Trump Versus Iran: Power Doesn’t Just Corrupt, It Deludes

On January 8, US president Donald Trump addressed the American public concerning a casualty-free Iranian missile attack on US bases in Iraq, where just last week Iranian general Qasem Soleimani was killed in a US drone strike. If the speech was remarkable in any way, it was for the comparative restraint Trump displayed: Rather than … Continue reading “Trump Versus Iran: Power Doesn’t Just Corrupt, It Deludes”

The Soleimani Assassination: Worse Than a Crime, a Mistake

In March of 1804, French dragoons secretly crossed the Rhine into the German Margraviate of Baden. Acting on orders from Napoleon himself, they kidnapped Louis Antoine de Bourbon, Duke of Enghien. After a hastily convened court-martial on charges of bearing arms against France, the duke was shot. “C’est pire qu’un crime, c’EST une faute,” a … Continue reading “The Soleimani Assassination: Worse Than a Crime, a Mistake”

Iraq: America’s Other ‘Longest War’

As the calendar prepared to flip from 2019 to 2020, protesters stormed the US embassy in Baghdad. As I write this, the action – a response to US airstrikes in Iraq and Syria which killed at least 25 and wounded more than 50 – hasn’t yet become a reprise of the Iran hostage crisis of … Continue reading “Iraq: America’s Other ‘Longest War’”

The Christmas Truce of 1914: Proof that Peace Is Possible

As 1914 drew to a close, Europe had been at war for months. On the Western Front, opposing armies faced each other across a stalemated front line running from the North Sea to the Swiss border. On December 24, 100,000 soldiers from both sides of that line decided to create some peace on Earth. They … Continue reading “The Christmas Truce of 1914: Proof that Peace Is Possible”

Afghanistan: Oh, When Will We Ever Learn?

“U.S. officials failed to tell the truth about the war in Afghanistan throughout the 18-year campaign,” the Washington Post‘s Craig Whitlock reports, “making rosy pronouncements they knew to be false and hiding unmistakable evidence the war had become unwinnable.” Whitlock bases that claim on a collection of candid, confidential interviews with more than 400 military … Continue reading “Afghanistan: Oh, When Will We Ever Learn?”

JEDI Mind Tricks: Amazon versus the Pentagon and Trump

Amazon is one of the largest companies in the world, boasting revenues of more than $230 billion last year. But last month the company sued the US Department of Defense over a paltry potential $10 billion spread over ten years. Amazon lost out to Microsoft in bidding for the Pentagon’s Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (yes, … Continue reading “JEDI Mind Tricks: Amazon versus the Pentagon and Trump”

NATO Is a Brain Dead, Obsolete, Rabid Dog. Euthanize It.

In early November, French president Emmanuel Macron complained that the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) is experiencing “brain death” as its member states go their own ways, with “no coordination whatsoever of strategic decision-making.” US president Donald Trump’s reply: “Nobody needs NATO more than France.” The two continued their duel over NATO’s future at an … Continue reading “NATO Is a Brain Dead, Obsolete, Rabid Dog. Euthanize It.”

Non-Intervention: An Imperfect Solution to a Terrible Problem

On November 27, US president Donald Trump signed the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act. The bill, passed by veto-proof majorities in Congress amid large protests in the “special administrative region,” allows the president to impose sanctions on officials who violate human rights there, and requires various US government departments to annually review Hong … Continue reading “Non-Intervention: An Imperfect Solution to a Terrible Problem”

Trump Sentences Accused War Criminals to Death

On November 15, US president Donald Trump pardoned two US Army officers accused of war crimes (one convicted, the other awaiting trial ). Trump also re-promoted US Navy SEAL Edward Gallagher from Petty Officer First Class to Chief Petty Officer. Gallagher was convicted of a minor war crime (posing for a photo with a corpse) … Continue reading “Trump Sentences Accused War Criminals to Death”

Mexico: One Failed US War Doesn’t Justify Another

On November 4, ten dual US-Mexican citizens – members of an offshoot sect of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints – died in a highway ambush, apparently the latest casualties of rampant and violent drug cartel activity in northern Mexico. US president Donald Trump promptly called upon “Mexico, with the help of the … Continue reading “Mexico: One Failed US War Doesn’t Justify Another”