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”

Iran and North Korea: The Unfulfilled Promise of the Nuclear Agreement

As Donald Trump increases the pressure on the throat of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) nuclear agreement with Iran, more than the nuclear agreement is at risk of being lost. Trita Parsi, an Iran expert who was consulted by the Obama administration during the negotiations, has identified two other potential offspring of the … Continue reading “Iran and North Korea: The Unfulfilled Promise of the Nuclear Agreement”

The Syrian Side of the Story You Never Hear

Like a badly written series of romance novels, the plot template remains fixed while just the names of the characters and places rotate through the template. The story of Syria that Americans and Canadians ingest from the mainstream media is the same simplistic narrative of good and evil told by Washington about each new enemy. … Continue reading “The Syrian Side of the Story You Never Hear”

Trump, Russia, and NATO: Why Tiny Montenegro’s Not Tiny Now

Donald Trump has just approved Montenegro’s accession into NATO. Montenegro is a tiny nation, and its inclusion doesn’t significantly change the abilities of NATO, but it’s inclusion is huge, and its meaning is significant and clear to Russia. As the curtain rose on the Donald Trump presidency, the script promised an administration that would warm … Continue reading “Trump, Russia, and NATO: Why Tiny Montenegro’s Not Tiny Now”

The Five Blinding Myths About Iran

One of the promises that President Trump has kept is his promise to be tough on Iran. Though he has not canceled the nuclear weapons agreement, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), he has "officially put Iran on notice," and he has imposed new sanctions. More seriously, the New York Times reports that Secretary … Continue reading “The Five Blinding Myths About Iran”