On August 6, 1945, the U.S. Air Force dropped a single atomic bomb over the Japanese city of Hiroshima. The bomb had the explosive power of some 15,000 tons of TNT. It ignited a fire- and wind-storm that destroyed everything in the city except a few unusually sturdy structures and released plumes of radiation that … Continue reading Two-piece swimsuits and the trivialization of nuclear terror →
Throughout the present century, the corporate media here in the United States, and much of international discourse, has been in a furor over “Weapons of Mass Destruction.” Why, in 2003, the (G.W.) Bush administration even led an international coalition to go into the once-proud country of Iraq and, basically, destroy the whole country’s infrastructure and … Continue reading What’s so special about nuclear weapons? (Or, when did “WMDs” become a thing?) →
What we are seeing in Afghanistan today, in almost real time, is the implosion and final collapse of the imperial project the US launched there in 2001. As with the final US collapse in Vietnam in 1975 or indeed the generally slightly more orderly withdrawal of British troops from India or so many former outposts … Continue reading The hubris of the long-distance empire →
Three weeks after the United States’ January 3 assassination of Gen. Qasem Soleimani, how likely is the eruption of a US-Iran shooting war, what paths might lead to it, and what factors might brake or reverse the trend towards war? Two weeks ago, I wrote about how, despite the extremely sharp escalation in tensions that … Continue reading Barometer: US-Iran war prospects →
It is less than 140 hours since Pres. Trump ordered the killing of Iran’s Qods Force chief Qasem Soleimani and Iraq’s Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis. Since then, the terrified world has watched as the leaders of Iran and the United States lobbed fierce rhetorical attacks against each other, leading to (quite rational) fears of a major … Continue reading Trump & Khamenei de-escalate. Political struggle inside Iraq continues. →
With the decision he made late January 2 to kill the head of the Iranian “Qods Force”, Lt.-Gen Qasem al-Soleimani, Pres. Donald Trump set the United States on a course to an upheaval– certainly political and possibly also military– of truly global impact. The first reverberations of the heightened U.S.-Iran tensions have already been felt … Continue reading World poised on post-Soleimani knife-edge. Possible off-ramp emerges? →
Actually, only this one, on January 1. I’ve been busy with lots of other things, too.
The Washington Post’s David Ignatius had a column in today’s paper that gave a muddled, fairly escalatory take on the continuing crisis in the Persian Gulf between the Iranian government and the forces lined up against it. His lede (intro) is fairly straightforward: It’s a good rule never to start a fight you’re not eager … Continue reading WaPo’s Ignatius gets “mugged by reality” on Iran →
In May, President Donald J. Trump rolled out his policy of “maximum pressure” designed to force Tehran to concede to far-reaching demands. He tightened U.S. sanctions against Iran considerably and ordered the USS Abraham Lincoln aircraft carrier and numerous other military units deployed to (or toward) the Persian Gulf. Then-especially after Iran shot down a large U.S. Navy drone in late June-the world braced for a showdown.
Washington DC, May 14-In the 13 months since he became Pres. Trump’s national security adviser, the extreme hawk John Bolton has successfully ramped up Washington’s tensions with Venezuela, Cuba, North Korea, and to some extent also Syria. But in the case of Iran, he may have met his match, since Iran’s government has a broad … Continue reading Bolton pushes United States to over-reach in Iran →