Foreign Policy

Understanding the ‘Crazy’ Iranians

For more than three decades, many Americans have viewed Iran through the lens of the painful hostage crisis of 1979-81, seeing the Islamic Republic as irrational and dismissive of international law. But the fuller story is more complicated and less frightening, write Flynt and Hillary Mann Leverett.

Obama Avoids Clash with Netanyahu

Having learned some lessons about Republican intransigence, President Obama is taking his budget case to the American people, but he still avoids a public confrontation with another first-term obstacle, Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu, notes ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

Ben-Menashe Case Eyes Bomb Residue

Exclusive: The investigation of the firebombing of the upscale Montreal home of ex-Israeli intelligence officer Ari Ben-Menashe is looking at the possibility the accelerant was more sophisticated than available to common criminals, reports Robert Parry.

Arson Seen in Attack on Ex-Israeli Spy

Exclusive: Suspected arson destroyed the Montreal home of ex-Israeli intelligence officer Ari Ben-Menashe, who says he escaped through a rear door. It’s unclear if the fire was an assassination attempt to finally silence a man who has angered the Israeli government, powerful Republicans and others, writes Robert Parry.

Why to Say No to Susan Rice

Exclusive: Key Republicans object to Susan Rice getting a promotion from UN ambassador to Secretary of State, citing her flawed account of the Benghazi assault. But a more legitimate concern is her lack of judgment on the Iraq War and other foreign policy decisions, says ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern.

Egypt’s Imperfect Constitution

Egyptian President Morsi is pressing for a quick vote on a new constitution which has drawn criticism from both secularists and Islamists. But the imperfect plan has the benefit of establishing some governing rules for the tumultuous country and can be changed later, writes ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

The Benghazi ‘Scandal’ Smokescreen

Official Washington can’t figure out how to have a meaningful discussion on critical foreign policy issues, like the alleged need for a stay-behind force in Afghanistan or rules for drone wars. Instead there’s a ginned-up scandal over Benghazi talking points, notes Independent Institute’s Ivan Eland.

Explaining the Unexplainable

Since World War II, the common reaction to the horrendous crimes of the Nazis has been to wonder how such extreme behavior was possible. But the more important point is how the process of killing could be made so mundane, a question that remains relevant today, as Gary G. Kohls explains.

How the World Was Saved

Exclusive: A half-century ago in the Cuban Missile Crisis, the world teetered on the brink of annihilation, pushed by a mix of nuclear adventurism, misunderstanding and fear. The Armageddon Letters compiles the messages that defined and defused the crisis, writes Jim DiEugenio.

The Bigger Question about Libya

The ginned-up fury over what Ambassador to the UN Susan Rice said about the Benghazi attack on TV shows obscures a bigger question, whether the U.S.-backed overthrow of Muammar Gaddafi was smart policy. Libya remains a country in turmoil amid growing doubts about U.S. trustworthiness, says ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.