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I am dealing with some medical issues, but my column will return Friday. NOTES IN THE MARGIN You can check out my Twitter feed by going here. But please note that my tweets are sometimes deliberately provocative, often made in jest, and largely consist of me thinking out loud. I’ve written a couple of books, […]
Originally posted at TomDispatch. If you’re going to surround yourself with generals in the Oval Office, as Donald Trump has done, that means one thing in these years: you’re going to appoint men whose careers were made (or unmade) by what was once known as the Global War on Terror. They will be deeply associated […]
Civilians in Mosul's outskirts are handing themselves over to security forces for relief.
Rep. Alcee Hastings has sponsored a bill to authorize President Trump to attack Iran. Hastings reintroduced H J Res 10, the “Authorization of Use of Force Against Iran Resolution” on Jan. 3, the first day of the new Congress after President Trump’s election. Hastings’s bill has come as a shock to constituents and people who […]
Just over a week into the Trump Administration, the President issued an Executive Order giving Defense Secretary James Mattis 30 days to come up with a plan to defeat ISIS. According to the Order, the plan should make recommendations on military actions, diplomatic actions, partners, strategies, and how to pay for the operation. As we […]
A U.S. servicemember died in a non-combat-related incident.
The Munich conference held over the weekend – an annual event that brings the leaders of the Atlantic alliance together to celebrate their hegemonic pretensions – was anything but celebratory this time around. Despite the assurances of Vice President Pence that America’s commitment to NATO is “unwavering,” the Euro-crats in the audience were miffed that […]
Last week, Army General Raymond “Tony” Thomas, head of U.S. Special Operations Command (SOCOM), expressed his dismay about the Trump administration. “Our government continues to be in unbelievable turmoil,” Thomas opined. “I hope they sort it out soon because we’re a nation at war.” What does that mean, we’re a nation at war? Many will […]
Security forces met with light resistance so far in Mosul.
Baghdad announced that the military has begun to move on western Mosul.
Although Donald Trump had good inclinations on some foreign policy issues during his campaign and transition period – for example, staying out of unneeded brushfire wars, reexamining U.S. alliances, and pushing wealthy allies to do more for their own security – his policy toward “radical Islamic terrorism” always needed some work. Now, having been president […]
So how the hell did it all start? Last week I tried to describe the 1948 war, starting from the shooting at a Jewish bus on the morrow of the UN partition resolution. Some readers dispute the timing. They insist that the war started on May 15, on the morrow of the founding of the […]
Followers of Cleric Muqtada al-Sadr were able to hole a peaceful rally a week after a protest turned bloody.
After a multi-month, politically charged investigation, German intelligence agencies could find no good evidence of Moscow-directed cyber-attacks or a disinformation campaign aimed at subverting the democratic process in Germany. Undaunted, Chancellor Angela Merkel has commissioned a new investigation. Last year, Berlin’s two main intelligence agencies, the BND and BfV (counterparts of the CIA and FBI) […]
The foreign policy issue in American politics has undergone some remarkable shifts over the years. We are in the midst of just such a shift, but before we can properly understand what is happening today we must consult Clio, the muse of history, and see what patterns we can discern. As witnesses to the birth […]
Militants attacked several locations in Baghdad including a car dealership.
Maybe Donald Trump is a different kind of politician. Maybe he will keep his promises. Unfortunately, since January 20, Trump has pursued a nasty collection of priorities. Any hope that the political newbie would be dazed and timid in his first 100 days went out the window after his clunky, legally-dubious executive order stopping immigration […]
Empirical historical evidence combined with little commonsense are enough to tell us the type of future options that Israel has in store for the Palestinian people: perpetual apartheid or ethnic cleansing, or a mix of both. The passing of the “Regularisation Bill” on 6 February is all we need to imagine the Israeli-envisaged future. The […]
A couple dozen toddlers and infants were reported to have starved to death in Mosul during January.
Let’s be clear about how and why former National Security Advisor Mike Flynn was ousted from his post: a cabal of current and former members of the “intelligence community,” fanatically opposed to Donald Trump’s stated desire to “get along with the Russians,” leaked the top secret transcript of Flynn’s conversation with Russian ambassador Sergay Kislyak. […]