Readers of this space know that this Canuck is an admirer of President Obama. An easy call even if the President did not possess his many admirable qualities, given the sad state of his opposition, with knee-jerk abysmalism, and an always tried, never true policy of ‘well, shit, we’re not him’ its ragged, pathetic battle cry.… [Read more]
The first thing I want to do is list our foreign policy successes in the Middle East over the last 20 years.
3.… [Read more]
As we pass the 10th anniversary of the American overthrow of the Saddam Hussein regime, it seems the mainstream media has temporarily awoken from its longstanding coma regarding Iraq coverage. Yet the coverage still focuses on the wrong issues — rehashing the crimes of the past or dabbling in ridiculous counterfactuals instead of addressing what is happening in the country right now.… [Read more]
Al Jazeera: When many Americans hear that name a nefarious image comes to mind. Adjectives like anti-American, antisemitic, jihadist, and terrorism spring about the fearful American psyche. And boy were we reminded of this within the past few months.
For example, during Defense Secretary Nominee Chuck Hagel’s confirmation hearing, the brainless and spineless wonder Sen. Ted Cruz chastised the former moderate Republican senator and Purple-Heart-recipient for speaking ill of the United States during a 2009 interview on Al Jazeera, a network the moronic Cruz described as “a foreign network, broadcasting propaganda to nations that are hostile to us.”
To clarify, the grave sin Hagel committed in Cruz’s simple mind was his nuanced agreement with a caller on the Al Jazeera program that the United States is often perceived as a bully and that this perception should be altered in order to improve U.S.-Middle East relations.… [Read more]
The Bush administration lied about key evidence pertaining to Iraq’s WMD program and the Hussein government’s links to Al Qaeda. It exaggerated the dangers and strength of both. And it played on people’s fears as a means of justifying war and regime change.
As the vast amount of evidence points, all of these faults are more than clear, as Rachel Maddow revisited in her recent special “Hubris: Selling the Iraq War.” But as I watched this special and was reminded of the various lies and tragic blunders that surrounded the Iraq War, I was left with an array of different questions.… [Read more]
Drums of war are beating loudly!! In response to a small but brutal skirmish on the India–Pakistan border, ordinary people on both sides of the border are making emotional appeals to go to war.
Let us place the morality of such actions aside for the time being; a large concern about this is that it appears we are not ready to learn anything from history.… [Read more]
During his recent weekly address, President Obama discussed ending the war in Afghanistan, bringing the troops home and rebuilding America. After over a decade at war in the Middle East - America’s longest war – further drawdown of troops and redirecting our attention to home base is welcome news to many of us. Afghan President Hamid Karzai joined the POTUS for talks on the partnership between our two nations and the role of U.S.… [Read more]
As much as I cringe whenever I hear someone spout that “all politics is local,” this clichéd idiom often rings true. Microanalyses of regional and societal happenings are indispensable. Yet this advice sometimes wrongly plays the role of replacement to macroanalyses rather than complement. While in-depth reports on specific countries or regions are important, ignoring regional context can often be disastrous, especially in areas, like the Middle East, where ethnic, religious, ideological, and economic identities readily cross state borders.… [Read more]
According to most media outlets, especially the spectacle of cable news, the best way to judge a political debate seems to be tantamount to judging a beauty pageant or American Idol contest without the musical talent evaluations. It’s all about presentation, facial expressions, what one is doing while the other is speaking, “looking presidential.” Numerous pundits have advised viewers to best take in the debate with their volume off.… [Read more]
With the recent attacks on American and Western embassies across the Muslim world, most of the narratives in the mainstream media have been focused on conflict between the West and the “Muslim world.” Yet, this exaggerated conflict is often given precedence over another trending clash in the Middle East—one with more serious ramifications for the region.… [Read more]
President Obama ended the war in Iraq and is ending the war in Afghanistan on schedule. The overall threat from Al-Qaeda has been greatly diminished; Osama bin Laden is dead as is Muammar Gaddafi, both taken out on Barack Obama’s watch. This past week the second in command of Al-Qaeda in Yemen was believed to have been killed.… [Read more]
Too often our political dialogue devolves into a Manichean division of extremes. Yet the world and its various issues and conflicts are often much more nuanced and complicated than all that, especially in the realm of foreign policy.
Which brings me to Charles Fisher’s post from last week, “The Case Against Iran.” While there was much I agreed with in this article, there are also many key things that Fisher just gets wrong.… [Read more]
Lately it seems that a war between Iran and Israel is nothing but inevitable, and by proxy of alliance it would mean the U.S. would extend its military hand in aid of Israel, if not declaring an all out war on Iran itself.
Iran, who has a notorious record of supporting the radical Shia organization Hezbollah (who is a known terrorist clique), has been at odds with the United States since the Iranian revolution of 1979 when the Shah of Iran was forced to flee the country, which subsequently transitioned Iran into the Islamic republic we know and love today.… [Read more]
Although the 2012 presidential campaign may still be in its early stages, one thing is clear: foreign policy is not the Republican Party’s strong suit this year. Not only are the party’s overall views on foreign policy disjointed and incoherent (as opposed to the 2004 election where the party was mostly united in a strong hawkish, neoconservative philosophy) but its candidate himself, Mitt Romney, is both inexperienced in and, as can be more clearly gleaned from his recent world travels, uneducated about the international arena.… [Read more]
Hey remember Iraq? The mainstream media does on occasion.
It’s funny how a country which once dominated the mainstream media airways only a few years ago is barely mentioned nowadays. One story that did get substantial play this week was the fact that Monday was Iraq’s deadliest day of this year, with mainly Al Qaeda in Mesopotamia (AQM) orchestrated attacks reverberating around the country leaving 116 dead.… [Read more]
There’s one thing I have to give Scottish economic historian Niall Ferguson: he’s honest and straight-forward in his views in support of the American empire, recommending that the U.S. take on an expanded liberal imperialist role worldwide. I don’t agree with these policy prescriptions. But again, at least he’s honest about it.
Condoleezza Rice and many on the neoconservative front, however, are not so much.… [Read more]
Hopefully, all of you enjoyed this Memorial Day weekend. It is appropriate to take a moment to give thanks and honor those who gave the ultimate sacrifice so that we as a nation can pursue liberty as we know it today. It may not be perfect but what we have is due, in great measure, to our military.… [Read more]
“In the title of my talk on a world without war, I have posed two questions: is it desirable? And, is it feasible? After the many millions of lives lost in the two World Wars of the last century, a world without war is assuredly most desirable…not only is a war-free world desirable; it is now necessary, it is essential, if humankind is to survive…humankind has acquired the technical means to destroy its own species and to accomplish this, deliberately or inadvertently, in a single action.… [Read more]
In one of this week’s top bad ideas, the U.S. is selling unarmed surveillance drones to Iraq. Let me list the reasons why this is something we should not do.
1. Drone use is ethically questionable to start with, and there isn’t much of a step, technologically-speaking, from surveillance drones to the ones used for warfare. … [Read more]