Official Washington’s “conventional wisdom” is a pernicious fact of life in the U.S. capital as various presumed realities reverberate through the echo chamber of policymakers and journalists. Conventional wisdom is especially dangerous when what-everybody-knows-is-true isn’t, as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar explains.
From the Archive: Former Vietnam War correspondent Beverly Deepe Keever has just published a memoir, Death Zones & Darling Spies, in which she addresses her almost scoop on Richard Nixon’s 1968 sabotage of the Vietnam peace talks, a story that could have changed history, as Robert Parry reported in 2012.
Three decades ago, the Reagan administration followed Israel into the middle of the Lebanon civil war with disastrous results, including the deaths of 241 U.S. servicemen and a U.S. withdrawal. Now, the Obama administration faces a similar choice regarding the Syrian civil war, as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar writes.
Exclusive: The dam holding back pressure for U.S. war in Syria is giving way with President Obama – like the little Dutch boy with his finger in the dike – seeming unable to stop the inevitable. Cheering on the impending flood are many of the same big-name pundits from the Iraq War, Robert Parry notes.
For years Americans have been warned that George W. Bush’s brutal “war on terror” and his invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan would spur more anti-U.S. terrorism. But when such events occur – as in Boston last month – anyone who observes that fact is shouted down, as happened to Richard Falk, notes Lawrence Davidson.
Though many of today’s domestic and international crises date back to George W. Bush’s presidency, Republicans see a political edge in frustrating President Obama’s efforts to solve them, reveling in a new narrative about Obama’s “weakness.” The Guantanamo mess is a case in point, says ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.
After a terrorist attack, if anyone dares suggest that the killings represent blowback from U.S. military violence abroad, that person can expect furious denunciations even though the point is almost surely true, a paradox that William Blum confronts in this article from Anti-Empire Report.
Exclusive: Media critic Howard Kurtz has lost his job as Washington bureau chief for Newsweek/Daily Beast after a blog post in which he falsely accused basketball player Jason Collins of hiding his past engagement to a woman while coming out as gay. But Kurtz’s journalistic abuses have a much longer history, writes Robert Parry.
Across Official Washington – including the neocon Washington Post and “liberal” MSNBC – pundits are demanding U.S. intervention in the Syrian civil war. But the furor over alleged use of chemical weapons represents just the latest dubious argument for regime change, says ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.
In recent decades, the U.S. government and news media have treated international law as a matter of convenience and hypocrisy, applying rules self-righteously when they’re useful and ignoring them when a hindrance. The dispute over Iran’s nuclear program is a case in point, as Flynt and Hillary Mann Leverett explain.