There’s not a lot to be proud of in today’s America: the Punch and Judy show in Washington; brutal but inept colonial wars in the Mideast against poorly armed enemies; pollution of the climate, and culture of trash and violence. To see America as it once was, go back to the three days from 4... Read More
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
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
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
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
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
It was churlish for western leaders to boycott this week’s Victory Parade in Moscow that commemorated the Soviet Union’s defeat of Nazi Germany 70 years ago. Historic events are facts that should not be manipulated according to the latest political fashions. Being angry at Moscow for mucking about in Ukraine does not in any way... Read More
SOSPEL, FRANCE – The wild Maritime Alps are the most remote and least known part of this country, a chain of vertiginous, snow-capped peaks and narrow defiles running due south along the Franco-Italian border from Switzerland down to the Mediterranean on the Riviera. As a military historian, I’ve come here to remember the heroic... Read More
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
METZ, FRANCE — In this ancient fortress city on the Mosel River that stand guard on the traditional invasion route into France, one is surrounded by the ghosts of great wars past — and the often cruel myths that still linger. As a former instructor of military history and specialist in France's 20th century wars,... Read More
YALTA – As Russian imperial residences go, Livadia is a rather small palace, even modest. Czar Nicholas II had this pretty palace of white limestone built as a family vacation residence in the sunny Crimea. Livadia overlooks one of the Crimea’s amazingly lush sub-tropical forests and the shimmering Black Sea. The last Soviet leader, Mikhail... Read More
PARIS — Armistice Day is always a very solemn event here in Paris and across France. Even the weather provides a dramatic backdrop: dark, thick, low-lying clouds and rain showers add to the aura of wartime loss and tragedy. But this year's ceremony held special significance. Last week, at the eleventh hour of the eleventh... Read More
METZ, France — President Barack Obama's visit to Normandy to commemorate the 65th anniversary of D-Day makes us think about the entire course of World War II, and the lingering propaganda or myths that still becloud it. As a former instructor of military history and lover of history, let me address four of these myths... Read More
Much of the Western world just honored the millions of soldiers fallen in the two world wars. But we also need to look beyond postwar myths and understand the tragic political mistakes that sent these soldiers to die in wars that might have been avoided. In his powerful new book, Hitler, Churchill and the Unnecessary... Read More
Alexander Solzhenitsyn, who died this week aged 89, will rank with literary immortals Tolstoy and Dostoevsky as a great chronicler of Russia's soul and its profound suffering. Solzhenitsyn's epic works Ivan Denisovich and The Gulag Archipelago are literary monuments for all mankind. After years as a political prisoner in the Soviet gulag, Solzhenitsyn declared, "a... Read More
Toronto — Canada will soon make an important contribution to the cause of historical accuracy, human rights, and justice. To coincide with last week's visit to Ottawa of Ukraine's president, Viktor Yushchenko, the Canadian government announced it planned to recognize the mostly forgotten 1932—1933 genocide in Ukraine. Ottawa's decision was motivated as much by ethnic... Read More
BANFF — This seems to be a month of historic guilt. Germany just opened a new memorial to Jewish victims of Nazi persecution. Armenians demand Turkey admit Ottoman-era massacres were genocide. Japan is being blasted anew for denying wartime atrocities. Spain is again racked by memories of crimes committee during its bloody civil war. 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.