Can someone explain to me why President Obama decided to announce that he’s going to deploy U.S. Special Forces to Syria on the same day that Secretary of State John Kerry was scheduled to meet with Russian and Iranian diplomats to discuss how to end the four and a half year-long war? What was that... Read More
What Did Mossad Steal and Whom Did They Share it With?
Israel’s alleged spying on the marathon high stakes negotiations over Iran’s nuclear program in Lausanne Switzerland has produced remarkably little reaction in the mainstream media. Israel has denied that it was spying but the White House has revealed that there was “eavesdropping” by Israel and added that the information was shared with members of Congress... Read More
But Now He's Nowhere
Our peripatetic secretary of state has been less so these last few weeks since the collapse of his Palestinian-Israeli peace talks. Lying low. And no wonder. It's hard to squeeze any good news out of the failure: we've learned useful information about the Israeli and Palestinian positions we didn't know before the Kerry initiative? On... Read More
He gets an A for effort but a C for results
Indefatigable crisis-tamper-downer John Kerry had a flight pattern this past week more erratic than the missing Malaysian airplane. He was returning to Washington from Saudi Arabia (and The Hague and Amman and points in between) where he had accompanied President Obama in smooth-talking grumpy ally Saudi Arabia -- who, as they look at their future,... Read More
Orwell would be pleased that the pro-European opposition in the Ukraine stuck it to Putin and the ex-Bolshies. Maybe he would have been less pleased with the linguistic legerdemain that is emerging the as the mainstay of the new Ukrainian regime. The current situation in Ukraine is apparently pretty grim: flatlining growth, imminent insolvency, consternation... Read More
I would recommend that readers who have not yet done so create a Twitter account and subscribe to my feed (@chinahand). To my embarrassment and surprise, I’ve churned out over 800 tweets since I started up my feed last November. Some of it is meaningless ephemera, of course. But sometimes the twitter stream carries in... Read More
...Will Not Stop America's Merry Dash Into the Collective Self Defense/Deterrence Cul-de-Sac...
John Kerry recently concluded a friendly visit to Beijing, with both sides chatting about matters of mutual concern in a way that implied these two great powers have areas of shared concern and interest. Some observers might fear that peace might break out. Don’t worry. My personal opinion is that a dwindling group of PRC... Read More
Palestinians Should Walk Away
Australian-American former Ambassador Martin Indyk is the lead negotiator for Secretary of State John Kerry’s Israeli-Palestinian peace initiative. He heads a nearly all-Jewish American negotiating team, including David Makovsky, a “mapping expert” from the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) spin-off Washington Institute for Near East Policy (WINEP). Indyk is currently briefing an array of... Read More
Recognition of "Jewish State" is a Deal Breaker
The death of former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, who has been in a coma for eight years, followed shortly after the tenth visit of Secretary of State Kerry to Israel in just the past six months as he continued his search for a conclusive peace to end the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian West... Read More
John Kerry is a Figure of His Times (and That's Not a Good Thing)
In the 1960s, John Kerry was distinctly a man of his times. Kennedy-esque, he went from Yale to Vietnam to fight in a lost war. When popular sentiments on that war shifted, he became one of the more poignant voices raised in protest by antiwar veterans. Now, skip past his time as a congressman, lieutenant... Read More
The way Secretary of State John Kerry backed into the proposal that Assad surrender his chemical weapons has convinced me he’s some kind of anti-war idiot savant. To me, he’s a Futurama mash-up: the iron-jawed obliviousness of Bender combined with the hapless shlubbishness of Zoidberg and the ever-victorious loserman vibe of Fry. I only hope... Read More
[I got my Defcons flipflopped in the original post. Herewith corrected. According to Wikipedia, the US military has only gone to Defcon 2 once, for the Cuban Missile Crisis. Even 9/11 was only Defcon 3. The different levels also have catchy descriptions, like "Cocked Pistol" and "Double Take", that are used during exercises. So if... Read More
Is the US Thinking About Backpedaling on North Korean Nukes? Will the Pivot Go Wobbly?
Will President Obama become a late and unlikely convert to realpolitik and allow John Kerry to sacrifice America’s nuclear non-proliferation principles on the battered altar of North Korean diplomacy? And will the fearsome pivot to Asia turn into a dainty pirouette, an American pas de deux with China as the two great powers search for... Read More
Nope. In my current piece for Asia Times Online (reproduced below) I argue that the PRC leadership has, for better or worse, reconciled itself to a nuclear North Korea, since the alternative—the Korean peninsula unified under a pro-US democracy—is unattractive both economically and strategically. So I was rather nonplussed—actually I felt kind of stupid, mingled... Read More
Internationalism and Zionism
Finding himself behind in the polls, John Kerry has begun to focus more intensely on the morass in Iraq, perhaps hoping to restore his fortunes by mobilizing the potential anti-war vote as fully as possible. Kerry has even said that if elected he will remove American troops from Iraq, though his timetable may strike us... Read More