The Unz Review: An Alternative Media Selection
A Collection of Interesting, Important, and Controversial Perspectives Largely Excluded from the American Mainstream Media
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Middle East

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Giving Advice to a Presidential Candidate Who Wants to “Do Something”
How can we stop the Islamic State? Imagine yourself shaken awake, rushed off to a strategy meeting with your presidential candidate of choice, and told: “Come up with a plan for me to do something about ISIS!” What would you say? What Hasn't Worked You'd need to start with a persuasive review of what hasn't... Read More
Why the Gulf States, the Kurds, the Turks, the Sunnis, and the Shia Won’t Fight America’s War
In the many strategies proposed to defeat the Islamic State (IS) by presidential candidates, policymakers, and media pundits alike across the American political spectrum, one common element stands out: someone else should really do it. The United States will send in planes, advisers, and special ops guys, but it would be best -- and this... Read More
What Could Possibly Go Wrong (October 2015 Edition)
What if the U.S. had not invaded Iraq in 2003? How would things be different in the Middle East today? Was Iraq, in the words of presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, the "worst foreign policy blunder" in American history? Let's take a big-picture tour of the Middle East and try to answer those questions. But first,... Read More
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U.S.-Iranian Relations Emerge from a 30-Year Cold War
Don't sweat the details of the July nuclear accord between the United States and Iran. What matters is that the calculus of power in the Middle East just changed in significant ways. Washington and Tehran announced their nuclear agreement on July 14th and yes, some of the details are still classified. Of course the Obama... Read More
Twelve Years Later, We Know the Winner in Iraq: Iran
The U.S. is running around in circles in the Middle East, patching together coalitions here, acquiring strange bedfellows there, and in location after location trying to figure out who the enemy of its enemy actually is. The result is just what you'd expect: chaos further undermining whatever’s left of the nations whose frailty birthed the... Read More
John Kerry is a Figure of His Times (and That's Not a Good Thing)
In the 1960s, John Kerry was distinctly a man of his times. Kennedy-esque, he went from Yale to Vietnam to fight in a lost war. When popular sentiments on that war shifted, he became one of the more poignant voices raised in protest by antiwar veterans. Now, skip past his time as a congressman, lieutenant... Read More
About Peter Van Buren

Peter Van Buren spent a year in Iraq serving as Team Leader for two Provincial Reconstruction Teams (PRTs) as a State Department Foreign Service Officer. Now in Washington, he writes about Iraq and the Middle East at his blog We Meant Well. His book, We Meant Well: How I Helped Lose the War for the Hearts and Minds of the Iraqi People (The American Empire Project, Metropolitan Books) will be published this September.


PastClassics
What Was John McCain's True Wartime Record in Vietnam?
Are elite university admissions based on meritocracy and diversity as claimed?