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”

What Trump’s Missteps on Iran Have Wrought

ISTANBUL – The drone attack on Saudi Arabia oil facilities on September 14 is jolting the entire Middle East, the latest incident in a months-long battle between the Trump Administration and Iran. Yemen’s Houthi movement claimed credit for the devastating attack that shut down half of Saudi Arabia’s oil production. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo … Continue reading “What Trump’s Missteps on Iran Have Wrought”

Will Trump Bring Peace to Afghanistan?

Washington, DC was buzzing with talk of troop withdrawals and the impact on peace talks in  Afghanistan. The US could start withdrawing troops within months, the start of what would be a gradual withdrawal of all 14,000 US troops from the country. Then on Sept. 7, President Donald Trump called off planned secret Washington meetings … Continue reading “Will Trump Bring Peace to Afghanistan?”

What Is the US Role in the Hong Kong Protests?

I first met Jason Lee when he was promoting jazz concerts in his hometown of Hong Kong. More recently, he has been sending me Facebook messages about the Hong Kong protests. You would think that a relatively prosperous, 43-year-old Hong Konger would support the demonstrations that have rocked that city since June. Well, you may … Continue reading “What Is the US Role in the Hong Kong Protests?”

What’s Really Going On in Hong Kong?

For more than three months, people in Hong Kong massed in the streets to protest a proposed extradition law. Critics say it would allow China to extradite dissenting students, journalists, and business people to the mainland, where they could face prison for their views. Rallies and marches of tens of thousands grew to perhaps almost two … Continue reading “What’s Really Going On in Hong Kong?”

On Iran, the ‘Trump Doctrine’ Is Sinking Fast

Tehran resident Dariush is exactly the kind of person that the Trump Administration claims to be supporting. He is a middle-class businessman who hates the clerical regime. The White House thinks Iranians like Dariush would welcome the overthrow of their government. But when I talked to Dariush by phone, he was more angry at President … Continue reading “On Iran, the ‘Trump Doctrine’ Is Sinking Fast”

Russia Sees Through Trump’s Iran Bluster, but Has Middle East Problems of Its Own

President Donald Trump won’t go to war with Iran. That was the prediction of Russian experts I interviewed in Moscow during the height of the US-Iran crisis in May. They were right. To date, Trump has threatened military action against North Korea, Venezuela, and Iran. But,  while he has caused tremendous damage to ordinary people … Continue reading “Russia Sees Through Trump’s Iran Bluster, but Has Middle East Problems of Its Own”

Biden vs. Bernie – a Foreign Policy Faceoff

Supporters of former Vice President Joe Biden praise him as a man with extensive foreign policy experience. He’s living proof, however, that extensive doesn’t necessarily mean good. Biden reflects the mindset of the previous generation of mainstream Democratic leaders who are out of touch with the anti-interventionist sentiments of most Americans. "We don’t like his … Continue reading “Biden vs. Bernie – a Foreign Policy Faceoff”

Can WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange Get a Fair Trial?

British police dragged WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange out of the Ecuadorian Embassy in London on April 11, witnessed by a scrum of international media. Authorities in the United Kingdom and US then tried to drag Assange’s reputation through the mud. The official story was that Assange wore out his welcome at the embassy. News stories … Continue reading “Can WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange Get a Fair Trial?”

Ukraine Elections, Putin, and Trump

Ukrainians can chose a crook or a clown as their new president. So far the clown is winning. Volodymyr Zelensky, a prominent comedian without political experience, received 30% of the vote in a multi-candidate election last Sunday. Incumbent President Petro Poroshenko, a corrupt oligarch, came in second with 16%. They face a runoff election later … Continue reading “Ukraine Elections, Putin, and Trump”