror at Trump’s heretical question. The media, heavily influenced by neocons who hate Trump’s call for even-handed US policy in... Read More
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Donald Trump has been making many revolutionary proposals. Unfortunately, they have often been obscured by the furor over his fumbled remarks about abortion and the pulsating hatred of America’s Republican ruling class. The media have attacked Trump like a school of enraged piranhas. A contrived incident mounted by the hard right wing tried to make... Read More
Long ago in Havana, my mother and father would take me to the famed “Floridita” bar to join a burly, white-bearded man and drink daiquiris. He gave me his book, “A Farewell to Arms,” autographed to “Eric, from his friend Ernest Hemingway. Havana, 1953” Those were the old days in Cuba, even before Fidel Castro.... Read More
Palm Beach, Florida – Having an interesting dinner at Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate and residence – which may become the southern White House if fed-up American voters have their way. One feels an air of whispered importance and gravitas here. After Trump’s smashing primary victories this past week, there’s a growing sense that the Donald... Read More
Happiness is having your very own atomic bomb. This week we saw pictures of beaming North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un, examining either a nuclear model or maybe even the real warhead of a miniaturized nuclear weapon. Having a nuclear warhead is not, however, enough to scare your enemies and neighbors. You’ve got to have a... Read More
I went to Libya in 1987 to interview its strongman, Muammar Khadaffi. We spent an evening talking in his colorful Bedouin tent outside the Bab al-Azizya Barracks in Tripoli which had been bombed a year earlier by the US in an attempt to kill the troublesome Libyan leader. Khadaffi predicted to me that if he... Read More
VERDUN – One hundred years ago this week, German artillery launched a mighty barrage of one million shells at French defenses on the wooded hills and deep ravines above the ancient fortress city of Verdun. The thunderous explosions of the “trummelfeuer” were heard 160 km away. By the second year of World War I, static... Read More
“The evil that men do lives after them,” wrote Shakespeare. A prime example, former US President George W. Bush who appeared last week campaigning in South Carolina for his amiable younger brother, Jeb. George W. continues to haunt the Republican Party and damage its electoral chances. At home, Bush has been staying out of public... Read More
One night in his tent in Tripoli, Libya, Col. Muammar Khadafi told me, “the Saudis are a very rich family hiding behind high walls, terrified their neighbors will come and steal their wealth.” He was right. The covetous neighbor most feared by the Saudis are Iran, followed by Egypt, Turkey and, more distantly, Israel. Iraq... Read More
“When I’ve finished occupying the Soviet Union,” quipped a relaxed Adolf Hitler at dinner one night in 1941, “I’ll put that man Stalin back in charge. He’s the only person who knows how to deal with Russians.” Stalin was the biggest murderer of modern history – and maybe in of all mankind’s past. His number... Read More
Did Russia’s president Vladimir Putin approve the murder in London of Alexander Litvinenko? The renegade Russian FSB agent died an agonizing death after being poisoned in late 2006 with the deadly radioactive isotope, Polonium 210. So charged an official British inquiry chaired by Sir Robert Owen after years of investigation. Owen also accused former FSB... Read More
A new low in the presidential primary debates was reached last week when candidate Ted Cruz charged that Donald Trump represents “New York values.” This was almost as a bad as when presidential candidate John Kerry was accused of looking “too French.” New York values, claimed Cruz, are socially liberal, pro-abortion, pro-gay marriage, and a... Read More
“Let’s begin 2016…with the thrilling explosion of our first hydrogen bomb, so that the whole world will look up to our socialist, nuclear-armed republic and the great Workers’ Party of Korea!” Kim Jong-un North Koreans may be happy, but the rest of the world certainly is not. Predictably, the US, Japan, China, Australia and South... Read More
The Saudis have made themselves even more unpopular after decapitating or shooting 47 prisoners last week. Critics are calling them, “the white ISIS.” The men, Sunni and Shia, had been convicted of “terrorism,” belonging to al-Qaida, drug offenses, or membership in proscribed Shia groups. All but two of them were Saudi citizens. Most prominent among... Read More
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A striking example of how dangerously Americans are misinformed and misled by the war party was featured in a major article in 24 December, New York Times. In “Russia Rearms for a New Era,” the authors assert Russian military spending is growing and has risen $11 billion from 2014 to 2015. Lurid maps and diagrams... Read More
The French, who know much about intrigue, have a very useful expression, “an Italian scandal.” This means a scandal or plot that is so complex or tangled it defies understanding, and never gets solved. The death of 96-year old Masonic Grand Master Licio Gelli this week reopened the mystery of Italy’s greatest and most murky... Read More
Recent attacks by ISIS sympathizers in Paris, London and San Bernardino, California, are not random acts of mindless violence and gory atrocities. Far from it, they are part of a well-developed strategy by the Islamic State, or ISIS, to draw the western powers into a far larger war in the Mideast. They are being aided... Read More
Concentration of forces is the most basic law of military science. Victory on the battlefield is won by amassing as many troops as possible at the key point of attack, or ‘schwerpunkt,’ as it’s known in German. Unfortunately, the amateur strategists in the White House seem to have been studying social anthropology and women’s issues... Read More
Turn to page 214 in the book “War-making for Dummies.” You will find: “plan air operations right on your neighbor’s border, zig in and zag out, make rude gestures at enemy pilots, and shoot them down if you can.” On Tuesday this week, the inevitable air clash occurred on the Syrian-Turkish border west of Aleppo.... Read More
Last week’s massacre in Paris was not, as almost every writer mistakenly claimed, the worst atrocity in the City Of Light since World War II. As the renowned Mideast expert Robert Fisk quickly pointed out, an even worse atrocity occurred in Paris 54 years ago, on 17 October, 1961. Paris chief Maurice Papon, a former... Read More
On Friday the 13th, Paris, the City of Light, was plunged into darkness and fear. At least eight young jihadists, allegedly from the so-called Islamic State group, attacked the national sports stadium, where President Francois Hollande was attending a soccer match with Germany’s foreign minister. They also attacked outdoor cafes, a pizzeria and a rock... Read More
Whoever bombed the Russian airliner that was destroyed over Sinai last week must be having a hearty laugh watching the ensuing chaotic reaction of the great powers. As of this writing, it increasingly appears that the Russian Metroliner A321-200 Airbus was indeed downed by an explosion. Curiously, no traces of explosive residues have yet been... Read More
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Russia and US warplanes are flying way too close to one another over Syria and may soon, in Iraq. Drones are all over the place. An accident is inevitable. Civilian airliners are increasingly at risk over the Mideast. US ground troops may enter Syria. This week the missile destroyer, USS Lassen, openly challenged the maritime... Read More
Toronto- I used to call Canada ‘the land that time forgot.’ While the rest of the world lurched from crisis to crisis, Canada remained peaceful, humane, prosperous, progressive and famously polite, a sort of North American Scandinavia. Polls showed that Canada, for all its blandness and low profile, was one of the world’s most respected... Read More
Turkey, once a pillar of Mideast stability, looks increasingly like a slow-motion truck crash. What makes this crisis so tragic is that not very long ago Turkey was entering a new age of social harmony and economic development. Today, both are up in smoke as this week’s bloody bombing in Ankara that killed 99 people... Read More
ALMATY, KAZAKHSTAN – “We need a new name,” a senior official in Kazakhstan told me. “People keep confusing us with all the other crazy “stans.” We are not like them. Quite right. Compared to neighboring Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan and Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan is an island of tranquility and quiet development. Kazakhstan is the world’s 9th... Read More
Frankfurt, Germany –Could anyone in the Obama administration have been so slow-witted to imagine that Russia wouldn’t move hard to counter US efforts to overthrow Moscow’s ally, Syria? The Syrian war began almost five years ago by the US, France, Britain and Saudi Arabia to overthrow Syria’s Iranian and Russian-backed government. The result so far:... Read More
Drop of Light / Shutterstock.com
The Russians are coming! The Russians are coming!” So echoed the cry this week from the Pentagon, the US media and Republican candidates for president. How silly. It seems the Russians have sent six tanks to Syria, some medium artillery and a bunch of military technicians to two bases on Syria’s coast near Latakia. According... Read More
Remember when America erupted in fury over France’s refusal to support the US invasion of Iraq in 2003? President Jacques Chirac and Prime Minister Dominque de Villepin warned that George Bush’s unprovoked aggression against Iraq would destabilize the Mideast and inflict untold dangers on Europe. America’s response to the sage warning was to change the... Read More
The huge military parade held in Beijing this week was billed as a commemoration of China’s role in World War II. Over 15 million Chinese died in its eight-year resistance to Japanese invasion. China’s supreme leader, Xi Jinping, dressed in a finely tailored Mao suit, stood atop the Forbidden City’s Gate of Heavenly Peace to... Read More
My father, a New York financier, used to call dubious stocks or bonds, “Chinese paper.” Last week, we saw a blizzard of Chinese paper, both in China and around the world. As manager of a sizeable investment portfolio (an unwelcome second job from my main work, journalism), I watched last week’s near death experience on... Read More
The deaths in South Asia of three of the West’s ‘Great Satans’ were announced in recent weeks: Mullah Omar and Jalaluddin Haqqani in Afghanistan; and Pakistan’s Lt. Gen. Hamid Gul. I never met Mullah Omar though I was present at the birth and expansion of his movement, Taliban. Mullah Omar was a renowned combat veteran... Read More
Albert H. Teich / Shutterstock.com
Gov. Jeb Bush repeated one of the biggest falsehoods of our time during the recent presidential candidate debate: “we were misled (into the Iraq War) by faulty intelligence.” US intelligence was not “misled.” It was ordered by the real, de facto president, Dick Cheney, to provide excuses for a war of aggression against Saddam Hussein’s... Read More
All war is a crime. There is no such thing as a “good war.” As the great Benjamin Franklin said, “there is no good war; and no bad peace.” We are now in the midst of the annual debate over the atomic bombing of Japan by the United States. Seventy years ago this week, the... Read More
The killing in Zimbabwe of a magnificent lion named Cecil has ignited worldwide outrage and disgust. It should. In my view, hunting for sport is murder. The perpetrator was Walter Palmer, a small-town dentist from Minnesota with a record of killing large animals with a bow and high-powered rifles. A little man from a two-by... Read More
There’s been so much dramatic news these days – from Greece’s miseries to Iran, China from blowhard Donald Trump – that the shocking story of how America’s National Security Agency has been spying on German and French leadership has gone almost unnoticed. Last year, it was revealed that the NSA had intercepted Chancellor Angela Merkel’s... Read More
Eric Margolis
About Eric Margolis

Eric S. Margolis is an award-winning, internationally syndicated columnist. His articles have appeared in the New York Times, the International Herald Tribune the Los Angeles Times, Times of London, the Gulf Times, the Khaleej Times, Nation – Pakistan, Hurriyet, – Turkey, Sun Times Malaysia and other news sites in Asia.

He is a regular contributor to The Huffington Post, Lew Rockwell. He appears as an expert on foreign affairs on CNN, BBC, France 2, France 24, Fox News, CTV and CBC.

His internet column www.ericmargolis.com reaches global readers on a daily basis.

As a war correspondent Margolis has covered conflicts in Angola, Namibia, South Africa, Mozambique, Sinai, Afghanistan, Kashmir, India, Pakistan, El Salvador and Nicaragua. He was among the first journalists to ever interview Libya’s Muammar Khadaffi and was among the first to be allowed access to KGB headquarters in Moscow.

A veteran of many conflicts in the Middle East, Margolis recently was featured in a special appearance on Britain’s Sky News TV as “the man who got it right” in his predictions about the dangerous risks and entanglements the US would face in Iraq.

A native New Yorker, he maintains residences in Toronto and New York, with frequent visits to Paris.


Personal
Classics
Bin Laden is dead, but his strategy still bleeds the United States.
Egyptians revolted against American rule as well as Mubarak’s.
“America’s strategic and economic interests in the Mideast and Muslim world are being threatened by the agony in Palestine, which inevitably invites terrorist attacks against US citizens and property.”
A menace grows from Bush’s Korean blind spot.
Far from being a model for a “liberated” Iraq, Afghanistan shows how the U.S. can get bogged down Soviet-style.