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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Professor Stephen F. Cohen, a Nation contributing editor and professor emeritus of Russian studies at NYU and Princeton, discusses with the host of The John Batchelor Show the recent nuclear accident on a submarine in Northern Russia and the unrelated political protests in Moscow. Cohen puts both in the historical and political context usually missing... Read More
Looking at a French nationalist website Boulevard Voltaire this morning, I notice a repetition of the conventional American media account of what occurred in Charlottesville on Saturday. The
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Eyewitnesses: “Three Tall White Men”
The CBS Evening News ran this interview. This has been dropped down the memory hole. So has this. Note: he spoke of a black SUV. Note also that he got verbal confirmation from off-camera. This indicates that there were other eyewitnesses. The only eyewitness identifications that I can find speak of three white men. I... Read More
Just as I was beginning to despair that Goucher College’s most famous graduate among contemporary historians Jonah Goldberg had lost his talent for offering revelations about the past, Jonah surprised me yesterday with a learned discourse on the Middle Ages as a prolonged period of primitive barbarism. For those who may have forgotten this nugget... Read More
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Although I can’t think of a single social issue on which the predictably soporific Washington Post-columnist Jennifer Rubin sounds different from Barack Obama, Rubin, who welcomes gay marriage as a sign of
In my recently posted comments on the renaming of Calhoun College at Yale University, I failed to mention a glaring impropriety that the custodians of Political Correctness at Yale have not even begun to address. The university’s original benefactor, who in 1718 paid for the first building of what became a world-famous institution of learning,... Read More
I’ve recently received information that
In his latest column, New York Times house-conservative David Brooks is still euphoric about his learning experience at a National Review Institute conference that just ended. It seems that while at the conference David (if I may be familiar) mingled with two of his favorite thinkers, Bill Kristol and John Podhoretz. Like our New York... Read More
Listening to FOXnews on Sunday evening, January 6, I was impressed by the oceans of venom that greeted the nomination of Chuck Hagel for secretary of defense. At 6:30 PM, the usually sober Brit Hume remarked for the umpteenth time that this "nominee was a strange choice" and one who was clearly unsuited for the... Read More
For once in a blue moon, I find myself agreeing with Dana Milbank of the Washington Post (October 18) when he observes that "conservatives are mum about Mitt’s moderation." Making allowances for Milbank’s ideologically colored view, when he says that in recent weeks the Republican presidential candidate "sprinted toward the center," this columnist is correct... Read More
Last week, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid got people’s juices going when he announced in the Senate "the word is out." Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney had not been paying his taxes for at least a decade; and to show this was the case, various Democratic dignitaries, including Nancy Pelosi, suggested that Reid was divulging... Read More
Washington's national security establishment — what used in Britain to be called "imperialists" — is in a growing panic over the war in Afghanistan which, in spite of America's vast military and economic power, and cornucopia of high tech wizardry, is being slowly beaten by a bunch of lightly-armed but very fierce Pashtun mountain tribesman.... Read More
It’s awfully hard for the world’s greatest power to admit its high-tech military forces are being beaten in Afghanistan by a bunch of lightly-armed mountain tribesmen. But that’s what’s happening. Washington is blaming everyone else for the bloody fiasco in Afghanistan, the “Graveyard of Empires.” Right now, the chief whipping boy for US fury is... Read More
The US is now risking a military confrontation with old ally Pakistan that is both highly dangerous and unpredictable in the extreme. It’s awfully hard for the world’s greatest power to admit its high-tech military forces are being beaten in Afghanistan by a bunch of lightly-armed mountain tribesmen that we dismiss as "terrorists." But that’s... Read More
Recall the famous saying, often used during the French Revolution, "the revolution devours its own children." The mythological premier god Chronos was said to have torn the heads off this children, then devoured them. I first witnessed this bloody process at work during the Algerian struggle for independence from France, as one after another of... Read More
Turkey’s increasingly influential premier, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, went to Cairo last week and spoke for the world: "Let’s raise the Palestinian flag and let that flag be the symbol of peace and justice in the Middle East." Days later, Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas arrived in New York to ask the UN Security Council to... Read More
We Americans become like the moribund Hapsburg Empire which was said to have forgotten nothing and learned nothing. Watching 9/11 commemorations, which have by now become an annual religious-political event, reminds us of this old adage. One of the biggest tragedies within the tragedy of 9/11 is that the nation has not learned the real... Read More
Does anyone remember Kashmir? Well, we certainly should. If nuclear war ever breaks out, the most likely place would be in Kashmir. The fabled state of Kashmir lies in majestic isolation amid the towering mountain ranges of the Himalayas and Karakoram that separate the torrid plains of north India from the steppes and deserts of... Read More
Watching rebel gunmen rampage through Col. Muammar Gadaffi's Bab al-Aziziya compound — once Tripoli's Forbidden City of Tripoli — was a strange experience for me. I spent an evening there with Gadaffi in 1987, a year after it was bombed by US warplanes. Libya's "Brother Leader" talked about the Mideast, Palestine, North Africa. He led... Read More
The mighty US Navy won’t say so publicly, but it’s increasingly worried by China’s development of new anti-ship missiles. The chief worry is China’s new DF-21D whose primary target is America’s huge aircraft carriers. According to Chinese sources, the DF-21D anti-ship ballistic missile (ASBM) has recently become operational in limited numbers. Originally developed for submarines,... Read More
After 43 years of eccentric, zany, or comical rule, underscored by Western charges of terrorism, it appears the era of Libya's Col. Muammar Gadaffi, once called by Ronald Reagan, "the mad dog of the Middle East," is over. Col. Gadaffi has been the longest-ruling Arab leader. His sons, who were positioned to succeed him, are... Read More
My parents, who lived through the 1930's Depression, taught me two rules: don't buy anything until you can pay for it with your savings; and always save a sizable portion of your income. The United States, once powerhouse to the world, is hooked on debt. America has become so addicted that regular hits are necessary... Read More
Do we need more proof that politicians should never be given national credit cards — unless, of course, they are German, Swiss or Scandinavian. The thunder of crashing equity markets, the humiliating downgrade of America's once gold-standard credit rating, and stern lectures on financial rectitude from the Chinese Communists of all people are the latest... Read More
SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA — This vast, pulsating city of ten million seems to have doubled in size since my last visit ten years ago. In spite of its gigantic scale and increasingly modernistic image, Seoul remains far calmer and better ordered than most of Asia's frenetic cities. Dynamic, optimistic, high-tech South Korea is flying at... Read More
PARIS — The golden dome of Les Invalides shone majestically in the summer sun. Tricolor French flags bravely waved in the breeze. Before me, in Place de La Concorde, where poor king Louis XVI lost his head to Dr. Guillotine's supposedly painless invention, was a huge reviewing stand filled with hundreds of the great and... Read More
In 1922, Greek armies trying to conquer western Anatolia were routed by Turkey’s military leader, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk. Hundreds of thousands of ethnic Greeks were uprooted from Ionian coastal areas. After this debacle, Greek officers took three former prime ministers, a general and two other politicians who had led the Turkish-Greek War and shot them.... Read More
Sacré Bleu! Last Friday, US prosecutors revealed that the hotel maid who had accused former International Monetary Fund chief Strauss-Kahn of raping her in his hotel suite was a serial liar. She had lied about being raped to get into the US, lied on her tax returns, and lied on numerous other issues. She had... Read More
In his majestic poem "Recessional," Rudyard Kipling was writing of the fading British Empire, but his words are as vivid and pertinent today as a century ago: Far-called our navies melt away — On dune and headland sinks the fire — Lo, all our pomp of yesterday Is one with Nineveh and Tyre! The objective... Read More
The most important revolution to occur in the Mideast has taken place with little notice or understanding in the west. The Muslim world's uprisings against dictatorship did not begin in Tunisia, but in Turkey. The first seeds of revolution in Turkey were planted in 2002 when its Justice and Development Party began the long, arduous... Read More
Those Cassandras who believe Cathay is about to rule waves after launching its first aircraft carrier are getting way, way ahead of themselves. One swallow does not make the spring, and one aircraft carrier does not make a battle fleet in being. The Red Chinese Navy is not about to steam up Chesapeake Bay and... Read More
BARCELONA — Viva la revolution! Spain's youth are staging boisterous but peaceful protests across the country that many call the Iberian version of the popular revolutions sweeping the Arab world. Plaza Catalunya, the center of this marvelous city that pulses with life and fun, is packed with young demonstrators waving placards calling for revolution and... Read More
METZ, FRANCE — In this ancient fortress city on the Mosel River that stand guard on the traditional invasion route into France, one is surrounded by the ghosts of great wars past — and the often cruel myths that still linger. As a former instructor of military history and specialist in France's 20th century wars,... Read More
PARIS — This week, the big buzz for "le tout Paris" (all Paris) — at least until Sunday's "le grand bombshell" — was that President Nicholas Sarkozy and wife Carla Bruni were boycotting the Cannes Film Festival which just opened with the film, Le Conquest (The Conquest). No wonder. This acid film is all about... Read More
My Pakistani security intelligence sources told me five years ago that Osama bin Laden was hiding in an urban area in Pakistan. If I, a humble journalist, had a good idea where OBL was, why did it take CIA so long to find one elderly man who had brazenly set out to defeat the mighty... Read More
Sequels are rarely as good as the original, but last week’s Great Escape from Kandahar Prison II was almost as exciting as the 2008 original in which 800 Taliban prisoners were busted out of Afghanistan’s Sorpoza Prison. This time around, 541 prisoners, including 106 Taliban commanders, tunneled their way out of the notorious maximum security... Read More
The assassination of Osama bin Laden by US Special Forces in Abbotabad, Pakistan will likely assure Barack Obama's victory in the 2012 presidential race. Republican hawks will have a hard time pressing their claims that Obama is "soft on terrorism." Details about the killing of bin Laden remain obscure. The mission, a joint operation between... Read More
Once, while driving in rural Virginia, I saw a billboard that proclaimed, "Jesus Saves." Some wag had scrawled across the bottom, "But Moses invests." Today, change that to "the US borrows while China lends." As my friend and veteran columnist Arnaud de Borchgrave writes, while the US has wasted $1.5 trillion on its Afghan and... Read More
There has been a revolution in Egypt, but we still don't know what kind it is, how far will it go, and who stands to gain. Last week, deposed president Husni Mubarak and his two sons were arrested and are facing judicial interrogation. Egyptians are jubilant. Few Egyptians believed the man they called "Pharaoh" would... Read More
Japan’s nuclear calamity has shown once again the remarkable courage, patience, and stoicism of that nation’s people. As a visitor to Japan for the past 36 years and former columnist for one of its leading newspapers, Mainichi Daily News, the giant earthquake and ensuing tsunami that savaged northern Japan filled me with anguish and sorrow.... Read More
Muammar Gadaffi's Libya may not be sinking yet, but it's low in the water and springing new leaks by the day. Italy, a key player in North Africa, sniffed the winds of change, then decided to abandon old ally Gadaffi and recognize the revolutionary junta in Benghazi. Last Wednesday, Libya's Foreign Minister, Moussa Koussa, dressed... Read More
Libya, in spite of its oil treasures, is strictly a sideshow in the great game of nations. We should be keeping our eyes on highly strategic Syria, a potentially combustible nation of 22.5 million that lies at the very heart of what we call the Mideast. Sizeable demonstrations have erupted in the Syrian port city... Read More
The finest strategic thinker of the 20th century, Britain’s Maj. Gen. J.F.C. Fuller, wrote the object of war is achieving political goals, not military victory. Politicians keep forgetting Fuller’s dictum. The last examples of wars without defined political objectives were Vietnam, Afghanistan, and Iraq. Welcome a fourth: Libya. US foreign policy is becoming permanently militarized.... Read More
The US government just decided Islamic shariah law is not so bad after all – at least not in the case of jailed CIA agent Raymond Davis. The burly Davis, an ex-US Special Forces soldier, former Blackwater gunman, and now CIA “contractor” (jargon for mercenary) was jailed in Pakistan after shooting dead two Pakistanis, who... Read More
With déjà vu we see US cruise missiles being launched from the sea, Libyan AA firing helplessly into the night sky at invisible B-2 heavy bombers, and the burning wreckage of armor and vehicles on desert roads. Here we go again! It's Iraqi-style shock and awe for Libya. Let's get that nasty Saracen, Muammar Gadaffi,... Read More
I recently wrote that Libya's "Leader," Muammar Gadaffi, had used up all of his nine lives. After being written off by great powers and world media, Gadaffi, the dictator we love to hate, is still in power and making rude gestures at his assorted foes. We should call Gadaffi Mr. Lucky. As the western powers... Read More
The US media, perfectly described by Israeli thinker Uri Avnery as "a mixture of propaganda, news and entertainment," is steaming with righteous indignation over the awfulness of Libya's wicked Colonel Muammar Gadaffi, and is once again baying for his blood. "On to Libya! Down with the Tyrant of Tripoli!" That's the latest hue and cry... Read More
Watching Col. Muammar Gadaffi deliver a bombastic, defiant speech last week from the ruins of Tripoli's Bab al-Azizia barracks brought me back to 1987 when Libya's leader led me by the hand through this same wreckage of his former residence. On 14 April, 1986, US aircraft attacked Libya after a Berlin disco frequented by US... Read More
The black comedy of the Iraqi defector codenamed "Curveball" has just resurfaced. It tells us much about how the US has made such a mess in the Mideast and why Washington can’t understand or deal with the historic revolution now flaring across the Muslim world. Take equal parts of ignorance and arrogance, the standard recipe... Read More
"Plus a change,” say the cynical French, “plus c'est la mme chose." Many thoughtful Egyptians will be recalling this "bon mot" as the watch one ruler, the ousted Husni Mubarak, replaced by a military junta led by Field Marshall Mohammed Tantawi. Egyptians are getting more Mubarakism, sans Mubarak, at least for now. This is not... Read More