The US Needs To Compromise Over Ukraine

The prospects of a Russian invasion of Ukraine have resulted in high level talks in Geneva. This is the second time the Biden administration has met there to negotiate over its disagreements with Moscow, the previous time being back in June of 2021. The first set of meetings produced little of substance. Unfortunately, the second … Continue reading “The US Needs To Compromise Over Ukraine”

The Real ‘Doomsday Scenario’: How Palestinian Hunger Striker, Abu Hawash Forced Israeli Concession

As soon as media reports emerged regarding a deal between Palestinian prisoner, Hisham Abu Hawash and the Israeli prison authorities, Israeli extremists, led by Knesset member Itamar Ben-Gvir, angrily raided the Assaf Harofeh Hospital where Abu Hawash was being held. A Palestinian political activist, Abu Hawash, 41, is a father of five. He was arrested … Continue reading “The Real ‘Doomsday Scenario’: How Palestinian Hunger Striker, Abu Hawash Forced Israeli Concession”

Peeking Past the Pall Put Over Arms Talks With Russia

Western media are painting an image of gross failure for Russia at the U.S.-Russia bilateral talks in Geneva, as well as subsequent talks between Russia and NATO in Brussels and the Organization for Co-operation and Security in Europe (OSCE) in Vienna. Adamant! is the impression being fostered by both Russia and the West (largely for … Continue reading “Peeking Past the Pall Put Over Arms Talks With Russia”

Russian Soldiers Need a Map

Either Russian troops aren’t reading the script the West handed out, or the script is wrong. Russian troops seem to be marching in the wrong direction. According to the American script, Russian soldiers are advancing on Ukraine and permanently stationing in Kazakhstan. According to what is actually happening on the world stage, Russian troops are … Continue reading “Russian Soldiers Need a Map”

Welcome to the New Cold War in Asia

Originally posted at TomDispatch. For a moment, imagine an upside-down military world. Instead of U.S. guided-missile destroyers and other ships regularly carrying out “freedom of navigation operations” near Chinese-claimed islands in the South China Sea and such destroyers no less regularly passing through the Strait of Taiwan between that disputed island and the People’s Republic … Continue reading “Welcome to the New Cold War in Asia”

Why Sanctions Don’t Work

Whenever a foreign country doesn’t go along with the policy goals of the “international community” (i.e. America and it’s allies), one tool that it invariably uses to try and put these nations back in line is the sanction. As most of you are already aware, sanctions involve prohibiting trade in certain goods or services between … Continue reading “Why Sanctions Don’t Work”

North Korea Continues to Act Up: Why Is America Still in the Middle of the Korean Imbroglio?

The US is simultaneously challenging China, Iran, and Russia. Although war remains unlikely, all three involve potential military confrontations with significant powers. Then there is North Korea. The “love affair” between the North’s Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un and President Donald Trump is long over, and Kim has refused to even get acquainted with President Joe … Continue reading “North Korea Continues to Act Up: Why Is America Still in the Middle of the Korean Imbroglio?”

Counting the Costs of Reckless Militarism

U.S. troops are still living with the consequences of Trump’s decision two years ago to assassinate Iranian Qods Force commander, Qassem Soleimani. Initially sold as necessary to ward off an “imminent attack” that did not exist, the drone strike that killed Soleimani and an Iraqi militia leader at the Baghdad airport provoked the largest ballistic … Continue reading “Counting the Costs of Reckless Militarism”

Antony Blinken and a Gun at Your Head

When Joe Biden selected Antony Blinken to be his Secretary of State, Stephen Zunes, professor of politics at the University of San Francisco, worried that the selection represented, not a correction, but a continuation of past interventionism and incompetence. As evidence, Zunes cites Blinken’s integral and irresponsible role in clearing the way for the disastrous … Continue reading “Antony Blinken and a Gun at Your Head”

US Officials in Glass Houses Shouldn’t Throw Stones

Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s snide comment about the Russian-led military intervention in Kazakhstan at the invitation of that country’s beleaguered government to help quell the mounting violence there backfired quickly. The initial White House reaction to the deployment of approximately 2,500 peacekeeping troops was relatively measured. “We are closely monitoring reports that the Collective … Continue reading “US Officials in Glass Houses Shouldn’t Throw Stones”

US-Russia Talk About Where Not To Place Missiles

“Impasse, Deadlock” says The Washington Post describing the outcome of the high-level U.S.-Russia talks Monday, with a tone of self-congratulation (we told you so), tinged with wishful thinking. Yes, wishful thinking. Given the very high stakes, the media is a huge part of the problem, since they keep millions in the dark about the real … Continue reading “US-Russia Talk About Where Not To Place Missiles”

Offer Russia a Solution, Not a Policy Placebo

The US and Russia are talking again today, but this time focused on Ukraine. The two sides are discussing President Vladimir Putin’s demand that America and NATO respect Moscow’s security interests. Having treated Russia as of no account since the collapse of the Soviet Union, Washington policymakers have reacted in disbelief to Moscow’s demand to … Continue reading “Offer Russia a Solution, Not a Policy Placebo”

A World of Killer Robots?

Originally posted at TomDispatch. Yes, it’s true. After 20 years of war – actually, more like 30 years if you count American involvement in the Russian version of that conflict in the 1980s – the U.S. has finally waved goodbye to Afghanistan (at least for now). Its last act in Kabul was the drone-slaughtering of … Continue reading “A World of Killer Robots?”

Emma Watson’s Advocacy of Palestinian Rights is Justified

On January 3, 2022, Emma Watson, a famous English actress, posted an image of a pro-Palestinian rally, with the words “Solidarity is a verb” written across it. It was accompanied by the following quote about the meaning of solidarity from the academic Sara Ahmed: “Solidarity does not assume that our struggles are the same struggles, … Continue reading “Emma Watson’s Advocacy of Palestinian Rights is Justified”

US Must Take Russia’s Security Concerns Seriously

An American Russia expert recently observed that diplomacy is not a reward for good behavior. Rather diplomacy is a necessary activity required for averting war. Skilled diplomacy requires one to understand the perceived interests of the other side and what shapes those perceptions. This helps both sides to arrive at a mutually agreeable resolution that … Continue reading “US Must Take Russia’s Security Concerns Seriously”

How Far Can Diplomacy Go? Awaiting the US-Russian Talks in Geneva on January 10

As the day of the US-Russian talks in Geneva over revising the security architecture in Europe approaches, analysts on both continents are publishing their prognoses of the outcome. Among them are great optimists that the ongoing acute confrontation can be scaled back, and also pessimists who see a clash of arms as inevitable with the … Continue reading “How Far Can Diplomacy Go? Awaiting the US-Russian Talks in Geneva on January 10”

Putin’s Quid: No Offensive Missiles in ‘ABM’ Sites

Take heart, most of you who fear war rather than profit from it. You would not know it amid the gloom and doom about “another Russian invasion” of Ukraine, but diplomacy – not war – is about to break out this month. As senior U.S. and Russian negotiators begin talks early next week in Geneva, … Continue reading “Putin’s Quid: No Offensive Missiles in ‘ABM’ Sites”

The Pentagon and CIA Have Shaped Thousands of Hollywood Movies Into Super Effective Propaganda

Propaganda is most impactful when people don’t think it’s propaganda, and most decisive when it’s censorship you never knew happened. When we imagine that the U.S. military only occasionally and slightly influences US movies, we are extremely badly deceived. The actual impact is on thousands of movies made, and thousands of others never made. And … Continue reading “The Pentagon and CIA Have Shaped Thousands of Hollywood Movies Into Super Effective Propaganda”

As Israel Plots Endgame in Occupied Golan, Bennett Must Remember Lessons of the Past

With Syria still embroiled in its own war, Israel has been actively rewriting the rule book regarding its conduct in this Arab country. Gone are the days of a potential return of the illegally occupied Golan Heights to Syrian sovereignty in exchange for peace, per the language of yesteryears. Now, Israel is set to double … Continue reading “As Israel Plots Endgame in Occupied Golan, Bennett Must Remember Lessons of the Past”

Six Things the Media Won’t Tell You About Ukraine

On January 10, American and Russian officials will meet to discuss Putin’s proposal on mutual security guarantees. Western media and political analysts have cast Putin’s demands that NATO not expand further east to Ukraine and that NATO not establish military bases in former Soviet states nor use them to carry out military activity as bold … Continue reading “Six Things the Media Won’t Tell You About Ukraine”

‘No Military Solution’ to Russia-Ukraine Conflict, Say Expert Voices

As President Joe Biden ratchets up tensions with Moscow by assuring Ukraine that “the United States and its allies and partners will respond decisively” to a Russian invasion, experts warned Monday that there is no military solution to the seven-year war between neighbors with so much shared history and culture. “The hawkish outcry for more … Continue reading “‘No Military Solution’ to Russia-Ukraine Conflict, Say Expert Voices”

The Specter of World War III – Handiwork of Washington’s Busy-Bodies and Hegemonists

One of the worst aspects of the internet enabled 24/7 news cycle is the giant memory hole embedded within it. That is to say, if the latest information content is “breaking news”, no matter how incidental, trivial, misleading or flat-out untruthful, it makes the cut. But more often than not, that’s all she wrote. Context … Continue reading “The Specter of World War III – Handiwork of Washington’s Busy-Bodies and Hegemonists”

The Credibility Chimera: US Shouldn’t Go to War So It Can Go to War

To listen to the US foreign policy establishment, every day Washington fails to sanction another nation America’s reputation takes a dive. Every day the US does not bomb or drone a country or group, America communicates weakness to the world. Every day the president resists launching a war against someone somewhere, he or she squanders … Continue reading “The Credibility Chimera: US Shouldn’t Go to War So It Can Go to War”

The War on Terror Is a Success – for Terror

Originally posted at TomDispatch. Here’s the question that comes to my mind as 2022 begins: If soon after the global war on terror began — with no special sources of inside information, nothing — I could see perfectly well that it was going to be a disaster, why couldn’t the people who mattered? It’s not … Continue reading “The War on Terror Is a Success – for Terror”

Closing the Door on NATO Expansion Is Imperative

The possibility of further eastward NATO expansion and the reality of NATO military involvement in Ukraine are major causes of the current Ukraine crisis, but there is a stubborn refusal in the West to acknowledge the alliance’s role in creating the standoff with Russia. Not only are Western governments unwilling to take Russian security concerns … Continue reading “Closing the Door on NATO Expansion Is Imperative”

A Brief History of Broken Promises

On October 18, 2015, the JCPOA nuclear agreement with Iran was formally adopted; on May 8, 2018, the US unilaterally and illegally pulled out of the agreement. That broken promise set up a diplomatic problem for the US. In the future, other countries may be reluctant to sign agreements with the US because they will … Continue reading “A Brief History of Broken Promises”

Dangerous Democrats Push Confrontational Policies Toward Russia and China

It is unsurprising when prominent Republicans advocate highly confrontational policies toward both Russia and the People’s Republic of China (PRC). Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), for example, stalled the confirmation of multiple presidential appointees for months until the Biden administration agreed to impose additional sanctions against Moscow because of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline. Former … Continue reading “Dangerous Democrats Push Confrontational Policies Toward Russia and China”

Uncle Sam Should Make Some New Year’s Resolutions

Truth be told, many of us have someone like Uncle Sam in our family. It could be an uncle or grandmother. Perhaps a brother- or sister-in-law. A second cousin thrice removed or even more distant relation. Someone who everyone gossips about but who can’t be barred from annual family gatherings. In most cases they are … Continue reading “Uncle Sam Should Make Some New Year’s Resolutions”

‘Anti-Democratic and Cowardly’: US Building New Secret Courtroom at Guantánamo

Human rights advocates and attorneys representing Guantánamo Bay detainees on Thursday decried a secret new courtroom reportedly being built by the Pentagon at the notorious offshore US prison. The New York Times reports Gitmo’s new second courtroom – which will cost $4 million – will not allow members of the public to witness proceedings against … Continue reading “‘Anti-Democratic and Cowardly’: US Building New Secret Courtroom at Guantánamo”

Why Is Israel Amending Its Open-Fire Policy: Three Possible Answers

At the outset, the Israeli military decision to revise its open-fire policies in the occupied West Bank seems puzzling. What would be the logic of giving Israeli soldiers the space to shoot more Palestinians when existing army manuals had already granted them near-total immunity and little legal accountability? The military’s new rules now allow Israeli … Continue reading “Why Is Israel Amending Its Open-Fire Policy: Three Possible Answers”

The Hounding of Julian Assange Leaves Honest Journalism With No Refuge

It is no accident that Julian Assange, the digital transparency activist and journalist who founded WikiLeaks to help whistleblowers tell us what western governments are really up to in the shadows, has spent 10 years being progressively disappeared into those very same shadows. His treatment is a crime similar to those WikiLeaks exposed when it … Continue reading “The Hounding of Julian Assange Leaves Honest Journalism With No Refuge”

US Militarism Should Have Died With the Soviet Union

The Soviet Union ceased to exist 30 years ago, and with its disappearance the United States embraced a triumphalist interpretation of the end of the Cold War that has served to fuel its militarism for another generation. The loss of its major rival could have freed the US from the costly militarized foreign policy that … Continue reading “US Militarism Should Have Died With the Soviet Union”

The British Want America To Go to War and Used The Beatles as Ammo

Almost every US ally claims to be a friend because of America’s military. It’s really not shared values or even interests. Other nations like being defended by a superpower, so they need not spend much on their militaries. The result is that America has a couple score spoiled, entitled, and obnoxious “allies” who under-invest in … Continue reading “The British Want America To Go to War and Used The Beatles as Ammo”

‘Alarming’ Levels of ‘Forever Chemicals’ Found in Water Near US Bases in Okinawa

As the US military continues construction of a controversial new base at Henoko Bay, Okinawa, the recent discovery of extreme levels of highly toxic “forever chemicals” in local waterways and groundwater has renewed long-standing opposition to the American occupation of large portions of the Japanese archipelago. “Imagine the uproar if China were responsible for this … Continue reading “‘Alarming’ Levels of ‘Forever Chemicals’ Found in Water Near US Bases in Okinawa”

On Foreign Policy, Biden Should Have Taken Golf Lessons

When Joe Biden took office as the 46th President of the United States, those of us who desired a more peaceful foreign policy had reasons for both hope and doubt. The biggest issue for both was the 20-year US war in Afghanistan, for which Biden’s predecessor, Donald Trump, had negotiated a long-overdue US surrender. Would … Continue reading “On Foreign Policy, Biden Should Have Taken Golf Lessons”

Lost Opportunity: How the Clinton Administration Started a Cold War With a Democratic Russia

There is little dispute that relations between the United States and Russia are now so hostile that they amount to a second cold war. The current situation is such a depressing contrast to the high hopes for a cordial bilateral relationship and the emergence of a stable, peaceful, and cooperative Europe that marked the demise … Continue reading “Lost Opportunity: How the Clinton Administration Started a Cold War With a Democratic Russia”

What! No Russian Invasion of Ukraine?

I hope you know this by now, but on Christmas morning the Russian military announced a sizable troop withdrawal from Russian territory near Ukraine. The New York Post’s Eileen AJ Connelly jumped on the story. At noon Saturday her piece, “Over 10,000 Russian troops leaving Ukraine border region after month of drills”, was posted. While … Continue reading “What! No Russian Invasion of Ukraine?”

Will Christmas 2022 Be Any Different From This Year?

Christmas 2021 looked a lot like Christmas last year and the year before. Wars and rumors of war circling the planet. With America amid most of them. Washington’s War Party naturally wanted the US to confront China and Russia, threaten Iran, disarm North Korea, protect worthless yet contested rocks throughout the Pacific, kill terrorists the … Continue reading “Will Christmas 2022 Be Any Different From This Year?”

The Christmas Truce of 1914 – Why There Is Still No Peace On Earth

After the Berlin Wall fell in November 1989 and the death of the Soviet Union was confirmed two years later when Boris Yeltsin courageously stood down the Red Army tanks in front of Moscow’s White House, a dark era in human history came to an end. The world had descended into a 77-Year War, incepting … Continue reading “The Christmas Truce of 1914 – Why There Is Still No Peace On Earth”

Failure of US Media on Ukraine

We need to constantly remind ourselves about the US media. During the Cold War, there was the saying that the difference between the New York Times and the Soviet Pravda was that Pravda readers knew they were being lied to. Unfortunately, current coverage by the US media about the movement of Russian troops demonstrates the … Continue reading “Failure of US Media on Ukraine”

NATO, Russia and the Other Broken Promise

Pressured by ever encroaching NATO expansion toward its borders and increased lethal arms sales to, and flirtations with, Ukraine, Russian President Vladimir Putin sent the US a proposal on mutual security guarantees and an urgent request for immediate negotiations. The security proposal has many clauses, but two of the leading proposals are that: “The United States … Continue reading “NATO, Russia and the Other Broken Promise”

Afghanistan and Our Murderous Sanctions Addiction

The people of Afghanistan are facing what could be the worst modern famine in at least half a century, and US policies will be responsible for much of the humanitarian catastrophe if they are not changed immediately. Afghanistan became heavily dependent on international aid during the 20-year US war, and it is also heavily dependent … Continue reading “Afghanistan and Our Murderous Sanctions Addiction”

New York Times Reporting on Airstrikes Should Give Daniel Hale More Credit

The New York Times recently came through with a display of reporting that should be commended. On December 18, the paper announced its release of hundreds of the Pentagon’s confidential reports of civilian casualties caused by U.S. airstrikes in the Middle East. This followsits high profile investigations into the U.S. drone murder of the Ahmadi … Continue reading “New York Times Reporting on Airstrikes Should Give Daniel Hale More Credit”

‘Mission Unaccomplished: America’s Underperforming Military

Originally posted at TomDispatch. “There’s no such thing as a free lunch” is an old American adage. Venerable, time-tested, and seemingly true, though here’s an exception: retired general, disgraced former CIA chief, and leaker of classified information, David Petraeus. For years, I’ve presented the retired general with an opportunity for that rarest of opportunities, a … Continue reading “‘Mission Unaccomplished: America’s Underperforming Military”

What Do Iranians Think? Not Much of America, Thanks to Donald Trump

Negotiations over restoring the nuclear agreement with Iran aren’t quite moribund, but the Biden administration has begun to sound a bit like its predecessor in muttering threats of military action. War with Iran would be a catastrophe, much worse than with Iraq. And sending in bombers would only delay, not halt, construction of nuclear weapons, … Continue reading “What Do Iranians Think? Not Much of America, Thanks to Donald Trump”

The Pentagon’s 20-Year Killing Spree Has Always Treated Civilians as Expendable

Top U.S. officials want us to believe that the Pentagon carefully spares civilian lives while making war overseas. The notion is pleasant. And with high-tech killing far from home, the physical and psychological distances have made it even easier to believe recent claims that American warfare has become “humane.” Such pretenses should be grimly laughable … Continue reading “The Pentagon’s 20-Year Killing Spree Has Always Treated Civilians as Expendable”