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Conn Hallinan

                 
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Conn M. Hallinan is a columnist for Foreign Policy In
Focus, “A Think Tank Without Walls, and an independent journalist. He
holds a PhD in Anthropology from the University of California, Berkeley. He oversaw the journalism program at the University of California at Santa Cruz for 23 years, and won the UCSC Alumni Association’s Distinguished Teaching Award, as well as UCSC’s Innovations in Teaching Award, and Excellence in Teaching Award.  He was also a college provost at UCSC, and retired in 2004. He is a winner of a Project Censored “Real News Award,” and lives in Berkeley, California.

http://dispatchesfromtheedgeblog.wordpress.com

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The Greek Tragedy: A Labyrinth of Debt Saturday, August 29, 2015 (2 comments)      Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
Europe's New Barbarians Between now and next April, four countries, all suffering under the painful stewardship of the Troika, will hold national elections: Portugal, Greece, Spain and Ireland. The outcomes of those campaigns will go a long way toward determining whether democracy or autocracy is the future of the continent.

US Airstrikes Against ISIS Tuesday, August 4, 2015 (3 comments)      Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
The U.S./Turkey Deal-Disaster in the Making There are no "moderate" forces in the Syrian civil war. The Free Syrian Army is, at best, a marginal player. The major antagonists of the Assad regime are Islamic extremists, the al-Qaeda associated Nusra Front, Ahrar al-Sham, and the Islamic State. Why is the White House going along with this madness?

Image created from image crediting Tuesday, July 28, 2015 (5 comments)      Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
Just Listen to What Western Officials Are Saying About Russia Why are we now in a dangerous standoff with a country that is not a serious threat to our European allies or ourselves, but does have the capacity to incinerate a sizable portion of the planet? At least part of the problem is that U.S. foreign policy requires enemies so that it can deploy the one thing we know best how to do: blow things up.

Hillary Clinton Thursday, July 9, 2015 (1 comments)      Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
Hillary's Emails: Missing the Story The Congressional harrying of former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton over emails concerning the 2012 death of an American Ambassador and three staff members in Benghazi, Libya, has become a sort of running joke, with Republicans claiming "cover-up" and Democrats dismissing the whole matter as nothing more than election year politics

war is not the answer ... Monday, June 22, 2015 (2 comments)      Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
Toward A New Foreign Policy "The American Century" Has Plunged the World Into Crisis. What Happens Now? U.S. foreign policy is dangerous, undemocratic, and deeply out of sync with real global challenges. Is continuous war inevitable, or can we change course?

Turkish president Erdogan power grab frustrated Thursday, June 11, 2015 (2 comments)      Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
Turkey's Election Earthquake Turkey is not talking with Egypt, has an icy relationship with Iran, is alienated from Iraq, at war with Syria, and not on the best of terms with Russia and China. In fact its only real allies in the Middle East are the Gulf Monarchies, although in an indirect way it is teaming up with Israel to overthrow the Syrian regime of Bashar al-Assad.

Turkey, Saudi Arabia in talks for alliance to oust al-Assad: Report Turkey and Sau Tuesday, June 9, 2015      Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
Middle East Plots Why is the Israeli military talking about a war with Lebanon? The border is quiet. There have been a few incidents, but nothing major. Hezbollah has made it clear that it has no intention of starting a war, though it warns Tel Aviv that it's quite capable of fighting one. The most likely answer is that the Israelis are coordinating their actions with Turkey and Saudi Arabia.

War on Yemen Tuesday, May 12, 2015 (1 comments)      Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
Yemen Re-Draws Middle East Alliances The U.S. has played an important, if somewhat uncomfortable, role in the Yemen War. It is feeding Saudi Arabia intelligence and targeting information and re-fueling Saudi warplanes in mid-air. It also intercepted an Iranian flotilla headed for Yemen that Washington claimed was carrying arms for the Houthis. Iran denies it and there is little hard evidence that Teheran is providing arms to the insurgents.

Kenya Garissa University Attack Kills 147 Monday, April 20, 2015      Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
Kenya's Sorrow: The U.S. Connection For organizations like the Shabab and Al-Qaeda, drones have proved to be the 21st century's most effective recruiting sergeants. Military occupation sows the seeds of its own destruction, and, while using drones and proxies may keep the American death count down, that strategy ultimately creates more enemies than it eliminates. In short, talking beats bombing and works better.

Saudi Arabia Launches Airstrikes In Yemen Against Houthi Rebels Friday, April 10, 2015 (1 comments)      Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
Yemen And The Congress of Reaction Besides stirring up more religious sectarianism, the Yemen war will aid the Saudis and the GCC in their efforts to derail the tentative nuclear agreement with Iran. If that agreement fails, a major chance for stability in the region will be lost. Yemen needs an influx of aid, not bombs, drones, and hellfire missiles.

Ultra Right Wing Fascist in Greece The Golden Dawn Monday, March 23, 2015 (23 comments)      Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
Greece: Fascists At The Gate Courts are political entities and respond to popular movements. Anti-fascists are calling on the Greeks and the international community to stay in the streets and demand that New Dawn be brought to justice. Germans missed that opportunity with the Nazi Party and paid a terrible price for it.

Greece's Debt Crisis And The Future Of Europe Tuesday, March 17, 2015      Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
Greece: Memory and Debt It is not hard to see why many Greeks see a certain relationship between what the Germans did to Greece during the occupation and what is being done to it today. There are no massacres -- although suicide rates are through the ceiling -- and no mass starvation, but 44 percent of the Greek people are now below the poverty line, the economy shattered, and Greeks feel they no longer control their country.

Greece Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras Saturday, March 7, 2015      Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
Greece: Whispers Of Battles Past Greece had a gun to its head: a Feb. 28 deadline, after which its banks would have lost support from the European Central Bank (ECB), one of the "Troika" members that include the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the European Commission. Without ECB support, Greek banks might have gone under, forcing Athens to default on the debt and force it to exit from the Eurozone.

Friday, February 27, 2015 (1 comments)      Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
Europe's Debt: Lies and Myths President Obama has already called for easing the austerity policies -- through its domination of the IMF. By itself Washington can outvote Germany, the Netherlands, and Finland, and could exert pressure on the two other Troika members to compromise. Will it? Hard to say, but the Americans are certainly a lot more nervous about Greece exiting the Eurozone than Germany.

Dr. Herakles Polemarchakis discusses the Greek and European Financial Crisis. Friday, February 13, 2015 (1 comments)      Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
Europe: Shaking The Temple While Greece will certainly not go back to the failed formula of selling off state-owned enterprises, huge budget cuts, layoffs and onerous taxes, neither is it eager to exit the Eurozone. The latter is composed of 18 out of the 28 EU members that use a common currency, the euro.

Greece Election 2015: A Syriza victory! Thursday, January 29, 2015      Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
The Greek Earthquake One should have no illusions that Syriza will easily sweep the policies of austerity aside, but there is a palpable feeling on the continent that a tide is turning. It did not start with the Greek elections, but with last May's European Parliament elections, where anti-austerity parties made solid gains. If Syriza is to survive, however, it must deliver, and that will be a tall order given the power of its opponents.

Chaos International Awards Thursday, January 1, 2015 (1 comments)      Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
Dispatch Awards 2014 And the awards go to...Over a period of 12 years, the U.S. detonated some 67 nuclear warheads with an aggregate explosive power of 42.2 megatons in the Marshalls. The Hiroshima bomb was 15 kilotons. The Marshall Islands Nuclear Claims Tribunal found the U.S. liable for $2 billion in damages, but so far Washington has only paid out $150 million.

Turkey's interests in the Syrian civil war Monday, December 22, 2014      Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
Syria: Turkey In The Fray The Erdogan government is not the only player in the Middle East that would like to see the Syrian civil war continue. Israel has been aiding rebel forces in Southern Syria and has bombed suspected government weapons depots on several occasions.

Image created from image crediting Thursday, November 13, 2014      Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
The Big Chill: Tensions in the Arctic you don't have to be next to the ice to want to be a player. China may be a thousand miles from the nearest ice floe, but as the second largest economy in the world, it has no intention of being left out in the cold. This past summer the Chinese icebreaker Snow Dragon made the Northern Sea Passage run, and Beijing has elbowed its way into being a Permanent Observer on the Arctic Council.

Image created from image crediting Tuesday, October 28, 2014 (1 comments)      Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
Book Review -- The Syrian Labyrinth Once again, the U.S. is at war. Once again, the U.S. is ignoring international law and choosing to use military force over diplomacy. Erlich's "Inside Syria" should be widely read, because we are once again at war without the slightest idea of where it leads or what its ultimate goals are.

BRICS Summit Friday, October 10, 2014 (5 comments)      Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
BRICS and the SCO: Let A Thousand Poles Bloom These independent poles are only starting to develop and it is hardly clear what their ultimate impact on international politics will be. But the days when the IMF, World Bank, and U.S. Treasury could essentially dictate international finances and intimidate or crush opponents with an avalanche of sanctions are drawing to a close.

Free Speech Movement Sunday, October 5, 2014 (1 comments)      Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
Free Speech Movement: The Musical FSM is not just nostalgia or, in the end, a play about a specific historical event. It is about how people come to commit themselves to something, despite the pressures of everyday life. It is not about activists, but how people become activists. That particular message is bound by neither time nor geography.

Let's do it! Wednesday, September 17, 2014      Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
Foreign Policy, Lord Palmerston And Appendectomies One strong current at work these days is the neo-conservatives, whose goals are not to just break Ukraine away from Russia, but go for regime change in Moscow. They also lobby for overthrowing the Assad regime in Syria, and for war with Iran. They are overwhelmingly Republicans, but include Democrats.

BREAKING: China Starts Dumping U.S. Dollar Sunday, August 24, 2014 (1 comments)      Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
Sanctions and the U.S. Dollar -- A Fall From Grace? There is growing opposition to the widespread use of sanctions, as well as to the ability to isolate countries from international finance by excluding them from things like SWIFT. Coupled with this is a suspicion that the U.S. uses its currency to support its economy at the expense of others.

A 'Powder Keg' in Asia Between China and Japan Wednesday, July 30, 2014      Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
Parsing the East Asian Powder Keg While China's forceful behavior in the East China Sea is somewhat understandable, throwing its weight around in the South China Sea has given the U.S. an opportunity to exploit the situation. Because of tensions between China and the Philippines, the U.S. military was invited back into the islands. All sides need to take a step back.

Image created from image crediting Thursday, July 24, 2014      Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
Clintonians Flock With Vultures Over Argentina In the world, vultures are estimable creatures. There is a "yuck" factor, but at least they wait until their prey are dead before making a meal of them, and they do clean up after themselves. The vultures of Wall Street prey on the living and leave behind an unspeakable mess.

History of War in Iraq. It was very scary. Great frustration. Great shame. Tuesday, July 1, 2014      Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
Iraq: War and Remembrance Military intervention by the U.S. and its allies will accelerate the divisions in the Middle East. If the White House is serious about stemming the chaos, it should stop fueling the Syrian civil war, lean on the Gulf Monarchies to end their sectarian jihad against Shiites, pressure the Israelis to settle with the Palestinians, and end the campaign to isolate Iran.

Image created from image crediting Friday, June 6, 2014 (2 comments)      Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
Europe: The Sky's Not Falling No, Britain is not about to toss its immigrant population into the sea. No, France's Marine Le Pen is not about to march on the Elysee Palace. And, as repulsive as the thugs of Hungary's Jobbik Party and Greece's New Dawn are, it was the continent's left to whom the laurels went in last month's poll.

Tug Of War: Russia vs. US How conflicts should be resolved. Tuesday, June 3, 2014      Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
Marching On Moscow In the end the solution is diplomatic. It has to take into account Russia's legitimate security interests and recognize that Ukraine is neither Russian nor Western European, but a country divided, dependent on both. It is the height of hypocrisy for the U.S. to oppose such a power arrangement when its own system is based on the same formula (as are many other countries in Europe, including Germany).

Carl Bloice Monday, April 21, 2014 (1 comments)      Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
Carl Bloice: 1939-2014. Good Night Sweet Poet He was one of those people who could not bear the humiliation of silence in the face of injustice and that simple--if occasionally difficult--philosophy was at the center of who he was. Civil rights, free speech, the war in Southeast Asia (and later Central America, Yugoslavia, Afghanistan, and Iraq), women's rights, homophobia, and the environmental crisis: wherever the dispossessed were voiceless, Carl Bloice spoke for them.

Image created from image crediting Tuesday, April 8, 2014      Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
Continental Drift: Europe's Breakaways The European continent is once again adrift, pulling apart along fault lines both ancient and modern. How nations like Spain and Britain, and organizations like the EU, react to this process will determine if it will be civilized or painful. But trying to stop it will most certainly cause pain.

NATO's Defense Minsters issued a statement on February 26, 2014 that said they were "very closely" monitoring developmen Tuesday, March 11, 2014 (1 comments)      Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
WikiLeaks, Ukraine And NATO It is unlikely that the USS Truxtun will go looking for trouble or that the F-15s and F-16s will play chicken with Russian MIGs and Sukhois, but mistakes happen, particularly when tensions are high. It is exactly the current situation that Gorbachev was trying to avoid back in 1990, and why NATO's relentless march east puts more than the Ukraine in harm's way.

//www.youtube.com/watch?v=PUWYDWet9V0: Did the West Organize regime change in Ukraine? Sunday, March 2, 2014 (1 comments)      Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
Ukraine Revolt's Dark Side The massive demonstrations over the past three months reflected widespread outrage at the corruption of the Yanukovych regime, but it has also unleashed a dark side of the Ukraine's history. That dark side was on display at last year's rally in Cherkasey. It is not the kind of history most would like to repeat.

Civilians at the UN House compound on the southwestern outskirts of Juba. Up to 13,000 South Sudanese civilians have sou Thursday, February 6, 2014      Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
Sudan: Colonialism's Dead hand Once again Sudan is at war, and current U.S. policies in Africa have not helped. For the past decade and a half, Washington has seemed more concerned with cornering resources than resolving problems and has been quick to choose military solutions over diplomatic ones. Oil plays no small role in this. Sudan has one of the largest petroleum reserves on the continent.

Image created from image crediting Friday, January 31, 2014 (2 comments)      Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
Book Review: Empire’s Ally: The U.S. and Canada The book is divided into four major parts dealing with the history of the involvement, its political and economic underpinnings, and the actual Canadian experiences in Afghanistan, which had more to with condoning war crimes like torture than digging wells, educating people, and improving their health.

A rally in support of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's Justice and Development Party in Istanbul's Gezi Park on Jun Saturday, January 4, 2014 (2 comments)      Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
Turkish Plots From the U.S. point of view, Turkey is no longer a completely reliable ally. Rather than joining in the newly forged Saudi-Israeli-Egypt alliance against Iran, Turkey is feuding with all three countries and breaking bread with Shiia-dominated governments in Teheran and Damascus. In short, from Washington's point of view, Erdogan has gone off the reservation.

Image created from image crediting Thursday, December 19, 2013 (2 comments)      Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
"Are You Serious?" Awards 2013 Every year Dispatches From The edge gives awards to news stories and newsmakers, both national and international, that fall under the category of "Are you serious?" Here are the awards for 2013.

A poster of Nelson Mandela is filled with get well messages outside the Medi-Clinic Heart Hospital in Pretoria, 3 July, Friday, December 6, 2013      Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
Nelson Mandela: A Memory In the end it is those who fill the plazas, who chain themselves to doors, who shrug aside tear gas and billy clubs -- who persevere in the face of prison, exile, even death -- to whom history's laurels go. We shall miss this dear man who loved freedom and humanity so much that, no matter what was done to him, would not break. He set the bar high. We honor him by clearing it.

Image created from image crediting Wednesday, December 4, 2013      Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
Iran and Enhancement Adherence to the NPT is no obstacle to an agreement. The roadblocks will come from Israel -- which is not a party to the Treaty -- the Gulf monarchies, the Republicans (and some Democrats) in Congress, and the alliance between the neo-conservatives who successfully pushed for the war in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the powerful American Israel Public Affairs Committee.

Image created from image crediting Tuesday, December 3, 2013      Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
Pandora and The Drones Occupying someone else's lands is dangerous and expensive, hence the siren lure of drones as a risk-free and cheap way to intimidate the locals and get them to hand over their land or resources. Will the next targets be indigenous people resisting the exploitation of their lands by oil and gas companies, soybean growers, or logging interests?

Wednesday, November 6, 2013 (3 comments)      Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
Iran: Rumors Of War A war with Iran would be catastrophic. Adding nuclear weapons to it would put the final nail into the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. Within a decade dozens of countries will have nuclear weapons. It is a scary world to contemplate.

Monday, October 28, 2013      Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
Torpedoing The Iran Nuclear Talks While the alliance between Saudi Arabia and Israel seems an odd one, in fact both countries have similar strategic goals. Both support the overthrow of the Assad regime, both want to weaken Shiite-based Hezbollah in Lebanon, both want to see the minority Iraqi Sunnis back in charge, and both view Iran as a threat. Israel recently began war games built around long distance bombing raids, the kind required to attack Iran.

Thursday, October 17, 2013      Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
Letter From Sofia: Old Tanks and Modern Mayhem A good start toward turning things around would be to take up a call by Greece's Syriza Party for a European debt summit similar to the 1953 London Debt Agreement, That pact allowed Germany to recover from World War II by cutting its debt by 50 percent and spreading payments out over 30 years.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013      Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
The Kurds: Opportunity and Peril Autonomy for the Kurds is out of the bag and not about to go back in, regardless of what the final outcome in Syria and Turkey are. Sooner or later, Iran will have to confront the same issue that governments in Damascus, Ankara and Baghdad now face: recognition and autonomy, or war and instability.

Sunday, August 4, 2013 (5 comments)      Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
Boiling a Frog If you can control 15% of the national vote, you can elect presidents and the congress. That is exactly what has happened over the past several election cycles. Mitt Romney got swamped in the general election, but Republicans hold power in the House of Representatives and in a majority of state houses. There is nothing "fictional" about the 15% solution as an electoral strategy.

Monday, July 29, 2013 (1 comments)      Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
Turkey: Unrest's Currents Run Deep The unrest gripping Turkey has less to do with headscarves and Islam than with politics and economics, fueled by a growing discomfort with the AKP's policies of privatization, its push to centralize authority in the hands of the country's executive branch, and its silencing of the media. The three are not unrelated.

Friday, July 5, 2013 (1 comments)      Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
Poison Gas and Arabian Tales Sarin is a colorless and odorless liquid, and it is "volatile" -- that is, it quickly turns into a gas. Even in small concentrations, it is very deadly and can kill within minutes. It is absorbed through the skin or lungs and can contaminate clothing for up to 30 minutes.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013      Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
Syria and the Monarchs: A Perfect Storm While the Syrian civil war started over the Assad regime's brutal response to demonstrators, it has morphed into a proxy war between Syria, Iran, Russia, and government of Prime Minster Nouri al-Maliki in Iraq on one side, and the US, France, Britain, Israel, Turkey and the monarchies of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) on the other.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013 (1 comments)      Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
Afghanistan: The End Game? There is no need for a chaos-engulfed finale to the Afghan War. There is no reason to continue the bloodshed, which all the parties recognize will not alter the final outcome a whit. It is time for the White House to step up and do the right thing and end one of the bloodiest wars in recent history.

Thursday, April 25, 2013 (2 comments)      Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
The White House's Flawed Korea Policies The North is well aware of the fate of the "axis of evil": Iraq was invaded and occupied, and Iran is suffocating under the weight of economic sanctions and facing a possible Israeli or U.S. attack. From North Korea's point of view, the only thing that Iraq and Iran have in common is that neither of them developed nuclear weapons.

Monday, April 1, 2013 (1 comments)      Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
Syria: A Multi-Sided Chess game The effort to knock Syria off the board may succeed, although the butcher bill will be considerably higher than the current body count of 70,000. But establishing a pro-western government in Damascus and inflicting damage on Iran is mostly illusion. "Victory"--particularly a military one-- is more likely to end in chaos and instability, and a whole lot more dead chess pieces.

Monday, March 18, 2013      Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
Egypt: A Coup In The Wings? Are the statements by Egypt's opposition concerning the possibility of a military takeover simply a political maneuver aimed at forcing the Morsi government to be more inclusive, or are they laying a foundation for a coup? Loose talk about an Army takeover in Egypt is a little like hand-feeding a crocodile: a good way to lose a body part.

Thursday, March 14, 2013 (1 comments)      Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
Hugo Chavez: Lest We Forget Comparing the man's accomplishments to his U.S. obits was like taking a trip through Alice's looking glass. Virtually none of the information about poverty and illiteracy was included, and when it was grudgingly admitted that he did have programs for the poor, it was "balanced" with claims of soaring debts, widespread shortages, rampant crime, economic chaos, and "authoritarianism."

Monday, February 18, 2013 (1 comments)      Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
Israel and Syria: Behind the Bombs The bombing attack was certainly a slap in the face to Assad, but not the first, and seems less directed at the Damascus regime than adding yet another ingredient to the witch's brew of chaos that is rapidly engulfing Syria and the surrounding countries. And chaos and division in the region have always been Israel's allies. Divide and conquer is an old colonial tactic dating back to the Roman Empire.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013 (5 comments)      Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
Obama and Europe's Meltdown NATO is an artifact of the Cold War and long since past retirement. It is also dangerous: if you build an alliance you will eventually use it. The debacle of the Afghan War and the chaos that the Libyan war has unleashed on Africa is a warning that the use of military power is increasingly outdated. It also drains valuable resources better used to confront the economic and environmental challenges the world faces.

Friday, January 18, 2013      Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
Mali and Chickens French forces will face considerable logistical obstacles. And while Mali's geography may not match the Russian steppes in winter, its fierce desert is daunting terrain. So what do Mali and the French intervention have to do with chickens? They always come home to roost.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013 (2 comments)      Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
2012 "Are You Serious?" Awards Pandora's Box Award goes to the U.S. and Israel for unleashing cyber war on the world by attacking Iran's nuclear industry. The Stuxnet virus -- designed by both countries -- successfully damaged Iran's uranium enrichment facility at Natanz, and the newly discovered Flame virus has apparently been siphoning data from Iranian computers for years.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012 (1 comments)      Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
Four More Years: The Asia Pivot Washington has shifted naval forces into the Pacific and is in the process of putting 2,500 Marines in northern Australia. While 2,500 Marines are hardly likely to tip the balance of power in Asia, it seems an unnecessary provocation. The U.S. is moving air power into the region as well, including B-1 bombers, B-52s, and F-22 stealth fighters.

Saturday, December 1, 2012 (1 comments)      Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
Four More Years: Central and South Asia Recreating a version of the old Cold War alliance system in the region is hardly in the interests of Central and South Asians -- or Americans, for that matter. India and Pakistan do not need more planes, bombs and tanks. They need modernized transport systems, enhanced educational opportunities, and improved public health. The same can be said for Americans.

Monday, November 12, 2012      Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
Middle East: The Next Four Years Because US relies on the energy resources of the Persian Gulf countries, as well as strategic basing rights, it is unlikely that the Obama administration will challenge the foreign and domestic policies of its allies in the region. But then Washington should not pretend that its policies there have anything to do with promoting democracy.

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