Category Archives: U.S. policy

Pueyo and Haque on the effects of Covid-19

Ten days ago, I wrote: the world may thus soon become divided into two zones “Covid-safe” and “Covid-unsafe.” And those of us living in “Covid-unsafe” countries may find it extremely difficult to travel to many other countries… but especially to the “Covid-safe” ones. On May 13, the tireless Covid-chronicler/statistician Tomas Pueyo– who was the originator … Continue reading Pueyo and Haque on the effects of Covid-19

US hegemony evaporates at “Warp Speed”

I’m working a few new ideas for big pieces of writing. But then, I remembered how good it felt, back when I was blogging in the aughts, sometimes just to write informal or small things. I’ve been thinking about the concept of “warp speed”, which is the childish, popular-culture-derived name that Trump has given to … Continue reading US hegemony evaporates at “Warp Speed”

Covid crisis brings new global influence for China?

(This is Part 4 in my series “Covid chronicles.” Click here for the earlier parts. Note that on that portal-page the blog-posts are presented in reverse-chronological order. The image above is Wuhan, February 2020, by Yihya Alali.) The coronavirus has affected just about every country in the world, though it has affected them all very … Continue reading Covid crisis brings new global influence for China?

“Recovery” of nations from Covid-19

(This is Part 3 in my series “Covid chronicles.” Click here for the earlier parts. Also: The image above is from a video released yesterday by the Chinese TV network CGTN. I’m displaying it not because I approve of its racist depiction of Americans as babies but because it’s an interesting– probably not very effective– … Continue reading “Recovery” of nations from Covid-19

Covid-19 sharply headbutts U.S. hegemony

Within just 100 days,  the Covid-19 pandemic has significantly shifted the balance of power in the global system from the United States toward China– and this trend looks set to continue, or accelerate, over the coming months and years. This is the case not just because U.S. deaths and death-rates from this virus (currently 71,152 … Continue reading Covid-19 sharply headbutts U.S. hegemony

Idlib and the “Interahamwe aid trap”

For legitimate international aid organizations, the intense needs of the three million or so residents of Syria’s war-torn Idlib province pose a sharp moral (as well as legal) dilemma, since the many very needy noncombatants there have effectively been held hostage for more than two years by the genocidal coalition of militias led by the … Continue reading Idlib and the “Interahamwe aid trap”

Did Washington use a false pretext for its recent escalation in Iraq?

In a key piece of actual extensive, on-the-ground reporting, the New York Times’s Alissa Rubin has raised serious questions about the official US account of who it was that attacked the K-1 base near Kirkuk, in eastern Iraq, on December 27. The United States almost immediately accused the Iran-backed Ketaib Hizbullah (KH) militia of responsibility. … Continue reading Did Washington use a false pretext for its recent escalation in Iraq?

U.S. Democratic senators swift to oppose Trump-Netanyahu plan

Yesterday, within hours of President Trump and PM Netanyahu announcing the details of their peace(-less) plan, Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) took swift steps to draft and win support for a letter (PDF) that roundly criticized the contents of the plan. Even more significantly, among the first 12 signatories he gathered for the letter were … Continue reading U.S. Democratic senators swift to oppose Trump-Netanyahu plan

Trump & Khamenei de-escalate. Political struggle inside Iraq continues.

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.

World poised on post-Soleimani knife-edge. Possible off-ramp emerges?

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?