Warmongers 101 – Who Is the Institute for the Study of War?

Attention Students! Before we begin, that’s not a typographical error in the title. Whenever one investigates a "think tank," "study group," "not-for-profit," "non-governmental organization," or other such meddlesome troublemakers it needs to start with who rather than what. The people involved make the difference betwixt a mere charity and a nefarious character. As will be … Continue reading “Warmongers 101 – Who Is the Institute for the Study of War?”

Iraq, Syria, Iran – Some Truths About Social Media Truth

Social media can be a marvelous thing. With it, one may be fascinated by myriad mysteries of the world. Without it, there is scarcely a possibility we would have bona fide evidence of ghosts…or monsters…or UFOs vexing us on daily basis. Far be it from this author to question the veracity of such origins of … Continue reading “Iraq, Syria, Iran – Some Truths About Social Media Truth”

The Many Faces of Qassem Soleimani

Several years ago at an American Independence Day celebration in Palm Beach I found myself sitting near a small child not much more than a toddler. We were witnessing the fireworks display which every municipality seems to delight in these days. What made this exhibition slightly unique was its length – the flashing explosions and … Continue reading “The Many Faces of Qassem Soleimani”

Public Eclipse of a Shining Patriot

Heroism always occurs in the sunshine. Whenever we envision ourselves saving the day someone is universally there as witness. Whether it be the time we valiantly confronted and swiftly disarmed the guy robbing the convenience store…or the occasion we edged out on the ledge of a skyscraper to convince the suicidal girl she had plenty … Continue reading “Public Eclipse of a Shining Patriot”

No Mandate Is an Island

It seems that outrage over desolate islands is itself all the rage these days. There are the Kuril Islands, concerning which Moscow and Tokyo have issues; there are the Senkaku Islands amongst which Japan is quarreling with anyone who believes oil might lie beneath; and then there is the motherlode of the Spratly Islands which … Continue reading “No Mandate Is an Island”

The Thin Line Between Policy and Paranoia

Last week two events broke through the American malaise regarding affairs not involving popular culture. The first was to most citizens, otherwise largely indifferent to foreign policy, a shocking account of Bacha Bazi (“Dancing Boys”) abuse by Afghani warlords amid collusion with the United States military. Yet almost immediately this horrific news was pushed off … Continue reading “The Thin Line Between Policy and Paranoia”

The Year Ray Rice Knocked Out Common Decency

America is a broad country with a limited imagination. At the same time every two-bit carny huckster grinding out his or her three-year contract on respectively obscure local news affiliates was working up increasingly hysterical tears in the hope of out-emoting peers regarding one admittedly unpleasant punch, nary an individual paused to mention the outrageously … Continue reading “The Year Ray Rice Knocked Out Common Decency”

The Bookends of Generation War: Bowe Bergdahl and John Walker Lindh

Last week a Congressional hearing entitled "The Bergdahl Exchange: Implications for U.S. National Security and the Fight Against Terrorism" was convened to investigate circumstances surrounding the prisoner exchange of former Army Private Bowe Bergdahl and events leading to his internment in Afghanistan over five years ago. Amid conflicting accusations of seizure, defection and possible mental … Continue reading “The Bookends of Generation War: Bowe Bergdahl and John Walker Lindh”

Understanding Russian Hearts and Minds

Russia is the place both invading armies and preconceived notions come to die. Although generally included in the figurative West by its legalities and customs it is in many ways a unique entity. Never has this proved truer than during the ongoing conflict with Ukraine. Few dissertations have thus far bothered to concern themselves with … Continue reading “Understanding Russian Hearts and Minds”