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Putin edges toward a personal Waterloo
Russian President Vladimir Putin's chief weapons are his revanchist ideology and his hope to earn billions of dollars from selling gas to China and Europe. While he is determined to avoid bankruptcy through international sanctions, his wrong-headed pursuit of reviving his country to superpower status may give the United States the upper hand and set course for Napoleonic self-destruction. - Ehsan M Ahrari (Jul 31, '14)

Crime (Israel) and punishment (Russia)
Not even Hollywood could come up with such a plot: Israel gets away with unlawful premeditated mass murder of civilians while Russia gets framed for a (smaller-scale) airborne mass murder of civilians that has all the makings of being set up by the Kiev vassals of Russia's Western "partners". Sanctions and economic war are about to convulse Europe and pit Europe against Russia. Exactly what the Empire of Chaos is praying - and working - for.
- Pepe Escobar (Jul 30, '14)

Leading Chinese iman murdered in Xinjiang
The head of the largest mosque in China, who has been highly critical of violence by ethnic minority Muslim Uyghurs in the troubled Xinjiang region, has been stabbed to death, according to witnesses and local officials. (Jul 31, '14)

The al-Sisi his allies can't see

The US and Middle Eastern allies see Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi as a compliant figure who'll re-fill the role of regional puppet vacated by Hosni Mubarak. Sisi's impulsive, paranoid style of rule and intense focus on building up the military suggest he'll more likely become a Saddam Hussein - complete with the penchant for invasions.
- Monte Palmer (Jul 30, '14)

Is Obama really
adrift in the world?

It has become all too common, with crises spiraling out of control in Gaza, Iraq, Ukraine, and elsewhere, to criticize US President Barack Obama for making his personal style of detachment into a national policy of disengagement. The problems that beset Washington's foreign policy apparatus have little to do with having a "cool" president, and other myths that American exceptionalists are wont to spin. - John Feffer (Jul 31, '14)

Vietnam buckles under Chinese pressure

Vietnam's failure to counter China's months-long placement of an oil rig in disputed waters with any meaningful gesture threatens the Hanoi government's legitimacy. If the public believes that it capitulated - particularly at a time of slowing economic growth - this could spark demonstrations aimed at both China and Vietnam's Communist Party-led government.
- Zachary Abuza (Jul 29, '14)

The Pashtun factor in Pakistan's insurgency
Political scientists, sociologists and anthropologists, whose wont is to look for "cultural" reasons behind the use of violence to advance causes in the Af-Pak borders, have held up Pashtuns for scrutiny. Facts on the ground, however, show it is the absence of the basic necessities of life and any political stake in the system that leads people to turn to the Taliban and al-Qaeda for answers.
- Luqman Saeed (Jul 28, '14)

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Dozens of Uyghurs killed in Xinjiang clashes
Chinese police in the troubled Xinjiang region have shot dead dozens ethnic minority Uyghur Muslims who went on a rampage, apparently angry over restrictions during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan and the killing of a family of five. Up to a dozen policemen may have been killed in the clashes. (Jul 30, '14)

An era of thugs
At some stage in recent history, governments started to outsource operational aspects of geopolitical strategy to gangs of robbers, murderers and nutcases - Washington in Afghanistan to oppose Russia, Russia in Ukraine now are just two examples - and are increasingly abrogating greater responsibilities to them. It is a very dangerous practice, and where this all ends is anyone's conjecture. (Jul 28, '14)

Pakistan's proclivity for war
The Warrior State: Pakistan in the Contemporary World by T V Paul
Author T V Paul adds to the numerous unflattering descriptions of Pakistan with his depiction of a "warrior state" whose security forces have outgrown all other institutions and activities and where radical Islamization and its attendant obscurantism have been the consequences of state policy. His explanation for why this continues is elaborate and thought-provoking.
- Ehsan Ahrari (Jul 28, '14)

A chessboard
drenched in blood

The MH17 tragedy may have been a horrendous mistake, but it may also have been a desperate gambit by the Kiev minions of the Empire of Chaos. Washington has been quick off the blocks to ignite and in theory win the spin war to persuade the world that Russia's hand was wittingly or otherwise behind the downing of the civilian aircraft. Moscow, more rationally, is seeking the facts first, before pointing fingers of blame. - Pepe Escobar (Jul 23, '14)

The charge of the Atlanticist Brigade

No credible version of events points to the downing of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 over Ukraine as intentional mass murder or terrorism, and with international experts now getting access to the black box, there seems to be little the Atlanticist Brigade can use to point the finger at Moscow. Still, expect sanctions on Russia to follow, and for the reverberations to reach east all the way to China. - Peter Lee (Jul 22, '14)

Orwell alive in Palestine, Ukraine
Western coverage of contemporary events from Palestine to Ukraine reveals that Orwell's 1984 is only too real in today's world. Yet as Leni Riefenstahl knew only too well, the "messages" the media carry of government atrocities depend not on "orders from above" but on a "submissive void" in the population as a whole, not least in the "intelligentsia". (Jul 22, '14)

Hardliners maneuver
over Iran talks extension

Hardline Iranian factions are maintaining pressure on the government over potential concessions in any nuclear deal reached with world powers, following an amicable extension arrangement reached last week. By exaggerating the level of opposition in the establishment towards a long-term agreement, the conservative establishment hopes to prevent normalization of ties with the US. - Mahan Abedin (Jul 22, '14)

Arab countries in
land-grab strategy
to secure food

Arab countries, which appear to have started losing confidence in normal food supply chains and are concerned about rising food prices, are turning to acquisitions of farmland around the world.
- Mona Alami

Business and free markets
Traditionally, business was the most important political backer of free markets. The US Chamber of Commerce, however, now reflects an agenda that is thoroughly detrimental to the interests of ordinary people and to the overall US economy.
- Martin Hutchinson

Why Obama's Russia
sanctions are doomed

The new Cold War was the last thing on the US President Barack Obama's mind as recently as when dusk fell on October 22, 2012, at the Lynn University campus in Florida. That was when the famous foreign policy debate in the presidential campaign took place during which Obama rubbed his Republican opponent Mitt Romney's nose in the dirt by ridiculing his contention that Russia constituted the biggest geopolitical threat for the US in the 21st century.
- M K Bhadrakumar

The surprising enthusiasm of hordes of Wonderlanders about our USA heroes' adventure in Brazil has revealed a passion for a sport traditionally demeaned, ignored and disrespected by "real 'merikans," whose devotion to Anything-Invented-Here and antipathy for Everything Else has almost been a definition of Red, White and Blue patriotism.
H Campbell
   Go to Letters to the Editor

1. It was Putin's missile!

2. A chessboard drenched in blood

3. Orwell alive in Palestine, Ukraine

4. The charge of the Atlanticist Brigade

5. BRICS against Washington consensus

6. How US policies sealed Iraq's fate

7. Losses mount in China loan fraud

8. How Israel turned tragedy into opportunity

9. Ravaging Gaza: The war Israel cannot win

10. World War I still bad news

(Jul 25-27, 2014)


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