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Who Is Edward Snowden? A Review of His Autobiography, Permanent Record

Edward Snowden’s recently published autobiography Permanent Record became a bestseller instantly, before any critical reviews in major media, thanks to the author’s notoriety. The reviews followed and they make for curious reading as I look over The Guardian, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Review of Books and The New Yorker. Though the reviewers … Continue reading "Who Is Edward Snowden? A Review of His Autobiography, Permanent Record"

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Turkey Plans Attack on Syrian Kurds

ISTANBUL – The Turkish government plans to use Syrian refugees to displace the local Kurdish population in northern Syria. But so far, the scheme isn’t working so well. Last week, Turkish President Recep Tayep Erdogan announced his intention to settle up to two million refugees now living in Turkey into northern Syria. "We aim to … Continue reading "Turkey Plans Attack on Syrian Kurds"

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Taiwan Arms Sales and the Erosion of US-Sino Diplomacy

Like everyone here, I feel honored to have had the opportunity to serve our country. I did so for three decades before entering the private sector a quarter century ago. I now chair a globally engaged business development company and the Committee for the Republic. I also lecture at Brown University’s Watson Institute, among other … Continue reading "Taiwan Arms Sales and the Erosion of US-Sino Diplomacy"

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Why Israel Is Struggling To Find a Way Out of Its Political Deadlock

It would be a grave mistake to assume that the continuing political deadlock in Israel – with neither incumbent prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu nor his main rival Benny Gantz seemingly able to cobble together a coalition government – is evidence of a deep ideological divide. In political terms, there is nothing divided about Israel. In … Continue reading "Why Israel Is Struggling To Find a Way Out of Its Political Deadlock"

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Tragic Folly: Supporting Death and Destruction in Yemen

Last year, in the Yemeni village of Dahyan, a Saudi airstrike targeted a bus of schoolboys on a field trip, killing 54. Forty-four were children. The Guardian and CNN identified the munition as an MK-82 (500 lb.) bomb; experts stated it was “a laser-guided Paveway, manufactured by the U.S. company Lockheed Martin,” one of the … Continue reading "Tragic Folly: Supporting Death and Destruction in Yemen"

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One Year After Khashoggi’s Brutal Murder: Business as Usual?

Heinous. Savage. Ghastly. It’s hard to find the words to describe the act of luring journalist Jamal Khashoggi into a Saudi consulate in Istanbul, suffocating him, chopping him up and dissolving his bones. Yet a year later, governments and businesspeople around the world are eager to forgive and forget – or already have. So far, … Continue reading "One Year After Khashoggi’s Brutal Murder: Business as Usual?"

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The Hypersonic Race to Hell

Originally posted at TomDispatch. My life, in a sense, has been an arms race. The atomic bomb was initially tested at Alamogordo, New Mexico, on July 15, 1945, five days short of my first birthday. Less than a month later, atomic bombs were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Although the Soviet Union didn’t conduct its … Continue reading "The Hypersonic Race to Hell"

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A Picture (of a War Crime) Is Worth a Thousand Words

"I want no prisoners, I wish you to kill and burn, the more you kill and burn the better you will please me." – General Jacob Smith to subordinates on Samar Island during the Philippine-American War (1902) Not so long ago, in November 2010, I took command of B Troop, 4th Squadron, 4th US Cavalry … Continue reading "A Picture (of a War Crime) Is Worth a Thousand Words"

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Impeachment… or CIA Coup?

You don’t need to be a supporter of President Trump to be concerned about the efforts to remove him from office. Last week House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced impeachment proceedings against the President over a phone call made to the President of Ukraine. According to the White House record of the call, the President asked … Continue reading "Impeachment… or CIA Coup?"

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MoveOn’s Phony New Campaign for ‘Protecting Whistleblowers’

All of a sudden, MoveOn wants to help “national security” whistleblowers. Well, some of them, anyway. After many years of carefully refusing to launch a single campaign in support of brave whistleblowers who faced vicious prosecution during the Obama administration – including Army whistleblower Chelsea Manning, NSA whistleblowers Thomas Drake and Edward Snowden, and CIA … Continue reading "MoveOn’s Phony New Campaign for ‘Protecting Whistleblowers’"

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The Wounds of War in Afghanistan

Its economy gutted by war, Afghanistan’s largest cash crop remains opium. Yet farmers there do grow other crops for export. Villagers in the Wazir Tangi area of Nangarhar province, for example, cultivate pine nuts. As a precaution, this year at harvest time, village elders notified the governor of the province that they would be bringing … Continue reading "The Wounds of War in Afghanistan"

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Iran, Islam, and Banning the Bomb

Yesterday In 1982, Iraq changed the nature of their war on Iran. They began using chemical weapons. At first, it was only tear gas. But, within a year, Iraq was using mustard gas and the nerve agents sarin and soman on, not only Iranian soldiers, but Iranian civilians. The downpour of chemicals was prodigious: the … Continue reading "Iran, Islam, and Banning the Bomb"

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How the Saudi Oil Field Attack Overturned America’s Apple Cart

In many ways it doesn’t really matter who – Houthis in Yemen? Iranians? Shiites in Iraq? – launched those missiles and drones at Saudi Arabia. Whoever did it changed the rules of the game, and not just in the Middle East. “It’s a moment when offense laps defense, when the strong have reason to fear … Continue reading "How the Saudi Oil Field Attack Overturned America’s Apple Cart"

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