Foreign Policy

The Price of Political Purity

Special Report: Some activists on the Left are rejecting President Obama and the Democrats even if that means electoral victories for Mitt Romney, the neocons and the Tea Party. But Sam Brown, a veteran of a similar debate in 1968, cautions against the allure of political purity, writes Robert Parry.

Drawing Lessons from the Vietnam War

The Vietnam War may seem like ancient history to many Americans, but that destructive conflict holds important lessons for the present, especially the danger of “group think” driving foreign policy and the value of insights that clash with conventional wisdom, says ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

Hounding Julian Assange

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has taken refuge in Ecuador’s embassy in London rather than be extradited to Sweden to face sex-abuse accusations. But Assange’s ordeal reflects a larger and more troubling American hostility to truth-tellers who point the finger at Washington, says Lawrence Davidson.

What Russia Fears in Syrian Conflict

The U.S. government condemns Russia for blocking aggressive steps to oust Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. But Moscow fears Sunni extremists in the Syrian opposition and recalls how the West’s tolerance of such radicals before — in Afghanistan and the Balkans — led to even worse violence, writes Joe Lauria.

Still Fighting Bush’s GWOT

President Obama rebranded the “global war on terror” the “war on Al Qaeda,” but his counterterrorism strategy hews closely to President George W. Bush’s, as the U.S. joins conflicts in Yemen and elsewhere that have little connection to the 9/11 attacks, as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar writes.

All for One

Much of the propaganda that inundates the world’s population is designed to justify animosities and conflicts, whether religious, racial or political. But there is a larger truth that also must be understood – that we are all in this together, as Winslow Myers notes.

Hope Dies at Guantánamo

A combination of a right-wing federal Appeals Court in Washington and a disinterested U.S. Supreme Court means Guantánamo inmates have little hope for justice even if a District Court judge sides with their arguments. That means the right of habeas corpus is effectively dead for detainees, Marjorie Cohn writes at Jurist.

Julian Assange’s Artful Dodge

Exclusive: Faced with extradition from London to Sweden to face sex-abuse allegations, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange fled to the Ecuadorian embassy and asked for asylum, what ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern considers an artful dodge to avoid possible U.S. persecution.

New Movie Glamorizes CIA in Iran

The Right often demonizes Hollywood as “liberal” – and surely there are some TV shows and movies with liberal themes – but most of what the U.S. entertainment industry produces is either apolitical or super-patriotic. “Argo,” a new movie on Iran, fits the latter category, says Danny Schechter.

What Iran Wants

As talks on Iran’s nuclear program resume in Moscow, the United States and Western powers are showing little willingness to pull back on economic sanctions, even in exchange for Iran’s suspension of its higher refinement of uranium. Ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar suggests looking at the issue from the Iranian side.