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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Foreign Policy

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John Bolton and Mike Pompeo Defy the International Criminal Court
Events just fly by in the ever-accelerating rush of Trump Time, so it’s easy enough to miss important ones in the chaos. Paul Manafort is sentenced twice and indicted a third time! Whoosh! Gone! The Senate agrees with the House that the United States should stop supporting Saudi Arabia in Yemen (and Mitch McConnell calls... Read More
One Organization at a Time
Sometimes the good guys do win. That’s what happened on August 8th in San Francisco when the Council of Representatives of the American Psychological Association (APA) decided to extend a policy keeping its members out of the U.S. detention center at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba. The APA’s decision is important -- and not just symbolically. Today... Read More
Confronting “That Part of the World”
My father and I always had a tacit agreement: “We will never speak of That Part of the World.” He’d grown up in an Orthodox Jewish family in Norfolk, Virginia. His own father, a refugee from early-twentieth-century pogroms in what is now Ukraine, had been the president of his local Zionist organization. A liberal in... Read More
...And a Crossroads
On April 19th, university students in Nicaragua’s capital, Managua, exploded onto the streets. Their initial demand? A more effective government response to wildfires burning out of control in the country’s most precious repository of biodiversity. Soon, a social wildfire took hold in Managua and then spread across the country. Thousands of Nicaraguans added a second... Read More
How Unpiloted Aircraft Expand the War on Terror
They are like the camel’s nose, lifting a corner of the tent. Don’t be fooled, though. It won’t take long until the whole animal is sitting inside, sipping your tea and eating your sweets. In countries around the world -- in the Middle East, Asia Minor, Central Asia, Africa, even the Philippines -- the appearance... Read More
War Crimes and War Criminals, Old and (Potentially) New
A barely noticed anniversary slid by on March 20th. It’s been 15 years since the United States committed the greatest war crime of the twenty-first century: the unprovoked, aggressive invasion of Iraq. The New York Times, which didn’t exactly cover itself in glory in the run-up to that invasion, recently ran an op-ed by an... Read More
Teaching in a Time of Wars
I was teaching the day the airplanes hit the World Trade Center. It was the second meeting of “The Communist Manifesto for Seminarians,” a course for my fellow graduate students. By the time I got to class, both towers had collapsed. A few hours later, Building 7 came down as well. We dispensed with a... Read More
And the Whole World Burns
“I’ve just heard that my family home near Carpenteria is literally in flames at this moment,” a friend told me recently. She was particularly worried, she said, because “my mom has MS. She and my dad got the call to evacuate after midnight last night. They were able to grab a few photos, my sister’s... Read More
Credit: Wikimedia Commons
Say It Again: The Enemy of Our Enemy Is Still a War Criminal
He received a prestigious award from the West Point Association of Graduates. He published a “runaway” bestselling autobiography. Last February, a lavishly produced book celebrating his paintings of Americans who served in the military was, as Time put it, “burning up the Amazon charts.” Still, the liberal media wasn’t ready to embrace George W. Bush... Read More
Nightmares Past and Present
Preventing a nuclear war between the United States and North Korea may be the most pressing challenge facing the world right now. Our childish, ignorant, and incompetent president is shoving all of us -- especially the people of Asia -- ever nearer to catastrophe. While North Korea probably hasn’t yet developed the missiles to deliver... Read More
And All the Men and Women Merely Soldiers
Since September 11, 2001, the United States has been fighting a “war on terror.” Real soldiers have been deployed to distant lands; real cluster bombs and white phosphorus have been used; real cruise missiles have been launched; the first MOAB, the largest non-nuclear bomb in the U.S. arsenal, has been dropped; and real cities have... Read More
Reality or Reality TV?
The headlines arrive in my inbox day after day: “U.S.-led airstrikes in Syria killed hundreds of civilians, U.N. panel says.” “Pentagon wants to declare more parts of world as temporary battlefields.” “The U.S. was supposed to leave Afghanistan by 2017. Now it might take decades.” There are so many wars and rumors of war involving... Read More
Torture, Rendition, and Indefinite Detention Under Trump
When George W. Bush and Dick Cheney launched their forever wars -- under the banner of a “Global War on Terror” -- they unleashed an unholy trinity of tactics. Torture, rendition, and indefinite detention became the order of the day. After a partial suspension of these policies in the Obama years, they now appear poised... Read More
Fighting the Forever War
In his inaugural address, President Trump described a dark and dismal United States, a country overrun by criminal gangs and drugs, a nation stained with the blood seeping from bullet-ridden corpses left at scenes of “American carnage.” It was more than a little jarring. Certainly, drug gangs and universally accessible semi-automatic weapons do not contribute... Read More
How Can We Recognize Our Friends in the Mixed-Up World of Donald Trump?
You know you’re living in a looking-glass world when former Vice President Dick Cheney speaks out against one of Donald Trump’s executive orders. He’s a good example of how past adversaries of movements for peace and justice are lining up against our current adversary, the new president. The United States, Cheney told radio host Hugh... Read More
Air strike in Sana\
The Forgotten War in Yemen and the Unchecked War Powers of the Presidency in the Age of Trump
The long national nightmare that was the 2016 presidential election is finally over. Now, we’re facing a worse terror: the reality of a Trump presidency. Donald Trump has already promised to nominate a segregationist attorney general, a national security adviser who is a raging Islamophobe, a secretary of education who doesn’t believe in public schools,... Read More
An Illegal Military Strategy Disguised as Technological Advance
Think of it as the Trojan Drone, the ultimate techno-weapon of American warfare in these years, a single remotely operated plane sent to take out a single key figure. It's a shiny video game for grown ups -- a Mortal Kombator Call of Duty where the animated enemies bleed real blood. Just like the giant... Read More
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Should George Bush, Dick Cheney, and Others Be Jailed?
"The cold was terrible but the screams were worse," Sara Mendez told the BBC. "The screams of those who were being tortured were the first thing you heard and they made you shiver. That's why there was a radio blasting day and night." In the 1970s, Mendez was a young Uruguayan teacher with leftist leanings.... Read More
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The Shameful Ordeal of Abu Zubaydah
The allegations against the man were serious indeed. * Donald Rumsfeld said he was “if not the number two, very close to the number two person” in al-Qaeda. * The Central Intelligence Agency informed Assistant Attorney General Jay Bybee that he “served as Usama Bin Laden’s senior lieutenant. In that capacity, he has managed a... Read More
Candidates Compete to Promise the Most Torture and Slaughter
From the look of the presidential campaign, war crimes are back on the American agenda. We really shouldn’t be surprised, because American officials got away with it last time -- and in the case of the drone warscontinue to get away with it today. Still, there’s nothing like the heady combination of a “populist” Republican... Read More
Keep the U.S. Military Out
This year’s Nobel Peace Prize went to Tunisia’s National Dialogue Quartet “for its decisive contribution to the building of a pluralistic democracy... in the wake of the Jasmine Revolution of 2011.” The Quartet is a group of four organizations -- two national labor unions, a business group, and a lawyers' association -- whose work helped... Read More
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How to Censor Yourself Before the Government Even Has the Chance
It was August 2002. My partner Jan Adams and I were just beginning our annual pilgrimage to Massachusetts to visit my father and stepmother. At the check-in line at San Francisco International Airport, we handed over our driver’s licenses and waited for the airline ticket agent to find our flight and reservation. Suddenly, she got... Read More
The Failed War on Drugs in Mexico (and the United States)
They behead people by the hundreds. They heap headless, handless bodies along roadsides as warnings to those who would resist their power. They havepenetrated the local, state, and national governments and control entire sections of the country. They provide employment and services to an impoverished public, which distrusts their actual government with its bitter record... Read More
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A Gallery of American Heroes
Why was it again that, as President Obama said, “we tortured some folks” after the 9/11 attacks? Oh, right, because we were terrified. Because everyone knows that being afraid gives you moral license to do whatever you need to do to keep yourself safe. That’s why we don’t shame or punish those who were too... Read More
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Beyond the Senate Torture Report
It’s the political story of the week in Washington. At long last, after the endless stalling and foot-shuffling, the arguments about redaction and CIA computer hacking, the claims that its release might stoke others out there in the Muslim world to violence and “throw the C.I.A. to the wolves,” the report -- you know which... Read More
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Still Living With Jack Bauer in a Terrified New American World
Once upon a time, if a character on TV or in a movie tortured someone, it was a sure sign that he was a bad guy. Now, the torturers are the all-American heroes. From 24 to Zero Dark Thirty, it’s been the good guys who wielded the pliers and the waterboards. We’re not only living... Read More
PastClassics
What Was John McCain's True Wartime Record in Vietnam?
Are elite university admissions based on meritocracy and diversity as claimed?