the contrarian – Attack Bares America’s Achilles’ Heel

by Dave McGill

It’s become increasingly apparent that this nation has fallen behind the curve with respect to a type of warfare that could paralyze everything from banking and business transactions to nuclear defense capabilities.

Over the July 4th weekend and into the following week, a widespread cyber attack knocked out the websites of several governmental agencies. Coming, as it did, on the nation’s birthday and just days after President Obama described Russian Prime Minister Vladimir V. Putin as having “one foot in the old ways of the Cold War,” the attack was seen by some as a warning shot. Continue reading

Violating Someone’s “Sphere of Influence” Can Be Dangerous

by Bernard Weiner

What is it about American foreign policy that constantly gets the U.S. military involved in another country or region and then winds up with our troops bogged down in a dimly understood local conflict? Are our strategists and international experts missing something?

When other countries stir up trouble in Latin America or the Caribbean, the U.S. regards this as a violation of its hegemony (the Monroe Doctrine) in its home “sphere of influence.” But we seem unable to comprehend that other major countries have their own “spheres of influence” in their regions — Russia in Eastern Europe, Iran in the Persian Gulf area, China in Asia, for example — which they feel very strongly about and are willing to defend by force of arms, if necessary. Continue reading

U.S. Recklessness Toward Russia Set Stage for Current Conflict

by Matt Rothschild

Russia / Georgia / Caspian Sea basinWhat we’re witnessing now is the bankruptcy of almost two decades of U.S. policy toward Russia.

When Gorbachev and Yeltsin agreed to the dissolution of the Soviet Union, Washington had a great opportunity to broker a global peace with the only country, Russia, still capable of destroying the United States.

Bush Sr. seemed to recognize this, and pledged in 1991 not to try to incorporate the Eastern bloc nations and the former Soviet republics that border Eastern Europe right into NATO’s sphere.But Clinton reneged on that pledge, and George Jr. has done everything in his power to further the incorporation process and to encircle and humiliate Russia. Continue reading

The Toll – 09/01/08 – AMERICA STARTED IT – Putin

by Dave McGill

Like bickering siblings, charges and counter charges flew back and forth between Russia and the U.S. this week. And, as every parent of bickering siblings knows, the truth in such situations is never easy to pin down.

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin alleged on two occasions that U.S. advisors were involved in Georgia’s initial attack on the breakaway provinces of South Ossetia and Abkhazia, an operation that – all agree – started the brief war. Continue reading

The Toll – 8/25/08 – Chaotic Conditions In a Nuclear Nation

by David McGill

The world was reminded, last week, of the need to end nuclear proliferation and to initiate disarmament agreements – but will it listen?

The departure of Pervez Musharraf from the presidency of Pakistan has failed to end that nation’s serious problems. Benazir Bhutto’s widower, Asif Ali Zardari, appears to be on track to be the next president, but he is considered to be a divisive figure beset by charges of large-scale corruption in his past activities while his late wife was serving as prime minister.. Continue reading