Links – August 4, 2016

The anniversaries of Hiroshima (August 6) and Nagasaki (August 9) are coming up. Peace organizations are planning observances. But we’re not hearing much about them, because Donald Trump and the possibility of his little hands on the nuclear button are getting all the attention. And maybe that’s the most meaningful observance this year. Read More

Trump and Russia

With Donald Trump’s near-repudiation of NATO’s Article 5 for the Baltic States and of other international organizations including, in the last couple of days, the European Union and World Trade Organization, the question of his ties to Russia have become louder. Articles have been published earlier this year on the subject. Josh Marshall summarizes the concerns. Read More

Links – June 8, 2016

The financial consequences of lifting sanctions on Iran are turning out to be less than Iran wanted. The problems lie in Iran’s corruption and broken banking system. If Iran can recognize its own problems, this will bring Iran more into compliance with world standards. This is what proponents of the nuclear deal meant when we said that the deal would help to bring Iran back to being a normal country. Nobody said it would happen quickly. Read More

Links – March 16, 2016

Russia is partially withdrawing its troops from Syria. It will maintain its naval and air bases there but will remove some unspecified amount of troops and equipment. Every reason you can think of has been offered in the speculation as to why and why now. Here’s a reasonable interpretation from Randa Slim, who has been involved in Track II discussions with Russia. Also from Mark Galeotti. How much will Russia continue to support Assad? Will Assad support the peace process with his protector partially gone? And how will other parties to the conflict respond? Nobody really knows. Here’s an article about strained relations between Russia and Iran. Read More

Links – February 2, 2016

I have been following events in Harney County, Oregon, where a group of (militants, insurgents, protesters, you name them!) has occupied the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge. They base their occupation on a bizarre interpretation of the United States Constitution that claims that the federal government cannot own land and the county sheriff is the highest level of law enforcement. Eleven of the leaders have been arrested, and four holdouts remain in the refuge. One of the group was killed by law enforcement officers during an arrest of the leaders. Read More