In Depth: North America

22 Jun 2009

Confused in Tehran

Michael J. Totten's blog Press TV, one of the Iranian regime’s slimey organs, is confused. The headline on a report about President Obama’s comments today is: bq. US supports street rallies in Iran The report “states”:http://www.presstv.ir/detail ...

How much do taxpayers spend on them?

Michael J. Totten's blog There is an organization out there that competes with the Iranian regime for the clueless gold medal. Not clueless in the treatment of its citizens/democracy sense, but in its understanding of the world beyond its shores. It ...

20 Jun 2009

Electoral fraud for dummies

Michael J. Totten's blog Here is a “youtube”:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kw5qJa4NJ-8&eurl= video that explains why the Iranian election result is problematic–even the interior ministry’s own figures do not add up. Also, “Josh Muravchik”:http:/ ...

It is about Iran, not about America!

Michael J. Totten's blog There is a silly debate starting about the impact of President Obama on the Iranian election. It is worth noting that President Obama is making no such claims. Here are some examples: bq. “’Whereas the Bush administration ...

17 Jun 2009

The Ghost of Howard Baskerville

Michael J. Totten's blog “Howard Baskerville”:http://www.howardbaskerville.com/ was an American from Nebraska who died fighting with the Constitutionalists against Iran’s despotic King Mohammad Ali Shah in the Azeri-Iranian city of Tabriz in 1909. He ...

14 Jun 2009

An Enemy of the World

Michael J. Totten's blog The Islamic Republic regime in Iran is vividly revealing itself as an enemy of the entire world. “Supreme Guide” Ali Khamenei’s police and the Basij militia are using violence and terror to suppress the Iranian people at home ...

2 Jun 2009

Advice for Barack Obama from Lebanon

Michael J. Totten's blog I received an article in my inbox this afternoon from the terrific folks at the “Lebanon Renaissance Foundation”:http://www.lebanonrenaissance.org/, and they gave me permission to publish it. * As Obama addresses Muslim world ...

1 Jun 2009

A Tall Order for Saudi Arabia?

Michael J. Totten's blog The _New York Times_ “inadvertently highlights”:http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/01/us/01prexy.html?hpw how much more intransigent than Israel most Arab states are. President Barack Obama is soon heading to Saudi Arabia, where ...

Cuban Days: The Inscrutable Nation

For years, Cubans had been sneaking off the island on flimsy boats, usually under cover of darkness, but now they were free to construct seagoing vessels in their backyards or on neighborhood streets.

Best Intentions: An Appreciation of Graham Greene

Appearing in 1955, Graham Greene’s prophetic novel The Quiet American was a fictional narrative that became a must-read for those seeking to understand how the United States blundered so badly in Vietnam.

Dear Mr. President ... On Pirates

Lately, you’ve appeared to be a bit worried, tense, even bewildered. You need a way to relax and lighten up. You need a problem that’s not so darned grim, abstruse, and conundrum-packed. You need pirates.

Letter from the Editor: Summer 2009

A mong the many lessons we have been advised to take away from six years in Iraq: war is hell, war is chaos, war is madness. I have never actually met anyone who believes otherwise, least of all senior officers in Iraq who, in the telling of many critics, ...

Freedom Train: A Tour of 1989

Congressman David Dreier reflects on the twentieth anniversary of 1989, a tumultuous and decisive year.

The Picture Awaits: The Birth of Modern Counterinsurgency

Ann Marlowe chronicles the origins of counterinsurgency theory.

The Unwise Men: The Decline of a Caste

In a cutting and brilliant essay, Stephen Graubard, of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, chronicles the decline of an American caste.

Not The End Of The World: Misreading the Cuban Missile Crisis

Assessing Michael Dobbs's One Minute to Midnight: Kennedy, Khrushchev and Castro on the Brink of Nuclear War.

Obama’s Inheritance: Al-Qaeda in Retreat

In a widely noted speech in May, President Obama said George W. Bush’s national security policies created a mess. The president is wrong. President Obama actually inherited a very strong hand on national security issues.
31 May 2009

One Third of Instapundit

Michael J. Totten's blog Glenn Reynolds is on vacation this week, so I’ll be guest-blogging at “Instapundit”:http://pajamasmedia.com/instapundit/ again with “Megan McArdle”:http://meganmcardle.theatlantic.com/ and “Ann Althouse”:http://althouse ...

29 May 2009

Kim Jong Il, the Second?

Michael J. Totten's blog North Korea has been a minor obsession of mine for some time, but I’ve paid less attention to its foreign policy than to the psychotic slave state Kim Il Sung built at home. Even so, his son Kim Jong Il seems to be acting ...

28 May 2009

The Mother of All Myths

Michael J. Totten's blog Dennis Ross, Special Advisor on Iran for the Secretary of State, has a book coming out next month that “inconveniently takes issue with the Obama Administration’s thesis”:http://yaacovlozowick.blogspot.com/2009/05/dennis-ross ...

26 May 2009

The Future of Iraq, Part II

Michael J. Totten's blog The first time I visited Baghdad, I only stayed for a week. The place stressed me out. The surge was only just then beginning, and though I never was shot at personally, I often heard the sound of gunfire in the background. ...

20 May 2009

The HuffPo’s Lonely Planet Foreign Policy

Michael J. Totten's blog “Roger Cohen”:http://www.commentarymagazine.com/blogs/index.php/tobin/55752 seems to have invented a genre. At the very least he has imitators. Olivia Sterns just published “a piece at the Huffington Post”:http://www ...

25 Apr 2009

Eurasia’s Shatter Zones

Michael J. Totten's blog Robert Kaplan has “a fascinating piece in the current issue of Foreign Affairs”:http://www.foreignpolicy.com/story/cms.php?story_id=4862&print=1 about geography and its impact on culture, politics, and history. Most of us ...

23 Apr 2009

The UN’s Epic Fail in Geneva

Michael J. Totten's blog The biggest loser at the United Nations Durban Review Conference on “racism” this week in Geneva was the United Nations itself. The United States unfairly got a lot of bad press and bad marks for walking out of the first UN ...

21 Apr 2009

Ahmadinejad Stinks Up Geneva

Michael J. Totten's blog Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad delivered a blistering tirade against Israel on Monday at the supposedly “anti-racist” Durban II conference in Geneva, Switzerland, and dozens of national delegates from Europe “walked ...

20 Apr 2009

“Durban II” Walkout

Michael J. Totten's blog Iranian tyrant Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s invective against the “Zionist Entity” didn’t go over too well in Geneva. A huge number of European diplomats walked out in disgust. The scene must be seen to be fully appreciated. ...

14 Apr 2009

The Dissidents’ War

Michael J. Totten's blog I read Fiasco by Thomas Ricks because an American Marine officer in Fallujah told me to. “Especially make sure you read the chapter called How to Create an Insurgency ,” he said. “Ricks gets it exactly right in that chapter. ...

13 Apr 2009

The UN’s Disintegration in Lebanon

Michael J. Totten's blog Poland is withdrawing its troops from the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL), the U.S. is pressuring other European contributors to the mission to send additional soldiers to Afghanistan, and “Israeli defense ...

10 Apr 2009

American Humor

Michael J. Totten's blog When Saddam Hussein was still alive and in prison, the Marines on duty forced him to watch the movie South Park – Bigger, Longer & Uncut , where he was portrayed as Satan’s gay lover, over and over and over again. He then ...

4 Apr 2009

Welcome to America

Michael J. Totten's blog “This is excellent”:http://baghdadbureau.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/04/03/arriving-in-america-the-other-side-of-this-war/ — an article in the New York Times by an Iraqi who worked for the U.S. military as an interpreter and then ...

30 Mar 2009

Hezbollah Doesn’t Have Wings

Michael J. Totten's blog A few weeks ago Britain decided to unfreeze “diplomatic relations” with Hezbollah, and the nonsensical phrases “political wing” and “military wing” have been used to describe the Iranian-backed militia ever since. Britain now ...

22 Mar 2009

The Petraeus Model Won’t Work for Israel

Michael J. Totten's blog Andrew Exum, founder of the fine counterinsurgency blog “Abu Muqawama,”:http://abumuqawama.blogspot.com/ wrote “a short piece for the New York Times”:http://roomfordebate.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/03/19/civilians-caught-in-urban ...

19 Mar 2009

Did North Korea Just Kidnap Two American Journalists?

Michael J. Totten's blog “The Associated Press reports”:http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5hM96sRn69bkN1XDLqb2_pkmFxqdgD971FLMO0 that North Korea “detained” two American journalists, Laura Ling and Euna Lee from Al Gore’s “Current TV” ...

17 Mar 2009

Little Nazis

Michael J. Totten's blog Fascism is always descending on the United States, but somehow it keeps landing in Europe.” — Tom Wolfe I can’t imagine that Nazism could ever become mainstream in Germany again, or anywhere else in Europe for that matter, ...

8 Mar 2009

The U.S. Needs a Reset Button for Britain

Michael J. Totten's blog While President Barack Obama tries to improve U.S. relations with rogue states like Syria and Iran, he might want to ensure ties with our closest ally aren’t strained in the meantime. Damascus and Tehran will remain hostile ...

6 Mar 2009

The Personal and the Political in the Middle East

Michael J. Totten's blog Roger Cohen is taking heavy criticism for a piece he recently wrote in the New York Times in which he said the “annihilationist” anti-Semitic rhetoric of the Iranian regime tells us less about Iran than the fact that he, an ...

1 Mar 2009

Tarnished Brass: Is the U.S. Military Profession in Decline?

Quietly, fitfully, but progressively, American military professionalism is eroding, argues Richard H. Kohn, the nation’s preeminent scholar of civil-military relations.

Not So Huddled Masses: Multiculturalism and Foreign Policy

Twenty years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, America has entered a new era of ethnicity and foreign policy, whose contours are only just now emerging.

Lessons Lost: The Futility of Experience

In 2008, many Americans who called for change at home seemed reluctant to do so abroad, having been warned that a reversal of course would be regarded as weakness by our enemies and thereby encourage a military challenge. Such aggressions never happened after the Korean or Vietnam wars, nor during the Cold War at all. (Abstract)

Zionism and Racism, Again: Durban II

U.S. participation in the United Nation’s Durban Review Conference on Racism, otherwise known as Durban II, would have been a fool’s errand.

Letter from the Editor: Spring 2009

I n Ian McEwan’s Saturday , the complacent protagonist wonders at the Western metropolis around him—“millions teeming around the accumulated and layered achievements of the centuries, as though around a coral reef, sleeping, working, entertaining ...

Freedom’s Untidy: Democracy Promotion and Its Discontents

The scale of the catastrophe in Iraq not only invites a long, hard stare at the wreckage but ignites the question of what to conclude.

Dear Mr. President ... On Good and Evil

P. J. O’Rourke ponders the president’s take on good and evil, and the limits of the olive branch.
26 Jan 2009

The Mother of All Quagmires

Michael J. Totten's blog I’ve just returned from a week-long trip through Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, and Israel’s border with Gaza, and I’m reminded all over again of what has been beaten into me during my many visits to the Middle East: there is no ...

24 Jan 2009

Back from Israel

Michael J. Totten's blog Okay, I’m back from my brief visit to Israel. Sorry I haven’t had time to write much in the last week. The American Jewish Committee scheduled back-to-back meetings from breakfast until dinner every day, and I took a token ...

14 Jan 2009

On My Way to Israel

Michael J. Totten's blog At the last minute I was invited to Israel by the American Jewish Committee and will leave first thing tomorrow (Friday) morning. I’ll be heading over there with Max Boot, Anthony Cordesman, and a handful of other foreign ...

12 Jan 2009

Does “Black Hawk Down” Portray an American War Crime?

Michael J. Totten's blog Jeffrey Goldberg and Mark Bowden “discuss the infamous battle in Mogadishu”:http://jeffreygoldberg.theatlantic.com/archives/2009/01/at_least_nine_hundred_people.php where 24 American soldiers and 1,000 Somalis — 800 of them ...

9 Jan 2009

A Warning from Hamas

Michael J. Totten's blog Hamas refuses to stop firing rockets at Israeli civilans and “threatens to kill international peacekeepers”:http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3653889,00.html. Specifically, Hamas Politburo Chief Khaled Maashal ...

8 Jan 2009

American Exceptionalism

Michael J. Totten's blog Senators Harry Reid and Mitch McConnell introduced a “Senate resolution yesterday that strongly backs Israel against Hamas in Gaza”:http://www.commentarymagazine.com/blogs/index.php/rubin/49541, and it passed unanimously. ...

Juan Cole’s Hysterical Campaign

Michael J. Totten's blog “Professor Juan Cole”:http://www.juancole.com/2009/01/neoconservative-style-weblog-awards.html is slowly catching up to me in the 2008 Weblog Awards in the Best Middle East or Africa Blog category, and his simultaneous ...