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Foreign Policy

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Amidst the rising clamor in the US over groping and goosing, America’s Congress is beginning to fret about President Donald Trump’s shaky finger being on the nation’s nuclear button. The air force officer that dutifully trails the president carries the electronic launch codes in a black satchel that could ignite a world war that would... Read More
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What’s going on in Saudi Arabia? Over 200 bigwigs detained and ‘illegal profits’ of some $800 billion confiscated. The kingdom is in an uproar. The Saudi regime of King Salman and his ambitious 32-year old son, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, claim it was all part of an ‘anti-corruption’ drive that has Washington’s full backing.... Read More
The British Empire, which at the end of the 19th century ruled one quarter of the earth’s land surface, is long gone. But its robust successor and heir, the United States, has set about enlarging it. As I sought to explain in my last book ‘American Raj – How the US Rules the Muslim World,’... Read More
China was blessed by two great leaders in the 20th century. Mao Zedong created modern China out of the wreckage of a nation devastated by war, western and Japanese imperialism, ferocious poverty and lack of national spirit. ‘Great Helmsman’ Mao made catastrophic mistakes that killed millions and was dotty at the end, but he put... Read More
The so-called Islamic State organization was primarily a bogeyman encouraged by the western powers. I’ve been saying this for the last four years. I asserted, as a former soldier and war correspondent, that IS would collapse like a wet paper bag if proper western ground forces attacked their strongholds in Syria and Iraq. This week,... Read More
President Donald Trump has put the United States on the course for war with Iran. That was clearly his objective last Friday when he refused to certify the international nuclear accord with Iran and proclaimed heavy sanctions against Tehran’s powerful paramilitary Revolutionary Guards Corps. Trump’s move was also a clever ploy to deflect blame for... Read More
‘Every people has the god-given right to mismanage their own affairs’ Margolis Law #3   I’ve always been a rebel, revolutionary, iconoclast and all-around bad boy. Naturally, I have sympathy for most revolutionary movements. The problem is, many revolutions don’t make political or economic sense, but they do make one feel good – at least... Read More
NEW YORK – Not since Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev banged his fists and waved his shoe at the UN in 1960 has a world leader made such a spectacle of himself as President Donald Trump did this past week at the world organization. Trump vowed to ‘totally destroy’ North Korea, a nation of 25 million,... Read More
Few people have ever heard of Myanmar’s Rohingya people. Not many more could find Myanmar on a map – particularly after its name was changed some years ago from Burma to Myanmar. The exception is Burma’s sainted lady leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, who became a worldwide celebrity and Nobel Prize winner. The media loved... Read More
Old Chinese saying: ‘when elephants battle, ants get crushed.’ Think of the current crisis on the Korean Peninsula in which the government in Seoul has been all but ignored. South Korea’s newly elected president, Moon Jae-in, keeps insisting that the US must not launch war against North Korea without South Korea’s agreement. President Donald Trump... Read More
President Trump’s ability to trigger a nuclear war is "pretty damn scary" said former US intelligence director James Clapper this week. Remember when Trump vowed to "bomb the shit" out of his enemies? I don’t have much respect for Clapper, who brazenly lied to Congress and is a ringleader of the deep government’s efforts to... Read More
AMMAN JORDAN – I haven’t seen many miracles in my decades of travel around the globe, particularly not in the strife-torn Mideast. But last week I participated in a real miracle in Jordan as the splendid Four Paws International group staged a daring rescue of 13 wild animals trapped in the wartime hellhole of Aleppo,... Read More
Media reports claim President Donald Trump let loose on his generals behind closed doors, blasting them royally for their startling failures in Afghanistan, America’s longest war. The president has many faults and is a lousy judge of character. But he was absolutely right to read the riot act to the military brass for daring to... Read More
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Many Americans voted for Donald Trump because he vowed to end the foreign conflicts in which the US had become entangled. So far, they have been disappointed. But this week a light flashed at the end of the tunnel. President Trump, according to numerous reliable Washington sources, has decided to end US arms supplies and... Read More
As a former soldier and war correspondent, I abhor demonstrations of flag-waving, militarism and nationalism. That great American, Benjamin Franklin, put it perfectly: ‘no good war, no bad peace.’ But I must admit that my heart does beat faster when I hear the rousing strains of France’s glorious national anthem, ‘La Marseillaise.’ One must be... Read More
“I have some pretty severe things we’re thinking about,” Trump said of North Korea at a news conference in Warsaw. “Doesn’t mean we’re going to do them.” What President Trump really meant is that he has painted the US into a corner with all his threats of war and really does not know what to... Read More
Bravo Monsieur le president Macron! You have gotten off to a most impressive start. France’s five-year national depression – known as ‘morosité – has lifted and been replaced by a sense that the republic is not doomed after all. In fact, quite the contrary. France’s new 39-year old president has astounded nearly everyone. Like the... Read More
What a scary week in the Mideast. The epicenter of the world’s energy resources and the land-bridge between Asia and Africa is spinning out of control as the danger of a shooting war between the US and Russia grows daily. A US F-18 warplane shot down a Syrian Air Force SU-22 ground attack aircraft over... Read More
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Tiny Qatar, the mouse that roared, has now managed to enrage the larger part of the Arab world and defy the newly-minted Mideast expert, Donald Trump. This month, an angry alliance of Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates and Egypt, with some background support from the puppet regimes of war-torn Libya and Yemen, declared... Read More
Germany: ‘bad, very bad.’ Trump tweet. France’s brainy new president, Emmanuel Macron, said it was too bad that Donald Trump was not part of the Enlightenment. Few Americans would have understood what he meant but Europeans certainly did. The Enlightenment was the glorious epoch in the mid 1700 and 1800’s that gave birth to modern... Read More
The Great White Father came to Saudi Arabia last week to harangue some 50 Arab and African despots on the glories of Trumpism, democracy and the need to fight what the Americans call terrorism. Having covered the Mideast for many decades, I cannot think of a more bizarre or comical spectacle. Here was Saudi Arabia,... Read More
PARIS – France is holding its breath as this weekend’s second-round presidential vote approaches. The first round vote on 23 April left two winners: National Front leader Marine Le Pen and centrist Emmanuel Macron. Polls show newcomer Macron with an overwhelming 60/40 lead over Marine Le Pen. But many French are very nervous that a... Read More
Maybe the president believes he’s won a great victory over the wicked Syrians by lobbing cruise missiles at one of their underused air bases. Maybe Trump believes that he’s scared the evil Russians and the too big for their sampans Chinese into obedience. His 22,000 lb MOAB terror bomb on Afghanistan should keep those pesky... Read More
I watched the final French presidential debate last Thursday night with fascination and even a measure of admiration. France has some very intelligent, well-educated politicians. They are fine until they get into office but then must begin pleasing France’s fractious voters. And they must deal with the rising tide of jihadist violence in France, as... Read More
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“If China is not going to solve North Korea, we will.” So thundered President Donald Trump last week. Unfortunately, neither China nor North Korea appeared intimidated by this presidential bombast or Trump’s Tweets. What would ‘we will’ actually entail? This clear threat makes us think seriously about what a second Korean War would be like.... Read More
It seems that every new US president has to prove his machismo…or make his bones, as wiseguys say…by bombing the usual Arabs. By now, it’s almost a rite of passage. The American public loves it. So we just saw the US launch 59 or 60 $1.5million apiece cruise missiles at a western Syrian airfield to... Read More
Ireland was much on my mind these past weeks. As we watched the first stage of Britain’s divorce from the European Union, the ever-rebellious Scots and Northern Irish were getting ready for a new struggle for independence. St Patrick’s Day arrived last week, commemorating the patron saint of Ireland, a grand and glorious day when... Read More
Back in the 1950’s, a British professor at the distinguished University of Malaya, C. Northcote Parkinson, observed that as the post-war Royal Navy shrank in size, its bureaucracy continued to expand. Parkinson formulated a law that bureaucracies will naturally grow at 5-7% per annum. He also wisely added ‘Make the people sovereign and the poor... Read More
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Panmunjom, the ‘peace village’ on the incredibly tense demilitarized zone (aka DMZ) between North and South Korea, is one of the weirdest places I’ve ever visited. Tough North Korean soldiers lurk about, watched by equally tough South Korean troops in one-way sunglasses and an aggressive judo ‘warrior’ stance. When I was filming at Panmunjom, we... Read More
We are now moving rapidly into stage II of Levantine Madness as the US boosts its intervention in the war-torn Mideast. Five thousand US troops are back in Iraq to bolster the shattered nation’s puppet regime that is propped up by American bayonets. New Iraqi military formations have been formed, totally equipped with modern US... Read More
Palm Beach – A serious curse on the Democratic Republic of Korea (North Korea or the DPRK) for apparently murdering one of my schoolmates. Very bad form, Pyongyang! My old high school, the Ecole International of Geneva, Switzerland had a zany and interesting collection of cosmopolitan students from everywhere. We had lots of children of... Read More
President Dwight Eisenhower’s warning about the dangers of the military-industrial complex made half a century ago ring as loud and clear today. The soft coup being mounted against the Trump government by America’s ‘deep state’ reached a new intensity this week as special interests battled for control of Washington. The newly named national security advisor,... Read More
Misery loves company. Americans who have been suffering the agonies of advanced Trumpitis can now turn to France and share a good cry. France’s presidential politics are as crazy and sleazy as America’s, and equally depressing. French politics run the gamut from the most noble aspirations of the 1789 revolution to today’s gutter fighting and... Read More
President Donald Trump is getting ready to plunge into the burning Mideast with all the zeal and arrogance of a medieval crusader. The new administration’s knowledge of the region is a thousand miles wide and two inches deep. Reviving a truly terrible idea originated by know-nothing Congressional Republicans, Trump proposes US-run safe zones in Syria... Read More
I normally avoid patriotic events. They invariably remind me of the flag-waving idiocy that led to World War I. In fact, I was even kicked out of the Boy Scouts in New York City after loudly commenting that their uber patriotic display of flags, drums, crashing music and paramilitary uniforms looked like the old Hitler... Read More
As President-elect Donald Trump fights off fierce assaults by the massed national security apparatus, Democrats, the neocon Praetorian Guard, and a host of other political foes, I am feeling a sharp sense of déjà vu. Trump claimed that these attacks were like ‘living in Nazi Germany.’ Not so. The president-elect could have found a much... Read More
North Korea has ‘entered the final stage of preparation for the test launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile(ICBM)’. So crowed North Korea’s young leader, Kim Jong-un, in his New Year’s Day message aimed at tough-talking US president-elect, Donald Trump. In case there was any doubt about Pyongyang’s meaning, Kim warned his nation would continue to... Read More
One of my favorite literary expressions is the term ‘Parthian shaft.’ It refers to the favored tactic of the Parthians, a Persian people, of turning while on horseback and firing arrows while retreating. The Roman consul Crassus, who defeated Spartacus, may have died from such a Parthian shaft after his defeat at the battle of... Read More
President-elect Donald Trump vows to either tear up or rewrite the recent international nuclear deal with Iran, calling it ‘disastrous,’ and ‘the worst deal ever negotiated by Washington.’ Iran, which has closed important nuclear facilities, shut down half its centrifuges, and neutralized its stores of nuclear material under the international agreement, must be wondering if... Read More
Russia’s dispatch of a ten-ship flotilla to the Syrian Coast has raised some outrage and sneers aplenty in the West. Particularly when one of its embarked MiG-29K fighters crashed on takeoff from Russia’s sole carrier, the obsolescent Admiral Kuznetsov which lacks catapults. Joining Kuznetsov are believed to be two ‘Akula’ class nuclear-powered attack submarines that... Read More
Donald Trump’s startling and explosive victory has not only shaken America’s oligarchy to its core, it’s also sending shock waves across Europe and scaring the top hats off plutocrats and their tame politicians. The great Mark Twain wrote early in the 20th century: ‘if you don’t read newspapers you are uninformed. But if you do... Read More
As a former soldier and war correspondent who has covered 14 conflicts, I look at all the media hoopla over tightening siege of Mosul, Iraq and shake my head. This western-organized “liberation” of Mosul is one of the bigger pieces of political-military theater that I’ve seen. Islamic State(IS), the defender of Mosul, is a paper... Read More
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“We came, we saw…he died” boasted a beaming Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, speaking of the 2011 western overthrow of Libya’s leader Muammar Khadaffi. She was, of course, shamelessly paraphrasing Caesar’s famous summary of his campaign around the Black Sea. Mrs. Clinton, who seems ordained to be America’s next president, should have been rather more... Read More
Frankfurt, Germany – Most Europeans are quietly horrified watching Donald Trump torn to pieces by political piranhas while Wall Street’s candidate, Hillary Clinton, appears to be pushing for a war with Russia. She blames everything on that wicked Vlad Putin. How long before she will claim Monica Lewinsky was one of Putin’s famed KGB seductress... Read More
Fifteen years ago this week, the US launched the longest war in its history: the invasion and occupation of remote Afghanistan. Neighboring Pakistan was forced to facilitate the American invasion or ‘be bombed back to the stone age.’ America was furious after the bloody 9/11 attacks. The Bush administration had been caught sleeping on guard... Read More
OK you Russians! No more gentle American diplomacy! No more Mr. Nice Guy! So thundered US Secretary of State John Kerry last week. Right on cue, the usually overwrought US ambassador to the UN, Samantha Power, blasted the Russians as ‘barbaric’ for their bombing campaign in Syria. She made no mention of the US using... Read More
The divided south Asian mountain state of Kashmir is like a volcano: forgotten when quiescent, but terrifying when it comes alive. After the first India-Pakistan War in 1947, in which the British Indian Raj was divided into Hindu and Muslim-dominated states, India ended up with two-thirds of the formerly independent mountain state of Kashmir, and... Read More
North Korea’s fifth nuclear test produced an explosion fury and hysteria around the world, more empty threats against the Hermit Kingdom, and a giant sell-off in stock markets by foolish investors. No wonder gleeful North Korean leader Kim Jong-un was having such a big laugh. It’s not often that a small nation of only 24.8... Read More
“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.” Eric Margolis Sun Media Sept 2 2001 (nine days before the Sept 11 attacks against New York and Washington DC.) As Americans enter the 15th anniversary... Read More
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What a mess! In the crazy Syrian war, US-backed and armed groups are fighting other US-backed rebel groups. How can this be? It is so because the Obama White House had stirred up the war in Syria but then lost control of the process. When the US has a strong president, he can usually keep... Read More
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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.