Tag Archive for William R. Polk

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Yemen as Vietnam or Afghanistan

A scene from the North Yemen Civil War of the 1960s.

With U.S. intelligence help, Saudi Arabia has launched air strikes into Yemen and wants Egypt and Pakistan to invade, threatening to turn a long-simmering civil war into a regional conflict, a scenario that reminded retired U.S. diplomat William R. Polk of his work for President Kennedy on an earlier Yemeni war.

In Case You Missed…

Some of our special stories in February focused on the risks of nuclear war over Ukraine, the unpublicized suppression of dissent in America, some lost history around the Civil War, and the shocking connections linking Al-Qaeda, Saudi Arabia and Israel.

Needed: Leaders Like JFK and Khrushchev

President John F. Kennedy addressing the nation regarding the October 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis.

Three days ago, former U.S. diplomat William R. Polk, who served President John F. Kennedy during the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962, warned that the West was risking a similar crisis in reverse by pressing NATO forces aggressively onto Russia’s borders. He has now added this postscript about the need for wise leaders.

Ukraine War: A Reverse Cuban Missile Crisis

In October 1962, Americans were terrified over Soviet missiles in Cuba, as this newspaper map showing distances between Cuba and major North American  cities demonstrates.

Guided by an aggressive neocon “regime change” strategy, the United States has stumbled into a potential military confrontation with Russia over Ukraine, a dangerous predicament that could become a Cuban Missile Crisis in reverse, as ex-U.S. diplomat William R. Polk explains.

Israeli Founder Contests Founding Myths

Israeli Uri Avnery

The Torah (or Old Testament) is a master work of literature and faith, but it tells many mythological tales that have little or no basis in real history, as Uri Avnery, one of Israel’s founders, has had the courage to declare, with an introduction from retired U.S. diplomat William R. Polk.

In Case You Missed…

Some of our special stories in November focused on the Right’s successful political deceptions, America’s refusal to address its grim history, Israel’s drift toward greater repression, Ray McGovern’s mysterious arrest, and developments in Syria and Ukraine.

In Case You Missed…

Some of our special stories in October set the record straight in defense of Gary Webb’s Contra-cocaine reporting, explained the continued crises in Syria and Ukraine, and noted the decline of American democratic institutions.

The Double Standards on Bank Crimes

Timothy Geithner (left), then Treasury Secretary, meeting with President Barack Obama in the Oval Office. (White House photo)

The U.S. government has levied some billion-dollar fines on banks for offenses tied to the financial crisis, but bank officers have avoided the shackled frog-walk and time behind bars, humiliations dealt out routinely to criminals who make off with much less money, says ex-U.S. diplomat William R. Polk.

The Iraq War’s Pricy Ticket

President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney receive an Oval Office briefing from CIA Director George Tenet. Also present is Chief of Staff Andy Card (on right). (White House photo)

For American taxpayers, the Iraq War is a gift that keeps on taking, with new plans to spend tens of billions of dollars to retrain the Iraqi army whose initial training cost tens of billions before the army collapsed against a few thousand militants, a pricy dilemma cited by ex-U.S. diplomat William R. Polk.

Standing in an Adversary’s Shoes

President John F. Kennedy addressing the nation regarding the October 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis.

Americans are notoriously disinterested in history, preferring to focus on the present and often reacting to the latest crisis. But the past can teach important lessons including the need to understand an adversary’s perspective and to avoid unnecessary conflicts, as ex-U.S. diplomat William R. Polk explains.