Foreign Policy

Buying Off the ‘Terrorist’ List

The label “terrorist” has been bent to political use so often the word has lost any semblance of objective meaning. American politicians and pundits like to hurl it against perceived enemies, but now it appears a group can escape the opprobrium with enough high-priced lobbying, Danny Schechter writes.

Obama Relents on Delisting MEK

The Obama administration is acquiescing to a high-priced lobbying campaign to “delist” the Iranian dissident movement, MEK, from the U.S. terrorism list. The move signals a readiness to intensify the confrontation with Iran, write Flynt and Hillary Mann Leverett at www.RaceForIran.com.

A Taliban Gain in Afghanistan

After 11 years, the U.S.-led war in Afghanistan – like the ill-fated war in Iraq – is grinding toward a strategic defeat for Washington. The latest setback is the suspension of joint operations with Afghan troops after a rash of killing of NATO trainers by Afghan soldiers, write Shah Noori and Gareth Porter for Inter Press…

Cuba’s Post-Castro Future

Exclusive: With Fidel Castro now 86 and his brother Raul at 81, big changes appear inevitable in Cuba over the next few years. Cuban-Americans are ramping up investment plans, assuming the U.S. government will finally lift the embargo. But the future may not be all that’s expected, reports Don Ediger.

Romney’s Cluelessness on Palestine

Mitt Romney’s casual dismissal of Israeli-Palestinian peace as simply something to “kick … down the field” was perhaps meant to sound tough, even coolly cynical, but actually revealed a stunning naiveté and ignorance, says ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

The Delusional Mr. Romney

Exclusive: Mitt Romney told supporters behind closed doors that he’s disadvantaged because he was born to a rich white family, that he’d have a better chance to win if his dad were a Mexican. It’s getting hard to decide if Romney is simply a country-club racist or delusional, writes Robert Parry.

The Mystery of Neocon Influence

The neocons – despite the disastrous Iraq War and other harm they have caused – remain influential in Official Washington, given time on talk shows and space on op-ed pages to expound on their latest dreams of American intervention in the Middle East. But ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar asks, why are they still listened…

Did Anti-Muslim Film Cross Legal Line?

The makers of an anti-Islamic propaganda video achieved what they apparently intended, inciting a violent reaction among Muslim and creating new tensions between Islam and the West. But the killing of four U.S. diplomatic personnel raises questions about whether legal lines were crossed, maintains Lawrence Davidson.

Why the Mideast Exploded, Really

Exclusive: The new conventional wisdom, in the wake of angry protests roiling the Middle East, is that Muslims are either way too sensitive or irrational. How else to explain the fury over an offensive anti-Islam video? But the video was just the spark that ignited a long-smoldering fire, says ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern.

Over-Simplifying Mideast Turmoil

Simplistic journalism, especially about misunderstood parts of the world and complex conflicts, can do grave harm by reinforcing biases or deepening anger. The U.S. news media has demonstrated this point with its coverage of the current Middle East unrest, writes Erin Niemela.