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A Frivolous, Open-Ended War

October 12, 2014

There has never been a war in American history so strategically ill-conceived as the one currently developing against the Islamic State (IS) in Iraq and Syria. The Mexican war of 1846-47 was essentially an aggressive operation to take Alta California and New Mexico, and to cement the status of Texas. It was limited in its objectives, and it was conducted in a strategically sound manner. The goals – their legality apart – were achieved, and the balance between costs and benefits was never in doubt. Vae victis! The Civil... Read article

Obama’s “Strategy” And The Ensuing Non-Coalition

September 21, 2014

“French aircraft were due to begin their first reconnaissance flights over Iraq,” France’s Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius announced on September 15. Britain is already flying reconnaissance missions over Iraq. Several other countries – Arab ones included – say they are willing to support the air campaign. None seem interested in pledging any ground troops, however. “Well, you will hear from Secretary Kerry on this over the coming days. And what he has said is that others have suggested that they’re willing... Read article

A False Flag, Or Fog Of War Over Ukraine?

July 20, 2014

A Malaysian Airlines Boeing 777 bound for Kuala Lumpur from Amsterdam was shot down in eastern Ukraine Thursday afternoon, killing all 298 passengers and crew. It was hit as it cruised at 33,000 feet above the war-ravaged Donetsk Oblast, 35 miles west from the Russian border. The airliner’s demise has the potential to escalate the Ukrainian crisis to an entirely new level. The White House was quick to imply that the Russians were to blame for the disaster: “While we do not yet have all the facts, we do know that... Read article

Chaos In Iraq

June 14, 2014

Last Tuesday’s sudden capture of Mosul, Iraq’s second-largest city (population 1.8 million), by a coalition of Sunni forces led by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant was swiftly followed by the fall of Tikrit, Saddam Hussein’s home town. By Thursday morning the insurgents were reported to have advanced to the city of Samarra, only 80 miles north of Baghdad. Their lightning success has thrown the U.S. policy in the region into disarray. It creates a new global flashpoint at a time when the Obama administration... Read article

Obama’s West Point Address

June 2, 2014

President Barack Obama’s commencement address at West Point on May 28 managed to displease pretty much everyone in the nation’s commentariat. Before making an overall assessment of its significance, it is necessary to examine the validity and implications of Obama’s individual statements. “[B]y most measures America has rarely been stronger relative to the rest of the world. Those who argue otherwise – who suggest that America is in decline or has seen its global leadership slip away – are either misreading... Read article

Modi Ante Portas

May 23, 2014

Two important recent events – Narendra Modi’s landslide victory in India last week and the massive energy and trade agreement which Russia and China signed in Beijing on Wednesday – have the potential to alter Asia’s strategic landscape. Modi is an assertive politician unafraid to take risks, a market-oriented reformer, but also a Hindu nationalist. When asked recently about his approach to foreign affairs, he replied “I believe in Hindutva … And I am confident my Hindutva face will be an asset when dealing... Read article

Ukraine Bosnified, Putin Hitlerized

March 16, 2014

On March 6 President Obama said in Washington that the Crimean authorities’ plans for a referendum “violate the Ukrainian Constitution and violate international law.” “Any discussion about the future of Ukraine must include the legitimate government of Ukraine. We are well beyond the days when borders can be redrawn over the heads of democratically elected leaders,” he added. “Crimea is Ukraine,” Secretary of State John Kerry said in Rome on the same day. Interesting. Six years ago the United States enthusiastically... Read article

Ukraine’s Uncertain Future

March 3, 2014

To understand the ongoing crisis in Ukraine it is necessary to take a look at two maps: the distribution of votes between Viktor Yanukovych (blue) and Yulia Tymoshenko (yellow) in the presidential election of January 2010, and the linguistic divide between the mostly Ukrainian-speaking western and central regions (red, pink) and the predominantly Russian-speaking southern and eastern regions (brown, yellow, beige). These two maps coincide to an astonishing degree. They reflect a fundamental cultural and emotional division,... Read article

Syria: A Predictable Failure

February 4, 2014

U.N. mediator Lakhdar Brahimi wrapped up the first round of the “Geneva II” negotiations last Friday reporting little progress. No ceasefire was agreed, and talks on a transitional government never began. The next round is scheduled for February 10, but its prospects are dim. The opposing sides predictably blame each other for the stalemate, but in any event the talks were doomed to fail. The first reason is John Kerry’s insistence—reasserted on the very first day of the meeting in Montreux, January 22—that... Read article

Paid Hypocrites

January 2, 2014

Most “NGOs” fomenting regime-changes and color-coded revolutions, promoting “pride marches” and similar “human rights issues,” are in reality Western (mostly U.S.) funded conspiracies pursuing the agenda of their paymasters. That much has been known for years, but in recent days we have witnessed a particularly egregious example of their politically-motivated duplicity. On December 17 Egypt’s military-backed government filed additional criminal charges against former president Mohamed Morsi, accusing him of... Read article

Options For Syria

December 18, 2013

Addressing the annual Jamestown Foundation conference of terror experts on December 12, former CIA chief Michael Hayden outlined three possible outcomes of the ongoing conflict in Syria. The first would be further escalation of violence between ever more extreme Sunni and Shiite factions. The second possible outcome—which Hayden described as the most likely but also the most destabilizing for the region—is the dissolution of Syria and the end of a single state within the borders defined by the 1916 Sykes-Picot Agreement.... Read article

Ukraine: Orange Revolution Redux?

December 8, 2013

The scenes in Kiev over the past few days have been reminiscent of the “Orange Revolution” in the fall of 2004, which paved the way for Viktor Yushchenko’s eventual victory in the disputed presidential election. There are several significant differences, however, which make a similar outcome unlikely. The first is that the trigger for the street protests in 2004 was the well-founded suspicion of electoral fraud. Now it is President Viktor Yanukovych’s decision not to sign an association agreement with the European... Read article

Armistice Day, 95 Years Later

November 13, 2013

After four years and three months of unprecedented carnage, the Great War ended 95 years ago on November, 11th 1918. The most tragic event in the history of mankind, that war destroyed a vibrant, magnificently creative civilization. A fundamentally decent and well-ordered world was shattered forever. The floodgates of hell in which we live now were opened. It was truly the first global war—la Grande Guerre, der grosse Krieg. Tens of millions of men were mobilized. In France and Germany four fifths of all men between... Read article

Jean Raspail’s New Warning

November 6, 2013

Forty years after publishing his prophetic dystopia Jean Raspail is still with us, ever more resigned that our civilization is on the “road to disappearance.” As he explained in an interview published in Valeurs Actuelles on October 25 (transl. by ST), he has no desire to join the big circle of intellectuals who spend their time debating immigration because, in his view, such talk is useless: The people already intuitively know that France, as our ancestors shaped her over the centuries, is on the road to disappearance.... Read article

Syria’s Violent Stalemate

October 20, 2013

The international crisis may be over, but the multisided war in Syria is continuing. On Friday government planes bombarded rebel positions in the eastern city of Deir al-Zor after heavy clashes claimed the life of one of President Bashar al-Assad’s top military intelligence officers. In the long-contested city of Aleppo, a renewed rebel assault on the city’s central prison has run out of steam. The Syrian Army is preparing an offensive in the Qalamoun region east of Damascus and secure the key road connecting the... Read article

Netanyahu Overplays His Hand

October 7, 2013

Following his doomsday speech at the United Nations General Assembly on October 1—in which he warned the world that Iran’s new president should not be trusted and that Israel would attack Iran on its own unless it ends its nuclear program—Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spent two days in New York on an anti-Rouhani media blitz. He reiterated his UN points in a half-dozen interviews with CBS’s Charlie Rose and others. He addressed the media in English, Hebrew, Spanish, and even Farsi. “Rouhani doesn’t... Read article

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