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By Oliver Sacks
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Some Blame Must Follow the Financial Collapse

“What am I going to tell the public,” one French official asked, “when there are 3 million people marching in the streets of Paris? That ‘we all made mistakes’? That no one was really responsible?”

Posted on Nov 11, 2008 READ MORE


Neocons Plot to Co-Opt Obama

The president-elect is a foreign policy novice and will find himself under great pressure to follow Middle Eastern and China and Russia policies inherited from George Bush, even though these are what Barack Obama was elected to change or terminate.

Posted on Nov 6, 2008 READ MORE


The Unlearned Lessons of Vietnam Continue to Haunt The U.S.

Governments, like corporations and modern organizations of all kinds, make much of systematically teaching “lessons learned” to those newly arrived to responsibilities, yet they seem infrequently to succeed.

Posted on Oct 30, 2008 READ MORE


Obama Is the Superior Decider

The real issues of the American presidential election are the future of the economy and the future of American foreign policy. The one seems already settled. The second seems to unite John McCain and Barack Obama in support of a program doomed to fail.

Posted on Oct 30, 2008 READ MORE


Russia’s Resentment of the West Began With a Broken Promise

It did not take the clash between Russia and Georgia to reveal that relations between Russia and the West have taken a bad turn. They have been deteriorating since the mid-1990s, when the decision was taken to expand NATO to include the former Warsaw Pact states.

Posted on Oct 21, 2008 READ MORE


U.S. Loses Its Grip on Europe

Military and economic disasters have caused Europeans and European governments to view the United States in a new, unflattering light.

Posted on Oct 16, 2008 READ MORE



U.S. Navy / Petty Officer 3rd Class Joshua Scott

Bush Doctrine Becomes DoD Dogma

The Pentagon’s new National Defense Strategy statement says nothing directly about American national defense. It is a strategy for intervening in other countries, and preventing others from blocking or resisting American interventions.

Posted on Oct 14, 2008 READ MORE


The ‘New Multilateralism’

The issues that have fueled Russian-American tensions in Europe in recent months, and European tensions with both Russia and the United States, have suggested a willingness on all sides to reignite tensions that on the face of it serve no one’s real interests. Recent developments could change all that.

Posted on Oct 9, 2008 READ MORE


What McCain and Obama Just Don’t Get About Central Asia

There are only two real issues left in the foreign policy debate between John McCain and Barack Obama. Yet neither the Iraq nor the Afghanistan issue is within the power of any American president to resolve.

Posted on Oct 7, 2008 READ MORE


Will the Pentagon Be the Next U.S. Institution to Crash?

Less apparent to most people than the economic crisis, but just as real, are the signs of an impending crash of an American military system in which, since the end of the Cold War, Pentagon dysfunction has metastasized so uncontrollably as to scandalize the men who have overseen it.

Posted on Oct 2, 2008 READ MORE


With ‘Allies’ Like NATO, Georgia Better Not Annoy Russia

Thanks to Russia’s incursion into a belligerent Georgia in mid-August, a country in possession of Washington’s assurance that it soon would be given a “membership action plan” for joining NATO now hasn’t a hope of membership in the alliance.

Posted on Sep 16, 2008 READ MORE


The Cost of Saakashvili’s Folly

The West’s response to the situation in Georgia evades acknowledgement of the damage Georgia’s President Mikheil Saakashvili has done to the United States and NATO, and to Georgia itself, which for the foreseeable future will now be a nation of limited sovereignty, and an awkward embarrassment to its Western allies.

Posted on Aug 26, 2008 READ MORE


Who Is Responsible for U.S. Russia Policy?

Why has the U.S. maintained an aggressive stance toward Russia long after the demise of the Soviet Union? And how on earth does that strike anyone in Washington as a productive strategy for America, not to mention the rest of the West?

Posted on Aug 21, 2008 READ MORE


Cold War Spin Only Compounds Georgian Crisis

History—not democracy—provides the explanation for the crisis in Georgia, in which the United States is recklessly involving itself.

Posted on Aug 14, 2008 READ MORE


NATO, Georgia and the Ready-Made War

British Field Marshal Bernard Law Montgomery was the man who said the first three rules of warfare are “Do not invade Russia,” repeated three times. A footnote to that rule would be that while the disputed Georgian districts of South Ossetia and Abkhazia are not parts of Russia today, they were yesterday, and probably will again be tomorrow, or the day after tomorrow.

Posted on Aug 12, 2008 READ MORE


India’s Role in the Afghan Drama

When large and powerful countries intervene in the affairs of smaller countries, they take for granted that they are, or should be—and certainly could be—in control. The reverse is often true.

Posted on Aug 11, 2008 READ MORE


China’s Quest for Olympic Glory

The Chinese authorities’ anxiety that the Olympic Games will be a success reflects their need to find international confirmation of their general political and economic policies of the past 20 years.

Posted on Aug 6, 2008 READ MORE


Sarkozy’s List of Successes

France’s President Nicolas Sarkozy is often dismissed for his flamboyance, but he has quite remarkable accomplishments, including some reforms long sought by the left.

Posted on Jul 23, 2008 READ MORE



AP photo / Jae C. Hong

Obama Commits to Afghanistan Escalation

Before leaving Kabul for Baghdad, Barack Obama spoke to his intention to increase America’s troop commitment to Afghanistan by 10,000 soldiers. “We have to understand that the situation is precarious and urgent ... and I believe this has to be the central focus, the central front, in the battle against terrorism,” the candidate told CBS.

Posted on Jul 20, 2008 READ MORE


book cover

William Pfaff on General Motors

Are workers to blame for the fix that General Motors (along with many other corporations) is in? A new book by Roger Lowenstein argues that they are. He couldn’t be more wrong.

Posted on Jul 18, 2008 READ MORE


Obama’s Disaster in the Making

Barack Obama is right to want to get out of Iraq, but his eagerness to do battle in the tribal hinterlands of Afghanistan and Pakistan will only lead to a quagmire of his own.

Posted on Jul 16, 2008 READ MORE



AP photo / Petros Giannakouris

Disorderly or Not, America Should Withdraw

The endless debate about the U.S. withdrawing its army from Iraq and what will happen to the country once it does tends to ignore much of what we know about how the world works.

Posted on Jul 9, 2008 READ MORE


A Loss of Transatlantic Harmony

The relationship among the three principal centers of world power of the past half-century is now at the edge of fundamental change.

Posted on Jul 6, 2008 READ MORE


Terror Goes a Lot Further With Good Advertising

A basic argument in Washington’s war on terror, an argument that one might think settled by now, concerns whether al-Qaida is the powerful global organization the Bush administration says it is or whether it has been, since its retreat into the Pakistan tribal areas, mostly an Internet phenomenon.

Posted on Jul 1, 2008 READ MORE


Fiat Chief on the Global Finance Crisis

The Italian-Canadian chief executive of Fiat, the leading Italian industrial enterprise, Sergio Marchionne, speaking about the present economic crisis last weekend, mentioned the well-known argument first made by the Austrian-American economist Joseph Schumpeter about the function of “creative destruction” in modern capitalism.

Posted on Jun 16, 2008 READ MORE


Israel’s Self-Destruction as a Jewish State

Israel’s colonization and annexation of the Palestinian territories over the last 40 years, and opposition to the creation of an independent Palestinian state, have turned Israel into an Arab-Jewish state under Jewish control.

Posted on May 28, 2008 READ MORE


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