Riding the tiger…in a circle

By: Tuesday January 28, 2014 1:30 am

Strongmen love a full-circle, and so, apparently, do western governments.

 

FDL Book Salon Welcomes Lloyd C. Gardner, Killing Machine: The American Presidency in the Age of Drone Warfare

By: Sunday January 5, 2014 1:59 pm

Lloyd Gardner’s new book is an in depth historical analysis of President Obama’s foreign policy during his first 5 years in public office. In 2008, many Americans had deep trust that President Obama was going to bring significant change into the White House and guide our country to a place of more “rightful” and lawful foreign policy strategies by putting an end to torture, drawing down the illegal Iraq War, and closing down Guantanamo prison. President Obama promised the American public more transparency and accountability, and adherence to the rule of law, without “looking back”.

FDL Book Salon Welcomes Stephen Kinzer, The Brothers: John Foster Dulles, Allen Dulles, and Their Secret World War

By: Saturday December 14, 2013 1:59 pm

Between them, their unquestioned attitudes conditioned all of the covert interventions of the Eisenhower era. The coups in Iran and Guatemala, for example, were as much about defeating perceived threats to the business interests of America’s capitalist elites as containing the spread of communism. Ho Chi Minh and Sukarno offended Foster’s Calvinist religiosity. Patrice Lumumba’s fate was so miserable in part because patrician Americans had very little personal notion of life in post-colonial Africa. All these men were “monsters” in the brothers’ demonology, and therefore deserving of monstrous treatment.

Of course, the Dulles brothers’ value system now appears outmoded, even quaint. But, as Stephen Kinzer reminds us again in a stimulating concluding chapter, the actions that it propelled the U.S. to take in the 1950s shaped the world we live in today. What unthinking cultural assumptions and prejudices drive the behavior of those who make current U.S. foreign policy?

MENA Mashup: AIPAC, The Grey Lady, Iran, and the P5+1

By: Sunday November 17, 2013 12:00 pm

Meanwhile, there’s a Battle Royal happening in the Halls of Congress and DC.

German Media Spies on US Spies

By: Saturday November 16, 2013 9:13 am

Last June, President Obama was blunt at a press conference in Berlin: “We do not use Germany as a launching point for unmanned drones to go after, as a part of our anti-terrorism activities.” The Süddeutsche Zeitung (South German Newspaper) and Norddeutsche Rundfunk (North German Radio, which despite the name, is also a television operation) have teamed up to look into this claim, and they beg to differ. A lot.

They ask a lot of tough questions, and turn the cameras on the spies themselves.

President Obama May Have Engaged In Pay To Play On Ambassadorships

By: Monday November 11, 2013 2:25 pm

President Obama’s choice for US Ambassador to Hungary is raising eyebrows. His choice, Colleen Bell, is a television producer most famous for the daytime soap opera “The Bold and the Beautiful.” Bell appears to have no particular experience with or knowledge of the nation of Hungary. But what she lacks in knowledge and experience seems to be made up for in campaign contributions.

NSA Spying Scandal Causes Uproar In France and Mexico

By: Monday October 21, 2013 2:32 pm

The NSA spying scandal is causing an uproar in capitals around the world as revelations surface that the US intelligence agency has been spying on citizens of friendly countries in France and Mexico. In France the US ambassador was summoned to explain why French telephone data was recorded by the NSA between December and January of this year. The allegation was published in France’s paper of record Le Monde.

The Pentagon’s Italian Spending Spree

By: Thursday October 3, 2013 7:00 pm

The Pentagon has spent the last two decades plowing hundreds of millions of tax dollars into military bases in Italy, turning the country into an increasingly important center for U.S. military power. Especially since the start of the Global War on Terror in 2001, the military has been shifting its European center of gravity south from Germany, where the overwhelming majority of U.S. forces in the region have been stationed since the end of World War II. In the process, the Pentagon has turned the Italian peninsula into a launching pad for future wars in Africa, the Middle East, and beyond.

MENA Mashup: Bibi’s Bullsh*t, Iranian Intentions, and a Syrian Solution?

By: Tuesday October 1, 2013 7:10 pm

Much has transpired since my last Mashup. Contrary to popular belief, the Iranian Sanctions are not the cause célèbre for Iran’s determined détente efforts

Did Iran Win the US-Iraq War?

By: Thursday September 26, 2013 1:20 pm

A central claim in a new story published by the New Yorker is that the real victor in the 2003 war between the US and Saddam governments was the Islamic Republic of Iran. Profiling Qassem Suleimani, the commander of the Qods Force, a division of the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, the article describes how Iran both engineered the new Iraqi government and the US forces withdrawal.

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