US and Coalition Aid to Iraq Is Ungenerous and Self-Interested

At the donor conference for the “post-ISIL reconstruction” of Iraq which just ended in Kuwait, U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson talked about Iraqi corruption and insecurity, which he claimed had to be tackled for rebuilding investments to be feasible. He said nothing about donations or reparations for the immeasurable damage the US inflicted on … Continue reading “US and Coalition Aid to Iraq Is Ungenerous and Self-Interested”

‘Peace Through Strength’ Is a Racket

Donald Trump has embraced the popular “peace through strength” doctrine (PTSD) with his characteristic panache: “I’m going to make our military so big, so powerful, so strong, that nobody – absolutely nobody – is gonna to mess with us,” Trump says. On other occasions he’s said similar things: “We want to defer, avoid and prevent … Continue reading “‘Peace Through Strength’ Is a Racket”

The Boomerang Effect: How Netanyahu Made Israel an American Issue, and Lost

Despite massive sums of money spent to channel public opinion in the United States in favor of Israel, unmistakable trends in opinion polls are attesting to the changing dynamics of Israel’s support among ordinary Americans. Not only is Israel losing its support and overall appeal among large sections of American society, but among young American … Continue reading “The Boomerang Effect: How Netanyahu Made Israel an American Issue, and Lost”

The US Returns to ‘Great Power Competition,’ With a Dangerous New Edge

The Trump administration’s new National Defense Strategy is being touted as a sea change in US foreign policy – a shift from the “war on terrorism” to “great power competition,” a line that would not be out of place in the years leading up to World War I. But is the shift really a major … Continue reading “The US Returns to ‘Great Power Competition,’ With a Dangerous New Edge”

The Hidden Costs of America’s Wars

Originally posted at TomDispatch. When it comes to America’s wars, more than 16 years later our generals are victorious. Not, of course, in the distant lands where those conflicts grind on unendingly, but in the one place that matters: Washington, D.C. Could there be a more striking sign of that than the elevation of three … Continue reading “The Hidden Costs of America’s Wars”

The Young and the Stupid: Virtue-Signaling Over the Olympics

Oh, the virtue-signaling was hot and heavy as conservative and ostensibly “libertarian” media outlets competed to see who come up with the most self-righteously abusive rhetoric to describe North Korean Politburo member Kim Yo Yong, sister to Kim Jong Un. BuzzFeed grabbed the prize with “a garbage monster” – BuzzFeed being an expert when it … Continue reading “The Young and the Stupid: Virtue-Signaling Over the Olympics”

The US Is Permanently Occupying Northern Syria, and That’s Trouble

When President Barack Obama started bombing Syria in 2014, he enjoyed bipartisan support in Washington, D.C. Americans were appalled by the atrocities of the Islamic State, which had massacred Yazidis, and seized swaths of territory in Syria and Iraq. At the time I warned that, far from being a humanitarian intervention, this action threatened to … Continue reading “The US Is Permanently Occupying Northern Syria, and That’s Trouble”