What Ken Burns Left Out of the Vietnam Story

The Vietnam War: An Intimate History by Geoffrey C. Ward and Ken Burns (Knopf, 2017; 640 pages) The companion coffee-table book to the 10-part PBS series by Ken Burns, The Vietnam War, is so closely tied to the series that it’s left ambiguous whether Ken Burns himself is the co-author or not. Burns is shown … Continue reading “What Ken Burns Left Out of the Vietnam Story”

The Untold Story of My Lai: How and Why the Official Investigation Covered Up General Westmoreland’s Responsibility

Fifty years ago this month, on March 16, 1968, two companies of US Army troops belonging to the Americal Division entered the My Lai and My Khe hamlets of Son My village, in Quang Ngai province, and killed 504 Vietnamese civilians – overwhelmingly women, children, and old men – in cold blood. The national press … Continue reading “The Untold Story of My Lai: How and Why the Official Investigation Covered Up General Westmoreland’s Responsibility”

South Korean Report on Summit Discredits US Elites’ Assumption

Media coverage of and political reactions to Donald Trump’s announcement of a summit meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un have been based on the assumption that it cannot succeed, because Kim will reject the idea of denuclearization. But the full report by South Korean president Moon Jae-in’s national security adviser on the meeting … Continue reading “South Korean Report on Summit Discredits US Elites’ Assumption”

How ‘Operation Merlin’ Poisoned US Intelligence on Iran

Jeffrey Sterling, the case officer for the CIA’s covert “Operation Merlin,” who was convicted in May 2015 for allegedly revealing details of that operation to James Risen of the New York Times, was released from prison in January after serving more than two years of a 42-month sentence. He had been tried and convicted on … Continue reading “How ‘Operation Merlin’ Poisoned US Intelligence on Iran”

Israel Plans a New War in Syria – but Not for the Reasons It Claims

Israel is beating the drums of war again, this time over Syria. On February 10 the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) carried out the most aggressive Israeli use of force in Syria thus far. After having bombed a drone base in retaliation for an alleged incursion by an Iranian drone, Israel retaliated for the shooting down of … Continue reading “Israel Plans a New War in Syria – but Not for the Reasons It Claims”

Can South Korea’s Leader End Trump’s North Korea Crisis?

The agreement for cooperation between North and South Korea on the Olympics provides a pause in the drumbeat of war threats by postponing joint U.S.-South Korean military exercises until after the Winter Games are finished. But the real payoff from the Olympics détente is the possibility that the governments of South Korean President Moon Jae-in … Continue reading “Can South Korea’s Leader End Trump’s North Korea Crisis?”

How the Pentagon Enlisted Trump To Continue Its Perpetual ‘War on Terror’

The speech by Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on January 17 laying out a series of conditions that would make it possible to withdraw US troops from Syria confirmed what had already been revealed by the Pentagon itself: The Trump administration is planning to keep US troops in Syria indefinitely. Although it was not a … Continue reading “How the Pentagon Enlisted Trump To Continue Its Perpetual ‘War on Terror’”

Why Trump’s North Korea ‘Bloody Nose’ Campaign Is a Big Bluff

The Trump administration’s leaks of plans for a “bloody nose” strike on North Korean nuclear and/or missile sites is only the most recent evidence of its effort to sell the idea that the United States is prepared for a first strike against the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK). But the “bloody nose” leak—and the … Continue reading “Why Trump’s North Korea ‘Bloody Nose’ Campaign Is a Big Bluff”

How Cheney and His Allies Created the North Korea Nuclear Missile Crisis

The Trump administration has been telling people for months that the crisis with North Korea is the result of North Korea’s relentless pursuit of a nuclear threat to the US homeland and past North Korean cheating on diplomatic agreements. However, North Korea reached agreements with both the Clinton and George W. Bush administrations that could have averted … Continue reading “How Cheney and His Allies Created the North Korea Nuclear Missile Crisis”

Israel’s Ploy Selling a Syrian Nuke Strike

In September 2007, Israeli warplanes bombed a building in eastern Syria that the Israelis claimed held a covert nuclear reactor that had been built with North Korean assistance. Seven months later, the CIA released an extraordinary 11-minute video and mounted press and Congressional briefings that supported that claim. But nothing about that alleged reactor in … Continue reading “Israel’s Ploy Selling a Syrian Nuke Strike”