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Much of America, including yours truly, has been watching the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) series, ‘Vietnam.’ Instead of clarifying that confusing conflict, the series has ignited fiery controversy and a lot of long-repressed anger by soft-soaping Washington’s motives. This march to folly in Vietnam is particularly painful for me since I enlisted in the US... 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
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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
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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
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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
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Seven decades after Japan’s surprise attack on Pearl Harbor some truth is finally beginning to emerge from the miasma of propaganda that still clouds our vision of World War II. It seems clear by now that President Franklin Roosevelt’s White House knew from deciphered codes that Japan was planning an attack on America’s key naval... 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
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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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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
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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
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
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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
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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
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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
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Barack Obama is the first American president to stand up to the Israel lobby since Dwight Eisenhower ordered Israel to withdraw from Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula in 1956-57. Freed of re-election concerns and the need for vast amounts of cash, President Obama finally made the decision to put America’s strategic interests ahead of those of Israel... Read More
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“The Turks have passed by here; all is in ruins and mourning. “ So wrote France’s great writer, Victor Hugo, of the horrors he had witnessed during the Balkan liberation wars of the 1880’s. If Hugo were alive today, he might well have used the same haunting lines to describe the smoking wreckage of the... Read More
METZ, FRANCE - The dramatic seaborne rescue of 328,000 Allied troops from Dunkirk in June, 1940 is well known. But the tragic effort of almost 300,000 French troops to break out of encirclement in eastern France along the Maginot Line is almost totally unknown. On 10 May, 1940, Germany unleashed a new form of mobile... Read More
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The deal reached in Lausanne, Switzerland by Iran and five powers, led by the US, appears to be about nuclear capability. In fact, the real issue was not nuclear weapons, which Iran does not now possess, but Iran’s potential geopolitical power. Iran, a nation of 80.8 million, has been bottled up like the proverbial genii... Read More
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The US media is full of stories about how the Obama administration is going to punish Israel for re-electing Bibi Netanyahu in an election marked by demagoguery and arrant racism. The New York Times EVEN warns President Barack Obama may back a series of UN resolutions demanding that Israel withdraw to its narrow 1967 borders... Read More
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To no surprise, nuclear talks between Iran and major world powers have become stalemated. Iran will not sink “to its knees” to win a nuclear deal with the great powers, said its leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, after the failure of six months of talks in Vienna. However, the talks will continue until at least next... Read More
Twenty-five years ago this week, the Soviet empire in Eastern Europe was collapsing. The Berlin Wall had been breached. The Communist East German government was literally swept away by the storm tide of history. It was also the most dangerous moment the world had faced since the 1963 Cuban missile crisis. What would the Soviet... Read More
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Back in the 1990’s, journalists used to joke, “Of course we know Iraq has chemical weapons. We have the delivery receipts to prove it!” The joke turned out to be the exact truth. While covering Iraq in 1990 – just before the first massive US bombing campaign – I discovered the US and Britain had... Read More
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Russia and the West are at war – over fruits, veggies, pork and bank loans. The cause is Ukraine, a vast emptiness formerly unknown to the western world, but now deemed a vital national security interest worthy of a risking a very scary war. Economic embargos such as those launched by the US against Russia... Read More
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The 100th anniversary of the beginning of World War I is upon us. Well we should mourn this cataclysmic event and continue to draw lessons from it. As a former soldier and military historian, I’ve always felt that WWI was the most tragic conflict in modern history: a totally avoidable madness that wrecked Europe’s glittering... Read More
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NEW YORK – In 1956, Britain and France were convinced that Egypt’s charismatic nationalist leader, Gamal Abdel Nasser, was threatening what was left of their Mideast and African colonial empires. London branded Nasser, “Hitler on the Nile.” So the British and French governments secretly enlisted Israel to invade and annex Egypt’s Sinai. British and French... Read More
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Israel is clearly winning the David v. Goliath struggle with Palestinians in Gaza. Israel’s Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, seized on the murder in June of three Jewish teenagers from a West Bank settlement to launch Israel’s third war against Gaza in six years. So far, some 230 Palestinians have been killed, 70% women and children,... Read More
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Just how independent is the European Union? Given recent events involving the United States and its European allies, one really must wonder. First, there was the US National Security Agency brazenly tapping German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s private cellphone and, very likely, many more vip’s in Germany, a key US ally and Europe’s most important nation.... Read More
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Former French president Nicholas Sarkozy’s dramatic criminal interrogation last week shows once again that the politics of the French Republic remain waist-deep in sewage. It was also an affront and humiliation of a former – and would be future – French president. Sarkozy was picked up from his Paris home before eight AM and whisked... Read More
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As we near the grim anniversary of World War I, let us remember the first great war of the blood-soaked 20th Century. Shortly before midnight on 8 February, 1904, Japanese destroyers and torpedo boats launched a surprise attack on the great Russian Pacific naval base at Port Arthur. Located at the tip of Manchuria’s strategic... Read More
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NEW YORK – One would think the neoconservatives who engineered the Iraq War – the worst disaster for the United States since Vietnam – would never emerge from hiding. Not so. With dazzling chutzpah, former Vice President Dick Cheney, the real power in the Bush administration, just claimed President Barack Obama was responsible for the... Read More
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Presidents Barack Obama and Vladimir Putin were ships passing in the night while in Paris for the G-7 meeting. The American president reportedly refused to dine with Putin, who was being hosted by France’s president Francois Hollande as part of the D-Day commemoration. So Hollande, who is on a diet after being called a “little... Read More
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GENEVA – Russia’s leader Vladimir Putin usually wears a perfect poker face. But last week in Shangahi, the icy-cold Russian president came awfully close to bursting into a big grin. And why not? Putin had just stolen a march on his western rivals. The US-British attempt to wound Russia’s economy and punish Putin for disobedience... Read More
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Did anyone really think that John Kerry’s nine-month effort to produce a Palestinian mini-state would ever work? If so, they were either ignorant of the Mideast, naïve, or deeply cynical. The best one could say about Kerry’s fiasco was that it was a charade designed to show America’s Arab allies that Washington was really making... Read More
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Small wonder President Barack Obama’s hair is rapidly greying. Most second term presidents age rapidly from the constant pressure, tension, and need to make tough, painful decisions. This past week, Obama finally managed, after two cancellations, to get to Asia – the epicenter of his much-ballyhooed but now rather watered down “Pivot to Asia.” Any... Read More
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Marbella, Spain – Here in Spain’s sunny south, you wouldn’t know that a new world war over Eastern Europe threatens. In fact, rumor has it that none other than Vlad Putin is house-shopping in this glamorous resort. Easter is Europe’s most important holiday. While churches are empty, restaurants, clubs and boutiques are packed with visitors... Read More
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A century ago, crowds in Paris were cheering, “on to Berlin!” Crowds in Berlin cried, “on to Paris.” World War I, the supreme example of nationalist/militaristic stupidity, was about to begin. One hundred years later we hear cries across America to “get tough” with Moscow over fragmenting Ukraine. A dozen US F-16 fighters are being... Read More
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War fever is in the air. Fifty thousand Russian troops and armor are massed on Ukraine’s eastern border. Europe and Washington worry that the reborn Red Army may sweep west across Ukraine, Moldova, the Baltics – even into Poland. The West is suffering from a bad case of Cold War chills. Not only are the... Read More
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Many Americans have trouble understanding modern Russia or leader Vladimir Putin. That’s in good part because they have little or no understanding of Russia’s history or geopolitics. “The Soviets Union will return” I wrote in 1991 after the collapse of the USSR deprived the Russian imperium of a third of its territory, almost half its... Read More
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Soviet leader Josef Stalin used to shrug off critics by his favorite Central Asian saying: “The dogs bark; the caravan moves on.” Russia’s hard-eyed president, Vladimir Putin, is following the same strategy over Ukraine and Crimea. Putin swiftly moved his knight into the empty chess square of Crimea, thereby regaining full control of one of... Read More
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The surging crisis in Ukraine is a dramatic example of how wars begin. Take arrogance, toxic nationalism, tribalism, moral outrage and profound miscalculation, mix thoroughly, and, voilà !, another great leap forward in the march of human folly. Russia just mobilized its western regions armed forces, an inevitable response to the growing turmoil in Ukraine.... Read More
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“F*** Europe!” Such were the words used in Kiev, Ukraine by Victoria Nuland, the US Assistant Secretary of State for Europe. Nuland was referring to the European Union’s reluctance to get too deeply involved in Ukraine’s current strife or to impose sanctions on the former Soviet republic. But Nuland perfectly captured Washington’s sneering view of... Read More
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As violence and mayhem surge in Ukraine’s capitol, Kiev, fear is growing that Europe, the United States and Russia may be on a collision course. Ukraine’s latest crisis began last November after Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych refused to sign an economic cooperation/integration pact with the European Union. Instead, near bankrupt Kiev accepted a Russian offer... Read More
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How did al-Qaida, a tiny anti-Communist group in Afghanistan that had no more than 200 active members in 2001 become a supposed worldwide threat? How can al-Qaida be all over the Mideast, North Africa, and now much of black Africa? This after the US spent over $1 trillion trying to stamp out al-Qaida in Afghanistan... Read More
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The “Black Jesus.” That’s what the late Nelson Mandela was called by many South Africans, who greeted his death last week with intense national mourning. Mandela was a great man, and great leader. But he was no Jesus. I rather call him “mahatma,” meaning great spirit, the Hindu title conferred upon Gandhi. Like Gandhi, Mandela,... Read More
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Those wondering what lies in store for Afghanistan need only look at the way the British Empire ruled Iraq in the 1920’s. As Shakespeare wrote, “what is past is prologue.” Imperial Britain created the state of Iraq after World War I to secure Mesopotamia’s vast oil deposits that had become vital for the Royal Navy.... Read More
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London – In 2004, shortly after the mysterious death of PLO leader Yasser Arafat, I wrote a column stating my strong belief that he had been murdered by poison. I recalled Stalin’s favorite line, “no man, no problem.” Poison had been a favorite tool of the Soviet secret police since the 1920’s. Steps from KGB... Read More
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Living in the USSA
In the late 1980’s, an old friend of mine based in Moscow was calling her husband in the USA late one night. She said it was a “typical dumb husband/wife call,” mostly about a broken garage door. Around midnight, a gruff voice broke into the call. “This is your KGB listener. This is the most... Read More
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Japan’s surprise attack on Pearl Harbor 71 years ago this month was a “day that will live in infamy” according to US President Franklin Roosevelt. Seven decades later, it increasingly appears that the president’s surprise and outrage may have been synthetic. Roosevelt had been maneuvering for more than a year to bring the United States... Read More
The killing of the US ambassador to Libya and angry demonstrations across the Muslim world over a tacky anti-Islamic hate video have produced the usual flood of wrong-headed commentary from our media and politicians. Across the land comes the familiar cry, “why do they hate us?” That any Americans can in this day and age... Read More
As the troops come home, it’s time to count the cost.
In October, 2002 I wrote in the first issue of The American Conservative an analysis of the impending Iraq War entitled “The Road to Folly.” I observed, “A war that fails to achieve clear political objectives is merely an exercise in violence and futility.” Having covered 14 conflicts as a war correspondent, I’ve seen a... 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.