William Pfaff is the author of The Irony of Manifest Destiny, published in June 2010 by Walker and Company (New York) -- his tenth and culminating work on international politics and the American destiny. He describes the neglected sources and unforeseen consequences of the tragedy towards which the nation's current effort to remake the world to fit America's measure is leading. His previous books and his articles in The New York Review of Books, The New Yorker, and his syndicated newspaper column, featured for a quarter century in the globally read International Herald Tribune, have made him one of America's most respected and internationally influential interpreters of world affairs.   [Read more...]
His latest article

Hysteria over ISIS

            Paris, September 17, 2014 – A hollow laugh might be permitted at the alliance now announced  as the result of Secretary of State John Kerry’s latest journey through the Middle East, this time to construct an alliance to counterattack the latest Arab menace to America, ISIS.          
           
President Barack Obama and his travel-weary Sancho Panza, John Kerry, are assembling a coalition “of the willing” to deal with the self-proclaimed new Islamic Caliphate and its singularly bloodthirsty leader, again self-appointed, the Emir Abou Bakr al–Baghdadi. 
           
Mr. Kerry came to Paris following his journey with a list of nations ready to contribute  “as appropriate.”   American officials say some but not all on the list would be willing to conduct military action itself.  France says it will join in the bombing, but Britain’s Prime Minister David Cameron, who already has engaged non-combat aerial assistance, is reluctant to join in what the military are disposed to call  “kinetic”  action, meaning high explosives.  Australia, in no noticeable danger, nevertheless is sending not only aircraft but some ground troops.

To date, Iran is the only country in the region actually fighting against ISIS on both fronts, the one in Syria defending Bashar Assad’s government, which Iran has supported since the beginning of the uprising in Syria, and the other front in Iraq opposing the Sunni ISIS.  On the face of it, this suggests that a strategic alliance of Iran with the United States might benefit both.

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