Foreign Policy

Trying to Derail Iran Talks

Iran's Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, waving to a crowd. (Iranian government photo)

Neocons won’t give up on involving the U.S. in more Mideast wars and are hard at work derailing negotiations on Syria and Iran’s nuclear program. Right now, the chief target is President Obama’s bid to reduce tensions with Iran, drawing resistance from hardliners on both sides, writes ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

Clarifying Snowden’s ‘Freedom’

NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden speaking in Moscow on Oct. 9, 2013. (From a video posted by WikiLeaks)

A common angle from the mainstream U.S. media is that NSA leaker Edward Snowden will regret his asylum in Russia (rather than life in prison in the U.S.). A quote from ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern was used in support of that theme, but he has asked the New York Times to clarify it.

NYTimes Mentions Israeli Nukes

Exclusive: The U.S. press is very tolerant of Israeli cross-border attacks inside Syria, like the latest one against a military target in Latakia. Israel’s nuclear arsenal usually goes unmentioned, too. But the New York Times surprisingly deviated from that pattern, notes Robert Parry.

The Two Types of Spy ‘Scandals’

A common complaint from spy agencies is that they get blamed for “intelligence failures” when they miss something and they get attacked for “intelligence abuses” when they go too far with their espionage. The public veers from one type of “scandal” to the next, as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar describes.

The Neocons’ Iraq War Mess

The neocons are rewriting more Iraq War history, arguing that if only President Obama had stayed the course on an open-ended U.S. military occupation, the regional situation would be a lot better. But the truth is that it was their invasion of Iraq that set loose the chaos, as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar explains.

Neocons Push Israeli-Saudi Alliance

Exclusive: Early U.S. presidents warned against the dangers of “entangling alliances,” prescient advice that the neocons want President Obama to ignore amid demands from Israel and Saudi Arabia that America tie itself up in the endless and bloody sectarian conflicts of the Middle East, reports Robert Parry.

The Two Amigos’ ‘Credibility’ Crisis

Neocons across Official Washington equate “credibility” with taking military action against some country that won’t bend to America’s will. But true credibility for the U.S. government can come from taking measured and responsible approaches to international disagreements, writes ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

A Threat to Nuke Tehran

Exclusive: Republican mega-donor Sheldon Adelson urged the United States to coerce Iran by dropping a demonstration nuke in the desert followed by a blackmail threat that the next one would obliterate Tehran. But this idea of genocide-extortion has drawn no official U.S. condemnation, says Robert Parry.

Geopolitics of the Drone

The U.S. drone program has decimated the leadership of al-Qaeda and other Islamic militant groups, but it also has alienated people and governments in countries on the front lines by killing civilians and disrupting political alliances, a complexity often missed by the U.S. media, as Gareth Porter reported for Inter Press Service.

The ‘Merchant of Death’ Lobby

The U.S. gun industry doesn’t want any restrictions on its profit-making role as a global “merchant of death,” so its lobby has whipped half the Senate into line opposing a treaty aimed at curbing human rights crimes by regulating the illicit flow of weapons around the world, as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar explains.