Will Americans Let Trump Start a War for Saudi Arabia?

On Saturday, September 14th, two oil refineries and other oil infrastructure in Saudi Arabia were hit and set ablaze by 18 drones and 7 cruise missiles, dramatically slashing Saudi Arabia’s oil production by half, from about ten million to five million barrels per day. On September 18, the Trump administration, blaming Iran, announced it was … Continue reading “Will Americans Let Trump Start a War for Saudi Arabia?”

Israelis Have Made Their Verdict Clear: Benjamin Netanyahu’s Time Is Up

For most Israelis, the general election on Tuesday was about one thing and one thing only. Not the economy, nor the occupation, nor even corruption scandals. It was about Benjamin Netanyahu. Should he head yet another far-right government, or should his 10-year divisive rule come to an end? Barring a last-minute upset as the final … Continue reading “Israelis Have Made Their Verdict Clear: Benjamin Netanyahu’s Time Is Up”

The Imperial Debris of War

Originally posted at TomDispatch. Today’s piece by Stephanie Savell, co-director of the invaluable Costs of War Project at Brown University’s Watson Institute, goes hand-in-hand with the release of a new report by that very group, “The Human and Financial Costs of the Explosive Remnants of War in Afghanistan.” You can read the report itself by … Continue reading “The Imperial Debris of War”

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”

Don’t Smile for the Camera

A trial in Great Britain has just concluded with potentially dangerous implications for personal freedom here. Great Britain is currently the most watched country in the Western world – watched, that is, by its own police forces. In London alone, the police have erected more than 420,000 surveillance cameras in public places. That amounts to … Continue reading “Don’t Smile for the Camera”

The Official Secrets Movie vs. Joe Biden’s Lies About the Iraq War

Joe Biden’s recent efforts to deny his record of support for invading Iraq are marvels of evasion, with falsehoods that have been refuted by one well-documented appraisal after another after another. This month, Biden claimed that his vote for war on the Senate floor was somehow not a vote for war. Ironically, while he was … Continue reading “The Official Secrets Movie vs. Joe Biden’s Lies About the Iraq War”

How America Created the Nuclear Conflict With Iran

If their was a meter to measure White House statements – or the tweets that pass for them – the needle would be wildly swinging from “willing to talk” to “locked and loaded.” But, the needle never needed to be so jittery. Iran’s Need to Enrich A gust of the wind of international law is … Continue reading “How America Created the Nuclear Conflict With Iran”

John Bolton’s Living Obituary

This article originally appeared at TruthDig. “I confess I had no desire to die in a Southeast Asian rice paddy. I considered the war in Vietnam already lost.” ~ John Bolton, in his Yale University 25th reunion book Fitting words from the gold standard in Washington “chicken hawks.” For John Bolton has made a career … Continue reading “John Bolton’s Living Obituary”

Apartheid Made Official: Deal of the Century Is a Ploy and Annexation Is the New Reality

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is moving quickly to alter the political reality in Palestine, and facing little or no resistance. On September 10, Netanyahu declared his intentions to annex swathes of Palestinian land adjacent to the Jordan River, an area that covers 2,400 square kilometers, or nearly a third of the Occupied West Bank. … Continue reading “Apartheid Made Official: Deal of the Century Is a Ploy and Annexation Is the New Reality”

Locked and Loaded on Behalf of Empire First

American democracy and capitalist prosperity are dying on the vine of Empire. And this weekend’s drone attack on the largest oil processing facility on the planet is a graphic case of why. So is the related picture below. The scene is of Yemenis burying a busload of children who were obliterated by American-made bombs delivered … Continue reading “Locked and Loaded on Behalf of Empire First”

The World’s Most Important Political Prisoner

We are now just one week away from the end of Julian Assange’s uniquely lengthy imprisonment for bail violation. He will receive parole from the rest of that sentence, but will continue to be imprisoned on remand awaiting his hearing on extradition to the USA – a process which could last several years. At that … Continue reading “The World’s Most Important Political Prisoner”

John Bolton’s Dream: Saudi Oil and the Casus Belli for War with Iran

All wars require casus belli, ostensible justifications. After all, despite humanity’s long history of vicious warfare, interstate combat often requires a government distant from its working class to motivate its people to kill and die for distant institutions and esoteric ideologies. That said, Washington doesn’t exactly have a strong track record of honesty regarding its … Continue reading “John Bolton’s Dream: Saudi Oil and the Casus Belli for War with Iran”

‘Locked and Loaded’ for War on Iran?

“Iran has launched an unprecedented attack on the world’s energy supply,” declared Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Putting America’s credibility on the line, Pompeo accused Iran of carrying out the devastating attack on Saudi oil facilities that halted half of the kingdom’s oil production, 5.7 million barrels a day. On Sunday, President Donald Trump did … Continue reading “‘Locked and Loaded’ for War on Iran?”

A Wasteful Weapon for America’s Forever Wars

How are you with numbers? I can deal with $1.5 million. I think I can even imagine $1.5 billion, a sum a thousand times greater. But how about a million times greater: $1.5 trillion? That happens to be the estimated cost of the Pentagon’s program to build, deploy, and maintain the no-longer-so-new F-35 jet fighter … Continue reading “A Wasteful Weapon for America’s Forever Wars”

Two Elections, One Apartheid State

Israelis are getting ready to head to the polls for the second time in 2019. Israel’s last national elections were five months ago in April, ending in a razor-tight finish with Netanyahu’s Likud party winning 35 Knesset seats and the Blue and White party winning 35 Knesset seats. The remaining 50 Knesset seats were won … Continue reading “Two Elections, One Apartheid State”

The Madness of James Mattis

This article originally appeared at TruthDig. Last week, in a well-received Wall Street Journal op-ed, former Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis delivered a critique of Donald Trump that was as hollow as it was self-righteous. Explaining his decision to resign from the administration, the retired marine general known as “Mad Dog” eagerly declared himself “apolitical,” … Continue reading “The Madness of James Mattis”

After Bolton, Trump Goals Remain Unrealized

The sudden and bitter departure of John Bolton from the White House was baked in the cake from the day he arrived there. For Bolton’s worldview, formed and fixed in a Cold War that ended in 1991, was irreconcilable with the policies Donald Trump promised in his 2016 campaign. Indeed, Trump was elected because he … Continue reading “After Bolton, Trump Goals Remain Unrealized”

Iraq Daily Roundup: Fijian Soldier Dies in Iraq

At least one person died, and six children were wounded: A Fijian soldier died in August in Iraq. The details surrounding the death have not yet been published widely, but it does not appear to be combat-related. Six children were wounded when a bomb exploded in a playground in Yangecha near Tuz Khormato. The post … Continue reading “Iraq Daily Roundup: Fijian Soldier Dies in Iraq”

Trump Didn’t Start the War in Afghanistan, But He Owns It

National Security Advisor John Bolton became the latest American casualty of Washington’s 18-year war in Afghanistan on September 10, fired by US president Donald Trump shortly after Trump announced that he had planned, but was canceling, a meeting with Taliban leaders at Camp David to ink a “peace deal.” Firing Bolton is a good start. … Continue reading “Trump Didn’t Start the War in Afghanistan, But He Owns It”

Trump, the New York Times, and John Bolton

The New York Times on September 10 ran six articles with the word Trump in the headlines. Two of the stories were clearly warranted – one on Trump’s continuing resolve to withdraw US forces from Afghanistan, and one on the way the commerce department played along with Trump’s false message about the Alabama destination of … Continue reading “Trump, the New York Times, and John Bolton”

The Media’s Betrayal of American Soldiers

It is a rare thing, indeed, when both establishment and media “liberals” and “conservatives” agree on anything. Nevertheless, lightning has proverbially struck this week as both sides attack President Trump with equal vehemence. Thus, here we are, and here I am – in the disturbing position of defending Trump’s (until Sunday) peace policy for Afghanistan. … Continue reading “The Media’s Betrayal of American Soldiers”

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?”

Will NPR Now Officially Change Its Name to National Propaganda Radio?

Back in the 1960s, the CIA official Cord Meyer said the agency needed to “court the compatible left.” He knew that drawing liberals and leftists into the CIA’s orbit was the key to efficient propaganda. Right-wing and left-wing collaborators were needed to create a powerful propaganda apparatus that would be capable of hypnotizing audiences into … Continue reading “Will NPR Now Officially Change Its Name to National Propaganda Radio?”

Demythologizing the Roots of the New Cold War

When Soviet president Mikhail Gorbachev received his peace prize in 1990, the Nobel Prize committee declared that “the two mighty power blocs, have managed to abandon their life-threatening confrontation” and confidently expressed that “It is our hope that we are now celebrating the end of the Cold War.” Recently, U.N. General Secretary António Guterres funereally … Continue reading “Demythologizing the Roots of the New Cold War”

My Encounter With Robert Mugabe

The people of Zimbabwe reacted to the death of ex-dictator Robert Mugabe with either indifference or a bitter “good riddance”. However, in the neocon-ridden precincts of the US foreign policy establishment, the reaction was different – there his passing was mourned. The US Embassy in Harare even tweeted its heartfelt condolences. These divergent reactions to … Continue reading “My Encounter With Robert Mugabe”

Former US Envoys to Afghanistan Want To Kill Peace Deal

Nine former U.S. envoys to Afghanistan put their names on an article posted on the Atlantic Council’s blog on Tuesday. The article, titled “U.S.-Taliban Negotiations: How to Avoid Rushing to Failure,” makes the argument that if a major withdrawal of U.S. troops occurred in Afghanistan, the country would fall into a “total civil war.” The … Continue reading “Former US Envoys to Afghanistan Want To Kill Peace Deal”

How the US Shattered the Middle East

This article originally appeared at TruthDig. Yemen is a nightmare, a catastrophe, a mess—and the United States is highly complicit in the whole disaster. Refueling Saudi aircraft in-flight, providing targeting intelligence to the kingdom and selling the requisite bombs that have been dropped for years now on Yemeni civilians places the 100,000-plus deaths, millions of … Continue reading “How the US Shattered the Middle East”

War in All But Name as US State Department Offers Bribes to Pirates

If at first you don’t succeed, spread some money around. The Financial Times reports that the US State Department is offering cash bribes to captains of Iranian ships if they sail those ships into ports where the US government can seize them. The offers are funded from a “Rewards for Justice” program authorizing payouts of … Continue reading “War in All But Name as US State Department Offers Bribes to Pirates”

‘Hands Off Hong Kong’ – The Cry That Never Went Up

Through the summer the world has watched as protests shook Hong Kong. As early as April they began as peaceful demonstrations which peaked in early June, with hundreds of thousands, in protest of an extradition bill. That bill would have allowed Hong Kong, a Special Administrative Region of China, to return criminals to Taiwan, mainland … Continue reading “‘Hands Off Hong Kong’ – The Cry That Never Went Up”

The War Ahead: Netanyahu’s Elections Gamble Will be Costly for Israel

On September 1, the Lebanese group Hezbollah, struck an Israeli military base near the border town of Avivim. The Lebanese attack came as an inevitable response to a series of Israeli strikes that targeted four different Arab countries in the matter of two days. The Lebanese response, accompanied by jubilation throughout Lebanon, shows that Israeli … Continue reading “The War Ahead: Netanyahu’s Elections Gamble Will be Costly for Israel”

Profiles in Absurdity: Remembering the ‘Terror’ Wars

It has taken me years to tell these stories. The emotional and moral wounds of the Afghan War have just felt too recent, too raw. After all, I could hardly write a thing down about my Iraq War experience for nearly ten years, when, by accident, I churned out a book on the subject. Now, … Continue reading “Profiles in Absurdity: Remembering the ‘Terror’ Wars”

Trump Is Not a ‘Russian Asset’

President Trump stirred some controversy when he attended the G7 summit in France last weekend and suggested that Russia should rejoin the group. Trump’s critics in the mainstream media and intelligence community were quick to say his suggestion was a sign that he’s a “Russian asset” or “Putin’s puppet.” The evidence for these accusations are … Continue reading “Trump Is Not a ‘Russian Asset’”

Bibi Netanyahu, Ingrate

As Israel’s Netanyahu government continues its customary pre-election bombardment of “Iranian threats” (including at least one in Iraq that, by angering the Iraqi government, may put US troops in danger), fans of Bibi in the “nationalist” Trump administration may want to reflect that he is certainly not an American nationalist. During a previous campaign, Bibi … Continue reading “Bibi Netanyahu, Ingrate”

‘Too Frail To Even Cry’: The War in Yemen and Its Bounty of Suffering

Many articles about the ongoing war in Yemen are available online. But few, at least in my estimation, provide a space where the voices of the Yemeni people can be heard. In this article, in addition to giving an overview of the conflict, I have included the words and stories of civilians caught up in … Continue reading “‘Too Frail To Even Cry’: The War in Yemen and Its Bounty of Suffering”