Conn Hallinan
Dispatches from the Edge


Conn Hallinan was born in San Francisco, California and currently resides in Berkeley, Ca. He graduated from the University Of California with a BA, MA and PhD in Anthropology, and has been a journalist for more than 40 years.

He taught journalism at the University of California at Santa Cruz for 23 years and was a provost of one of UCSC’s colleges. He is currently a columnist for Foreign Policy In Focus and the Berkeley Daily Planet. He has written three unpublished novels that can be accessed at His columns and medical writings can be found at

Recent Essays

TPJ Magazine
Hillary & The Urn of Ashes

By Conn Hallinan - Jan.30, 2016


                             “They sent forth men to battle.

                             But no such men return;

                             And home, to claim their


Comes ashes in an urn.”

                   Ode from “Agamemnon”

                   in the Greek tragedy

                   the Oresteia by Aeschylus

Aeschylus—who had actually fought at Marathon in 490 BC, the battle that defeated the first Persian invasion of Greece—had few illusions about the consequences of war. His ode is one that the candidates for the U.S. presidency might consider, though one doubts that many of them would think to find wisdom in a 2,500 year-old Greek play. 

Syria: Shooting Down Peace?

By Conn Hallinan, Dec. 8, 2015

Why did Turkey shoot down that Russian warplane?

 It was certainly not because the SU-24 posed any threat. The plane is old and slow, and the Russians were careful not to arm it with anti-aircraft missiles. It was not because the Turks are quick on the trigger. Three years ago Turkish President Recap Tanya Endogen said, “A short-term violation of airspace can never be a pretext for an attack.” And there are some doubts about whether the Russian plane ever crossed into Turkey’s airspace.

A Kingdom Stumbles: Saudi Arabia

By Conn Hallinan - Oct. 31, 2015

For the past eight decades Saudi Arabia has been careful.

Using its vast oil wealth, it has quietly spread its ultra-conservative brand of Islam throughout the Muslim world, secretly undermined secular regimes in its region and prudently kept to the shadows, while others did the fighting and dying. It was Saudi money that fueled the Mujahedeen in Afghanistan, underwrote Saddam Hussein’s invasion of Iran, and bankrolled Islamic movements and terrorist groups from the Caucuses to Hindu Kush.