Foreign Policy

Counterproductive Bluster Toward Iran

America’s “tough-guy-ism” plays well at home, with politicians competing to see whose bluster is the most belligerent, but works less well with the targeted countries whose leaders have their own imperatives of politics and pride. President Obama is risking failure in Iran nuclear talks if he ignores this reality, say Flynt and Hillary Mann Leverett.

A Rush to Judgment in Bulgarian Blast?

One problem in assessing blame for terror attacks in the Middle East is that governments have political interests in linking these outrages to enemies and then pushing that case in public forums. That dynamic may now be influencing the probe of a terror bombing in Bulgaria, reports Gareth Porter for Inter Press Service.

Brennan’s Bumbling Case for Terror War

Exclusive: CIA Director-designate John Brennan stumbled through less-than-challenging questions at his Senate confirmation hearing, struggling to square the circle of his past ties to abuses in the “war on terror” with his future promises to be a force for openness and reform, as ex-CIA analyst Melvin A. Goodman notes.

Empire of Panic and Illusion

Americans have been sold on the promise of perfect security, whether protecting “the homeland” with gadgets of death or guarding “the homestead” with high-powered assault rifles firing 100-round magazines. But this “safety” is an illusion, making Americans less secure than if they engaged the world around them, as Phil Rockstroh observes.

Rewriting Eisenhower’s Suez Crisis

Neocon propagandists are skilled at reframing current and historical events in ways that promote their ideological agenda. For them, it’s a case of the ends justify the “facts,” as happened again when Chuck Hagel dared praise President Eisenhower’s handling of the 1956 Suez crisis, ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar notes.

Blurring the Blame for the Iraq War

Exclusive: The myth that bad intelligence led to the Iraq War won’t die, but the evidence is clear that President George W. Bush decided to invade after 9/11, though Iraq had nothing to do with it, and intel was assembled to sell the invasion to a scared U.S. public, as ex-CIA analyst Melvin A. Goodman…

A Chance to Debate the ‘War on Terror’

Confirmation hearings for John Brennan to head the CIA will give Congress – and the American people – their first chance for some public airing of the secret drone program that has struck at suspected al-Qaeda terrorists, including U.S. citizens, as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar explains.

Drone Memo Puts Brennan on Spot

Exclusive: President Obama is finally giving the congressional Intelligence Committees a look at a Justice Department legal opinion justifying the killing of Americans in senior al-Qaeda positions plotting attacks on the U.S. The disclosure comes as the Senate considers John Brennan to be CIA director, notes Ray McGovern.

How Secrecy Corrodes Democracy

Exclusive: The Obama administration is under fire for its secret policy of using drone strikes to kill alleged al-Qaeda terrorists, including Americans. But the public suspicion is heightened by frustration over decades of excessive government secrecy and deception, says Robert Parry.

Requiem for Cambodia’s Crafty King

Exclusive: In an elaborate cremation ceremony, Cambodians bade farewell to their dead king, Norodom Sihanouk, the crafty leader who for decades tried to maneuver the small country around the interests of great powers, with mixed and sometimes disastrous results, reports Don North from Phnom Penh.