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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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In Washington, Public Policy and Private Wealth Are Hopelessly Tangled

Barack Obama in Washington reminds one of Diogenes in Athens, with his lantern in search of an honest man.

Posted on Feb 5, 2009 READ MORE


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America’s ‘Strong Commitment to Error’

John Kenneth Galbraith once warned that U.S. foreign policy suffers from institutional rigidity with a “strong commitment to error.” What better proof than the planned surge in Afghanistan?

Posted on Feb 3, 2009 READ MORE


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America Faces the Music in Davos

The American participants in this year’s World Economic Forum have been the first to confront the full international blowback to the U.S.-created world economic crisis, which has devastated the nation’s reputation for competence, along with the justification for its six-decade role as world leader.

Posted on Feb 1, 2009 READ MORE


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NATO: Dead Man Walking

NATO has no coherent overall purpose and has not had one since the end of the Cold War. Any number of redefinitions and reorganizations have been proposed or tried and have proved unsatisfactory because no one can explain what it is that NATO really does or is for, other than to clean up behind the United States.

Posted on Jan 27, 2009 READ MORE


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Obama Must Halt America’s Moral Decline

Barack Obama’s is a restoration presidency. His job in office, as during the campaign, is to summon up the better America that was abandoned or repudiated during the past eight years by his predecessor.

Posted on Jan 22, 2009 READ MORE


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Who’s in Charge—Obama, the Pentagon or Israel?

The military is far too accustomed to getting its way, so it was refreshing to see Barack Obama reject the Pentagon’s sluggish withdrawal plan. But will he stand up to Israel, whose Prime Minister Olmert recently bragged about pulling the American president’s puppet strings?

Posted on Jan 15, 2009 READ MORE


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The Drama of Reciprocal Self-Destruction

The people of Gaza and Israel suffer at the hands of leaders whose bewildering and savage decisions have no rationally achievable purpose.

Posted on Jan 13, 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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