US Hawks Unwittingly Aid Iranian Hardliners

While it is the opposite of their intent, hawks in the US who suggest attacking Iran provide ammunition to Iran’s hardliners, including those who want to develop nuclear weapons. The most recent example to come to my attention is a radio interview in which Senator Tom Cotton argued that “if military action were required … it would [not involve boots on the ground, only] several days of air and naval bombing.” Continue reading

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Putin the Moderate??

putinIn a recent talk following a visit to Russia, former Nixon advisor on Soviet matters Dimitri Simes told his audience that Putin is a pragmatist who is the West’s best hope for a negotiated settlement to end the Ukrainian crisis. Simes went on to warn that, if we fail to take advantage of Putin’s moderate stance, we risk empowering reactionary elements within Russia who “want to do crazy things.” That, in turn, he warned could end in a disastrous military confrontation similar to the way World War I started. Continue reading

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Germany Warns of “Dangerous American Propaganda”

History shows that catastrophe tends to follow when the US media fail to do their job by not questioning statements fed them by our government. Vietnam and Iraq are Exhibits A and B in that argument, and I’ve argued repeatedly on this blog that Ukraine should be Exhibit C. Given the nuclear dimension to the risk, the media’s abandonment of its role is stunning. The German government is assuming the role abandoned by our media, but almost no Americans are aware of it. This post lays out what Germany is saying and, if you agree that more people need to hear that perspective, please share this post via email, Facebook, or other means.

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Time to Stop Playing Nuclear Roulette

In Russian roulette, you have one chance in six of dying – provided you pull the trigger only once. If you pull it once a day, or even once a year, it’s not a question of IF you’ll be killed, only WHEN. After the Cuban Missile Crisis, Pres. Kennedy said he thought the odds of war were somewhere between 1-in-3 and even. If he was right, that crisis was equivalent to playing nuclear roulette – a global version of Russian roulette – with a 2- or 3-chambered revolver. While most events have a much smaller chance of escalating to nuclear war, even a small probability per event can add up to an unacceptable risk if repeated often enough. For that reason, I was shocked to find an article in today’s New York Times that reported Japanese fighters are scrambling more than once per day to intercept Chinese aircraft near some small, uninhabited, disputed islands. Continue reading

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Ambassador Matlock Questions Putin Involvement in Nemtsov Murder

I have found Ambassador Jack Matlock to be an invaluable source of contrarian information on modern-day Russia, and have quoted him here a number of times.* Having served as Ronald Reagan’s Ambassador to Moscow, “When Jack Matlock speaks, people should listen.” Unfortunately few do because the major media rarely cover news which conflicts with the prevailing narrative that Putin is guilty until proven innocent, no matter what the crime. That kind of group think got us into both the Vietnam War and the Iraq War. It’s time we started questioning our assumptions before getting caught up, yet again, in what could become a drumbeat to war with a nation that possesses thousands of nuclear weapons. As part of that process of becoming more informed and more objective, I highly recommend Ambassador Matlock’s latest post “Is Nemtsov’s Murder a Replay of Kirov’s?Continue reading

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Rouhani Cabinet Has More US PhD’s Than Obama’s!

Yesterday’s post, Empowering the Moderates in Iran, attracted a comment from SocialInform, which mentioned another blog’s post, Iran’s president has more cabinet members with Ph.D. degrees from U.S. universities than Barack Obama does. Be sure to check out the picture, showing who they are and where they studied. The post mentioned a December 2013 article in The Atlantic which gave more details and is summarized below my signature line. My thanks to SocialInform for alerting me to this information. Continue reading

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Empowering the Moderates in Iran

Today’s New York Times had a long OpEd by David Brooks that argued it is naive to negotiate with Iran. Brooks warns that, “It could be that Iranian leaders are as apocalyptically motivated, paranoid and dogmatically anti-American as their pronouncements suggest they are.” At least in my reading, Brooks implies that “could” should be replaced by “is.”

There certainly are “apocalyptically motivated, paranoid and dogmatically anti-American” individuals within the Iranian power structure. But no nation is a monolith, and Iran is no exception. Continue reading

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