From Christopher Dickey, the author of "Our Man in Charleston: Britain's Secret Agent in the Civil War South" and "Securing the City," this site provides updates and footnotes on history, espionage, terrorism, fanaticism, policing and counterinsurgency linked to Dickey's columns for The Daily Beast and his other writings; also, occasional dialogues, diatribes, and contributions from friends.
Sunday, September 22, 2019
To War or Not to War?
The attack on Saudi Arabia's oil facilities was an act of war, but Trump and the Saudis don't want to say so. At least not yet. There are reasons.
TO WAR OR NOT TO WAR
Back in Paris ... Among the major world news stories of the last week, I wrote about the aftermath of the attack on Saudi Arabia's oil infrastructure, a hit claimed by the Houthis using Iranian missiles and drones. It was a clear act of war and the veil of deniability was mighty thin, but both the Saudis and Trump quickly realized they were in no position to respond in kind. So they took the opportunity afforded by Iran's denials to stall, if not indeed to hide, behind a bodyguard of lies.
Another big story involved Trump's alleged efforts to extort Ukraine, pushing its new president to "investigate" a bogus narrative about Biden abusing power. How perfect. An abuse of power to create charges of an opponent's abuse of power. Anna Nemtsova reported in an exclusive that Ukraine would only look into this if it received a formal request from the American government.
And then there were the global demonstrations demanding action to address climate change, with 16 year old Greta Thunberg taking the lead as a kind of messianic figure. We published Barbie Nadeau's elegant profile of Thunberg and the role Asperger's Syndrome has played in developing her charisma as well as her focus on the issues. (In passing, I could not help but wonder if Joan of Arc had such a condition.) We also re-posted my long, intimate profile of Jacques Cousteau, a great celebrity half a century ago whose prophecies about environmental destruction, unfortunately, went unheeded.
Finally, I hope everyone will read this extraordinary article in Esquire by my sister, Bronwen Dickey, about the struggle to identify the dead at the U.S.-Mexico border: The Remains.
Published 09.16.19 [Note: This article is available only to Daily Beast members, but I would encourage you to join if you have not already done so. No other paywall is less expensive or a better value.]
An attack on Saudi oil facilities threatens the global economy and practically dares the U.S. to retaliate. If that weren't dangerous enough, Trump is president.
My September 20 essay on the utility of lies to address issues of war and peace in the Middle East: