Qatar Deserves Kudos for Handling Crisis with Maturity and Logic

Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates (UAE), Bahrain and Egypt had listed 13 demands on June 23, 2017, warning that there would be serious consequences if Qatar failed to yield by July 2. Qatar rejected the ultimatum and the four countries have not yet carried out their threats. Instead, they have softened their stand, vaguely signaling that it might be enough if Qatar were to accede to ‘Six Principles’. In short, there has been no escalation and we Continue Reading...

Did UAE Plant Fake News about Qatar to Fool Trump?

The intrepid Karen DeYoung and Ellen Nakashima report at the Washington Post that anonymous US intelligence officials have decided to go public with what they know about the attempt of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to frame Qatar. The hacking attack on May 23 that planted fake news, such as doctored video showing the emir of Qatar praising Hamas, the fundamentalist Palestinian party-militia, and praising Iran, was planned out by high Continue Reading...

“Can You Believe the World We Live In?” Trump Doesn’t Understand “Classified”

Donald Trump is most probably not a Russian spy.  He may have unusual connections to Russian businessmen (that isn’t clear), and seems to have made $100 million off Russia since 2008 (not that huge a sum for a multi-billionaire). Donald Trump is a braggart.  He grabs a piece of information the way a crow grabs paste jewelry.  Unlike the crow who will likely hoard it, Trump passes it around for all to see. Continue Reading...

Does Trump’s slashed Foreign Aid Budget give China the Advantage?

The US foreign aid budget is not mainly about helping the poor.  It is an instrument for buying influence in countries important to the US.  The poorest countries in the world do not get much help from the US. Israel, which is a wealthy country, gets over $3 billion a year, some of it going to Israeli civilians!  Egypt is a relatively poor country, but most US aid to Cairo goes to the Egyptian military.  In fact, they don’t need or know what to Continue Reading...

Selling Purim to Progressives in the Era of Trump

It has been my custom to reproduce this “Selling Purim to Progressives” post occasionally on Purim.  The last time was in 2015, when we were in the midst of the Iran negotiations. Well, since then the world made a deal with Iran.  Trump may say that it's a lousy deal, but he doesn't plan on changing it soon, certainly not to Bibi's liking.  And as for the guy who's running Trump, forget about it; Putin is telling Bibi to move on. That's the Continue Reading...

Russia Scandal Math: How The President Called Trump Can Be Brought Down Hard

Everything, as they say, is now perfectly clear.  Except what still isn't clear at all.  If you, like many millions of Americans, are praying that the Donald Trump presidency crashes and burns, the clearest path not involving a Caine Mutiny moment in which he gets frog-walked from the Oval Office in a straightjacket as he clutches his smartphone and madly tweets is to follow the scent of the smoking guns in the Russia scandal.  There are several Continue Reading...

The Sadism of Racist Exclusion: Courts Temporarily Block Trump

Picking on immigrants and refugees is the act of a sadistic bully, since they are the one fairly large group of residents of the United States whose constitutional rights are disputed.  The executive order Trump signed late on Friday suspending entrance to the United States for citizens of seven countries and canceling the US refugee program for four months is probably illegal.  The 1965 immigration law forbids discriminating against immigrants Continue Reading...

Triumphant Trump and American Foreign Policy

President Barack Obama, in his last official overseas tour to Greece, Germany, and Peru, reassured Europe that there would be continuity in American foreign policy under President-elect Donald Trump.  While Obama tried to convince his interlocutors about continuity in US policy, Trump’s statements during the campaign brought alarm and concern to America’s allies.  Obama himself had called Trump as ‘unqualified’ to be President and a peddler of Continue Reading...

Israel/Palestine: Relegating the One State/Two State Debate to the Dustbin of History

Following Secretary of State John Kerry's speech on Israel-Palestine, Professor Corey Robin pointed out the following on Facebook: "There's something so surreal about the state of the Israel/Palestine debate in this country.  John Kerry makes a speech today, warning that if we don't act soon, the two-state solution may be in jeopardy.  Liberals swoon: Unprecedented!  Conservatives seethe: Unprecedented!  Meanwhile, on April 18, 2013, John Continue Reading...