The Unz Review: An Alternative Media Selection
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Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria were costly blunders. They cost America lots of men, money, and prestige. A war with Iran could cost the US more of all of these things than the other elective regime change wars did. Iran has many more people and is much larger than the other theaters are:
Via Reuters-Ipsos, we're reduced to celebrating that at least we probably won't get another Iraq (N = 10,390):
Reuters-Ipsos ran a poll in December and January querying people on whether or not they thought "Syrian President Bashar al-Assad" poses a threat to the US. The results, for everyone, for Trump voters, and for Hillary voters (n = 3,246):  
Trump's facebook posts on Serbia Iraq Libya Syria: The like/love-to-angry/sad reaction ratios are 27-to-1 (216k to 8k) and 24.5-to-1 (208k to 8.5k), respectively. This is discouraging, to put it mildly. Trump's not a deep thinker, but he learns from his mistakes. He's floated trial balloons several times in the last couple of years, most famously... Read More
Addressing the oft made assertion (or at least insinuation) "that conservative American Protestants are roughly equivalent with conservative Muslims", Razib tapped the World Values Survey to compare the positions of conservative Protestants in the US with those of Muslims in predominately Islamic countries on some representative social issues. He presents a table that shows all... Read More
When I'm in discussions that find their way to the issues surrounding Israel and her relationships with her neighbors generally, and the Palestinians in particular, I find I often bemuse those I'm talking to because they're unsure of whether I'm "pro-Israel" or "pro-Palestinian". In imitation of Half Sigma (and correspondingly in a nod to my... Read More
With the long-time leader of Libya apparently taking precarious refuge in Algeria, his time in the limelight of Western media is nearing its end. When he's captured and then again as legal proceedings of some form progress against him (and the nature of those proceedings is contingent upon who ends up nabbing him), he'll momentarily... Read More
++Addition++Pat Buchanan's latest column addresses the question of why, with everything the US has done in Iraq having benefited its Persian neighbor, Iran is allegedly supplying and training Shiite militias through its Quds force and through Hezbollah while also backing Ansar al Islam. His answer is the US' tacit support for PEJAK, a Kurdish resistance... Read More
Why the threat of an Islamic caliphate stretching from West Sahara to Pakistan is overblown: That vast section in the middle can't seem to do much right economically save for having strongmen ensure oil flows eastward and westward. Tribalism, maintained in part through high rates of incestuous marriage, gives more than a kernel of truth... Read More
NPR is hosting another extended mendicant drive. The begging turns me off, so I turn NPR off every few months when another session begins. The unsubtle local staff appealing to the sense of moral imperative all Good listeners house within is more than I can stomach. While these Good leftists look disdainfully at religiosity, NPR... Read More
The drums keep getting pounded, the crescendo continues apace: (More than any other subject matter entertained, international politics focusing on the Middle East has me stumbling around in the dark. I offer a take that is more a display of my inclinations than an attempt at positive assertion.) Britain and Russia are at odds over... Read More
Uh, probably not the best way to assuage Saudi concerns or get the Sunni cabinet members who recently quit al-Maliki's government to come back.
The censure against Iraq's neighbors' role in providing gateways for foreign fighters and weapons to come into Iraq has been directed almost exclusively at Iran and Syria. But Saudi Arabia is in the game, too, and likely has been for some time: The Saudis are delivering on a promise they made late last November. Writing... Read More
Saudi Arabia has executed more than one person every other day so far this year: This year will see the Kingdom dole out the most capital punishment to criminals so far this decade. In 2000, 113 were put to death. At the current pace, 204 executions will have taken place by year's end, giving Saudi... Read More
Average number of US soldier fatalities by month in the six months leading up to the '06 mid-terms: 70.Average number of US soldier fatalities by month in the six months since the Democratic sweep of both Congressional Houses on promises to end our disastrous involvement in Iraq: 98.No timetable for troop withdrawals. No teeth in... Read More
Stephen Kinzer, responding to a question by The World's Lisa Mullins about why "Turk's apparently are afraid that they're democracy [threatened by itself?] and secular society is under threat now" [referring to Turkey's upcoming Presidential election]:Silver lining in 9/11, the Iraq miasma, and the subsequent international attention given to the Middle East: The West has... Read More
When I dwell on American involvement in Iraq, from the 3,300-plus promising Americans now in the ground and the tens of thousands more who've been severely injured to the alienation of our most natural allies in Europe, Israeli influence on US politics gets my blood boiling. But irksome as Israel's attempts at self-preservation (through a... Read More
The WSJ op/ed board wants to blow up a few Iranian toys: The Iranian public's opinion of the US has actually improved since 9/11. It is considerably more favorable than that of our Saudi Arabians or Jordanians, residents of supposed allies. This isn't surprising, given that the US has removed Iran's primary antagonist in the... Read More
That life today is better than life prior to the US-led invasion to oust Saddam Hussein is still the most commonly held view among Iraqis: Another poll conducted by a British media researching company was a bit more optimistic: In either case, the perception that life has improved is hardly surprising, since the Baathists have... Read More
Nearly 3,200 US soldiers have died in Iraq since military operations began. The cost of invasion becomes more acute when considering that several times more military personnel have been injured in action, many having suffered chronic and debilitating damage. The large injured-to-killed ratio masks the magnitude of US losses, but it also reveals how the... Read More
What follows is excerpted from what I put forward in an online college forum. It is nothing new to readers here or to those who edify themselves with the work of those perspicacious thinkers who've graciously linked to me (links added here):---I do not disagree with this mood of frustration, although I hope we can... Read More
Professor Kevin MacDonald has a new VDare column equating the omertas limiting open discussions in the US of American support for Israel and of US immigration reform: He defends Jimmy Carter's partisan advocacy on behalf of the Palestinians for the "abominal oppression and persecution" they suffer, while conspicuously failing to address the frequently-mentioned but important... Read More
I don't want to beat a dead horse by pointing out yet again just how inane the US' involvement in Iraq is. But with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid loudly proclaiming that President Bush must receive authorization from Congress prior to any military intervention in Iran, it bears repeating: Saudi Arabia has probably already snuck... Read More
The WSJ's Neil King Jr. and Greg Jaffe have a great feature (available for free here) on the geo-political implications and reprecussions of the US-led Iraq 'strategy' change. We've been antagonistic toward Iran for almost thirty years now. We withheld support for Massoud's Northern Alliance in Afghanistan for too long as the Taliban grew in... Read More
A study by the RAND Corporation's James Dobbins determined in the mid-nineties that to secure a nation having just been invaded requires one occupying soldier for every 50 civilians. By this calculation, Iraq requires no less than 500,000. That's more than one-third of America's total active duty personnel, and about one-fifth of the total force,... Read More
Early yesterday (December 30th), I stumbled into my car just before five in the morning, and was jolted out of lethargy by a BBC radio piece reporting that Saddam had been hanged. Convenient stores in the area were out of the KC Star (the metro area's only major newspaper) by noon. While the conversations about... Read More
It looks like we may be trying to play both ends of the table. While the Bush Administration appears to be leaning towards stepping up support for Shia political factions at the expense of the Sunni insurgency and moving away from a policy of evenhandedness, it has also recently sent top representatives including Secretary of... Read More
With a Democratic victory, support for an unpopular President and unpopular war remaining in the thirties, and a 'venerable' bipartisan commission set to recommend most US forces be pulled out of Iraq by early 2008, regional players in the Middle East are contemplating what to do as America leaves. The Bush Administration has been visiting... Read More
The idea of a struggle between good and evil has become an even more inappropriate way to look at the Middle East: The man most antithetical to the regional ambitions of Iran is to be hanged in the Spring (unless he can keep the appeal process alive past his seventieth birthday on April 28, as... Read More