Mel Gurtov: Iran is doing nothing that constitutes a new threat to US or any other country’s interests, and Iran’s latest actions—even if Tehran is responsible for the attacks on oil tankers in the Gulf and the downing of a US drone—are best understood as responses to US provocations.
Mel Gurtov: There is nothing, absolutely nothing, this man will not do to ensure his hold on power, including going to war.
Mel Gurtov: There is no emergency. No evidence has been presented to show that Iran is taking any action that threatens US or any other country’s interests.
John Peeler: This US policy is absolutely inexcusable: It is aggressive and baseless, oblivious to diplomacy, and guaranteed to cause untold hardship and chaos for the people of the region.
Mel Gurtov: Under Trump identity politics has come to the fore, pushing aside the tenets of liberal democracy and respect for diversity.
Mel Gurtov: The American economic story is that wealth inequality increases along with increasing wealth overall. The higher up in the wealth chain one is, and most especially at the top 1 percent of households, the greater the gains in riches.
Mel Gurtov: Two things can be said with certainty about Trump’s 2020 budget request: It is DOA, dead on arrival, in the House; and it is a political document, catering to his loyal supporters, rather than a serious fiscal statement.
Mel Gurtov: Trump’s hard-line advisers, wedded to the demand for “complete, verifiable, irreversible denuclearization” (CVID), saw to it that the administration added to sanctions and rejected South Korean proposals for easing their own.
Mel Gurtov: In fall 2018, with Pompeo at the helm, the State Department announced that it would “use the full weight of American economic and diplomatic power to help create the conditions for the restoration of democracy for the Venezuelan people.”
Mel Gurtov: Trump has overplayed his hand, not so much because of the withdrawal of US forces as because he has once again revealed how ego, arrogance, and impulsiveness drive his decision making.
Mel Gurtov: China’s failure to acknowledge major abuses of human rights is consistent with Xi’s repression of dissent at home and concentration of power in the party-state, both to an extent not seen since the Mao era.
Mel Gurtov: Trump is not another Hitler, but his wanton destruction of democratic processes, his efforts to undermine institutions of international cooperation, and his thinly veiled incitements of supporters to violence are all too reminiscent of the Nazi era.
Mel Gurtov: The murder of Jamal Khashoggi, an independent-minded Saudi journalist and Washington Post columnist, almost certainly at the hands of a Saudi assassination squad dispatched by (now King) Salman, shows what happens when US foreign policy is for sale.