Category Archives: U.S. policy

U.S. forces (and policy) in Syria head south

Washington, DC — It took less than a week after President Trump announced the summary withdrawal of the tripwire U.S. force deployed in northeast Syria alongside the Kurdish-dominated “Syrian Democratic Forces” (SDF), before the SDF concluded a new alliance with the Syrian government. What happened between, of course, was the large-scale incursion of Turkish forces into the … Continue reading U.S. forces (and policy) in Syria head south

WaPo’s Ignatius gets “mugged by reality” on Iran

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

The Dogs of War That Have Not Barked

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.

On “Humanitarian Intervention”

I am old enough to remember when a “humanitarian intervention” meant organizing collections of food and blankets to send to distant communities in distress. Heck, in my elementary school in England we knitted little 6-inch squares to make up such blankets: they were taken away, sewn together, and delivered to the Red Cross by the … Continue reading On “Humanitarian Intervention”

Suez, Iran, and the perils of imperial over-reach

  Sixty-three years ago, a (possibly amphetamine-addled) British Prime Minister, Anthony Eden, launched a military attack against a Middle Eastern country with the goal of provoking unrest that would topple its troublesome leader. Eden had conspired with others to create the pretext for the military attack. In the last days of October 1956, they swung … Continue reading Suez, Iran, and the perils of imperial over-reach

A crucial vote on Yemen, aka ‘Saudi Arabia’s Gaza’

This week the U.S. Senate is expected to consider its response to the cruel veto that President Donald Trump announced two weeks ago, of legislation from both houses of Congress that would force the administration to end U.S. military support for Saudi Arabia’s war in Yemen within 30 days Can the voices of conscience muster … Continue reading A crucial vote on Yemen, aka ‘Saudi Arabia’s Gaza’

The UAE’s seedy influence operations are a footnote in the Mueller Report

Washington DC, April 23 — Last week, the redacted text of the Mueller Report dropped-into a Capitol Hill that will spend much of the rest of the present Congressional session dealing with its fallout. Robert Mueller’s investigation was into allegations only of Russian interference in U.S. politics. But at one point his report highlights some highly questionable … Continue reading The UAE’s seedy influence operations are a footnote in the Mueller Report

Trump’s support of Israel’s annexation of the Golan

Washington DC, March 26 — On March 25, President Donald J. Trump signed an order proclaiming U.S. support for Israel’s annexation of the Golan. This act ended Washington’s opposition to any acquisition of territory by force- a principle that has been a key pillar of the global order since the United Nations was founded in 1945. It … Continue reading Trump’s support of Israel’s annexation of the Golan

The curious case of US domination of Palestine-Israel peacemaking

Berkeley, CA, February 26 — How weird is it that Palestinians, Israelis, and the rest of the world have been agog for months, awaiting the launch of a new “peace process” from a young, seldom successful real-estate developer named Jared Kushner? There are many different levels at which this is weird. First, it’s very strange that, though … Continue reading The curious case of US domination of Palestine-Israel peacemaking