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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Last week, the world’s most populous nations, India and China, both nuclear armed, clashed in the high Himalayan region of Ladakh. At least 20 Indian troops died and 12 were reportedly taken prisoner before a cease-fire went into effect. So far, there were no reports of Chinese casualties. Ladakh is one of the world’s most... Read More
Washington-based military think tanks constantly warn of possible attacks by the wicked North Koreans who have a large arsenal of chemical and biological weapons and missiles to deliver to North America. So do Britain, France, Russia, India, Pakistan, China, India and Israel. The US still has a very large, lethal arsenal of chemical and biological... Read More
The world is getting sick from the spreading COVID-19 virus. North Americans and Europeans are now as horrified as Chinese by the invisible killer that has put their hospitals under siege. They are also getting a grim foretaste of what biological warfare would be like. Those not cowering in terror in their homes would likely... Read More
This is one of the most important maxims of military history. Every young officer should have it drilled into his head. Yet the confused administration of President Donald Trump has been doing just this as it fights an invisible foe no one expected. Trump, who dodged US military service using phony doctor certificated about his... Read More
After 19 years of war, over $1 trillion in spending, 2,400 dead and a torrent of lies, the US may now be facing an end to its longest war. The US invaded Afghanistan in 2001. There were three reasons: 1. to cover up the humiliation of the tough-talking Bush administration for being caught sleeping on... Read More
President Donald Trump’s 36-hour whirlwind visit to India this past week was designed to show Americans just how adored abroad their president really is. Unluckily for Trump, his campaign stop at this behemoth nation of 1.3 or 1.4 billion proved a fiasco. First came the terrifying Chinese coronavirus that so far has killed less people... Read More
The US Senate, long the lap dog of the man who would be king, President Donald Trump, appears to have finally remembered its proper constitutional role. Last week, the Senate voted 55/45 for a new bipartisan War Powers Act to constrain military action against Iran. The Congress voted a similar act. Both are designed to... Read More
In 1916, as World War I raged on, a British diplomat, Mark Sykes, met with his French counterpart from the Quai d’Orsay, Monsieur Picot, and signed an agreement to partition the Ottoman Empire once victory was achieved. The heart of the Mideast – Palestine, Syria and Iraq – was divided between Britain and France. Italy... Read More
Congress just passed a near trillion dollar military budget at a time when the United States faces no evident state threats at home or abroad. Ike was right. Illustrating Ike’s prescient warning, Brown University’s respected Watson Institute just released a major study which found that the so-called ‘wars on terror’ in Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria and... Read More
What ever happened to Iraq? Is it not an independent country with a democratic government thanks to the 2003 US invasion? So says Washington. The murder of senior Iranian military commander Qassem Soleimani suddenly shone a strobe light on ‘independent’ Iraq, and what we saw was not pretty. Welcome to the new Imperialism 101. Iraq’s... Read More
France’s favorite sports are striking and street demonstrations. At heart, most French are revolutionaries and protestors. In France, the answer to every problem seems to be ‘aux barricades!’ (to the barricades!). Demonstrations are typically followed by a hearty lunch. But this time things in the Republique have gone way beyond the usual day off from... Read More
The US drone strike at Baghdad airport that killed Iran’s top commander, Gen. Qassem Soleimani, and a senior leader of Iraq’s Shia militia, has set the Mideast on fire. The Trump administration, which authorized the assassination, called it a ’pre-emptive’ strike. Iran branded it ‘outright murder.’ Soleimani was Iran’s second most powerful figure and a... Read More
“In our country the lie has become not just a moral category but a pillar of the State.”. Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn This week, the venerable Washington Post newspaper revealed a bombshell, 2,000 page, secret Pentagon report detailing the astounding failure of US war strategy in Afghanistan, America’s longest war. Americans have been fed a steady stream... Read More
Citizens of France. To arms! Man the ramparts. The American barbarians are coming. They shall not pass! Le Trump’s threat to France’s splendid wines and Roquefort cheese are the gravest menace France has faced since the Germans invaded this fair land in 1914. Burgundy wines and France’s 300 fromages form the very soul of la... Read More
Victor Hugo said of the devastated Balkans in the 19th century: ‘The Turks have passed by here. All is in ruins or mourning.’ Welcome to modern Iraq. The British were always masters of efficient imperialism. In the 19th century, they managed to rule a quarter of the Earth’s surface with only a relatively small army... Read More
What a mess. The imperial cooks in Washington have turned poor Syria into a poison pit of warring factions, with disastrous results for all. Henry Kissinger once quipped that it is more dangerous being America’s ally than its enemy. A good example is how Washington used the Kurds in Syria to fight ISIS and then... Read More
More war in wretched Syria. Half the population is now refugees; entire cities lie shattered by bombing; bands of crazed gunmen run rampant; US, French, Israeli and Russian warplanes bomb widely. Now, adding to the chaos, President Donald Trump has finally given Turkey, NATO’s second military power, the green light to invade parts of northeastern... Read More
China is a sleeping giant. Let her sleep, for when she wakes she will move the world.” Napoleon Bonaparte France’s future emperor never saw China, but he was wise enough to understand its immense latent strength and future importance. Two centuries after making this prediction, China has proved the Corsican correct. Last week, China feted... Read More
A crime worthy of impeachment? Not really, just another unethical, improper, crass act by President Donald Trump. Many Democrats are cock-a-hoop over the idea of impeaching Trump. They would bed down with the Devil just to get rid of the boor in the White House. But unless really damning information emerges regarding Trump’s efforts to... Read More
The Mideast has its own variety of crazy humor. The Saudis have been blasting and bombing wretched Yemen, one of this world’s poorest nations, since 2015. These US-supported attacks and a naval blockade of Yemen imposed by Saudi Arabia and its sidekick ally, the United Arab Emirates, have caused mass starvation. No one knows how... Read More
A large number of Americans still don’t believe the official version of the 9/11 attacks on New York and Washington. I am one of them. The government and tame media version – that crazed Muslims directed by Osama bin Laden attacked New York’s twin towers and the Pentagon because they hated ‘our freedoms’ and our... Read More
After 18 years of war in Afghanistan– America’s longest – US and Taliban negotiators are said to be close to an agreement that may see the withdrawal of many of the 14,000 US soldiers in that remote nation. That’s the official version. President Donald Trump keeps changing his mind about the number of US troops... Read More
Time was when flying to Hong Kong was a really big thrill – or maybe scare would be a better term. Its old airport, Kai Tak, was right in the middle of bustling downtown Hong Kong. Flying into Kai Tak used up 11 of one’s 12 lives. The wide-bodied jumbo aircraft would drop down into... Read More
Two of the world’s most important powers, India and Pakistan, are locked into an extremely dangerous confrontation over the bitterly disputed Himalayan mountain state of Kashmir. Both are nuclear armed. Kashmir has been a flashpoint since Imperial Britain divided India in 1947. India and Pakistan have fought numerous wars and conflicts over majority Muslim Kashmir.... Read More
Britain’s new prime minister, Boris Johnson, is being called by many ‘the British Trump.’ It’s an easy comparison, given their quirky, confrontational styles, prominent blond hair, tribal politics and xenophobic policies. But they are not alike. Johnson is a literate, witty product of Britain’s finest educational institutions, Eton and Oxford, who down-plays his erudition and... Read More
NEW YORK – I’ve had many strange experiences in my decades of covering intelligence affairs. These run from being invited to KGB HQ in Moscow, Chinese intelligence in Beijing, US intelligence in Virginia, Libyan intelligence in Tripoli, South African intelligence, and even Albanian intelligence in Tirana. But none was odder than the day I was... Read More
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Turkey has just called Donald Trump’s bluff by going ahead with the purchase of Russian S-400 anti-aircraft missiles. The outrage in Washington is volcanic. Trump is vowing to rain fire and brimstone sanctions down on the disobedient Turks. The S-400 is Russia’s premier anti-air missile. It is believed highly effective against all forms of aircraft... Read More
President Donald Trump’s attempt to sell the Brooklyn Bridge to the Palestinians – using Gulf Arab oil money – has so far been a resounding failure, as was widely predicted. The so-called ‘Deal of the Century’ turned out to be a shabby swindle. I watched Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, deliver the first part of his... Read More
Morgarten, Switzerland – Here, in 1315, a force of Swiss mountaineers ambushed an invading force of Austrian feudal knights who had come to reassert Hapsburg feudal rule over the rebellious Swiss. The burly Swiss farmers and woodsmen from the forest cantons Unterwalden, Uri and Schwytz fell upon the close-packed Austrian knights and men-at-arms, using long... Read More
Who is attacking oil tankers in the Gulf between Oman and Iran? So far, the answer is still a mystery. The US, of course, accuses Iran. Iran says it’s the US or its local allies Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. Magnetic mines are blamed for the damage, though there have been claims of... Read More
How fleeting is glory! Back in 1998, the South Asian Journalists Association proclaimed me ‘Journalist of the Year’ for a newspaper article I had written about India. But the next year the award was angrily rescinded after I wrote that India should compromise with Pakistan over the festering Kashmir conflict. Prickly Indians didn’t like being... Read More
President Donald Trump claimed this week that he does not want war with Iran. If he really believes this, the president ought to look into what his subordinates are doing. Among their bellicose actions are deployment of the ‘Abraham Lincoln CVN-72’ carrier task force to the coast of Iran, massing a strike package of B-52... Read More
Is it just a coincidence that TV networks are re-running old ‘Dirty Harry’ films just as a powerful US Naval armada and Air Force B-52 bombers are headed for what could be a clash with Iran? Here we go again with the ‘good guys’ versus the ‘bad guys,’ and ‘make my day.’ Maybe it’s more... Read More
Sure. Let’s invade Venezuela. Another jolly little war. It’s full of commies and has a sea of oil. The only thing those Cuban-loving Venezuelans lack are weapons of mass destruction. This week, leading US neocons openly threatened that if the CIA’s latest attempts to stage a coup to overthrow Venezuela’s Maduro government failed, Washington might... Read More
The world is still reeling in horror from the deadly Sri Lanka bombings that may have been the work of Islamic State madmen. Poor Sri Lanka has suffered so much after three decades of civil war and communal strife. We weep for this beautiful and once gentle nation. But behind the horror in Sri Lanka,... Read More
Peru’s former charismatic president, Alan García, once hailed ‘the John F. Kennedy of Latin America,’ killed himself with a pistol this past Wednesday. What a tragedy and waste of a brilliant man. In 1985, I flew to Lima to interview García for New York’s Wall Street Journal. He had just assumed office; I believe I... Read More
Algeria has long been the forgotten nation of North Africa. But now, it is bursting into the news as the latest example of popular revolution in the woefully misgoverned Arab word. After seven weeks of mass street protests, Algeria’s ruler for the past two decades, Abdelaziz Bouteflika, finally faced the inevitable and resigned after a... Read More
Sixteen years ago, the US and Britain committed a crime of historic proportion, the invasion and destruction of Iraq. It was as egregious an aggression as Nazi Germany’s 1939 invasion of Poland. Large numbers of Iraqi civilians died from 2003-2007. Iraq’s water and sewage systems were bombed, causing widespread cholera. The UN estimated 500,000 Iraqi... Read More
“Tell me who you cannot criticize and I will tell you who is your master”. (Attributed to Voltaire). Saying anything negative about Israel has long been the third rail of US politics and media. Israel is our nation’s most sacred cow. Any questioning of its behavior brings furious charges of anti-Semitism and professional oblivion. I... Read More
President Donald Trump’s air trip to Vietnam cost taxpayers $5,695,000 just for the president’s flying Taj Mahal. Plus millions more for his retainers, the presidential limo, hotel rooms, meals, security details and only Ho Chi Minh knows what else. For what? A nice photo op and a cheery dinner for the two leaders in Hanoi.... Read More
  While Americans were obsessing over a third-rate actor’s fake claims of a racial assault, old foes India and Pakistan were rattling their nuclear weapons in a very dangerous crisis over Kashmir. But hardly anyone noticed that nuclear war could break out in South Asia. India and Pakistan, both nuclear-armed, have fought four wars over... Read More
Warsaw, Poland is not a fun place to visit in darkest February, but that is where the US just staged an anti-Iranian jamboree of 60 client states that brought derision and scorn from Europeans and much of the Mideast. The point of this cynical exercise was to lay the diplomatic groundwork for an anti-Iranian coalition... Read More
President Donald Trump and the neocon sofa samurais who surround him seem determined to pick a fight with China or Russia, or both at the same time. Later this month, the US and China are due to try to end their long-running trade war which has damaged the economies of both nations. At the heart... Read More
An ancient Hindu prayer says, ‘Lord Shiva, save us from the claw of the tiger, the fang of the cobra, and the vengeance of the Afghan.’ The United States, champion of freedom and self-determination, is now in its 18th year of colonial war in Afghanistan. This miserable, stalemated conflict is America’s longest and most shameful... Read More
Reports coming in about China’s new gulag for Muslims seem too awful to believe. But the United Nations and responsible media have revealed that hundreds of thousands of Uighur Muslims from western China – and perhaps as many as one million – have been shut away in a growing chain of prison camps designed to... Read More
The United States and China look like two punch-drunk prizefighters squaring off for a major championship fight. They have no good reason to fight and every reason to cooperate now that both their stock markets have been in turmoil. Six hundred point market swings down and then up look like symptoms of economic nervous breakdown.... Read More
President Trump has done the right thing with regard to America’s troop deployment in Syria. Trump ordered the 2,000 US troops based in Syria to get out and come home. Neocons and the US war party are having apoplexy even though there are some 50,000 US troops spread across the rest of the Mideast. The... Read More
France is under siege. Some 90,000 security forces are being deployed across France with particular attention to always combustible Paris and Marseilles. Armored vehicles are moving into the capital. Certain military units are on high alert. The storm that is hitting France came out of what looked like a clear blue sky. The angry demonstrators,... Read More
Two of the most perilous military operations are crossing rivers while under enemy fire, and retreat while engaged with enemy forces. Britain’s embattled Prime Minister, Theresa May, must accomplish both maneuvers if she is to extract her very confused nation from the horrid Brexit mess and save her job. We wish her lots of luck.... Read More
Hardly anyone noticed. The Trump administration quietly changed America’s long-held position on Syria’s strategic Golan Heights while attention was focused on the raucous political carnival in Washington. Though barely noticed, the policy change had enormous importance and will lead the United States into a lot of future Mideast misery. The Golan Heights is a volcanic... Read More
Eric Margolis
About Eric Margolis

Eric S. Margolis is an award-winning, internationally syndicated columnist. His articles have appeared in the New York Times, the International Herald Tribune the Los Angeles Times, Times of London, the Gulf Times, the Khaleej Times, Nation – Pakistan, Hurriyet, – Turkey, Sun Times Malaysia and other news sites in Asia.

He is a regular contributor to The Huffington Post, Lew Rockwell. He appears as an expert on foreign affairs on CNN, BBC, France 2, France 24, Fox News, CTV and CBC.

His internet column www.ericmargolis.com reaches global readers on a daily basis.

As a war correspondent Margolis has covered conflicts in Angola, Namibia, South Africa, Mozambique, Sinai, Afghanistan, Kashmir, India, Pakistan, El Salvador and Nicaragua. He was among the first journalists to ever interview Libya’s Muammar Khadaffi and was among the first to be allowed access to KGB headquarters in Moscow.

A veteran of many conflicts in the Middle East, Margolis recently was featured in a special appearance on Britain’s Sky News TV as “the man who got it right” in his predictions about the dangerous risks and entanglements the US would face in Iraq.

A native New Yorker, he maintains residences in Toronto and New York, with frequent visits to Paris.


Personal Classics
Bin Laden is dead, but his strategy still bleeds the United States.
Egyptians revolted against American rule as well as Mubarak’s.
“America’s strategic and economic interests in the Mideast and Muslim world are being threatened by the agony in...
A menace grows from Bush’s Korean blind spot.
Far from being a model for a “liberated” Iraq, Afghanistan shows how the U.S. can get bogged down Soviet-style.