Other Voices TV: Handicapping the candidates’ positions on Middle East issues

So many hot spots, so little time. I decided to approach this interview using the stances of the Democratic candidates for president as a lens. I think it worked pretty well.

We covered Israel-Palestine, Iran, and Yemen pretty thoroughly, even with only an hour. There’s also a fascinating segment on Sudan, which Prof. Zunes recently visited.

Continue reading “Other Voices TV: Handicapping the candidates’ positions on Middle East issues”

I’ve been saying “U.S. Out of Iraq” for nearly 30 years. Is it finally happening? Probably not. So let’s keep demanding it.

One of the many protest marches against the Iraq war that I organized over the years. That’s me on the right. Photo by PH Yang, used with permission.

I became the director of Peninsula Peace and Justice Center on August 1, 1990. The next day, Iraq invaded Kuwait. By the end of that first week, President George H. W. Bush had deployed 25,000 troops to Saudi Arabia and I had organized my first anti-war demonstration as director. 

Iraq and I go way back.

Continue reading “I’ve been saying “U.S. Out of Iraq” for nearly 30 years. Is it finally happening? Probably not. So let’s keep demanding it.”

Drone strike won’t lead to war. It is war.

Yesterday’s drone strike in Iraq by the US against a top Iranian military commander won’t lead to war. It is war. More precisely, it is an escalation of the US war on Iran that started within months of Trump’s inauguration. 

In his prepared remarks today, Trump said, “We took action last night to stop a war.  We did not take action to start a war.” That’s a lie. Last night’s action was a ramping-up of an ongoing war.

Continue reading “Drone strike won’t lead to war. It is war.”

History repeats itself. Is it tragedy or farce this time around?

“Hegel remarks somewhere that all great world-historic facts and personages appear, so to speak, twice. He forgot to add: the first time as tragedy, the second time as farce.” ~ Karl Marx, The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Napoleon (Essay, 1852)

If Marx was right, then Trump’s repeat of Clinton’s infamous wag the dog tactic in the face of impeachment would be at the tragedy stage. And that’s what it certainly is. It will inevitably lead to yet more tragedy. But we’re dealing with Trump here, so there’s always an element of farce at play.

I’m working on a longer, more serious piece about this disturbing escalation of violence. Please check back in a while. Or subscribe to this blog so you’ll get the post in your email.

Hey, this is our war. How dare you shoot back!

“When Saudi Arabia launched its bloody war in 2014, did they and their US allies not consider the possibility that Yemen might actually shoot back? I would think that is something that might be expected in a war.”

The barbaric Saudi regime and their bosom buddy allies in the corrupt Trump administration are outraged — outraged, I tell you! — that forces aligned with the Yemen insurgency actually caused some significant damage with the recent attack on a Saudi oilfield.

Apparently the message behind the outrage is something like, “We’ll do all the bombing around here, thank you very much.”

Continue reading “Hey, this is our war. How dare you shoot back!”

Behind the bombast, we’re already at war with Iran

Image Credit: Donkey Hotey @ Flickr | CC BY-SA 2.0

A little over a week ago, when the first Navy ships were deployed toward Iran, I opined that it was a case of vacant saber-rattling, a bit of wag-the-dog distraction to force Trump’s ever-deepening legal troubles out of the headlines. (Generals, prepare to wag the dog 5/7/19)

It seems I may have been right. So far. Over the last couple of days, Trump has clearly tried to turn down the heat. As tensions rose rapidly, Trump informed his Acting Defense Secretary that he did not want a war with Iran. On Thursday, a reporter asked Trump if the US was going to war. “I hope not,” was his response. And today he continued his blathering. “What they should be doing is calling me up, sitting down. We can make a deal, a fair deal,” said the man who ripped up a fair deal we already had with Iran, a deal which had fulfilled its promise. Continue reading “Behind the bombast, we’re already at war with Iran”

Generals, prepare to wag the dog!

The Trump dis-administration today announced it was deploying an aircraft carrier strike group and a bomber task force to patrol off the coast of Iran, supposedly in response to perceived Iranian threats to US assets in the region. National security wingnut John Bolton threatened to unleash “unrelenting force” against Iran if any US or allied forces in the region are attacked.

At first glance, it is a deeply disturbing escalation of the tensions between the two countries. Trump last year unilaterally withdrew the US from the nuclear agreement that Barack Obama had painstakingly negotiated with Iran over the course of several years. Nuclear proliferation analysts have described the agreement as the most significant nonproliferation deal in two decades, a major achievement of the Obama era. So of course Trump couldn’t let it stand. Continue reading “Generals, prepare to wag the dog!”