Foreign Policy

Yitzhak Shamir: the Well-Liked Terrorist

As Israeli history has disappeared into a rose-color haze of pleasing propaganda, some of the hard truths are conveniently forgotten – such as the unabashed terrorism of ultra-nationalist leaders like Yitzhak Shamir, whose death has prompted eulogies that ignore his war crimes, writes Nima Shirazi.

New Israeli Leader Balks on Iran

Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has kept President Obama behind a hard-line strategy on Iran’s nuclear program via lobbying pressure from Congress and Washington’s neocons. But a new member of the Israeli government is complicating matters, writes Gareth Porter for Inter Press Service.

Illegal US Sanctions on Iran?

The United States has threatened to impose punishing sanctions on countries importing oil from Iran and – only at the last minute on Thursday – granted China a waiver from the penalties. But these third-party sanctions are likely illegal under trade laws, write Flynt and Hillary Mann Leverett at RaceForIran.com.

How Iran Might See the Threats

Exclusive: Hard-headed realism and outside-the-box thinking might be needed to avert another catastrophe in the Middle East, this time an Israeli attack on Iran and the unpredictable consequences. In that light, ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern imagines a bleak report that an Iranian intelligence officer might send back to Tehran.

The Price of Political Purity

Special Report: Some activists on the Left are rejecting President Obama and the Democrats even if that means electoral victories for Mitt Romney, the neocons and the Tea Party. But Sam Brown, a veteran of a similar debate in 1968, cautions against the allure of political purity, writes Robert Parry.

Drawing Lessons from the Vietnam War

The Vietnam War may seem like ancient history to many Americans, but that destructive conflict holds important lessons for the present, especially the danger of “group think” driving foreign policy and the value of insights that clash with conventional wisdom, says ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

Hounding Julian Assange

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has taken refuge in Ecuador’s embassy in London rather than be extradited to Sweden to face sex-abuse accusations. But Assange’s ordeal reflects a larger and more troubling American hostility to truth-tellers who point the finger at Washington, says Lawrence Davidson.

What Russia Fears in Syrian Conflict

The U.S. government condemns Russia for blocking aggressive steps to oust Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. But Moscow fears Sunni extremists in the Syrian opposition and recalls how the West’s tolerance of such radicals before — in Afghanistan and the Balkans — led to even worse violence, writes Joe Lauria.

Still Fighting Bush’s GWOT

President Obama rebranded the “global war on terror” the “war on Al Qaeda,” but his counterterrorism strategy hews closely to President George W. Bush’s, as the U.S. joins conflicts in Yemen and elsewhere that have little connection to the 9/11 attacks, as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar writes.

All for One

Much of the propaganda that inundates the world’s population is designed to justify animosities and conflicts, whether religious, racial or political. But there is a larger truth that also must be understood – that we are all in this together, as Winslow Myers notes.