Vladimir Putin Prepares His Succession

January 15, 2020 will be remembered as the start of the transition to a new political configuration in Russia that Vladimir Putin will leave behind when his term in office ends four years hence. The prospective changes were announced in the last third of Putin’s 75-minute annual Address to the Federal Assembly, Russia’s bicameral legislature. … Continue reading “Vladimir Putin Prepares His Succession”

Marching Toward a New Middle East Conflict

As we march headlong into a new Middle East conflict, it is prudent to reflect on what has come before and how we found ourselves seemingly inevitably, on this path – a path cut with our own blade. On Friday, January 3rd, the US government decided to ring in the new year with bombs bursting … Continue reading “Marching Toward a New Middle East Conflict”

Five Things You Can’t Know About Israel and Its Lobby

Since 9/11 Israel and its lobby have been hard at work narrowing U.S. policy options toward Iran down to military confrontation. The United States District Court for the District of Columbia is also in the narrowing business. After initially complying with the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and releasing information about Israel’s extensive nuclear weapons … Continue reading “Five Things You Can’t Know About Israel and Its Lobby”

Sealed Off and Forgotten: Israel’s ‘Firing Zones’ in the West Bank

A seemingly ordinary news story, published in the Israeli newspaper, Haaretz, on January 7, shed light on a long-forgotten, yet crucial, subject: Israel’s so-called "firing zones" in the West Bank. "Israel has impounded the only vehicle available to a medical team that provides assistance to 1,500 Palestinians living inside an Israeli military firing zone in … Continue reading “Sealed Off and Forgotten: Israel’s ‘Firing Zones’ in the West Bank”

A Tangled Web of Deception

When witnesses testify in a courtroom and offer varying, contradictory or even unlawful explanations of the events under scrutiny, juries tend not to believe them. The same is now happening with the Trump administration’s defense of its killing Iranian Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani by the use of an unmanned drone while he was being driven … Continue reading “A Tangled Web of Deception”

Who’s To Blame for Flight 752?

Who’s to blame for downing Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752? Everyone’s pointing the finger at Iran. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says that it must take "full responsibility," Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is demanding an official apology, while even Iranian protesters are calling on Supreme Leader Ali Khameinei to resign. "Regime change is in the … Continue reading “Who’s To Blame for Flight 752?”

The Useless War Powers Act

Practically speaking, the Trump administration’s extrajudicial assassination of a top Iranian general was probably legal. The rationale is straightforward: Congress has steadily settled on a constitutionally dubious theory of handing the president near-limitless authority over how, when, and why the country goes to war. The 1973 War Powers Resolution, the often-cited check on this extraordinary … Continue reading “The Useless War Powers Act”

Western Media Coverage of Russia as an Exercise in Propaganda

The notion of “fake news” has entered our vocabulary as a pejorative term for dissemination of bogus information, usually by social media, sometimes by traditional print and electronic channels which happen to hold positions contradicting the tenets of our conventional wisdom, i.e., liberal democracy. The term has been applied to Russian state owned media such … Continue reading “Western Media Coverage of Russia as an Exercise in Propaganda”