The Unz Review: An Alternative Media Selection
A Collection of Interesting, Important, and Controversial Perspectives Largely Excluded from the American Mainstream Media
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putin3
Washington again becomes hysterical
There is particular danger at the moment that powerful political alignments in the United States are pushing strongly to exacerbate the developing crisis with Russia. The New York Times, which broke the story that the Kremlin had been paying the Afghan Taliban bounties to kill American soldiers, has been particularly assiduous in promoting the tale... Read More
John Bolton’s new memoir “The Room Where It Happened,” which came out two days ago in spite of White House attempts to block it, is the standard kiss and tell that senior American politicians and officials tend to write to make money for their retirement. There should be no question but that Bolton has done... Read More
nuland-2
The foreign interventionists really hate Russia
It is difficult to find anything good to say about Donald Trump, but the reality is that he has not started any new wars, though he has come dangerously close in the cases of Venezuela and Iran and there would be considerable incentive in the next four months to begin something to bolster his “strong... Read More
U.S. President Donald Trump is displayed on a screen as he delivers remarks to West Point graduating cadets during their 2020 United States Military Academy graduation ceremony at West Point, New York, U.S. June 13, 2020.  REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst - RC2J8H9KGY5U
Two weeks ago a senior Trump Administration official revealed that the president had decided to withdraw 9,500 American soldiers from Germany and that the administration would also be capping total U.S. military presence in that country at 25,000, which might involve more cuts depending what is included in the numbers. The move was welcomed in... Read More
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There is apparently no limit to what the United States and Israel can get away with without any consequences. The United States has been waging devastating economic warfare against Iran and Venezuela while also blaming China for a global health crisis that it is unwilling to help address due to its withdrawal from the World... Read More
Let us consider why the Donald Trump White House is currently considering detonating a nuclear weapon. It would be the first “test” of a nuke since 1992 and is clearly intended to send a message that those weapons sitting around in storage will be available for use. The testing is in response to alleged development... Read More
Du Wei, the Chinese ambassador to Israel. Courtesy of the Chinese Embassy in Israel, via Reuters
Mystery Remains About the Death of the Chinese Ambassador
On Sunday morning May 17th, China's Ambassador to Israel, Du Wei, was found dead in bed inside his official residence in the Tel Aviv upscale suburb of Herzliya. He was 57 years old, married and the father of a son, and had been appointed to his position in February. He was reported to be in... Read More
People march as they take part in an anti-war protest amid increased tensions between the United States and Iran at Times Square in New York, U.S., January 4, 2020. REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz - RC279E94TY3V
The Global War on Terror or GWOT was declared in the wake of 9/11 by President George W. Bush. It basically committed the United States to work to eliminate all “terrorist” groups worldwide, whether or not the countries being targeted agreed that they were beset by terrorists and whether or not they welcomed U.S. “help.”... Read More
Some weeks ago, the world woke up to the fact that World War III had just started without anyone being invaded or shots fired. It began when American President Donald J. Trump declared himself to be a “war president” in the fight against the coronavirus, an assertion that now has been followed by a claim... Read More
U.S. President Donald Trump leads a coronavirus response news conference in the Rose Garden at the White House in Washington, U.S., April 27, 2020. REUTERS/Carlos Barria - RC2ADG9PPF26
Are Enemies Lining Up for Revenge in the Wake of the Coronavirus?
When in trouble politically, governments have traditionally conjured up a foreign enemy to explain why things are going wrong. Whatever one chooses to believe about the coronavirus, the fact is that it has resulted in considerable political backlash against a number of governments whose behavior has been perceived as either too extreme or too dilatory.... Read More
Many people worldwide are aware of the fact that the United States government offers cash rewards to informants who provide information on individuals and groups that it chooses to define as terrorists. The program is referred to as the Rewards for Justice Program (RFJ). It was established in 1984 as part of the Act to... Read More
pompeo-and-netanyahu-3
A national health crisis does not stop the beat of the war drums
The United States has just declared war against the coronavirus, with President Donald Trump self-proclaiming that he is now a “wartime president.” Whether one believes that the virus must be confronted with maximum aggression by effectively shutting down the country or that the measures already in place are already an overreaction hardly seems to matter... Read More
The United States has been at war almost continuously since the founding of the nation in 1783. Some of the wars were undeclared like the centuries-long eradication of the native Americans, while others – the Mexican and Spanish-American wars – were glorified by including the names of the countries defeated by Washington’s war machine. America’s... Read More
America’s Leading Antiwar Voice Is Destroyed by Hillary
In American politics, it is not often that one sees an assassination carried out in public, but that is exactly what the Democratic Party establishment did to peace candidate Tulsi Gabbard. She was sidelined right from the beginning of her campaign and the fact that she was a woman of color and a veteran earned... Read More
people-walk-by-as-the-u-s-and-israeli-national-flags-are-projected-on-a-part-of-the-walls-surrounding-jerusalems-old-city
Now that the Democratic Party has apparently succeeded in getting rid of the only two voices among its presidential candidates that actually deviated from the establishment consensus, it appears that Joe Biden will be running against Donald Trump in November. To be sure, Bernie Sanders and Tulsi Gabbard are still hanging on, but the fix... Read More
The spread of the coronavirus has meant that much of the other news about developments around the world has disappeared from the normal news cycle. The situation in Syria, which involves not only the government in Damascus but also Turkey, Russia, Iran and a remaining American force in part of the country has been proving... Read More
It is perhaps unusual to have a government that has as much disregard for what most would consider to be the truth as does the current group of rascals running the United States of America. To be sure, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is as shameless a liar as has ever been seen on any... Read More
petraeus
A new front group preaches restraint while embracing interventionism
Numerous so-called “front groups” operate in the United States. A front group is very simply an organization that pretends to have a certain program while at the same time using that identity as cover to promote a hidden agenda that is something quite different, often opposed to what is being said publicly. The Global Climate... Read More
giraldi-930x520xx
The most commonly reported mainstream media account of the creation of the Coronavirus suggests that it was derived from an animal borne microorganism found in a wild bat that was consumed by an ethnic Chinese resident of Wuhan. But there appears to be some evidence to dispute that in that adjacent provinces in China, where... Read More
grenell
On the job training in the intelligence community
Here in the Land of Oz, otherwise known as Washington, one continues to run into people who should know better who insist that they have a friend in the White House who confirms that President Donald Trump is really a man of peace being obstructed as he seeks to withdraw the United States from senseless... Read More
The inept course of what passes for United States Foreign Policy continues, with the Trump Administration now going after the nation’s second oldest friend, Great Britain. With Trump having serially insulted America’s oldest ally France last year, it should only have been expected that the Brits would be next on the list, joining the other... Read More
jeffrey
It's everyone's fault except the U.S. and Israel
The first week in February was memorable for the failed impeachment of President Donald Trump, the “re-elect me” State of the Union address and the marketing of a new line of underwear by Kim Kardashian. Given all of the excitement, it was easy to miss a special State Department press briefing by Ambassador James Jeffrey... Read More
giraldi-930x520sculre
Admittedly the news cycle in the United States seldom runs longer than twenty-four hours, but that should not serve as an excuse when a major story that contradicts what the Trump Administration has been claiming appears and suddenly dies. The public that actually follows the news might recall a little more than one month ago... Read More
Last Monday a United States Air Force Bombardier E11A communications and intelligence gathering jet was either shot down or crashed in a remote mountainous region of Afghanistan. Almost immediately a story sourcing Taliban officials ran on Iranian State television claiming that the dead had included Michael D’Andrea, the chief of the Central Intelligence Agency (C.I.A.)’s... Read More
fdd
Sanctions can be more deadly than bullets
Supporters of Donald Trump often make the point that he has not started any new wars. One might observe that it has not been for lack of trying, as his cruise missile attacks on Syria based on fabricated evidence and his recent assassination of Iranian general Qassem Soleimani have been indisputably acts of war. Trump... Read More
ukraine_airlines_flight_752_3cf8b
The claim that Major General Qassem Soleimani was a “terrorist” on a mission to carry out an “imminent” attack that would kill hundreds of Americans turned out to be a lie, so why should one believe anything else relating to recent developments in Iran and Iraq? To be sure, Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752 departing... Read More
trump-soleimani
Will the national security nightmare ever end?
If one seriously seeks to understand how delusional policymakers in Washington are it is only necessary to examine the responses by the president and Congress to the assassination of Iranian Major General Qassem Soleimani. The first response came in the form of a Donald Trump largely incoherent nine-minute self-applauding speech explaining what he had done... Read More
Once upon a time there was a Constitution of the United States. In Article II, Section 2 it stipulated that only the U.S. Congress has the power to declare war, which means the American president has to go to the legislative body and make a case for going to war against an enemy or enemies.... Read More
iran-protests
Trump-Pompeo foreign policy is not only incoherent, it is insane
President Bill Clinton once launched a mini-cruise-missile-war on targets in Sudan and Afghanistan to serve as a distraction from the Monica Lewinski scandal. It must be considered that Donald Trump might be doing something similar within the context of his currently ongoing impeachment crisis, but the back story to the two developments is somewhat different.... Read More
general_qassem_soleimani_440f3
The Long-Awaited Beginning of The End of America’s Imperial Ambitions
The United States is now at war with Iran in a conflict that could easily have been avoided and it will not end well. There will be no declaration of war coming from either side, but the assassination of Iranian Quds Force Commander General Qassem Soleimani and the head of Kata’ib Hezbollah Abu Mehdi Muhandis... Read More
120229-A-8536E-817 U.S. Army soldiers prepare to conduct security checks near the Pakistan border at Combat Outpost Dand Patan in Afghanistan\
A devastating investigative report was published in the Washington Post on December 9th. Dubbed the “Afghanistan Papers” in a nod to the Vietnam War’s famous “Pentagon Papers,” the report relied on thousands of documents to similarly expose how the US government at the presidential level across three administrations, acting in collaboration with the military brass... Read More
In his Farewell Address, of 1796 America’s first president George Washington famously warned his fellow citizens that “…a passionate attachment of one nation for another produces a variety of evils. Sympathy for the favorite nation, facilitating the illusion of an imaginary common interest in cases where no real common interest exists, and infusing into one... Read More
Intelligence documents reveal how Tehran took advantage of US blundering
The American invasion of Iraq and the overthrow of that nation’s government in 2003 has rightly been described as the greatest foreign policy disaster in the history of the United States. Eight thousand one hundred and seventy five American soldiers, contractors and civilians have died in Iraq since 2003 as well as an estimated 300,000... Read More
kurds
Let's see what he actually does
The discussion, if one might even call it that, regarding the apparent President Donald Trump decision to withdraw at least some American soldiers from Syria has predictably developed along partisan, ideologically fueled lines. Trump has inevitably muddied the waters by engaging in his usual confusing explanations coupled with piles of invective heaped upon critics. The... Read More
shutterstock_1080360773
Two world wars began because of unconditional pledges made by one country to come to assistance of another. On July 5, 1914, Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany pledged his country’s complete support for whatever response Austria-Hungary would choose to make against Serbia after the June 28th assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria by a... Read More
27_28_ss_secret_jewish_meeting
Who is representing the American people in this secret conclave with pro-Israel groups?
On June 5, 16 heads of Jewish organizations joined 25 Democratic senators in a private meeting, which, according to the Times of Israel, is an annual event. All of the Jewish organizations but one were openly declared advocates for Israel and are supportive of its policies. Key groups present included the Council of Presidents of... Read More
tulsi
Tulsi Gabbard let the genie out of the bottle
Last Wednesday’s debate among half of the announced Democratic Party candidates to become their party’s nominee for president in 2020 was notable for its lack of drama. Many of those called on to speak had little to say apart from the usual liberal bromides about health care, jobs, education and how the United States is... Read More
drone
Targeting Iran started before 2016
I confess to being mystified by those Americans who lean conservative, like myself, who continue to think that President Donald J. Trump is somehow doing a good job. To be sure, the economy continues to add mostly low paying jobs but claims that the new tax law benefits the middle class are a bit hard... Read More
shutterstock_1046635552
On May 25th Vice President Mike Pence was the featured speaker at the United States Military Academy commencement. His speech was predictably an encomium celebrating both the diversity and the success of the newly commissioned officers as well as of the system at West Point that had produced them, but it also included interesting insights... Read More
shutterstock_1414003730
Voters looking ahead to 2020 are being bombarded with soundbites from the twenty plus Democratic would-be candidates. That Joe Biden is apparently leading the pack according to opinion polls should come as no surprise as he stands for nothing apart from being the Establishment favorite who will tirelessly work to support the status quo. The... Read More
or-42547
It is depressing to observe how the United States of America has become the evil empire. Having served in the United States Army during the Vietnam War and in the Central Intelligence Agency for the second half of the Cold War, I had an insider’s viewpoint of how an essentially pragmatic national security policy was... Read More
pompeo-and-netanyahu
How far will the White House go to re-elect Netanyahu?
The situation that is developing around both this year’s Israeli election and next year’s ballot in the United States smacks of something like a developing conspiracy to renew the mandates of both Benjamin Netanyahu and Donald Trump somewhat reminiscent of the October Surprise that helped bring Ronald Reagan to the White House. Back then, the... Read More
bombing-iran
Fake news about a terrorist connection could serve as a pretext for war
Observers of developments in the Middle East have long taken it as a given that the United States and Israel are seeking for an excuse to attack Iran. The recently terminated conference in Warsaw had that objective, which was clearly expressed by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, but it failed to rally European and Middle... Read More
or-42272
The humiliation of United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in Warsaw last week was a good thing. The ancient Greeks, exercising their demonstrated ability to synthesize defining characteristics, had a word for it: hubris. Hubris is when one develops an extreme and unreasonable feeling of confidence in a certain course of action that inevitably... Read More
shutterstock_1414003727
America Is Ready for a Genuine Peace Candidate
The lineup of Democrats who have already declared themselves as candidates for their party’s presidential nomination in 2020 is remarkable, if only for the fact that so many wannabes have thrown their hats in the ring so early in the process. In terms of electability, however, one might well call the seekers after the highest... Read More
neocons-3
The neocon metamorphosis is nearly complete as many of the neocons, who started out as Democrats, have returned home,...
The Roman poet Ovid’s masterful epic The Metamorphoses includes the memorable opening line regarding the poem’s central theme of transformation. He wrote In nova fert animus mutatas dicere formas corpora, which has been translated as “Of shapes transformed to bodies strange, I purpose to entreat…” Ovid framed his narrative around gods, heroes and quasi-historical events... Read More
mission-accomplished
Is it for real or more bait and switch?
Never before has any presidential administration been as all over the place in terms of national security and foreign policy as is that of Donald J. Trump. Indeed, one might well argue that there is no overriding policy at all in terms of a rational doctrine arrived at through risk versus gain analysis of developing... Read More
christmas-in-syria
A Christmas present for the American and Syrian people
President Donald Trump’s order to withdraw from Syria has been greeted, predictably, with an avalanche of condemnation culminating in last Thursday’s resignation by Defense Secretary James Mattis. The Mattis resignation letter focused on the betrayal of allies, though it was inevitably light on details, suggesting that the Marine Corps General was having some difficulty in... Read More
peaceable-kingdom
Why can't we just leave everyone alone?
President Donald Trump’s recent statement on the Jamal Khashoggi killing by Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince might well be considered a metaphor for his foreign policy. Several commentators have suggested that the text appears to be something that Trump wrote himself without any adult supervision, similar to the poorly expressed random arguments presented in his tweeting... Read More
hodges
Fighting Russia, China and al-Qaeda simultaneously requires more money
Some believe that the Cold War ended in 1991, when the Soviet Union fell apart. In retrospect, many observers also believe that a golden opportunity was missed to heal the wounds inflicted by over 45 years to hostility between the Washington and Moscow. Rather than encouraging development of a Russia that would adhere to Western... Read More
Philip Giraldi
About Philip Giraldi

Phil Giraldi is a former CIA Case Officer and Army Intelligence Officer who spent twenty years overseas in Europe and the Middle East working terrorism cases. He holds a BA with honors from the University of Chicago and an MA and PhD in Modern History from the University of London. In addition to TAC, where he has been a contributing editor for nine years, he writes regularly for Antiwar.com. He is currently Executive Director of the Council for the National Interest and resides with his wife of 32 years in Virginia horse country close to his daughters and grandchildren.


Personal Classics
Shouldn't they recuse themselves when dealing with the Middle East?
A Modern Guernica Enabled by Washington
Pressuring Candidates Even Before They Are Nominated
But is it even a friend?
The gagged whistleblower goes on the record.
Today’s CIA serves contractors and bureaucrats—not the nation.