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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TEHRAN The Trump administration’s withdrawal of the Iran nuclear deal, known as the JCPOA, monopolizes 24/7 the highest levels of government in Tehran. Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, meeting with the EU’s energy chief Miguel Arias Canete, reiterated that mere words of support from the Europeans are not enough. The JCPOA joint commission meets in... Read More
The geopolitical focus of the still young 21st century spans the Indian Ocean from the Persian Gulf all the way to the South China Sea alongside the spectrum from Southwest Asia to Central Asia and China. That happens to configure the prime playing ground, overland and maritime, of the New Silk Roads, a.k.a. Belt and... Read More
A triumph of “populism”; a hung Parliament; “ungovernable” Italy; Berlusconi’s demise; the latest chapter in the “end of socialist parties” European saga. Italy’s latest elections were a roller coaster featuring plenty of thrills. Yet the top political nugget is unmistakable; only one coalition may aspire to an absolute majority, an – unlikely – alliance between... Read More
When we find ourselves in times of trouble, we could do worse than plunge into The Academy of Western Civilization. So let me take you down on a stroll around the ultimate theo-geopolitical space: the Eternal City, a.k.a. Caput Mundi (“wonder of the world”). In Adonais, Shelley urged “Go thou to Rome” and “from the... Read More
Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton in the third presidential debate in 2016, during which Clinton called Trump Vladimir Putin’s “puppet.
Russia-gate is becoming FBI-gate, thanks to the official release of unguarded text messages between loose-lipped FBI counterintelligence official Peter Strzok and his garrulous girlfriend, FBI lawyer Lisa Page. (Ten illustrative texts from their exchange appear at the end of this article.) Despite his former job as chief of the FBI’s counterintelligence section, Strzok had the... Read More
Baghdad On a sandstorm-swept morning in Baghdad earlier last week, Abu Mahdi al-Mohandes, the legendary deputy leader of Hashd al-Shaabi, a.k.a. People Mobilization Units (PMUs) and the actual mastermind of numerous ground battles against ISIS/Daesh, met a small number of independent foreign journalists and analysts. This was a game-changing moment in more ways than one.... Read More
TIKRIT and NAJAF, Iraq Nothing, absolutely nothing prepares you to revive, on the spot, the memory of what will go down in history as ISIS/Daesh’s most horrid killing field in Iraq or Syria since the death cult stormed across the border in the summer of 2014; the Speicher massacre of June 12, 2014 – when... Read More
The 19th Party Congress has made it very clear that “socialism with Chinese characteristics” – as codified by President Xi Jinping – is China’s roadmap ahead. Not only the strategy graphically eschews those much-lauded “Western values”; it will, in Xi’s own words, offer “a new option for other countries and nations who want to speed... Read More
Just when world public opinion feared the US and North Korea were on the brink of nuclear war, the new axis of evil times (North Korea, Iran, Venezuela) yield a dramatic plot twist; President Trump is adamant the real threat is the Iran nuclear deal. Enter a brand new, major international crisis deployed out of... Read More
Photo by FDR Presidential Library & Museum | CC BY 2.0
One of the most hyped “events” of American television, The Vietnam War, has started on the PBS network. The directors are Ken Burns and Lynn Novick. Acclaimed for his documentaries on the Civil War, the Great Depression and the history of jazz, Burns says of his Vietnam films, “They will inspire our country to begin... Read More
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The impending collapse of ISIS has touched off a race for territory in the oil-rich eastern part of Syria pitting US-backed forces against the Russian-led coalition of Syria, Iran and Hezbollah. This is the nightmare scenario that everyone wanted to avoid. Washington and Moscow’s armies are now converging on the same area at the same... Read More
Does Dana Rohrabacher really think he’s tough enough to take on the combined power of the US Intelligence Community, the Washington political establishment and the mainstream media? Good luck with that. The California Congressman stepped into the limelight last week when he called White House Chief of Staff John Kelly to request a meeting with... Read More
Wall Street Journal’s Solution to North Korea
The editors at the Wall Street Journal have settled on a plan for ending the crisis in North Korea. Starve them to death. I’m not kidding. In an article titled “Options for Removing Kim Jong In” the WSJ’s editorial board suggests that the US use “all of its tools to topple the North Korean regime”... Read More
Photo by sime simon | CC BY 2.0
A new report by a retired IT executive at IBM, debunks the claim that Russia interfered in the 2016 presidential campaign by hacking Democratic computers and circulating damaging information about Hillary Clinton. The report, which is titled “The Non-Existent Foundation for Russian Hacking Charge“, provides a rigorous examination of the wobbly allegations upon which the... Read More
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Donald Trump isn’t going to start a war with North Korea. That’s just not going to happen. Not only does the United States not have the ground forces for such a massive operation but, more important, a war with the North would serve no strategic purpose at all. The US already has the arrangement it... Read More
Photo by Stefan Krasowski | CC BY 2.0
Here’s what the media isn’t telling you about North Korea’s recent missile tests. Last Monday, the DPRK fired a Hwasong-12 intermediate-range ballistic missile over Japan’s Hokkaido Island. The missile landed in the waters beyond the island harming neither people nor property. The media immediately condemned the test as a “bold and provocative act” that showed... Read More
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The United States and South Korea are currently engaged in large-scale, joint-military war games that simulate an invasion of the North, the destruction of the DPRK’s nuclear weapons sites, and a “decapitation operation” to take out the supreme leader, Kim Jong-un. The objective of the operation is to intensify tensions between North and South thereby... Read More
Photo by DaveBleasdale | CC BY 2.0
There are more parallels between an unfinished 1950s war in Northeast Asia and an ongoing 16-year-old war in the crossroads between Central and South Asia than meet the eye. Let’s start with North Korea. Once again the US/South Korea Hunger Games plow on. It didn’t have to be this way. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov... Read More
On 22 May, Ahmed Mohsen, an unemployed taxi driver, left his house in the Islamic State-controlled western part of Mosul to try to escape across the Tigris to the government-held eastern side of the city. He and his mother, along with ten other people, carried rubber tyres down to the river: most of them couldn’t... Read More
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The US submarine captain says, “We’ve all got to die one day, some sooner and some later. The trouble always has been that you’re never ready, because you don’t know when it’s coming. Well, now we do know and there’s nothing to be done about it.” He says he will be dead by September. It... Read More
Photo by Veni | CC BY 2.0
The “Russia hacking” flap has nothing to do with Russia and nothing to do with hacking. The story is basically a DNC invention that was concocted to mitigate the political fallout from the nearly 50,000 emails that WikiLeaks planned to publish on July 22, 2016, just 3 days before the Democratic National Convention. That’s what... Read More
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The latest US sanctions and the Russian retaliatory response have resulted in a torrent of speculations in the official media and the blogosphere – everybody is trying to make sense of a situation which appears to make no sense at all. Why in the world would the US Senate adopt new sanctions against Russia when... Read More
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U.S. Sanctions Aimed at Russia Strike Western European Allies
Do they know what they are doing? When the U.S. Congress adopts draconian sanctions aimed mainly at disempowering President Trump and ruling out any move to improve relations with Russia, do they realize that the measures amount to a declaration of economic war against their dear European “friends”? Whether they know or not, they obviously... Read More
Photo by Debra Sweet | CC BY 2.0
Barack Obama campaigned for the presidency in 2008 as a peace candidate. He signaled that he would fundamentally change America’s course after the reckless carnage unleashed by the George W. Bush administration. However, by the end of Obama’s presidency, the United States was bombing seven different foreign nations. But Obama’s warring rarely evoked the protests... Read More
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Amid the proverbial doom and gloom pervading all things Syria, the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune sometimes yield, well, good fortune. Take what happened this past Sunday in Beijing. The China-Arab Exchange Association and the Syrian Embassy organized a Syria Day Expo crammed with hundreds of Chinese specialists in infrastructure investment. It was a... Read More
Photo by Gigi Ibrahim | Creative Commons 2.0
When I first went to Palestine as a young reporter in the 1960s, I stayed on a kibbutz. The people I met were hard-working, spirited and called themselves socialists. I liked them. One evening at dinner, I asked about the silhouettes of people in the far distance, beyond our perimeter. “Arabs”, they said, “nomads”. The... Read More
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The immediate prospect for significant improvement in U.S.-Russia relations now depends on something tangible: Will the forces that sabotaged previous ceasefire agreements in Syria succeed in doing so again, all the better to keep alive the “regime change” dreams of the neoconservatives and liberal interventionists? Or will President Trump succeed where President Obama failed by... Read More
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Top Russian and Chinese leaders are busy comparing notes, coordinating their approach to President Donald Trump at the G20 summit in Hamburg this weekend. Both sides are heralding the degree to which ties between the two countries have improved in recent years, as Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visits Moscow on his way to the G20.... Read More
The downing of a Syrian warplane by a US F-18 Super Hornet on Sunday proves that Washington’s real objective in Syria is not to defeat ISIS but to topple the government, carve up the country and install a puppet who will follow Washington’s directives. ISIS doesn’t have an airforce nor is there any chance that... Read More
On June 10, the Syrian Army blitzed across an arid stretch of countryside in southeastern Syria to reach the Iraqi border for the first time in three years. The move, which caught US war-planners off guard, prevents US-backed rebels from moving north from al Tanf to join the fight against ISIS in Raqqa and Deir... Read More
Mainstream commentators display amnesia when they describe former FBI Directors Robert Mueller and James Comey as stellar and credible law enforcement figures. Perhaps if they included J. Edgar Hoover, such fulsome praise could be put into proper perspective. Although these Hoover successors, now occupying center stage in the investigation of President Trump, have been hailed... Read More
Photo by DonkeyHotey | CC BY 2.0
Is Russiagate an investigation of foreign meddling into US elections or retaliation for Washington’s stunning defeat in Syria? The opening of the Russiagate investigation closely coincides with the Battle of Aleppo, which was the turning point in the 6 year-long Syrian War. In July 2016 –the same month the FBI reportedly began its Russia hacking... Read More
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The Winners-Take-All Regime of Emmanuel Macron
A ghost of the past was the real winner of the French presidential election. Emmanuel Macron won only because a majority felt they had to vote against the ghost of “fascism” allegedly embodied by his opponent, Marine Le Pen. Whether out of panic or out of the need to feel respectable, the French voted two... Read More
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Why is it a “conspiracy theory” to think that a disgruntled Democratic National Committee staffer gave WikiLeaks the DNC emails, but not a conspiracy theory to think the emails were provided by Russia? Why? Which is the more likely scenario: That a frustrated employee leaked damaging emails to embarrass his bosses or a that foreign... Read More
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There's no proof that Russia hacked the US elections. There's no proof that Russian officials or Russian agents colluded with members of the Trump campaign. There's no proof that Russia provided material support of any kind for the Trump campaign or that Russian agents hacked Hillary Clinton's emails or that Russian officials provided Wikileaks with... Read More
The United States is not going to launch a preemptive attack on North Korea. The risks far outweigh the rewards and, besides, the US has no intention of getting bogged down in a conflict that doesn’t advance its geopolitical objectives. The saber-rattling is just an attempt to divert attention from the Syria-Jordan border where the... Read More
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Is Vladimir Putin the most popular Russian leader of all time? It certainly looks like it. In a recent survey conducted by the All-Russia Public Opinion Research Center, Putin’s public approval rating soared to an eye-popping 86 percent, which is twice that of Obama’s when he left office in 2016. And what’s more surprising is... Read More
The Pentagon’s plan for seizing and occupying territory in east Syria is beginning to take shape. According to a Fox News exclusive: The move by ISIS corresponds to the secretive massing of US troops and military equipment on the Syria-Jordan border. It creates the perfect pretext for a ground invasion followed by a long-term military... Read More
Let’s say you know someone who wears funny blue suits and doesn’t share your views on politics. So you decide to stick this person in a cage and put him on a diet of bread and water until he agrees to change his wardrobe and adjust his thinking. And when he sits quietly on the... Read More
Photo by Stefan Krasowski | CC BY 2.0
Washington has never made any effort to conceal its contempt for North Korea. In the 64 years since the war ended, the US has done everything in its power to punish, humiliate and inflict pain on the Communist country. Washington has subjected the DPRK to starvation, prevented its government from accessing foreign capital and markets,... Read More
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You don’t have to be a genius to figure out that the case against Syrian President Bashar al Assad is extremely weak. The chemical weapons attack in Khan Shaykhun, has produced no smoking gun, no damning evidence, in fact, no evidence at all. Similar to the Russia hacking fiasco, (not a shred of evidence so... Read More
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President Donald Trump’s missile attack on the Shayrat Airfield in Western Syria was a poorly planned display of imperial muscle-flexing that had the exact opposite effect of what was intended. While the attack undoubtedly lifted the morale of the jihadists who have been rampaging across the country for the last six years, it had no... Read More
Given the unbelievable amount of preposterous neo-McCarthyite hysteria that the corporate-owned media has been pumping out in a last-ditch effort to convince the public that Donald Trump is a Russian operative, you might have missed the revolting videoof a TSA officer at the Dallas Forth Worth Airport extensively groping a 13 year-old boy as his... Read More
Photo by Jake Cunningham | CC BY 2.0
An attack on an ammunition dump that contained chemical weapons has touched off a massive propaganda blitz aimed at drawing the United States deeper into Syria’s six year-long war. The incident which took place in the rebel-held town of Khan Sheikhoun, killed an estimated 72 people and left several hundred others severely ill. According to... Read More
Here’s what bugs me about the Russia hacking story: Why would the media, whose credibility is already at its lowest point ever, go after Trump when they had no facts to back them up? Why? Do the media bosses really think that if they set their hair on fire and run around yelling, “The Russians... Read More
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Will Trump Take on the Spooks?
Although many details are still hazy because of secrecy – and further befogged by politics – it appears House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes was informed last week about invasive electronic surveillance of senior U.S. government officials and, in turn, passed that information onto President Trump. This news presents Trump with an unwelcome but unavoidable... Read More
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Ominous developments in East Syria have drawn the United States and Russia into closer proximity increasing the likelihood of a violent confrontation. The Trump administration has embarked on a dangerous plan to defeat the terrorist militia, ISIS, in Raqqa. But recent comments by US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson suggest that Washington’s long-term strategy may... Read More
The relentless demonization of Vladimir Putin is just one part of Washington’s multi-pronged strategy to roll-back Russian power in Central Asia and extinguish Putin’s dream of a “Greater Europe”. Along with the attempt to smear the Russian president as a “KGB thug” and “dictator”, the media has also alleged that Moscow intervened in the US... Read More
The Nuclear Question is becoming increasingly obfuscated by spin and lobbying as the West sleepwalks into Cold War II — a walk made all the more dangerous when the loose lips of the U.S. tweeter-in-chief announced that another nuclear arms race is a great idea (see link and link). Two Cold War II issues are... Read More
The war party is back in power and the odds of normal relations with Russia have dropped to zero. The appointment of Army Lieutenant General H.R. McMaster to the position of national security adviser indicates that Trump has done an about-face on his most critical foreign policy issue, normalizing relations with Russia. General Michael Flynn–... Read More
Category Classics
How America was neoconned into World War IV
The “war hero” candidate buried information about POWs left behind in Vietnam.
Shouldn't they recuse themselves when dealing with the Middle East?
Which superpower is more threatened by its “extractive elites”?