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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

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

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