A gathering of rich oil Arabs pledged $30 billion this week at a meeting in Kuwait to start rebuilding war-shattered Iraq. Sounds nice but these kinds of conclaves are notorious for offering big but delivering little. The event was billed as helping Iraq repair war damage caused by ISIS. In fact, most of the damage... 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
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
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
President Barack Obama is being lambasted by US Republicans for admitting that “we don’t have a strategy yet” for dealing with the rise of the militant group, ISIS, or Islamic State, as it’s now known. Given that the US had made an unbelievable mess of its Mideast policies, the president is right to pause and... Read More
Armed humanitarianism 2.0. That’s our new western version of old-fashioned 19th century imperialism, now feminized by President Barack Obama’s lady advisors, painted pink and accompanied by the kind of soft piano music you hear in ads for women’s products. Last week, the Obama administration latched onto the plight of Iraq’s Yazidis who were being persecuted... Read More
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
The late Saddam Hussein was certainly right when he predicted that America’s invasion of Iraq would become “the Mother of All Battles.” Eleven years later, it continues. This week saw the collapse of two divisions of Iraq’s government army, a full 30,000 men running like chickens before the relentless advance of the fighters of ISIS... Read More
NEW YORK – This month marks the 10th anniversary of the Iraq War. In October, 2002, I wrote a cover-story about Iraq for the first issue of American Conservative Magazine, entitled “The March to Folly.” My article predicted the impending invasion of Iraq would be a disaster for all concerned. The only victor of war... Read More
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
The black comedy of the Iraqi defector codenamed "Curveball" has just resurfaced. It tells us much about how the US has made such a mess in the Mideast and why Washington can’t understand or deal with the historic revolution now flaring across the Muslim world. Take equal parts of ignorance and arrogance, the standard recipe... Read More
NEW YORK – Last week, President Barack Obama told Americans his nation’s seven-year US occupation of Iraq was over. America is leaving Iraq. But it is also staying. Obama looked grim, uncomfortable and out of character as he delivered this confusing message. He even praised former President George W. Bush, the man responsible for the... Read More
President Barack Obama just restated his vow to pull all US combat troops out of Iraq by August, 2010, and the remaining US garrison by the end of 2011. While campaigning for the presidency, Obama had promised to withdraw all US troops in 2010, but the Pentagon prevailed on him to extend the date. Has... Read More
First, kudos to Britain’s new leadership team of Prime Minister David Cameron and Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg. They have embarked on a second Battle of Britain. Britain’s two youthful leaders have launched the biggest political revolution since 1832, one that aims to revive Britain’s battered economy, and restore the nation’s debauched finances. The Conservatives... Read More
There are a lot of unhappy campers at the Pentagon right now. US Defense Secretary Robert Gates chose last week to present a controversial new budget that will affect the course of US foreign and military policy for decades to come. Furious debate has raged in the Pentagon over the future and mission of US... Read More
A lot of Americans who voted for candidate Barack Obama because of his promises to end George Bush's war in Iraq are feeling dismayed, or even betrayed. During the election campaign, Obama vowed to swiftly bring US troops home from Iraq. He denounced the invasion and occupation of Iraq as a "violation of international law."... Read More
Those Wall Street financial alchemists who turned garbage into gold must have helped John McCain prepare for his debate with Barack Obama last Friday. Senator McCain's insistent claims that the US is winning the war in Iraq thanks to his "surge" strategy are the military-political equivalent of the junk securities that Wall Street's shady financiers... Read More
PARIS — After a sea of lies and a tsunami of propaganda, the ugly truth behind the Iraq and Afghanistan wars finally emerged into full view this week. Four major western oil companies, Exxon, Mobil, Shell, BP and Total, are about to sign US-brokered no-bid contracts with the US-installed Baghdad regime to begin exploiting Iraq's... Read More
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmad-inejad’s triumphant state visit to Iraq earlier this month offered particularly grim evidence of the epic failure of U.S. policy and ambitions. Iran’s controversial leader, the Bush administration’s public enemy number two after Osama bin Laden, received a warm official reception in downtown Baghdad, well outside the Fort Apache Green Zone beyond... Read More
I recently read about a condition psychiatrists call "jamais vu." That's where one sees something very familiar, but the brain cannot identify it. It's the opposite of "déjà vu." Both the White House and US military seemed gripped by "jamais vu." Many of the same political and military mistakes the United States made in the... Read More
WASHINGTON — The capital may be buzzing with talk about the withdrawal of American forces from Iraq, but the US Air Force appears to be planning for a long stay in Mesopotamia and Central Asia. The USAF is reported to be expanding its air bases in Iraq, including lengthening a second 11,000-ft runway at Balad... Read More
As Americans turn increasingly against President George Bush's calamitous war in Iraq, and revolt spreads through Republican ranks, the White House is again resorting to its tried-and-true ploy of fanning grossly inflated fears of terrorism. The president just made two preposterous claims last week that insult the intelligence of his listeners. First, Bush insisted US... Read More
The noted British parliamentarian Enoch Powell famously observed, “all political careers end in failure.” Never has Powell's grim maxim been more poignantly demonstrated than in Tony Blair's announcement last week that he will resign at the end of June as Britain's prime minister. Blair's decade in office was marked by many successes and often demonstrated... Read More
“A billion here, a billion there, pretty soon you're talking about real money,” famously quipped US Senator Everett Dirksen back in the 1960's. The US government has just estimated that President George Bush's occupations of Afghanistan and Iraq, and his so-called war on terror, will cost at least $690 billion by the end of next... Read More
The Bush/Cheney Administration has never concealed its sneering contempt for international law or world public opinion. Even so, the lynching of President Saddam Hussein of Iraq established a new nadir for America and shocked the entire globe. This sordid act, which grossly violated international law, the Geneva Conventions, and basic human decency, provoked a well-deserved... Read More
On my first visit to Iraq in 1976, so-called "Israeli spies" were being hanged in front of my Baghdad hotel. While covering Iraq just before the 1991 Gulf War, Saddam Hussein's secret police threatened to hang me as an American/Israeli spy. I always considered "President Hussein," who was hanged Friday, a sadistic bully and a... Read More
This week's Iraq Study Group report on Iraq turned out to be a bombshell that is shaking official and political Washington. The report, prepared by a blue-ribbon panel of Republican and Democrat moderates, found the security situation in Iraq “grave and deteriorating.” US Iraq policy has failed. The panel flatly contradicted claims by President George... Read More
Remember when narrow-minded Republican know-nothings launched a hate campaign against French President Jacques Chirac and everything French because Paris would not go along with George Bush's jolly little war in Iraq? Well, it turns out that Chirac's warnings in 2003 that a US invasion of Iraq would set the Mideast on fire, encourage terrorism, and... Read More
Guantanamo, Abu Ghraib, and now a new name on the roster of shame, Haditha. Kilo Company, 3rd Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment was patrolling the Iraqi town of Haditha last November when a roadside bomb killed one of its members. Kilo's men allegedly burst into the nearest house and gunned down 24 men, women and children... Read More
"Zarqawi will be dead soon," two of his disgruntled Jordanian supporters told me in March. "He will be betrayed by his own men." And that's likely what happened last week. Tipped off that Iraq's most wanted man was in a rural house, U.S. aircraft bombed it, killing some of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi's top aides, a... Read More
In 53 BC, Consul Marcus Licinius Crassus, Rome's co-ruler with Pompey and Caesar, sought military glory and political primacy by launching an invasion of the Parthian Empire. His only previous military experience was crushing the great slave revolt led by Spartacus. Ignoring cautionary advice from his generals, Crassus led his army deep into the wastes... Read More
U.S. President George Bush again reassured Americans last week they were winning the war in Iraq. Please, Mr. President, no more "mission accomplished," no more victories. Your debacle in Iraq recalls King Phyrrus' famous lament, "One more such victory and we are ruined." The Bush administration invaded Iraq for two key reasons: 1) To seize... Read More
Saddam Hussein's trial in Baghdad has become a circus. The presiding judge refuses to return to court, and defense lawyers have been murdered. What to make of this spectacle? Emotionally, it's good to see the tyrant who terrorized so many on trial for his life. But morally and legally, Saddam's trial is a travesty of... Read More
Victory or defeat! So proclaimed President George W. Bush in his TV speech about Iraq last night. Those who oppose Bush's continued, $6.5 billion monthly war in Iraq are "defeatists." Withdrawal from Iraq would "damage US credibility around the world," warned the self-proclaimed "war president." What Bush is really worried about, of course, is his... Read More
The US Air Force's senior officer, Gen. John Jumper, stated US warplanes would remain in Iraq to fight resistance forces and protect the American-installed regime "more or less indefinitely." Gen. Jumper let the cat out of the bag. While President George Bush hints at eventual troop withdrawals, the Pentagon is busy building four major, permanent... Read More
The Persian king Xerxes summoned his vassals to war against Athens in 426 B.C. thus: “… we shall bring all mankind under our yoke, alike those who are guilty and those who are innocent of doing us wrong. If you wish to please me, do as follows: when I announce the time for the army... Read More
In a remarkable example of historical irony, a scowling, black-turbaned Shia ayatollah has emerged from obscurity for the second time in a quarter century to vex and confound America’s plans for the Mideast. Twenty-four years ago, the U.S. encouraged Iraq’s ruler, Saddam Hussein, to invade Iran and overthrow the new revolutionary Islamic government of Grand... Read More
Maj. Gen. J.F.C. Fuller, Britain’s leading military thinker of the 20th century, wrote that the object of war is not victory, but peace. A war that fails to achieve clear political objectives is merely an exercise in violence and futility. In its headlong rush to invade Iraq, the Bush administration is violating Fuller’s simple yet... Read More
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.