Monthly Archives: March 2008

Will Russia Partition Kosovo?

Why my tea-leaf reading suggests that Moscow has a nasty surprise in store for Washington in the Balkans Continue reading

Posted in Futures Market | Tagged , , | 10 Comments

Iraq and U.S. Faith in Violence

Guest Column: Alastair Crooke warns of a dangerous fantasy that persists in Western capitals in which the West faces an “onslaught” from “radical Islam.” The problem is that this intersects all too tragically with a the persistent belief in Washington and elsewhere that by applying its overwhelming advantage in military force, the U.S. can do good in the world and vanquish evil, bringing to bear the transformative impact of violence in the way that a Hollywood hero might. Continue reading

Posted in Guest Columns, Situation Report | 14 Comments

Yummy yummy Umami

Why a leftover lamb bone turned a bean stew into an ecstatic event Continue reading

Posted in Cuisine | 8 Comments

Iraq War Honor Roll

Saluting those who actually got it right on Iraq — i.e. not Kristol or Krauthammer, Peter Beinart or George Packer Continue reading

Posted in 99c Blogging | 10 Comments

Spare Us More ‘Globalization & Football’

The claim that Egypt’s Cup of Nations win “proves” that stronger domestic leagues make stronger international sides is not born out by football’s bigger picture. In fact, the teams that do best internationally are those with weaker domestic leagues Continue reading

Posted in Glancing Headers | 23 Comments

Iraq, an American ‘Nakbah’

American Taliban council of war

Five years into the catastrophe (for millions of Iraqis, and ultimately, for millions of Americans) in Iraq, has the media really asked itself how it enabled this war. Not only was it patently obvious that there was no evidence to back up the case for war, there was no questioning of its basic premise, i.e. that certain categories of weapons in the hands of a rival regime forced the U.S. to “preemptively” invade another country without provocation Continue reading

Posted in Situation Report, The 51st State | Tagged , , | 9 Comments

The Abbas-Hamas Delirium

Those who’re always seeking a Palestinian Mandela ought to take notice of the latest survey results of Palestinian public opinion, that show the only candidate capable of beating Hamas in a free and fair election is the imprisoned Fatah leader Marwan Barghouti. The problem, of course, is that Barghouti — far more popular in Fatah than is Abbas — is an Israeli prison. And more importantly, he has no intention of playing the Palestinian Petain role that has been created for Abbas Continue reading

Posted in Situation Report | Tagged , , , , , | 19 Comments

Who’s Afraid of Dick Cheney?

If you’re among those who thinks that Cheney’s tour of the Middle East is a sign that the U.S. is preparing to attack Iran, you need to watch this video. Like Monty Python’s “Black Knight,” Cheney can threaten all he wants, but that doesn’t mean the U.S. is in any position to launch a war of choice against an opponent far more formidable than any it has faced on Bush’s watch Continue reading

Posted in Situation Report | 20 Comments

My Dinner With Dalglish

Well, not mine, Fernando’s. Brilliant video piece on the passing of the torch among Anfield legends Continue reading

Posted in Glancing Headers | Tagged , , | 11 Comments

Behind the Fall of “Fox” Fallon

Guest Column: Mark Perry. When Admiral William “Fox” Fallon resigned, or was forced out, of his position as head of the U.S. military’s Central Command, responsible for Iraq and Afghanistan, and for Iran if there were any conflict with Iran, much of the speculation hinged over Fallon’s very public opposition to Washington’s saber-rattling at Tehran. It struck me, though, that there was something misleading and melodramatic in the media reports suggesting, like the Esquire piece that proved his undoing, that Fallon was somehow a lone voice of opposition, a singular hero obstructing a march to war with Iran, like the man putting his body in the path of the Tiananmen-bound tank from 1989’s most famous news photograph. The opposition to war with Iran being expressed by Fallon is shared, as far as I know, by the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and by Defense Secretary Gates himself. So, for some explanation of the dynamics at work, I turned to my friend Mark Perry, longtime defense and security analyst in Washington with his ear to the ground in the U.S. capital.
Continue reading

Posted in Guest Columns, Situation Report | 31 Comments