The NATO Afghanistan War and US-Russian Relations: Drugs, Oil, and War

I delivered the following remarks at an anti-NATO conference held in Moscow on May 15, 2012. I was the only North American speaker at an all-day conference, having been invited in connection with the appearance into Russian of my book Drugs, Oil, and War. As a former diplomat worried about peace I was happy to attend: as far as I can tell there may be less serious dialogue today between Russian and American intellectuals than there was at the height of the Cold War. Yet the danger of war involving the two leading nuclear powers has hardly disappeared.

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The Failure of the Summit of the Americas VI

Dilma Rousseff interrupted the speech of Barack Obama. The President of the United States was speaking about the advances of various countries in Latin America, commenting that now there exists “a prosperous middle class” that represents a business opportunity for companies from his country. “Suddenly, they are interested in buying iPads, interested in buying planes from Boeing.” “Or Embraer,” interjected Dilma, yielding applause.

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Fear, Loathing and Electoral Love in Mexico

Mexico’s federal election campaign officially kicked off March 30, but the contest arguably began in earnest days earlier when Pope Benedict XVI visited the right-wing  stronghold  of Guanajuato state. In a story worthy of Mexican surrealism, the daily La Jornada chronicled how all the presidential candidates joined with hundreds of thousands of people in the town of Silao to welcome the leader of an institution that is officially prohibited from participating in politics.

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