Where the British went wrong. (a bit long, but something to debate)

We are now well into the third version of the German European empire.  Startling claim?  Only if you haven’t studied history. German Empire, Mark 1  (if you exclude the medieval “Holy Roman” version):  the strikingly stupid German Kaiser, sitting astride a belligerent Prussian- dominated army and a burgeoning industrial economy,  jealous of the British and …

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Good news! We can stop worrying about treachery!

So the Mueller Report has cleared Trump and his staff from conspiring with Putin and Russia to win the election.  Phew!!!!   Thank goodness. The thought that one’s own Head of State was a traitor would have been intolerable. For the sake of peace of mind this is great news.  Mueller is a good man and …

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War with Iran? Part 2

Continued from yesterday: The Trump administration is, in fact, experiencing increasing difficulty finding allies ready to join a new Coalition of the Willing to confront Iran. The only two charter members so far, Israel and Saudi Arabia, are, however, enthusiastic indeed. Last month there was a rally in Warsaw to promote war, featuring Netanyahu as …

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War with Iran? Part 1 (divided into two for readability. It is long, but very important – it may not be reported in the mainline media)

(The following 3 paragraphs are by Tom Engelhardt, editor of Tom Dispatch, the inside, go-to publication for military affairs, edited for length. Go to tomdispatch@nationinstitute.org It is possible that the next U.S. military disaster of the twenty-first century might be Iran. That country has, of course, had a significant spot on Washington’s war-making to-do list since …

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By the way…………

Since 30 March 2018, at least 250 Palestinians have been killed and 6,000 injured with live ammunition amid Israel’s use of force against “Great March of Return” protestors in Gaza. Among the casualties, three health workers – Musa Abu-Hassanin, Razan al-Najjar and Abdallah al-Qutati – have been shot dead by Israeli forces while trying to …

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Brief thoughts on the crisis in Venezuela

Maduro is a tyrant; any defence of him is inexcusable. Under Maduro’s presidency, Venezuela’s economy has collapsed, inflation has skyrocketed and goods shortages are increasingly common. Despite being blessed with abundant natural resources, systemic corruption, cronyism and an authoritarian political culture have left the country in ruins. No one can defend Maduro and have any moral …

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Why Liberal Republicanism is an oxymoron: A response to David Frum

The Atlantic’s David Frum is one of my favourite American columnists. A thoughtful conservative and provocative Trump critic, Frum doesn’t shy away from eviscerating both the Right and the Left. In contrast to ever-increasing partisanship, Frum’s independence of thought and lack of partisanship makes for refreshing reading. Last November, Frum made the comprehensive case for …

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How can this be right?

President Trump has named a former Fox News journalist with no background in international relations as his pick for America’s new ambassador to the UN. The crucial role – which former South Carolina governor Nikki Haley will be leaving at the end of the year – has previously gone to scholars, diplomats or experienced politicians. …

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How the Democrats are becoming more like Trump

In America nowadays, we hear a lot about partisan polarisation. Republicans and Democrats couldn’t be more different, it is argued, with the former moving to the right, the latter to the left. This is certainly borne out on Twitter, where Trump’s dominance is matched only by self-described ‘socialist’ congresswoman, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. However, in three crucial …

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Why Britain voted Leave: Brexit explained to non-Brits

My non-British friends often ask me why Britain voted to leave the European Union. Some are Europeans themselves, the vast majority of whom feel sad and bewildered by Britain’s departure. Others are American or Asian, who don’t know much about the EU beyond its primary function as a facilitator of trade, and so would like …

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Irreparable damage

Recently Theresa May strongly rejected the idea of holding a second Brexit referendum. Calls for such a vote have been growing among MPs, who claim it’s the only way of breaking the parliamentary deadlock. But May, who survived a Tory leadership challenge, insisted that another referendum would do “irreparable damage to the integrity of our …

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Afghanistan – the futile war

It’s now more than 17 years later, years in which American commanding generals in Afghanistan repeatedly hailed the U.S. military’s “progress” there and regularly applauded the way we had finally “turned a corner” in the Afghan War — only to find more Taliban fighters armed with RPGs around that very corner. Finally, in the 18th …

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The three choices facing Brexit Britain

Regular readers of Epicurus Today will have noticed an increasingly frequent number of posts on Brexit. This is because we have reached a crucial point in the negotiations, whereby the terms of our departure have been agreed, and just need ratification from the British parliament. The problem facing Britain’s lawmakers is that the country is incredibly …

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The US is complicit in the deaths of these children

An estimated 85,000 children under the age of five have starved to death as a result of the conflict in Yemen, Save the Children has warned. The charity says the figure, based on UN data on acute malnutrition, is a conservative estimate. About 8.4 million people (a third of the population) are at risk of …

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America’s empire of bases

“After the Cold War ended and the Soviet Union imploded, keen observers were surprised to discover that the whole global military structure that Washington had set up “America’s empire of bases” or a “globe-girdling Baseworld” – chugged right on. It didn’t matter that there was no real enemy left on Planet Earth. It was, indeed, …

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Are the Democrats the party of the rich? And does it matter?

At least as far as the House of Representatives was concerned, this year’s midterm elections were a success for the Democrats. They gained a decent majority, won 40 seats off the Republicans, and won the popular vote by roughly nine million people in what was the highest midterm turnout since 1914. While not a complete …

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