The Surge: Illusion and Reality

“Where the dead are ghosts on the fragile abacus used to calculate loss, to estimate tragedy.” – from "Body Count," by poet Persis Karim The narrative in the media these days is the success of the U.S. “surge,” which has poured an additional 30,000 U.S. troops into Iraq since early January 2007. In early December, … Continue reading “The Surge: Illusion and Reality”

Death at a Distance: The US Air War

According to the residents of Datta Khel, a town in Pakistan’s North Waziristan, three missiles streaked out of Afghanistan’s Pakitka Province and slammed into a madrassa, or Islamic school, this past June. When the smoke cleared, the Asia Times reported, 30 people were dead. The killers were robots, General Atomics MQ-1 Predators. The AGM-114 Hellfire … Continue reading “Death at a Distance: The US Air War”

Kurdish Powder Keg
Primed to Explode

There are few areas in the world more entangled in historical deceit and betrayal than northern Iraq, where the British, the Ottomans, and the Americans have played a deadly game of political chess at the expense of the local Kurds. And now, because of a volatile brew of internal Iraqi and Turkish politics, coupled with … Continue reading “Kurdish Powder Keg
Primed to Explode”

Nostalgic for the Cold War? Good News

The current brouhaha over a U.S. plan to deploy anti-ballistic missiles (ABM) in Poland has nothing to do with a fear that Iran will attack Europe or the U.S. with nuclear-tipped intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM). It has a great deal to do with the Bush administration’s efforts to neutralize Russia’s and China’s nuclear deterrents and … Continue reading “Nostalgic for the Cold War? Good News”

Fanning Sectarian Fires
in the Middle East

In 1609, a terrible thing happened: not terrible in the manner that great wars are terrible but in the way that opening Pandora’s Box was terrible. King James I of England discovered that dividing people on the basis of religion worked like a charm, thus sentencing the Irish to almost four centuries of blood and … Continue reading “Fanning Sectarian Fires
in the Middle East”

The Najaf Massacre: Annotated

As the fables about Saddam Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction and clandestine ties with al-Qaeda began to unravel following the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq, the flagship of U.S. news reporting, The New York Times, took itself to task for its failure to challenge its news sources. “Information that was controversial then, and seems questionable … Continue reading “The Najaf Massacre: Annotated”

Iran: Thinking the Unthinkable

Is Israel, supported by the Bush administration, preparing to launch an atomic war against Iran? On Jan. 7, the London Sunday Times claimed that the Israeli government is planning to attack Iran’s uranium enrichment facilities with tactical nuclear weapons. While the Israeli government denies the story, recent statements by top Israeli officials and military figures … Continue reading “Iran: Thinking the Unthinkable”