Foreign Policy

Obama and Fast-Moving Global Crises

President Barack Obama and White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough. (This White House photo by Pete Souza was taken when McDonough was deputy national security adviser.)

The three big international crises – Ukraine/Russia, Israel/Gaza and Iran/nuclear – mark a choice for President Obama, stick with Israel and the old alignments or shift toward more cooperation with Russia and Iran. But the pieces on this global chessboard are fast moving, says ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

What Is Israel’s End Game in Gaza?

Soldiers from the Israeli Defense Force prepare for the invasion of Gaza, as the second phase of Operation Protective Edge. (IDF Photo)

By invading Gaza, Israel claims to be addressing short-term security concerns but it is also damaging what remains of the peace process — and the offensive raises troubling questions about the future of the Palestinians trapped in Gaza, writes former Congressman Dennis Kucinich.

Prospects for Iran Nuke Deal Brighten

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry shakes hands with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif as he arrives at a hotel in Vienna, Austria, on July 14, 2014, for a second day of meetings about the future of his country's nuclear program. [State Department photo]

Though neocons and congressional war hawks are still hoping to sink an Iranian nuclear deal, the Obama administration and Iranian negotiators appear to have cleared some key hurdles toward a workable plan for keeping Iran’s program peaceful, writes Gareth Porter for Inter Press Service.

The Human Price of Neocon Havoc

Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs Victoria Nuland, who pushed for the Ukraine coup and helped pick the post-coup leaders.

Exclusive: Neocons are the “masters of chaos” as they destabilize disfavored governments around the world. But real people pay the price as we’ve seen with Israel’s slaughter of four boys on a Gaza beach and an apparent shoot-down of a Malaysian airliner over war-torn Ukraine, writes Robert Parry.

How Israeli PR Sells Gaza Slaughter

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

A favorite line of Official Washington goes: “Perception is reality!” — a misguided notion that makes the U.S. mainstream media particularly vulnerable to “perception management.” And no one does that better than the Israelis when justifying the slaughter of Palestinians, as Danny Schechter notes.

The Periodic Slaughter of Palestinians

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu meeting with President Obama on Sept. 1, 2010. (White House photo by Pete Souza)

To the Israeli government, the periodic slaughter of Palestinians in Gaza is called “mowing the grass,” a chore that frequently needs repeating. But this violence is wearing on the world’s conscience, including moral objections from more and more Jews, observes Lawrence Davidson.

The Broken Promise to Shevardnadze

Eduard Shevardnadze, as president of Georgia in 2002, being welcomed to NATO by NATO Secretary General, Lord Robertson. (Credit: NATO photo)

The passing of former Soviet Foreign Minister Eduard Shevardnadze has roused praise from the West – though opinions are mixed among the people he served – but one point missing in the obits was the U.S. promise made to him (and broken) not to exploit Moscow’s retreat, ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern writes.

Obama’s Failure to Rein in CIA and NSA

CIA Director John Brennan at a White House meeting during his time as President Barack Obama's counterterrorism adviser.

Despite Barack Obama’s promises during the 2008 campaign to reform the U.S. intelligence community, he has continued to tolerate its abuses, enable its excessive secrecy and indulge its bone-headedness, as ex-CIA analyst Melvin A. Goodman explains.

Hyping the Iranian ‘Breakout’ Threat

Iran's Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei sitting next to President Hassan Rouhani and addressing the cabinet.

A danger from propaganda is that its disseminators can come to believe their own exaggerations and thus damage their own interests, a situation that now exists with U.S. hardliners seeking to sabotage an Iran nuclear deal that would make everyone safer, as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar notes.

An All-Seeing, All-Knowing Being

The logo for the Information Awareness Office, which oversaw the Total Information Awareness project.

A decade ago, exposure of President George W. Bush’s Total Information Awareness scheme brought assurances that it had been shelved, but its Orwellian intent was only shifted to the NSA and it now gives the U.S. government nearly god-like powers, says Norman Solomon.