Foreign Policy

At Year’s End, the ‘News’ Fails

The end of the year brings reflection on what happened in the past 12 months and what lies ahead. But these retrospectives usually offer no more context – and often less – than the thin gruel of news as the events played out, News Dissector Danny Schechter notes.

Bending to Military Contractors

Regarding the “fiscal cliff,” a consensus is forming in Official Washington that a top priority must be elimination of automatic Pentagon “cuts,” with the word “draconian” much tossed around. But the planned reductions are really quite modest, as the Independent Institute’s Ivan Eland explains.

Kicking the Vietnam Syndrome

From the Archive: With Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf’s death on Thursday – and the declining health of ex-President George H.W. Bush – an era of war and intrigue is coming to an end, a time of resurgent U.S. imperialism that saw this warrior seeking peace and the politician wanting war, as Robert Parry wrote in 2011.

The Larger Question of Chuck Hagel

Exclusive: The up-in-the-air nomination of Chuck Hagel to be Defense Secretary has become a test of whether the Israel Lobby can still shoot down an American public servant who is deemed insufficiently passionate regarding Israel, a test that now confronts President Obama, says ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern.

Hagel and the New McCarthyism

Since Chuck Hagel’s name was floated as possible Secretary of Defense, the former Republican senator has been subjected to vilification to blacklist him from public service, a new form of McCarthyism that replaces suspected leftist sympathies with insufficient support for Israel, as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar notes.

Learning from Endless War

The backdrop of the Newtown massacre and similar slaughters across America is how frequently the U.S. government opts for violence to settle problems around the world, a message that might influence a troubled individual with access to a gun, says Laura Finley.

Israel Lobby Takes Aim Again

The Israel Lobby is taking aim at another prospective Obama administration appointee deemed insufficiently supportive of Israel’s Likud policies, ex-Nebraska Republican Sen. Chuck Hagel. A similar campaign of vilification was waged against Ambassador Chas Freeman in 2009, as he recalls.

Iran Appears Ready for Nuke Deal

Behind the scenes, diplomacy appears to be making slow progress toward a resolution of the Iranian-nuclear stalemate, possibly early in the new year. But obstacles remain – and they are mostly in Washington, say Flynt and Hillary Mann Leverett at RaceforIran.com.

Kerry, a Strong Choice for Diplomacy

President Obama’s choice of Sen. John Kerry to be Secretary of State puts a former Vietnam veteran who spoke out against the war in a key U.S. foreign policy position. Kerry’s long career also suggests Obama wants the world to know that he will emphasize diplomacy in his second term, says ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

An Incurious ‘Zero Dark Thirty’

Exclusive: Zero Dark Thirty, the big-screen chronicling of the manhunt for Osama bin Laden, has been hailed by some critics for its taut storytelling, but it fails to confront the larger questions about 9/11, including the complex history between the CIA and its target, writes Jim DiEugenio.