Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Foreign Affairs

Foreign Affairs

Foreign Affairs
Over the past few year, four leaders of Colombia’s brutal El Dorado cartel were arrested by U.S. authorities and subsequently convicted of shipping nearly 1,000 tons of cocaine into the country. Three got unusually light sentences and, for reasons...
Florida congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, you may recall, was forced to resign as chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee when hacked documents showed she was rigging the primaries for Hillary Clinton. She was booed off the stage at the...
One the most heavily promoted stories of this year’s campaign is that Donald Trump is a tool of Moscow and no one is pushing it harder than Hillary Clinton’s campaign. Just in the past few days we’ve had stories...
We’ve heard a lot about problems surrounding Trump University, which sounds like a pretty big scam. We’ve heard a lot less about Baltimore-based Laureate Education, which is one of the world’s largest for-profit schools. Unlike its major American competitors,...
One of the major foreign donors to the Clinton Foundation is a Nigerian billionaire named Gilbert Chagoury, who’s best known for helping former dictator Sani Abacha hide vast sums of money offshore. Chagoury, who has an estate in Los...
Before heading out for the weekend, let’s discuss Jeffrey Epstein, America’s best connected political pedophile, shall we? If you haven’t heard of him, Epstein’s the super-sleazy Palm Beach billionaire who was busted some time back and convicted for conspiring...
For weeks press accounts have talked excitedly about an imminent attack on Mosul, which ISIS captured two years ago and is where Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi declared his “caliphate." Retaking Mosul would mark a major victory against ISIS and show that...
The latest vapid uproar of campaign 2016 involves Donald Trump Jr. posting a tweet that "Compared Syrian Refugees to Poisoned Skittles," according to an AP headline. "If I had a bowl of skittles and I told you just three...
Jim Jatras, a former US diplomat, foreign policy adviser to the Senate GOP leadership, and lobbyist comments on financial and foreign policy topics and on U.S. politics in his publication TheJIM!gram. Jim’s views may not appeal to everyone, to put...
When the New York Times covers Carlos Slim, which is extremely rarely, they make him out to be a shopkeep, the friendly, goodnatured bodega owner down the street. As it happens, Slim is the ruthless head of a transnational...
Michael Isikoff of Yahoo had a big story last Friday that got major play, probably because it feeds into the dumb narrative that Donald Trump is a Russian stooge being run by Vladimir Putin. To be clear, Trump is...
Last week, I published an excellent piece by Andy Smolski about Mexican oligarch Carlos Slim’s influence at the New York Times, where he own 17 percent of Class A shares, and how that might effect the newspaper’s coverage. I...
I know arms dealers are not generally seen as sympathetic, but you should be worried about the story of Marc Turi. He’s the guy who the Justice Department indicted in 2014 for legally sending weapons to Qatar and the...
With Hillary Clinton pushing for a no-fly zone over Syria that is almost guaranteed to start a shooting war with Russia and Donald Trump saying one thing while his Party's platform says another, it would be helpful at this...
I have a story out in Fusion today that details how the Clinton Foundation and it's biggest donor -- Frank Giustra, a penny stock artist un-lovingly nicknamed the "Poison Dwarf" by a former stock-fraud investigator -- raped and pillaged Colombia, where I...
I had a story yesterday in Fusion about the Clinton Foundation’s programs in Colombia, where it brags about helping the poor but, as I saw when I visited the country earlier this year, has accomplished pathetically little on the...
If you’ve been following the presidential campaign, you know that neither Hillary Clinton nor Donald Trump has the slightest idea of what’s going on in Syria. Clinton thinks ratcheting up U.S. military action there will turn the country into...
"OK, I'm glad Hillary lost," I wrote on Facebook last week. "She and her sleazy little friends deserved to eat shit. There's still plenty more to write about them but fuck it, it's time to move on and sharpen...
So it turns out that Hillary Clinton was a terrible candidate after all. Who could possibly have predicted that holing up in the Hamptons in August to fundraise wouldn't look good?  Or that having the overwhelming support of Hollywood --...
A few months back I wrote a story here about how media chatter on an impending attack on Mosul was highly misleading and that an assault on the city before the election was unlikely. Whenever the attack took place, I wrote,...
Michael Flynn has been named Donald Trump’s National Security Advisor and there's been a lot written about why he's a dangerous choice. Mostly overlooked is his relationship with Lebanese-born Brigitte Gabriel, a designated “terrorist expert” for many news networks...
If Hillary Clinton had been elected president, a major confrontation with Russia would almost inevitably have taken place, and probably sooner rather than later. Under Donald Trump, the risk of World War III with Russia has been reduced dramatically...
I ran a story here yesterday about Donald Trump's incoming national security adviser, Lieutenant General Michael Flynn, and his long time desire to gin up a war with Iran. As I wrote, I've heard that Flynn was fired from his job...
While world attention is focused on Aleppo, outgoing U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon warns in an op-ed published by Newsweek that there's a real threat of a genocide in South Sudan. He writes: Tens of thousands have been killed. The social...
There are plenty of grounds to question Donald Trump’s nomination of ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson to be secretary of state, but so far people have missed an important one, namely his direct role in striking up business with one...
The political freak-show disaster known as the Ukraine is a constant reminder of just how full of baloney the Democrats are when it comes to discussing the threat posed by fascism, racism, and religious extremism. While any person with...
In 2005 the Marine Corps University published a paper entitled The Professional Military Services Industry: Have We Created a New Military-Industrial Complex? To consider that question now is the equivalent of asking if the Pope is Catholic. The United States...
By the time the book came out in 1949, the Cold War was at its height. The book therefore proved popular. It was almost a matter of patriotism in the West to buy it and talk about it, and...
A familiar pattern is becoming apparent with terror attacks or would-be terror attacks in the United States. As we wait for the suspect to be identified, some hoping that identity meets their specific narrative, we are often given some early...
Coming Next Week! The Special Branch of South Vietnam’s National Police force functioned like the FBI, conducting counter-intelligence and criminal investigations. Its primary function, however, was infiltrating and suppressing the Communist Party, as well as the nationalist political parties and...
The Vietnamese perspective is rarely found in English language books about the Vietnam War, especially regarding the CIA’s “liaison” relationship with South Vietnamese police and security officials. Which is why I considered myself very fortunate when I was introduced...
In modernizing the GVN’s police forces, MSUG sent qualified uniformed police officers to study at Michigan State for a year. Theoretically, these individuals became police chiefs upon their return to South Vietnam; in fact, any official who wanted to...
By 1961, the insurgency was growing and the in-coming Kennedy Administration put the blame on the repressive policies of Ngô regime. The Kennedys were also upset that Diệm’s brothers Cẩn and Nhu, and their spymaster Tuyến, were smuggling opium...
The dictatorial Ngô regime collapsed in 1963, for several reasons. One contributing factor was its Strategic Hamlet program. Designed to protect the regime by relocating millions of mostly rural people, the program was mistakenly placed under the supervision of...
Nhuận left the CIO/SOC in December 1963 to become Chief of the National Police in Quảng-Đức Province, headquartered in Gia Nghia City in the Central Highlands. Like his previous post in Darlac, Quảng-Đức was a mountainous province on the...
“In 1967,” Nhuan said, “the Central Vietnam Southern Lowland Region comprised five provinces: Bình-Định, Phú-Yên, Khánh-Hòa, Ninh-Thuận, Bình-Thuận, and one independent city, Cam-Ranh. That region was merged with mine to become the II-CTZ (Corps Tactical Zone). I was made...
Ever the idealist, Lê Xuân Nhuận refused to participate in Nguyễn Cao Kỳ’s plot to seize power from his running mate Nguyễn Văn Thiệu. Instead, he informed the CIA, which took steps to assure that Thiệu would become the...
[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FtAVy7P1uJg] Nhuận’s dismay with Thiệu climaxed during the national elections of 1971, when Thiệu resorted to the same dirty tricks Kỳ tried to use in 1967. Thiệu, however, was so successful in rigging the presidential election that the other...
Nhuận was captured on 17 April 1975 while hiding in the French-style villa of Mr. Tôn Thất Đệ, owner of Nha-Trang’s “Tân Tân” ciné. Mr. Đệ was his wife’s uncle. “My case was a special one,” he said. “In the...
Memes aren’t great ways to learn a lot about history or politics, though they’re used that way a lot.  Still, some are funny and make a good point in a few lines in a way that might take paragraphs...