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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Tony Perry of the LA Times reports:As Marines train to deploy to war zones, there is daily discussion about how to detect and disarm the buried roadside bombs that are the No. 1 killer of Marines in Iraq and Afghanistan.Military researchers have found that two groups of personnel are particularly good at spotting anomalies: those... Read More
My general opinion of Colin Powell is that he is a sensible man. Moreover, I believe that the employment of sensible men in affairs of state should be encouraged.Powell tried to slow the rush to war in 2002. In the final analysis, he lacked the moral fiber to take the last steps available to him:... Read More
You may wonder about why John McCain has been so wild about getting us into a new Cold War with Russia in general, and into what could turn into a shooting war with them over Georgia in particular. I mean, other than the fact that he's John McCain ... The Washington Post reports:Sen. John McCain's... Read More
Former Bush press secretary Scott McClellan's new book seems to support the theory that I offered in 2005 when former Bush ghostwriter Mickey Herskowitz revealed that Bush had been talking about the political advantages of invading Iraq in 1999. I went on to speculate:My published articles are archived at -- Steve Sailer
From the LA Times:Sons of Iraq? Or Baghdad's Sopranos? Working with a U.S.-funded Sunni guard force can be a lot like dealing with the mob. Some of the armed men act like the dons of their neighborhood. By Alexandra Zavis, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer May 20, 2008 BAGHDAD -- As Arabic pop songs blared... Read More
As a pundit, I'm supposed to act like I know this kind of stuff, but I have to admit I'm pretty baffled why it's terribly important to the United States of America that the Badr Shiites who control the Baghdad government crush the Sadr Shiites who control much of Southern Iraq and parts of Baghdad... Read More
The human race really just isn't into this whole war thing anymore. Here we were, all gearing up for a re-enactment of the Battle of Stalingrad in Basra, center of trillions of dollars of oil reserves, and they go and decide to call the whole thing off after a few days.My published articles are archived... Read More
With fighting in Basra between the Iranian-aligned Shi'ite government (who we're backing) and Mookie Sadr's less-Iranian-aligned Shi'ite militia (who we're fighting), I've got a dumb question that I should know the answer to but I don't:Who's pocketing Iraq's oil money these days?About 2 million barrels a day are pumped in the Basra province, so that's... Read More
Randall Parker points to a so-depressing-it's-funny article written by Nir Rosen in Iraq called "The Myth of the Surge."John McCain is running on a strategy of Winning in Iraq, but nobody seems to know whose side we are on these days. We started out being on the side of the guys who are most closely... Read More
I blogged at length in October 2006 about the controversial Lancet study that claimed 600,000 deaths by violence in Iraq. I eventually realized it was probably exaggerated because, paradoxically enough, Iraq was too violent for the study to have been carried out the way the authors claim:Maybe what happened is that the interviewers didn't actually... Read More
Because no good movies get released in late August, I took the opportunity to review a classic DVD: When your television dies, a trip to the home entertainment showroom, with its massed ranks of the latest monitors all displaying the same glorious nature documentary for convenient comparison shopping, will quickly convince you that your initial... Read More
Remember back in the 2004 Presidential election, when everybody was talking about how all we needed to do was to train the Iraqi forces and then everything would be swell?Well, a reader sent in links to Youtube videos showing what training our "allies" actually looks like:The Afghans' trouble with the symmetrical nature of jumping jacks... Read More
The BBC Reports: Iraq war source's name revealed A US TV network has revealed the name of "Curveball" - an Iraqi man whose information was central to the US government's argument to invade Iraq. The CBS show 60 Minutes identifies him as Iraqi defector Rafid Ahmed Alwan. The programme says he arrived in a German... Read More
On the Tigris River lies the world's most dangerous dam, built on top of water-soluble gypsum (hey, at least the Iraqis didn't build it out of sugar), which threatens to unleash a 66-foot tall wall of water on Mosul, with an expected death toll of up to half a million.From the Washington Post, this is... Read More
Leaving aside all the usual moral issues for the moment, as a taxpayer, I want to complain about this 21st Century innovation of using ex-U.S. military servicemen as highly paid mercenaries alongside much lower paid servicemen.The government has forfeited its monopsonistic (i.e. sole employer) buying power over government-funded jobs killing people and breaking things, so... Read More
American politicians and federal officials are still trying to get straight in their heads that confusing Shia vs. Sunni thingie, but it turns out that the Middle East has a whole bunch of living religions that aren't exactly part of Islam, Christianity, or Judaism.Sure, we've all heard of the Samaritans in Israel, the mysterious and... Read More
Alan Greenspan's contention that "the Iraq War is largely about oil" is reassuring in the sense that at least somebody thinks the war is about something, rather than, as it looks more and more, about nothing. But, now that details of Greenspan's thinking have emerged in the Washington Post, the security of believing in a... Read More
Here's an excerpt from my review in the 9/24/07 issue of The American Conservative: "In the Valley of Elah" is a modest-budget drama laden with Hollywood luminaries. Oscar-magnet screenwriter Paul Haggis ("Crash" and "Million Dollar Baby") directs fellow Academy Award winners Tommy Lee Jones ("The Fugitive"), Charlize Theron ("Monster"), and Susan Sarandon ("Dead Man Walking")... Read More
Here's an excerpt from the second part of Michael Blowhard's interview with Gregory Cochran: 2B: As far as Mideast policy goes, how could we do better than we do? Cochran: I think we have little chance of running a practical Middle East policy. The political class is ignorant and / or crazy (and also lazy)... Read More
As I've mentioned before, although I was highly skeptical of the Iraq Attaq in 2002, my big mistake was that I didn't trust my friend Greg Cochran's assessment that Iraq had no functioning nuclear weapons program. (Here's an email from Cochran that Jerry Pournelle posted on his website on October 14, 2002.)Here on the one... Read More
The famous sunk cost fallacy is a particularly popular justification for throwing good money and blood after bad in a war like Iraq. But the U.S. abandonment of South Vietnam during Watergate and its aftermath is a clear example of of the lesser known converse to the sunk cost fallacy.In 1974, it was clear that... Read More
An AP article says: Wars squeeze police ammunition supplies across US Shortage curtails officers' trainingTroops training for and fighting the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are firing more than 1 billion bullets a year, contributing to ammunition shortages hitting police departments nationwide and preventing some officers from training with the weapons they carry on patrol.... Read More
A Google search finds that I've written, assuming my methodology is reasonable, 831 articles or postings with the word "Iraq" in them, going back to early 2001. (Here's my February 27, 2001 op-ed on why the elder George W. Bush was right not to occupy Baghdad ten years before in 1991.) But I sure haven't... Read More
A Lieutenant Colonel writes from Iraq: I just read your 2003 article, "Cousin Marriage Conundrum." You're right on the money about Iraq. I am at the end of my 1 year tour in Iraq serving as a military advisor to an Iraqi Army brigade in the northern Kurdish Region. From my observations, it is clear... Read More
Steven Pinker's "Inherit the Wind: Our Weird Obsession with Genealogy" is the cover story in the August 6, 2007 issue of The New Republic. Here's an excerpt: In the struggle between society and family, the exponential mathematics of kinship ordinarily works to the advantage of society. As time passes or groups get larger, family trees... Read More
David Frum replies at length here to my article on him.My published articles are archived at -- Steve Sailer
McCain, Obama, Clinton, and Giuliani have all called for more soldiers for them to play with when they come President. Why? We spend 48-49% of the world's military budget. We have near absolute air supremacy and, in the unlikely event that an enemy tank army ever takes the field to challenge our tanks again, the... Read More
Yezidis slaughtered in Iraq: For years, to illustrate how little Americans know about the Iraq we've chosen to meddle in, I've been forecasting since 2003 that we'll all be learning more about, for example, the Yezidis: a religious group left over from the ancient Cult of the Angels that worships seven archangels, including Lucifer, whom... Read More
Steve Sailer
About Steve Sailer

Steve Sailer is a journalist, movie critic for Taki's Magazine, columnist, and founder of the Human Biodiversity discussion group for top scientists and public intellectuals.

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