Gamma Senmin, Soga Shōhaku (1730-1783). Freer Collection, Washington.

Gamma Senmin, Soga Shōhaku (1730-1783). Freer Collection, Washington.

PATRICKLAWRENCE.US serves several purposes. It is an archive of the columns, commentary, and essays published under the bylines “Patrick L. Smith” or simply “Patrick Smith.” This work is now available in one place for the first time. The site also introduces my books and provides readers or those with professional queries several ways to connect. This is also home to an occasional journal, Cú Chulainn.

“These are my footsteps.”
                      ——Sam Francis

Recent pieces.

16_0921-mideast-crisis-syria-aleppo-boy_8-photo-credit-stringer The Failed Syria Ceasefire Pushes US-Russia Relations to the Brink - September 19, 2016 4:48 PM - Unless there’s a quick and drastic turn for the better in Syria, the US may reach its moment of truth with Russia. If Washington is simply unable or unwilling to work with Moscow to resolve the conflict, it’s likely that...
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov hold a press conference following their meeting in Geneva, where they discussed the crisis in Syria, Friday, Sept. 9, 2016. (Kevin Lamarque/Pool Photo via AP) John Kerry’s last hurrah: With the Syrian cease-fire, the secretary of state takes a parting swipe at Russophobia - September 14, 2016 4:31 PM - The cease-fire ends his successful skirmish with the Pentagon, but the war will grind on long after Kerry is gone Secretary of State John Kerry now gives us another “cessation of hostilities” agreement — a not-quite-cease-fire — as signed with...
16_0921-09122016_kerry_lavrov-photo-credit-reuters-kevin-lamarque Why the Kerry-Lavrov Syrian Ceasefire–the 9th Try–Better Hold - September 12, 2016 4:46 PM - After a long walk on a stony path in the wee hours of Saturday in Geneva, Secretary of State John Kerry and Sergei Lavrov, his Russian counterpart, finally reached a Syrian ceasefire agreement – again. A week-long “cessation of hostilities”...

Cú Chulainn.

        Ah! now he is running down to the sea…
             holding up his sword…
        O! he is fighting the waves.
                      ——Yeats, On Baile’s Strand

Journal Entry - July 5, 2016 3:17 PM - GALÁPAGOS—I can tell you a few facts about these nowhere-else-on-earth islands, but it would be impossible adequately to describe the experience of wandering for a week among them. Providing one pays attention, one leaves at the end of a time...
Journal Entry - June 8, 2016 4:05 PM - MOSCOW—“Information wars,” “alternative media,” “the end of the mainstream media”—my mind rattles with such thoughts after half a week here. I’ve been to conferences in Moscow twice in the past six months, and these have been the topics of my...