Sunday, September 22, 2019

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.

My appearance Saturday on MSNBC summed up my thoughts on the prospects for war with Iran:

My September 16 column about the risks or war:


We're a Lot Closer to War Than You've Been Told


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: 


Can Trump Lie His Way Out of War With Iran? Yep.


The president's lies got us into this mess that threatens war, global recession—and his re-election. But the use of "deniability" is something he understands very well.

And finally, my long highly personal profile of Jacques Cousteau:


Explorer, Eco-Warrior, Spy: The Battles of Jacques Cousteau

One of the world's great adventurers—and a Resistance spy—Jacques Cousteau warned me 25 years ago that humans were reaching the point of no return on environmental destruction.


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