For a moment the general did not reply; he was smiling his curious red-lipped smile. Then he said slowly, “No. You are wrong, sir. The Cape buffalo is not the most dangerous big game.” He sipped his wine. “Here in my preserve on this island,” he said in the same slow tone, “I hunt more dangerous game.”
–Richard Connell, “The Most Dangerous Game“
Anyone who favors intervention in the war in Ukraine owes it to themselves to read about the emerging consensus on nuclear war over Ukraine. A year ago, anyone who brought the subject up was dismissed as a pacifist, a scare-monger, a defeatist, or a crank. Now, a little over a year later, the idea of nuclear war is being normalized in military circles in both the United States and in Russia. Sober, respectable, mainstream strategists are now beginning to speak and write as though nuclear war was just another one of those things that’s headed our way, and will just take a bit of getting used to. Continue reading →
Why, according to Bret Stephens, must we remain involved in the Ukraine war? Because if we don’t…
China would draw the lesson that, if there are limits to what America and our allies are prepared to do for Ukraine (which fights for itself and shares a land border with NATO), there will be much sharper limits to what we are prepared to do for Taiwan.
Apparently, we get no belligerency credits for having fought and defeated Imperial Japan, for dropping atom bombs on it, or for having militarily occupied it. We get no credit for having defended South Korea against a North Korean invasion, for having fought the Chinese themselves in North Korea, or for having stationed troops in the DMZ since 1953. And we get none for spending a decade-plus defending South Vietnam against the North at the cost to us of some 58,000 deaths. Continue reading →
It hasn’t yet been a year since the Russian invasion of Ukraine, or the beginning of the US-led proxy war against Russia, and already American support for the war is slipping. Last year’s promises about never-ending aid have quietly been toned down, as have last year’s predictions about Russian defeat and collapse. Predictably, the more stalwart supporters of the war have popped back up to accuse us, yes, of a “failure of will,” a brand of moral weakness to be contrasted with the Stoic hardiness required to sit in front of a computer and demand that the war continue. Continue reading →
The steady habit of correcting and completing his own opinion by collating it with those of others, so far from causing doubt and hesitation in carrying it into practice, is the only stable foundation for a just reliance on it: for being cognisant of all that can, at least obviously, be said against him, and having taken up his position against all gainsayers…he has a right to think his judgment better than that of any person, or any multitude, who have not gone through a similar process.
–J.S. Mill, On Liberty
In my last two posts, I’ve been discussing the rising tensions in Jerusalem and the West Bank. Events are taking place too quickly for me literally to blog them as they happen, so if you’re after a real-time chronicle, or event-by-event commentary, you’ll be disappointed. That’s not something you’ll find here, at least in my posts. Continue reading →
I’ve been receiving videos from Palestinian friends, of Israeli military actions taking place, not just in Jenin, but across the length and breadth of the West Bank. I so far have seen no indication from the mainstream American press that Israeli military occupations have extended beyond Jenin. But while nine Palestinians were killed in Jenin, one was killed in Ar-Ram (so Israeli military actions are obviously not confined to Jenin). Since then, there have been two widely-reported Palestinian attacks on Israeli targets as well, one in the settlement of Neve Yaakov, the other in a location that The New York Times vaguely describes as being “near a settlement in East Jerusalem.” Continue reading →
In a post I wrote back in 2020 explaining the A-B-C system that structures the Israeli occupation of Palestine, I described Area A, the area supposedly under Palestinian control, as follows:
Area A covers Palestinian urban centers, supposedly under full Palestinian control, both “civil” and “security” related…Area A is under “full” Palestinian control–except when Israeli military forces enter such an Area, as they often do, in which case “full” control becomes non-control for the duration.
Current events in Jenin illustrate this. Jenin is squarely in Area A. Area A is under full Palestinian control. But at the moment, Jenin is precisely not under Palestinian control. Apparently, some control is fuller than others. Continue reading →
Thy love afar is spite at home.
The United States is currently sending billions of dollars in military assistance to Ukraine, prolonging the war there, and increasing the probability of escalation or even nuclear war, for a country that has zero bearing on our own national security. Our security was not threatened when Ukraine was a part of either the Soviet Union or the Russian Federation, and was not appreciably enhanced by Ukraine’s exit from the latter. None of this seems to figure in the calculations of those in favor of US intervention: intervention is for them an imperative, however inscrutable the reasons for it. Continue reading →
I’ve previously plugged John Mearsheimer’s views on Ukraine here, with generalized agreement but many misgivings. I have fewer misgivings about Chomsky’s views, which are in the same anti-interventionist ballpark as Mearsheimer’s, at least as regards Ukraine, but without the problematic realist baggage. This interview with Nathan Robinson in Current Affairs seems the best of the bunch that I’ve seen.
Continue reading →
I post this every year around 9/11, so here it is again with some revisions.
Today is the twentieth anniversary of 9/11. Here are a few of the lessons I’ve learned from two decades of perpetual warfare. I offer them somewhat dogmatically, as a mere laundry list (mostly) minus examples, but I have a feeling that the lessons will ring true enough for many people, and that most readers can supply appropriate examples of their own.
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I was sitting in my cubicle mid-day when an email with an odd subject line tumbled into my inbox: “JBMDL Afghan.” It was from a bona fide sender, so I opened it and took a look. It turned out to be an email from the director of financial services at a major hospital system, making reference to a new medical services “payor,” as we spell it in the trade. It was, in other words, the Joint Base McGuire Fort Dix Lakehurst Afghan payor, i.e., the payor of medical services for Afghan refugees housed at McGuire Air Force Base/Fort Dix Army facility in Lakehurst, New Jersey. Otherwise known as the US military.
Continue reading →