Could the Philippines Drag the US Into War with China?

Tensions are rising again between the Philippines and the People’s Republic of China (PRC) over rival claims to small islands and their surrounding waters in the South China Sea. The latest incident began in late March when more than 200 Chinese "fishing vessels" arrived at Whitsun Reef, which Manila calls Juan Felipe Reef – a … Continue reading “Could the Philippines Drag the US Into War with China?”

Washington Has Backed Islamist War Criminals in Syria

When large-scale demonstrations broke out against the regime of Bashar al-Assad in early 2011, Barack Obama’s administration promptly exploited the situation and began to back anti-regime factions. As those demonstrations evolved into an armed insurgency later that year, Washington cooperated closely with outside sponsors of the rebellion, especially Saudi Arabia and Turkey, to channel financial … Continue reading “Washington Has Backed Islamist War Criminals in Syria”

Unhappy 18th Anniversary: How an Unholy Pro-War Lobbying Alliance Pushed America Into the Iraq Quagmire in 2003

Eighteen years ago, George W. Bush’s administration took the fateful step of launching a war to overthrow Saddam Hussein’s regime in Iraq. That conflict set in motion developments that destabilized not only Iraq but other already fragile countries throughout the Greater Middle East. Demonstrating an astonishing inability to learn from its predecessor’s blunder in Iraq, … Continue reading “Unhappy 18th Anniversary: How an Unholy Pro-War Lobbying Alliance Pushed America Into the Iraq Quagmire in 2003”

Capitulation Diplomacy: Washington Keeps Making Unrealistic Demands of Other Countries

The Biden administration seems intent on maintaining an especially counterproductive practice in U.S. foreign policy. For decades, US officials have insisted in making utterly unrealistic demands on other governments in its diplomatic interactions. In such cases, Washington doesn’t really engage in diplomacy at all; instead, it tries to force adversaries to capitulate and tamely accept … Continue reading “Capitulation Diplomacy: Washington Keeps Making Unrealistic Demands of Other Countries”

Stealth Commitment: How the Syrian Kurds Became US ‘Allies’

It’s bad enough when the U.S. government takes on unwise security commitments through the signing of formal treaties as required in the Constitution. The "pactomania" frenzy during the early Cold War, beginning with the decision to join NATO in 1949, led to a host of similar alliances. In the years that followed, Washington concluded so-called … Continue reading “Stealth Commitment: How the Syrian Kurds Became US ‘Allies’”

How the National Security State Manipulates the News Media

An especially dangerous threat to liberty occurs when members of the press collude with government agencies instead of monitoring and exposing the abuses of those agencies. Unfortunately, collusion is an all-too-common pattern in press coverage of the national security state’s activities. The American people then receive official propaganda disguised as honest reporting and analysis. The … Continue reading “How the National Security State Manipulates the News Media”

Washington’s Habitual Fondness for ‘Friendly Dictators’

One of the foreign policy establishment’s biggest complaints about Donald Trump is that during his presidency, the United States ceased being the defender and promoter of democracy internationally. Following Trump’s election defeat, there was a collective expression of relief that Joe Biden’s administration would again embrace America’s traditional role. The actual historical record, however, shows … Continue reading “Washington’s Habitual Fondness for ‘Friendly Dictators’”

Washington’s Tiny Islands Fetish Could Endanger the American People

Most Americans likely do not realize the U.S. defense treaty with Japan does not just entail a commitment to help defend the heavily populated Japanese home islands. Presidents Barack Obama, Donald Trump, and Joe Biden all have affirmed that the treaty also covers a chain of remote, uninhabited rocks that are closer to China than … Continue reading “Washington’s Tiny Islands Fetish Could Endanger the American People”

Washington’s Foreign ‘Democratic’ Clients Become an Embarrassment Again

One of the U.S. foreign policy establishment’s favorite propaganda themes is that the United States promotes liberalism and democracy around the world. However, several of the supposedly democratic foreign factions that Washington has backed proceeded to establish corrupt, quasi-authoritarian regimes when they gained power. Two cases highlight that depressing reality. One was the Kosovo Liberation … Continue reading “Washington’s Foreign ‘Democratic’ Clients Become an Embarrassment Again”

Barack Obama’s War on a Free Press

U.S. presidents have had a long, dishonorable history of trying to undermine the First Amendment, especially freedom of the press. Woodrow Wilson’s brutal suppression of critics, primarily through prosecutions under the Espionage Act of 1917, remains the most odious example, but it’s hardly the only one. During the late 1930s, Franklin Delano Roosevelt harassed activists, … Continue reading “Barack Obama’s War on a Free Press”