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Srebrenica, Twenty Years Later

July 26, 2015

“Truth and reason are eternal,” Thomas Jefferson wrote to Rev. Samuel Knox in 1810. “They have prevailed. And they will eternally prevail…” Jefferson was wrong. As the current media pack coverage of the 20th anniversary of the “Srebrenica massacre” indicates, his belief that “error of opinion may be tolerated where reason is left to combat it” was somewhat naive. It is noteworthy that “Srebrenica” in the mainstream media discourse is no longer a geographic location that needs to be preceded by a... Read article

Erdogan’s Welcome Miscalculation

June 14, 2015

In a stunning blow to Turkey’s president Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) has lost its parliamentary majority for the first time in over 13 years. By curtailing Erdogan’s power, the results of the general election held last Sunday (June 7) are likely – at long last – to have some positive repercussions for the Greater Middle East. Erdogan had hoped to obtain a two-thirds legislative supermajority, which would enable him to push through a new constitution that would create an... Read article

China’s Challenge (II)

June 13, 2015

“Hasn’t US belligerence toward Russia – particularly on the Ukrainian situation – given rise to closer Sino-Russian cooperation to counter the US?,” Harry Colin asked in response to my latest article. My answer is a heavily qualified “yes.” Russia and China have upgraded their strategic partnership over the past year and a half, but they are very far from forging a strategic alliance deliberately aimed at countering Washington’s global-hegemonistic designs. On the basis of my six visits to Moscow in 2014-15,... Read article

China’s Island-Building Challenge

June 7, 2015

The South China Sea (SCS) is fast becoming one of the key geopolitical battlegrounds of our time. China’s systematic, rapid and large-scale island-building campaign has suddenly altered the strategic equation in “Asia’s Mediterranean.” It has also presented Washington with a long-term strategic dilemma in the Western Pacific. There are literally dozens of disputed islands, atolls, submerged banks, reefs, rocks and shoals in the SCS. Incompatible territorial claims involving China, Vietnam, Malaysia and the Philippines... Read article

Untergang Redux, Seven Decades Later

May 12, 2015

The war in Europe ended 70 years ago. It was the most destructive conflict in human history, but it was not the most important. In metahistorical terms it was but the second round of Europe’s extended suicide which started at the height of the Old Continent’s economic, scientific and civilizational achievement in July 1914. In legal and technical terms both wars were caused by Germany’s elites. The record set by Fritz Fischer et al. half a century ago still stands unchallenged by the hacks and charlatans of Christopher... Read article

Rethinking The Saudi Connection

May 3, 2015

Part I Saudi Arabia has been dominating the Middle Eastern news recently. Its bombing of the Shia Houthis in Yemen, supported by Washington, and its ambivalent stand on ISIS, concealed in Washington, should raise questions about the nature and long-term ambitions of the desert kingdom. On those key issues there is an apparent conspiracy of silence in the American mainstream media and the policy-making community. Saudi Arabia, the most authentically Muslim country in the world, is a polity based on a set of religious, legal,... Read article

The Ghosts of Sigmaringen

April 11, 2015

On a recent trip to Germany I took a day off to visit Sigmaringen, on the upper Danube some 20 miles north of Lake Constance. This town of ten thousand with a massive castle towering over it – or, more precisely, this castle with a town attached – interested me as the site of a little known, eight-month long melodrama at the end of Second World War. It was here that Marshal Philippe Pétain, Chef de l’État Français, and several hundred Vichy government officials and prominent German sympathizers and collaborators... Read article

Neoconservatism – Where Trotsky Meets Stalin And Hitler

April 7, 2015

Eleven years ago I wrote a column for the print edition of Chronicles under this title. Tom Piatak’s grim reminder of the continued destructive presence of this cabal in what passes for the commentariat in today’s America has prompted me to dig into my old files and recap for our readers the historical and ideological roots of neoconservatism. The 2004 diagnosis, reproduced here in an abbreviated form, still stands. The neoconservatives are often depicted as former Trotskyites who have morphed into a new, closely related... Read article

Mission Creep In The Middle East

March 29, 2015

American aircraft went into action against Islamic State positions in Tikrit on March 25 in direct support of a stalled Iraqi offensive. The following day General Lloyd Austin, top commander in the Middle East, told Congress that he would like his forces to protect the Syrian “moderate” rebels who are currently trained and armed by the U.S. Also this week a major new theater was opened in Yemen, where a Sunni Arab coalition started sustained air strikes against Shia rebels with Washington’s explicit support. The... Read article

Lies, Kerry’s Lies, and Color Revolution Statistics

March 15, 2015

Even a seasoned cynic sometimes gasps in disbelief. “President Putin misinterprets much of what the U.S. is doing or trying to do,” U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry told a press conference in Geneva on March 2. “We are not involved in ‘numerous color revolutions’ as he asserts. In the case of Ukraine, such assumptions are also wrong. The United States support international law with respect to the sovereignty and integrity of other people.” This is akin to Count Dracula asserting his strict adherence to a... Read article

Ukraine: The Debaltsevo Plot Thickens

February 23, 2015

With the fall of Debaltsevo some interesting military-technical questions are starting to emerge. Is the Ukrainian general staff grossly incompetent, or outright treasonous?  “A colonel is a rank,” says my source, a former general officer of a NATO-affiliated army, “but a general is a clinical diagnosis.” Ever since Hannibal’s masterful double-pincer maneuver at Cannae it has been the wet dream of field commanders to repeat the feat, to surround and annihilate the enemy in a cauldron. Some ancient strategists,... Read article

A Quiet European

January 17, 2015

Lt. Col. Dr. Mark Obrtel is a 48 year old officer of the army of the Czech Republic who has served with distinction in his country’s missions under NATO command in the former Yugoslavia and Afghanistan. We would never know of him were it not for the fact that on December 30 he returned all his medals awarded for this service, and justified his decision in a letter to the Czech minister of defense that could have been written by Paul Craig Roberts or Patrick Buchanan. Had a senior officer of an army unsubservient to the... Read article

2015: A Global Assessment

January 6, 2015

It is futile to make any but short-term predictions on world affairs: there are just too many variables in the equation, too many unknown-unknowns. The escalation of the Ukrainian crisis and the rise in U.S.-Russian tensions could have been forecast a year ago, in general terms at least, but the explosive rise of ISIS could not. It is nevertheless possible and often useful to outline the contours of probable developments on the basis of existing structural vectors and recent dynamics. “Time is not heterogeneous,” Raymond... Read article

Ukraine Is A Long-Term Affair

December 20, 2014

In Ukraine the United States presented Russia with its most serious challenge in the last quarter-century. Russia has not responded to that challenge in a timely manner. She proved unable to anticipate and then counter the Maidan scenario last winter, even though the grand rehearsal was presented with the “Orange Revolution” ten years ago. Now Russia’s relations with her strategically essential neighbor – Ukraine – are on the brink of rupture, or a painful restructuring for decades to come. Normal US-Russian... Read article

Obama’s Amnesty

November 27, 2014

President Barack Obama’s predecessors have taken executive action on immigration, but no previous president has acted on such grand scale or justified his move by prior executive action instead of a statute. In 1987 and 1990 Reagan and George H.W. Bush were acting with the support of Congress, rather than in defiance of its leaders. They used prosecutorial discretion to shield specific small groups of people from deportation (e.g. young children of recently legalized immigrants) in line with the amnesty law which Congress... Read article

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

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