In honor of Valentine's Day 1958, pseudonymous author Sagittarius took a light-hearted look at ongoing diplomatic talks between the United States and Soviet Union on the subject of nuclear weapons tests. Though the Berlin and Cuban Missile Crises loomed in the near future, the powers did agree to a one-year ban on tests in March 1958.
The Hottest Club in New York is .... Part of the United Nations
The conference is a diplomatic Hail Mary pass.
Fallout from the U.S.-Russia deal
More fallout from the U.S.-Russia deal
Is It Curtains for Street Art Attacking the Great Satan?
Since 1979, anti-US art has been a staple of Iran's streetscape. But is this era of propaganda coming to an end?
A few lucky breaks led to a different speech than we expected
Barack Obama’s speech on Syria had a peculiar structure. The first part of it was devoted to justifying why the president had decided to “respond to the Assad regime’s use of chemical weapons through a targeted military strike.” Your average listener might have thought that Obama would say next that missiles aimed at Damascus were leaving their silos. The threat of violence loomed over the first half of the speech.
One underlying goal of American threats to attack Syria for its use of chemical weapons has been to move the parties in Syria toward a negotiated settlement. That is unlikely to happen without the Assad government’s main international backers, Iran and Russia, participating in negotiations.
Barack Obama, known previously for his caution, has decided to take an enormous risk and seek Congressional authorization for a military strike against Syria. If Obama fails to get authorization, does he then go ahead regardless? Or does he renege on his promise to enforce a “red line” on the use of chemical weapons? At risk is Obama’s presidency and the country’s ability to act in the world.
I have learned over the years that if an editor wants to kill one of my stories, he can always find reasons. Similarly, if a foreign policy official wants to reject a policy, he can always find reasons for doing that. The Washington Post reports today that “experts” are warning against a “U.S. strike” against Syria’s Bashar al Assad.
If Bashar al Assad’s use of chemical weapons in a rebel-controlled suburb of Damascus is “undeniable,” as Secretary of State John Kerry declared today, the United States should retaliate forcefully. It should recruit whatever allies it can—France and Great Britain have already volunteered—but it would be nice to have a nation or two that wasn’t once an imperial power in the Middle East.