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With his declaration Friday that the Iran nuclear deal is not in the national interest, President Donald Trump may have put us on the road to war with Iran. Indeed, it is easier to see the collisions that are coming than to see how we get off this road before the shooting starts. After "de-certifying"... Read More
President Trump has been notoriously inconsistent in his foreign policy. He campaigned on and won the presidency with promises to repair relations with Russia, pull out of no-win wars like Afghanistan, and end the failed US policy of nation-building overseas. Once in office he pursued policies exactly the opposite of what he campaigned on. Unfortunately... Read More
As President Trump withdraws certification of the nuclear agreement with Iran, commentators across the world struggled for words to adequately convey their outrage and contempt. A favourite term to describe Trump is as “a wrecking ball”, but the phrase suggests a sense of direction and capacity to strike a target which Trump does not possess.... 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
I won’t even bother discussing the substance of what Trump had to say today because what he said deserves no such attention. I will quickly mention that yesterday Trump pulled the US out of UNESCOon behalf of Israeli interests. Today he basically announced a tepid, possibly hot, war on Iran. I am tempted to say... Read More
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Size does matter and so does range and speed whenever anyone talks about weapons. It seems that there is a great deal of confusion which perpetuates itself in regards to a relatively small Russian military contingent in Syria. The most popular indicator of this confusion is a never ending discussion of a possible American attack... Read More
I listened to part of Trump’s UN speech this morning. I was so embarrassed for him and for my country that I had to turn it off. I wonder if whoever wrote the deplorable speech intended to embarrass Trump and inadvertantly embarrassed America as well, or whether the speechwriter(s) is so imbued with the neoconservative... Read More
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Will Israel start a new war?
When politicians are feeling the heat, they start a war and their popularity goes up even if the war is unnecessary or completely ridiculous. Donald Trump, the presidential candidate who promised that he would not take the nation into another Middle Eastern war, did so when he launched a fifty-nine cruise missile barrage against a... Read More
In the Reign of Kaiser Don
Why do those inadequate little men in Washington and New York dream of new wars? Because the empire is near a tipping point. Washington must either either start a war in Korea, or get faced down by the North, its carriers ignored, its bombers “sending signals” and making “shows of force” without result. For the... Read More
Saturday, Kim Jong Un tested an ICBM of sufficient range to hit the U.S. mainland. He is now working on its accuracy, and a nuclear warhead small enough to fit atop that missile that can survive re-entry. Unless we believe Kim is a suicidal madman, his goal seems clear. He wants what every nuclear power... Read More
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Washington and Brussels’ response to foreign affairs challenges, as they face their own political and economic disasters and decline, has been to impose economic sanctions, boycotts and issue increasingly reckless military threats against rival nations. The ruling and main opposition parties in the US and EU have taken over the major media, turning ‘news programs’... Read More
President Trump seems to be impatiently racing toward at least one disastrous war. Maybe two. The big question is who will be first? North Korea or Iran?Over the past several days President Trump has sent two nuclear-capable B-1 bombers over the Korean peninsula to send a clear message that he is ready to attack North... Read More
Newt Gingrich, Credit: Gage Skidmore. CC BY-SA 2.0.
"Iran must be free. The dictatorship must be destroyed. Containment is appeasement and appeasement is surrender." Thus does our Churchill, Newt Gingrich, dismiss, in dealing with Iran, the policy of containment crafted by George Kennan and pursued by nine U.S. presidents to bloodless victory in the Cold War. Why is containment surrender? "Because freedom is... Read More
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Donald Trump’s Road to Debacle in the Greater Middle East
The superhighway to disaster is already being paved. From Donald Trump’s first days in office, news of the damage to America’s international stature has come hard and fast. As if guided by some malign design, the new president seemed to identify the key pillars that have supported U.S. global power for the past 70 years... Read More
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The White House is targeting Iran but should instead focus on Saudi Arabia
It is one of the great ironies that the United States, a land mass protected by two broad oceans while also benefitting from the world’s largest economy and most powerful military, persists in viewing itself as a potential victim, vulnerable and surrounded by enemies. In reality, there are only two significant potential threats to the... Read More
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Yet another clumsy attempt by the Three Rogue States to weaken Iran
First, a quick who's who We will probably never find out what truly was discussed between Trump, the Saudis and the Israelis, but there is little doubt that the recent Saudi move against Qatar is the direct results of these negotiations. How do I know that? Because Trump himself said so! As I mentioned in... Read More
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Introduction US policy in the Middle East and South Asia is shaped by several basic considerations: 1) US Imperialism is the force of global domination 2) US imperial policy in the Middle East focuses on encircling, destroying and dismantling Iran’s allies (Syria, Lebanon (Hezbollah), Iraq (Shi’a Militia), Qatar and Yemen with the intent of overthrowing... Read More
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The Irrationality of Iran Vilification
“Everywhere you look, if there is trouble in the region,” Secretary of Defense James Mattis told reporters on a mid-April visit to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, “you find Iran.” I must admit that when I stumbled across that quote it brought up uncomfortable personal memories. East Baghdad, January 25, 2007: my patrol had missed a turn... Read More
You couldn't make this up, could you? Just before President Trump’s recent visit to Saudi Arabia, a genuinely despotic land with an extreme ideology and lacking elections, Iran’s moderate president, Hassan Rouhani, was swept back into office. It was an exuberant election campaign in which he trounced a hardline fundamentalist opponent, winning 57% of the... Read More
It was crude stuff. President Trump called on 55 Muslim leaders assembled in Riyadh to drive out terrorism from their countries. He identified Iran as a despotic state and came near to calling for regime change, though Iran held a presidential election generally regarded as fair only two days previously. He denounced Hezbollah and lined... Read More
Many people view Donald Trump as the most dangerous man on the planet, but next week he flies to Saudi Arabia for a three-day visit during which he will meet a man who surely runs him a close second as a source of instability. This is deputy crown prince Mohammed bin Salman, 31 – the... 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
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A world in turmoil, thank you Mr. Trump!
The real Donald Trump has been exposed. The man who promised a sensible and non-interventionist Middle Eastern policy and a reset with Moscow has now reneged on both pledges. His nitwit United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley has directly linked Russia and Syria for punishment by the omnipotent Leader of the Free World lest anyone be... Read More
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The Israeli Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu is the friendly calf of the Russian proverb who sucks two cows. After his rather successful meeting with President Trump, he went to the enemy No.1 of the United States, and to his good friend, President Putin, in chilly Moscow, where he always gets a warm reception. This time... Read More
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The selection of Lt. General H. R. McMaster as Trump’s new National Security Advisor to replace Michael Flynn appears to be the coup de grâce to Trump’s efforts to achieve rapprochement with Russia. McMaster has received profuse praise from all types of mainstream figures: conservatives and liberals, Democrats and Republicans. McMaster’s expressed hostile view of... Read More
The Trump administration is making its first radical policy change in the Middle East by escalating American involvement in the civil war in Yemen. Wrecked by years of conflict, the unfortunate country will supposedly be the place where the US will start to confront and roll back Iranian influence in the region as a whole.... Read More
My latest Newsbud video looks at signals from Secretary of Defense Mattis' trip to Asia and what it means for the South China Sea, East China Sea, and North Korea now, Trump Asia policy looks pretty mainstream.One point I make in the piece is that Trump isn't necessarily eschewing bloody American military mischief; he's just... Read More
President Trump made great play when he came into office with his return of a bust of Winston Churchill to the Oval Office, presenting the move as a symbol of his admiration for adamantine patriotic resolve in pursuit of patriotic ends. Presumably, Trump was thinking of Churchill in 1940, not Churchill in 1915-16 when he... Read More
Inspired by fringe theories about Islamic civilization, Michael Flynn is leading Trump down a dangerous path
The United States is adding new sanctions on Iran over that country’s alleged misdeeds, and nearly all of those allegations are either out-and-out lies or half-truths. It has a familiar ring to it, as demonizing Tehran has been rather more the norm than not since 1979, a phenomenon that has included fabricated claims that the... Read More
Photo by Ninian Reid | CC BY 2.0
Why is the Trump administration threatening Iran? On February 1, National Security Adviser Michael Flynn announced that the administration was “putting Iran on notice” after it tested a ballistic missile which the US sees as a violation of Iran’s treaty obligations. Flynn’s frigid tone made it clear that the administration is considering the use of... Read More
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One of the most frustrating tasks is to try to debunk the Hollywood myths imprinted on the mind of Americans about warfare in general and about special forces and technology in particular. When last week I wrote my column about the first SNAFUs of the Trump Presidency I pretty much expected that some of the... Read More
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu gave Theresa May a frightening account during their meeting of the threat posed by Iranian aggression to Israel and everybody else. In Mr Netanyahu’s eyes, Iran is a much more dangerous enemy than Isis or al-Qaeda, seeking “to annihilate Israel, it seeks to conquer the Middle East, it threatens Europe,... Read More
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When Gen. Michael Flynn marched into the White House Briefing Room to declare that "we are officially putting Iran on notice," he drew a red line for President Trump. In tweeting the threat, Trump agreed. His credibility is now on the line. And what triggered this virtual ultimatum? Iran-backed Houthi rebels, said Flynn, attacked a... Read More
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It is a rare privilege to be able to criticize a politician for actually fulfilling his campaign promises but Donald Trump is a unique President and this week he offered us exactly this opportunity with not one, but three different SNAFUs to report. First, there was the botched raid against an alledged al-Qaeda compound in... Read More
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President Trump is adding further venom to the raging sectarian hatreds tearing apart Iraq and Syria by his latest ill-judged tweets. These have far greater explosive potential than his better known clashes with countries like Australia and Mexico, because in the Middle East he is dealing with matters of war and peace. In this complex... Read More
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I bow (in case you were wondering) to no one in my loathing for the Clintons, the Establishment, the Beltway Insulates, political correctness, BLM, radical feminists, the controlled media, Obama, Wall Street, neocons, Social-Justice Look-at-Mes, and the New York Oligarchs. After the election, I figured, having no choice anyway, to see what Trump actually did.... Read More
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Restoring Washington-Damascus Relations?
Damascus, Syria. Not for at least three quarters of a century have the American people elected a president who so openly disparages, discards and seemingly abhors the principles, standards, policies, ideas, and institutions at the center of post-WW II US foreign policy. Trump seems to dismiss human rights even as a foreign policy principle, much... Read More
Tell me if this sounds familiar: the leadership of a distant nation has its own ideas about whom you should vote for, or who should rule your country, and acts decisively on them, affecting an election. Such interference in the political life of another country must be a reference to... no, I’m not thinking about... Read More
Or Is That the Least of Our Problems When It Comes to U.S.-Iranian Relations?
Though every Republican in Congress voted against the Iran nuclear deal, "Tearing it up ... is not going to happen," says Sen. Bob Corker, chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee. Hopefully, the chairman speaks for the president-elect. During the campaign, Donald Trump indicated as much, saying that, though the U.S. got jobbed in the negotiations... Read More
In this world, it is often dangerous to be an enemy of the United States, said Henry Kissinger in 1968, but to be a friend is fatal. The South Vietnamese would come to appreciate the insight. So it is today with Aleppo, where savage reprisals against U.S.-backed rebels are taking place in that hellhole of... Read More
President-elect Donald Trump told a Cincinnati audience this week that he intends to make some big changes in US foreign policy. During his “thank you” tour in the midwest, Trump had this to say: If this is really to be President Trump’s foreign policy, it would be a welcome change from the destructive path pursued... 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
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Will Iran be the target of the Trump regime?
One of the most discouraging aspects of the filling out of the Donald Trump cabinet is the array of Iran haters that seem to be lining up in the foreign policy and national security areas. Trump has been personally advocating sensible policies relating to Russia and Syria but he appears to have gone off the... Read More
Evin Prison.  Credit: Wikimedia Commons
Iran’s hardline judiciary this week sentenced Iranian-American, Siamak Namazi, to ten years in Evin prison. His 80 year-old father, Baquer, who was once the governor of Shiraz province under the Shah, received the same sentence. Siamak was working for a Dubai energy company in 2015, when he made a visit to Iran to see his... Read More
How Daily Beast Editor, Michael Weiss Helped Send Iranian-American to Torture Chambers of Evin Prison
It’s a long way from the campus of Dartmouth College in New Hampshire’s Great North Woods in 2003 to Tehran’s Evin Prison in 2016. But the path between them led to a fateful intersection of the lives of Michael D. Weiss (the Dartmouth student) and Siamak Namazi (a jailed Iranian-American). It was Weiss who helped... Read More
Here is a quick pop quiz. What happens if we lie to the government? What happens if the government lies to us? Does it matter who does the lying? Last year, the Obama administration negotiated an agreement with the government of Iran permitting Iran to obtain certain materials for the construction of nuclear facilities. It... Read More
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Another phony excuse for endless war
The Israeli Minister of Defense is now telling anyone who is willing to listen that the Iranian government is building an “international terror network that includes sleeper cells that are stockpiling arms, intelligence and operatives to be ready to strike on command in places including Europe and the U.S.” Moshe Yaalon elaborated that Iran intends... Read More
Is the Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the Supreme leader of the Islamic Republic, a RINO -- a revolutionary in name only? So they must be muttering around the barracks of the Iranian Republican Guard Corps today. For while American hawks are saying we gave away the store to Tehran, consider what ayatollah agreed to. Last week,... Read More
Today I have already posted the excellent analyses of the (possibly temporary) failure of the USA to submit Iran to its will: one by Alexander Mercouris, the other by Soraya Sepahpour Ulrich. I shall not repeat their very arguments here, mainly because both see this as a conflict between the USA and Iran, whereas I... Read More
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