Accusing Russia – Listening to History

The prophet Cassandra’s curse was that when she told the future, no one listened; history’s curse is that when it tells the past, no one does. The West has no shortage of charges it hurls against Russia, but most of them can be grouped into one of three categories: that Russia intervened in the American … Continue reading “Accusing Russia – Listening to History”

What Did Israel Bomb in the Syrian Desert in 2007?

In September 2007, in the dark of night, warplanes crossed the Syrian border and bombed a covert nuclear reactor. Recently, Israel took responsibility for the bombing mission that obliterated the Syrian reactor. The Israeli announcement was unnecessary if it was intended to be an admission of responsibility. The origin of the bombers had never been … Continue reading “What Did Israel Bomb in the Syrian Desert in 2007?”

None of This Month’s Craziest Nuclear Stories Involved North Korea

The past week featured two crazy nuclear stories. And neither of them involved North Korea. Saudi Arabia The first involved Saudi Arabia. With all the news out of Washington in the past few days, one highly significant story passed almost uncovered by the media. While the mainstream media extensively covered the talks between Trump and … Continue reading “None of This Month’s Craziest Nuclear Stories Involved North Korea”

How Many Terms ’til You’re a Tyrant?

Donald Trump caused a lot of concern in early March when he seemed to praise Chinese President Xi Jinping’s removal of term limits on the president from the Chinese constitution, clearing the path for him to become "President for life," as Trump called him. Trump said, “He’s now president for life. President for life. No, … Continue reading “How Many Terms ’til You’re a Tyrant?”

Intelligence That Neither Hears Nor Sees

On February 13, the American intelligence community issued its Worldwide Threat Assessment. It is a frightening document to read. On North Korea, the agencies that hear everything cannot seem to hear anything North Korea has said; on Iran, the agencies that see everything cannot seem to see what they have long known. The Worldwide Threat … Continue reading “Intelligence That Neither Hears Nor Sees”

America, the Kurds, and History: Only a Pawn in Their Game

The only thing that has ever been faithful to the Kurds is history: it has faithfully, without fail, betrayed them. The Kurds have been cast in the role of the pawn in powerful countries’ games of chess. They do much of the hard work only to be sacrificed when checkmate is in sight. Most recently, … Continue reading “America, the Kurds, and History: Only a Pawn in Their Game”

Mass Surveillance and the Memory Hole

Though it received disturbingly little attention – perhaps a symptom of desensitization to news that we are constantly being surveilled – it was recently revealed that the National Security Agency (NSA) destroyed data about some of its surveillance activity that it was under court order to preserve. The NSA was ordered to save the data … Continue reading “Mass Surveillance and the Memory Hole”

US Bows to Israeli/Saudi Alliance in Blaming Iran

At first, the Americans couldn’t believe it. The Israelis were pressuring the Clinton administration to see Iran as the greatest global threat. Only a short time earlier, Israel was cooperating with Iran militarily and selling them weapons. The Israelis were Iran’s best lobbyists in Washington, pushing the Reagan administration to talk to Iran, to sell … Continue reading “US Bows to Israeli/Saudi Alliance in Blaming Iran”

The Decertification of Iran Speech: Refuting Trump

Iran’s hardliners were right. They recited a long history of agreements in which Iranian compliance was repaid with American betrayal. Like a Persian chorus of Cassandras, they called their warnings into the wind, and the world called them crazy. Well, the mad mullahs were right. Despite the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) declaring each time … Continue reading “The Decertification of Iran Speech: Refuting Trump”

North Korea’s Rational Nuclear Strategy

The “insanity” label that America attaches to North Korea has a lot of political utility. First, it colors the interpretation of everything North Korea does. The consideration of a rational motivation for undesirable actions can be prevented: the actions are assumed to be crazy. Secondly, it makes the target of blame clear. Thirdly, and most … Continue reading “North Korea’s Rational Nuclear Strategy”