Iran and the case for realism
Aug31

Iran and the case for realism

WASHINGTON — Foreign policy debates rarely get away from being reflections of domestic political conflicts, but they are also usually based on unstated assumptions and unacknowledged theories. That’s true of the struggle over the Iran nuclear agreement, even if raw politics is playing an exceptionally large role. There are many indications that Republican Sens. Jeff Flake and Susan Collins might in other circumstances be...

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‘Been There, Done That’ Congressman Supports the Iran Nuclear Deal
Aug24

‘Been There, Done That’ Congressman Supports the Iran Nuclear Deal

Seth Moulton is a Democrat representing the people of Massachusetts in Congress. But he is also a veteran — a combat veteran that is — who served his country as a Marine Corps infantry officer during four tours of duty in Iraq over five years, although he was firmly against the Iraq War. He left the Marines in 2008 with the rank of Captain and was elected to Congress in 2014. Seth led an infantry platoon during the 2003...

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Scotland Is Banning GMOs, but Is It the Right Move?
Aug24

Scotland Is Banning GMOs, but Is It the Right Move?

The Scottish government has announced that it will ban the growing of genetically modified (GM) crops. The move is in response to new rules by the European Union (EU) that allow countries to opt out of growing EU-approved GM crops, including corn and six other crops that are expected to be authorized shortly. Rural Affairs Secretary Richard Lochhead described the move as one primarily motivated by economics, saying that “There is no...

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The Faces of the Heroes in Train Attack in France
Aug23

The Faces of the Heroes in Train Attack in France

The U.S. Air Force has released a set of photos of the three American heroes who, through their actions, saved “countless” lives during what the Air Force describes as “a terrorist attack aboard a train headed toward Paris Aug. 21.” Read more here and here. Lead photo: Airman 1st Class Spencer Stone along with Jane D. Hartly, the U.S. ambassador to France, and his two friends speak at a press conference in Paris Aug. 23,...

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(Updates) Two U.S. Troops, ‘Heroes’ in Train Attack, Named
Aug23

(Updates) Two U.S. Troops, ‘Heroes’ in Train Attack, Named

Update III: In continuing updates, the U.K. Telegraph is providing additional details about the foiled attack on the Amsterdam to Paris train on Friday evening. The Telegraph has identified the passenger who was first to attempt to grab the gunman’s AK-47 as Mark Mooligan, an American-born professor at the Sorbonne. The Telegraph: [Mr.Mooligan] tackled the Kalashnikov assault rifle off El-Khazzani, who then drew a sidearm and shot him...

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What’s Really At Stake With The Iran Nuclear Deal  (Guest Voice)
Aug20

What’s Really At Stake With The Iran Nuclear Deal (Guest Voice)

What’s Really At Stake With The Iran Nuclear Deal By Robert Berke for Oilprice.com Recently, I wrote on these pages that a remarkable turnaround was taking place in the President’s fortunes. It’s an impressive display of rising from the depths of falling popularity last fall, and it is starting to be felt in many areas, with major impacts on the future of energy. At his lowest point, the U.S. President was widely...

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The Berlin Wall:  Where Is it Now?
Aug18

The Berlin Wall: Where Is it Now?

On Thursday, August 13, a very special segment of the Berlin Wall was unveiled at the U.S. Diplomacy Center in Washington, D.C. (above), presently under construction. It is one of approximately 54,000, 2.6 ton reinforced concrete slabs, each measuring over 10 feet high and 4 feet wide, that were used to construct the infamous Wall. On the 25th anniversary of the night when “the Wall came down,” I wrote: The Wall did not...

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After 54 Years, the Stars and Stripes Fly over U.S. Embassy in Cuba Once Again
Aug14

After 54 Years, the Stars and Stripes Fly over U.S. Embassy in Cuba Once Again

On July 1, President Obama announced that the United States had agreed to formally re-establish diplomatic relations with the Republic of Cuba and re-open embassies in our respective countries. Today, more than 54 years after the flag came down, “[w]atched over by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, U.S. Marines raised the American flag at the embassy in Cuba… symbolically ushering in an era of renewed diplomatic relations between the...

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Breaking News:  Venezuela Is Running Out of Beer
Aug09

Breaking News: Venezuela Is Running Out of Beer

The political, economic, social and humanitarian crises (plural) in Venezuela have now been raging for several years and, according to Business Insider, are now “nearing a tipping point.” For a while, a lot was being written about the Venezuelan crisis and chaos — especially about the human rights abuses — and how Venezuela was “unraveling”. But then, perhaps in part due to our own domestic Trump-mania, this...

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Military Weekend: With the World’s Children
Aug07

Military Weekend: With the World’s Children

Previous “Military Weekends” have focused on our military training, flying, fighting and doing the things military do, but also on our troops fighting wildfires, rendering humanitarian assistance during disasters, and coming home to happy reunions with their loved ones. This time the focus is on children — at home and around the world — and our military’s interactions with them, whether it is providing medical care,...

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(UPDATE) Breaking News: Debris Found on Réunion Island May Be From Lost Malaysia Jetliner
Aug06

(UPDATE) Breaking News: Debris Found on Réunion Island May Be From Lost Malaysia Jetliner

As originally reported, below, although Malaysia’s prime minister declared that the flaperon definitely came from the doomed MH370 aircraft, an official in Paris yesterday stopped short of making such a “definitive” assertion, saying only that there are “very strong presumptions” that the flaperon actually came from the missing Boeing 777, “after experts inspected the object.” The New York Times in additional coverage this morning: A...

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Afghan civilian carnage rising, UN says
Aug05

Afghan civilian carnage rising, UN says

The carnage of civilians in Afghanistan has worsened as the pro-US President, Mohammad Ashraf Ghani, struggles to find a path of peace talks with rebel Taliban leaders with Pakistan’s help. Caught up in fight against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, the US seems to have left Ghani and his people to stew in their own mess. The United Nations reported that 1,592 civilians died and 3,329 were injured in Afghanistan during the first...

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Has It Really Been 70 Years? Shinichi’s Trike & The Lessons Of War
Aug05

Has It Really Been 70 Years? Shinichi’s Trike & The Lessons Of War

Shinichi Tetsutani loved to ride his beloved tricycle outside his house in Higashi-Hakushima-Cho, a neighborhood in the Japanese port city of Hiroshima. Shin-chan, as his family affectionately called the three-year-old, was doing just that on the morning of August 6, 1945 when there was a brilliant flash in the sky. The boy was about a quarter mile from the hypocenter of the detonation of the first nuclear weapon to be used in anger,...

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Unable And Unfit To Govern
Aug01

Unable And Unfit To Govern

Over at Slate William Saletan documents how the debate on the Iran nuclear deal prove that the today’s Republican party is unable and unfit to govern.  I’m not going to do any copy and paste so go to the link to read it.  We have a few things going on here and if you were to make a Venn diagram there would be a good deal of overlap. The neocon dead enders who see war as the the solution to everything. Those who can’t...

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Ideology Damaging American Businesses
Jul29

Ideology Damaging American Businesses

America is seen by the world as the fount of capitalism, ideologues on both the right and the left are hurting U.S. businesses in their attempts to compete globally. Constraints on companies’ profits, sales, and development are occurring because politicians in legislative bodies and government agencies on the federal, state, and local levels are making policy decisions about how firms should be run and what actions are necessary to...

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UK Moves to Banish Oil Companies from Cultural Institutions
Jul29

UK Moves to Banish Oil Companies from Cultural Institutions

We heard recently about efforts in the Netherlands to sue the government over its failure to act on climate change. A similar effort was unsuccessful in the US a number of years ago, but the shadow of possibility still exists. Now, we have another story—this time out of the UK—about efforts by activists to forcibly eject Big Oil and its corrupting influence from Britain’s cultural institutions. Under the guise of “sponsorships,” some...

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The Olympics
Jul27

The Olympics

Few if any cities or countries have been better off after they hosted the Olympic Games.  The people of Boston have figured that out and told the Olympic Committee no thanks. The city of Boston is ending its bid for the 2024 Olympic Games, conceding to residents who’ve vocally protested the idea for months. Poll numbers have shown that a majority of people in the region were opposed to hosting the Games, which have become...

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Racist tweet mars U.S. – Israel relations (Guest Voice)
Jul27

Racist tweet mars U.S. – Israel relations (Guest Voice)

Racist tweet mars U.S. – Israel relations by Rabbi Ben Kamin ENCINITAS, California — The Washington Post and other sources have reported on a regrettable tweet dispatched—and then withdrawn—by Judy Shalom Nir-Mozes, who is married to Israel’s deputy prime minster, Silvan Shalom. She is also is a prominent media personality in her own right. The despicable tweet was as follows: “Do u know what Obama Coffee is? Black and weak.” Ms....

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Mitt Romney – Know Nothing
Jul23

Mitt Romney – Know Nothing

Over at The American Conservative Daniel Larison reminds us how lucky we are that Mitt Romney lost in 2012.  In an editorial in The Wall Street Journal he once again demonstrates that he has no knowledge of foreign policy and in addition listens to all the wrong people to make up for this deficit.  He makes it sound like Iran and it’s government are a bunch of suicide bombers who will use the bomb once they get it.  I suspect he...

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From Russia, With Love
Jul22

From Russia, With Love

Two days in St. Petersburg and speaking with a small sample of Russian citizens (who know English) has led me to a few conclusions. Russians love Putin (as the polls suggest) and are pleased that he has made the nation a powerful presence again in world affairs. They agree with his grabbing of the Crimea as they believe it is really Russian territory and should have never been given to the Ukraine in the first place. Russians also...

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