Like Qaddafi, Saddam Hussein was also a horrendous thug whose arbitrary and brutal rule resulted in the deaths of vast numbers of his own citizens -- but there is no doubt that taking Saddam out removed one of the effective constraints on Iran.
At about 5:33 am, a very large explosion shook my hotel in Kabul. This is Afghanistan Independence Day today, a national holiday. About eight minutes later, I heard another explosion. At first I didn't know if this was a rocket or bomb blast -- but it now appears from other reports and talking to guards here that these were bombs.
The lines of tension here in Kabul are not necessarily between the Taliban and the rest; they are regional, ethnic, sub-regional, sub-ethnic. There is a complex, subtle struggle going on in the institutions I have seen thus far between fragments of Afghan society that must be included in government, in decisions, in anything big, lest those factions become spoilers, vetoing progress -- sometimes through violence
There are many who would like to continue to see US-Cuba relations only through the prism of an anachronistic embargo and standoff over property rights, human rights, and other differences -- but given that the Cold War ended everywhere else in the world -- it makes no sense for US and Cuba not to normalize relations.
My Safi Airways flight from Dubai to Kabul was filled with American, European, and African contractors, diplomats, some military -- but very few Afghans as best as I could see. With the US spending $120 billion a year here, it's good money for those who want to get a financial break. And living in a world that feels something like a Mad Max movie has its own rush.
None of the top finishers have a real chance of leading a GOP ticket, as the Hawkeye State marginalizes itself in the presidential process
In the case of the United States -- which has been indisputably the reigning global superpower for six decades -- there are signs -- ranging from the tumult in the Middle East to a humiliating war in Afghanistan to a downgrade of US sovereign debt -- that America is at a key inflection point in its history and that the US network of global control (aka, "empire") is disintegrating.
What often is not reported about the Afghanistan War is the degree to which the problem the nation faces is embedded in communities and villages throughout the country, not only in the Western and Southern provinces
The new secretary and former CIA director starts off in his new job sounding off about how the debt deal could make us less safe
Some random connections between a 1947 science experiment testing weightlessness on cats and pigeons and how this might all make a world with Glenn Beck in it easier to deal with.