Michael Flynn’s Forgotten Turkish Connection

Former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn is best known for his connection to the Russiagate investigation. Lost in that hubbub, however, was Flynn’s slimy role as a lobbyist for Turkey. A Turkish businessman paid Flynn $530,000 in 2016 to push pro-Turkey, anti-Kurd policies in hopes of influencing the Trump Administration. The American public has mostly … Continue reading “Michael Flynn’s Forgotten Turkish Connection”

Biden vs. Trump on Foreign Policy

We all know that President Donald Trump’s foreign policy has been a disaster. But is Joe Biden’s any better? Trump promised to stop America’s endless wars but has stationed some 80,000 troops in the Middle East. He pulled out of the Iran nuclear accord, and imposed harsh sanctions and even sent drones to assassinate a … Continue reading “Biden vs. Trump on Foreign Policy”

US Beats War Drums in Middle East

While the world focuses on the coronavirus pandemic, tensions between the US and Iran are heating up. The two countries are engaging in tit-for-tat military attacks that threaten a wider war. In mid-March, Washington officials accused an Iran-allied militia of launching rockets at a US military base in Iraq, killing two American soldiers and one … Continue reading “US Beats War Drums in Middle East”

Am I the Next Typhoid Mary?

This story was supported by the Pulitzer Center. On February 22, I left Iran after a week of covering the country’s parliamentary elections. Ten days later, my nose started running like a faucet. Normally, I would assume it’s a cold, pop some antihistamines, and proceed with my work. But these are not normal times. Symptoms … Continue reading “Am I the Next Typhoid Mary?”

Hardliners Win Iran Elections But With Little Enthusiasm

This column was supported by the Pulitzer Center. TEHRAN – The parliamentary candidates had rented a large hall for a campaign rally, but only a few hundred supporters showed up. They came to see Mohammad-Bagher Ghalibaf, a leading hardliner and possible presidential candidate next year. As warm-up speakers droned on, the audience responded with ritualistic … Continue reading “Hardliners Win Iran Elections But With Little Enthusiasm”

Who’s at Fault for Cuba’s Economic Problems?

HAVANA – Chef Alexis Alvarez was in panic mode. He was preparing a gourmet meal for visitors from the United States when the electricity went out. He mostly cooks with natural gas and charcoal, but those won’t power his blender full of organic kale. So Alexis found a very Cuban solution. He slipped the blender … Continue reading “Who’s at Fault for Cuba’s Economic Problems?”

Trump Backs Down; Iran Conflict Continues

Trump blinked. After threatening to bomb military and cultural sites in Iran, President Donald Trump has apparently backed down on further escalation in his quasi-war with Iran. He tried to spin his decision as a US victory, claiming his administration had supposedly made America safer by assassinating Iranian Major General Qassem Suleimani. Iran, in response … Continue reading “Trump Backs Down; Iran Conflict Continues”

What’s Next for Bolivia After Military Coup?

In 2005, I sat in a lounge off the Senate chamber in La Paz, Bolivia, waiting for an interview. I was wearing my best coat and tie. With my thinning hair and gray mustache, I could pass for a Bolivian of European descent. In fact, numerous people smiled and said "buenos días," as if I … Continue reading “What’s Next for Bolivia After Military Coup?”

A New Arab Spring in Lebanon and Iraq

Hundreds of thousands of Iraqis and Lebanese have been demonstrating in the streets against corruption and for democratic rights. The protesters come from all economic classes and religious/ethnic groups. Like the Arab Spring uprisings that began in 2010, these protests are spontaneous and without traditional leaders. And they are sending corrupt political parties and foreign … Continue reading “A New Arab Spring in Lebanon and Iraq”

Turkey Plans Attack on Syrian Kurds

ISTANBUL – The Turkish government plans to use Syrian refugees to displace the local Kurdish population in northern Syria. But so far, the scheme isn’t working so well. Last week, Turkish President Recep Tayep Erdogan announced his intention to settle up to two million refugees now living in Turkey into northern Syria. "We aim to … Continue reading “Turkey Plans Attack on Syrian Kurds”