Foreign Policy

Israel’s Power Play on Obama

Israel’s latest saber-rattling over Iran’s nuclear program may be a pre-election strategy to coerce President Obama into a firm commitment that, if he’s re-elected and if Iran doesn’t destroy its own nuclear “capability,” he will authorize a U.S. military strike next year, writes Gareth Porter for Inter Press Service.

Would US Intervention Help Syria?

Political pressure is building on the Obama administration to intervene in Syria’s civil war on the side of the anti-government rebels, but an escalation of the violence might only prolong the conflict and prevent serious national reconciliation, say Flynt and Hillary Mann Leverett at RaceForIran.com.

A New Egyptian Government Rises

Egypt’s moderate Islamist president, Mohamed Morsi, is picking his way through hot political coals as a new governing system rises from the embers of the old. But his ad hoc constitutionalism is not unprecedented; indeed, it is how the United States was forged, notes ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

The Impulse to Intervene

The invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq – followed by failed nation-building – may have taught the U.S. government a few lessons in humility, but the temptation to intervene in crises around the world remains strong, with recent examples in Syria and South Sudan, notes the Independent Institute’s Ivan Eland.

Ryan Pick Leaves Global Void

In picking House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan for the vice presidential slot, Mitt Romney signaled a disinterest in filling his own gap in foreign policy experience – as well as a likely avoidance of international affairs as a major topic in the presidential race, observes ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

Olympic Ideals and Reality of War

The Olympic ideal of replacing armed conflict with athletic competition has fallen to the pressures of nationalism and money. Now, the Olympics are celebrated even as nations continue the killing and plan for more, Danny Schechter writes from Johannesburg.

Israel’s ‘Bomb Iran’ Timetable

Exclusive: As the clock ticks down to the U.S. elections in November, another clock is ticking in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, whether Israeli forces should exploit the American political timetable to pressure President Obama to support an attack on Iran’s nuclear sites, writes ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern.

Can Iran Help on Syrian Crisis?

Official Washington, including the U.S. press corps, depicts the Syrian crisis as a civil war between black hats and white hats with no room for talks with dictator Bashar al-Assad and certainly no role for Iranian negotiators, but Flynt and Hillary Mann Leverett at RaceForIran.com see that position as shortsighted.

Neocons Push for Deeper Syrian Role

The neoconservatives who run the Washington Post continue to beat the drum for more U.S. war in the Middle East, now giving voice to influential neocon pundits demanding that the Obama administration begin lethal aid to Syrian rebels, as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar notes.

The Darkness of August 9

During World War II, Aug. 9 came to represent varying barbarities inflicted on innocent civilians, from the gassing of a Jewish Carmelite nun to the beheading of a German Christian war protester to the incineration of a Japanese city with a historic Christian church as Ground Zero, Gary G. Kohls writes.