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

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Germany, France, and Most US Experts Against Arming Ukraine

With our nation edging closer to sending lethal aid to Ukraine, it would be well to consider why Angela Merkel, François Hollande, and two-thirds of the US experts surveyed by Foreign Affairs magazine think that’s a mistake. Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Ambassador Matlock Sees the Nuclear Dimension to Ukraine

In a post earlier this month, I decried that the news coverage of the Ukrainian crisis was largely overlooking the nuclear dimension to the risk, and thereby increasing it. As I listened today to the Q&A following Ambassador Jack Matlock’s February 11 speech, I was pleased to see him repeatedly highlight that concern. I therefore began to transcribe the Q&A, and share what I’ve done thus far under my signature line. (Times refer to the video.) If anyone has the time to continue the process, please post it as a comment. Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Reagan’s Ambassador to Moscow Says US Suffers from Autistic Foreign Policy

Three days ago, I posted excerpts I had found in news articles from an important but overlooked speech by Ambassador Jack Matlock. Today I found both a full transcript of his speech and its YouTube video. Matlock was our Ambassador to Moscow under Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush. Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Tale of Two Insurgencies

What’s this? A comparison between Ronald Reagan and Vladimir Putin by a respected international expert on Harvard’s faculty! Prof. Stephen Walt does not say that the two men are moral equivalents or that Putin deserves our sympathy – in fact he says the opposite. But Walt does draw a surprising parallel between Reagan’s actions in Nicaragua in the 1980s and Putin’s in  Ukraine today. His paper in Foreign Policy is titled, “What Putin Learned From Reagan.” I encourage you to read the entire article, but I’ve excerpted some key passages below my signature line. Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment