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

By: Saturday May 10, 2014 1:59 pm

Stephen Kinzer has many fine qualities as a chronicler of recent U.S. foreign relations: his first-hand experience of diverse regions gained from journalistic assignments around the world, his skill at making the past come alive in vivid, pithy prose, and his readiness to engage with the most challenging contemporary policy issues.

For me, though, his most admirable quality is his readiness to put the stories he tells in long-term historical perspective.

 

Plurality of Americans Want to See Country Less Involved in World Affairs

By: Wednesday April 30, 2014 11:00 am

According to a the new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll 47 percent of Americans want to see the United States become less active in world affairs. Another 30 percent want our foreign affair activities to remain at their current level and just 19 percent want to see the country become more active in world affairs.

US Media Thaws On Ukraine Conflict

By: Wednesday March 12, 2014 12:39 pm

Despite initially buying US government propaganda on the conflict on Ukraine wholesale, much from self-proclaimed experts, the US media may be slowly accepting that a good deal of the initial talking points on the conflict were false.

Podcast: The Iran Nuclear Deal, AIPAC Losses & the Charade Around Iran Being ‘Looming Threat’

By: Sunday February 16, 2014 8:07 am

An intensive effort by Israel and its backers has been underway to scuttle an international deal over Iran’s nuclear program. Yet, Israel and its major lobby in the United States, American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), has been suffering defeats as it tries to fight a deal, which it does not want because, if the issues over Iran’s nuclear program are resolved, focus will inevitably shift to the country’s treatment of Palestinians.

According to Nima Shirazi, an analyst of US foreign policy toward the Middle East who blogs at “Wide Asleep in America,” what the world has seen for the past thirty years of US and Israeli policy is what could be called a charade.

MENA Mashup: Egypt, Russia, Syria, and, a Valentine’s Fray

By: Saturday February 15, 2014 1:08 pm

So while we have no viable options…

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.

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