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William Pfaff

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William Pfaff
William Pfaff

William Pfaff is known as a globally respected political commentator and author on international relations, contemporary history and U.S. policy. He...

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Stories by William Pfaff

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It’s Now a ‘Soft War’ in Afghanistan, but It’s Still a Disaster

President Obama appears to have fallen for the oldest false dichotomy in the Pentagon repertoire, and the easiest one to sell to the American public. It goes like this: The world is divided between the Evil Folks and the Good. The Good Folks, being what they are, are naturally pro-American, once they get to know us.

Posted on Apr 7, 2009 READ MORE


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America’s ‘Long War’ Will Be as Bloody and Pointless as Europe’s

The Thirty Years’ War occupies little space in the school texts of the English-speaking world, but its futility comes to mind when Richard Holbrooke speaks of the war he is supposed to manage, now the Af-Pak war.

Posted on Apr 2, 2009 READ MORE


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Boycotting Obama at Notre Dame Is Vulgar Zealotry

In respect to tradition, one would expect Obama to deliver Notre Dame’s commencement address in May, but a crowd of Fighting Irish have decided to try to keep the new president away from the hallowed campus for fear that some of his thinking might rub off on them.

Posted on Mar 31, 2009 READ MORE


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Global Capitalism: The Suicide Version

The globalization of the international economy launched as an accidental policy of the Clinton administration has proved to be a destroyer of people, governments and wealth.

Posted on Mar 24, 2009 READ MORE


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What Is the Point of NATO?

NATO today, approaching its 60th birthday, faces the prospect of sending home all of its units not willing to fight in Afghanistan under the American flag. They will go home to “defend” Europe. From whom?

Posted on Mar 20, 2009 READ MORE


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Sarkozy’s Courtship of NATO Defies Rationality

France’s president has lived up to the stereotype that his people, fond as they are of home vacationing and generally convinced of their own superiority, not infrequently fail to know what they are talking about when dealing with foreign countries.

Posted on Mar 17, 2009 READ MORE


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Why Did So Few Americans Give a Damn?

Justice Department documents that demonstrate the Bush administration’s view of the president’s constitutional power in a “state of war” tell us things we suspected but didn’t want to know.

Posted on Mar 5, 2009 READ MORE


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Bio

William Pfaff
William Pfaff

William Pfaff is known as a globally respected political commentator and author on international relations, contemporary history and U.S. policy. He has been published in five countries and his column was syndicated by Tribune Media Services.

Pfaff’s sometimes controversial opinions on international law, long-term U.S. policies and American foreign relations were noted for their deep concern with the influence of history on today’s affairs and their attention to the moral complexities of international politics and action.

Pfaff’s column studied European, Middle Eastern, Asian and American concerns through a prism influenced by the experiences of an American living abroad. He has been published in newspapers in Europe, the Middle and Far East, Latin America and the United States.

Pfaff authored eight books, including “The Wrath of Nations” (Simon and Schuster, 1993) and “Barbarian Sentiments: America in the New Century” (Hill and Wang, 2000). His last book “Fear, Anger and Failure: A Chronicle of the Bush Administration’s War Against Terror from the Attacks of September 11, 2001 to Defeat in Baghdad” was published in 2004 (Algora Publishing). It offers a collection of his columns on the war on terror, from September 11th until December 2003, when the U.S. policy emphasis shifted from Iraq’s reconstruction to American withdrawal. The book has been praised by Russell Baker of The New York Times as “page after page in article after article {Pfaff was writing} what should have been said week after week as Bush’s cheery civilian warriors marched us into the Middle East. Really splendid work.”

Pfaff has contributed many political essays to The New Yorker magazine. In Europe, his articles have appeared in Commentaire (Paris), Lettre Internationale (Berlin), Politique Exterior (Madrid), Europaische Rundschau (Vienna), Moderna Tider (Stockholm), Forum (Munich), Die Zeit (Hamburg). In the United States he was published in the New York Review of Books, Foreign Affairs, World Policy Journal, and The National Interest, among other magazines. Pfaff was the former deputy director of Hudson Research Europe, the European affiliate of the well-known American policy research institute.

Pfaff graduated from the University of Notre Dame. William Pfaff died in April, 2015.

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