Humiliation and Herd-Think

Libertarian stand-up comic Doug Stanhope has said: “Nationalism does nothing but teach you to hate people you never met, and to take pride in accomplishments you had no part in.” I would only quibble with the “nothing but” part. The collectivist herd-think that is nationalism also teaches you to take offense at imagined insults that … Continue reading “Humiliation and Herd-Think”

A Foreign Enemy is a Tyrant’s Best Friend

The recent Iran nuclear deal represents a thaw in the American cold war against that country. It is a welcome sequel to the Obama administration’s partial normalization with Cuba announced late last year. Hardliners denounce these policies as “going soft” on theocracy and communism. Yet, it is such critics’ own hardline, hawkish policies that have … Continue reading “A Foreign Enemy is a Tyrant’s Best Friend”

Clean Break to Dirty Wars

To understand today’s crises in Iraq, Syria, and Iran, one must grasp their shared Lebanese connection. This assertion may seem odd. After all, what’s the big deal about Lebanon? That little country hasn’t had top headlines since Israel deigned to bomb and invade it in 2006. Yet, to a large extent, the roots of the bloody … Continue reading “Clean Break to Dirty Wars”

Nuclear Iran Unlikely to Tilt Regional Power Balance, Says Report

A nuclear-armed Iran would not pose a fundamental threat to the United States and its regional allies like Israel and the Gulf Arab monarchies, according to a new report released here Friday by the Rand Corporation. Entitled “Iran After the Bomb: How Would a Nuclear-Armed Tehran Behave?“, the report asserts that the acquisition by Tehran … Continue reading “Nuclear Iran Unlikely to Tilt Regional Power Balance, Says Report”

Nuclear Iran Can Be Contained and Deterred, Says Report

While preventing Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon is preferable, the United States could successfully contain a nuclear Iran, according to a new report released here Monday by the Center for a New American Security, an influential think tank close to the administration of President Barack Obama. The report, “If All Else Fails: The Challenges … Continue reading “Nuclear Iran Can Be Contained and Deterred, Says Report”

No Intervention in Syria

If after the debacles in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Libya (dare I say Vietnam?) some people still want the U.S. government to intervene — further — in the war inside Syria (but fueled by outsiders), we must conclude, not that they can’t learn the lessons of recent history, but that they won’t because doing so would … Continue reading “No Intervention in Syria”

Israel, Iran, and the Nuclear Freight Train

Has a weapon ever been invented, no matter how terrible, and not used?  The crossbow, the dreadnought, poison gas, the tank, the landmine, chemical weapons, napalm, the B-29, the drone: all had their day and for some that day remains now.  Even the most terrible weapon of all, the atomic bomb, that city-buster, that potential … Continue reading “Israel, Iran, and the Nuclear Freight Train”

Obama’s Duplicitous Iran Policy

One of President Obama’s greatest “accomplishments” has been creating fissures within the antiwar/progressive community in the United States by talking like a progressive politician, but acting in most cases as a conservative one. Consider, for example, his domestic policy. It has helped Wall Street far more than anything the President is willing to do for … Continue reading “Obama’s Duplicitous Iran Policy”

Obama Talks Peace to Iran, But Dishes Out Violence

Four years ago, President Barack Obama quoted the beloved 13th century Persian poet Sa’di in his first Nowruz message to the Iranian people. The address, with its veneer of peace and diplomacy, was a well-received gesture to both civil society and the leadership in Tehran, recognizing the Islamic Republic and celebrating the country’s ancient culture … Continue reading “Obama Talks Peace to Iran, But Dishes Out Violence”

Report Calls to Engage Iran’s People While Preventing Nuke

The U.S. should not only focus on the short-term goal of “suspending or delaying” Iran’s alleged quest for a nuclear weapons capability, but also on “curtailing Iran’s other worrisome activities in the region while encouraging – or at least, not derailing – a better relationship with the citizens of the pivotal state,” according to a … Continue reading “Report Calls to Engage Iran’s People While Preventing Nuke”