Human Rights

Understanding the Syrian Civil War

With President Obama asking Congress to back a military strike to punish Syria for alleged chemical weapons use, the U.S. is lurching toward a new war. Beyond doubts about what happened and whether a U.S. missile attack will help, there is scant public understanding of the Syrian conflict, notes Mideast expert William R. Polk.

Getting Syria-ous About Peace Talks

Exclusive: President Obama’s decision to seek congressional approval before attacking Syria may represent a needed breather, slowing Official Washington’s stampede into another war, but the only way to stop the bloodshed is to get the various sides into peace talks – and it is the U.S.-supported rebels who won’t go, notes Robert Parry.

Ignoring Bloody Mideast Lessons

The Obama administration appears blind to the history that when U.S. officials have lashed out in anger at Middle East adversaries, the consequences have usually been bad and bloody. The Iraq War is an obvious cautionary tale but so too is Ronald Reagan’s shelling of Lebanon in 1983, as Ann Wright recalls.

Obama’s Flailing Mideast Strategy

Not only has the Obama administration presented no hard evidence to support its charge that the Syrian government used chemical weapons, President Obama’s plan to retaliate with cruise missiles in violation of international law suggests a Mideast strategy in disarray, say Flynt and Hillary Mann Leverett.

A Dodgy Dossier on Syrian War

Exclusive: President George W. Bush misled the world on Iraq’s WMD, but Bush’s bogus case for war at least had details that could be checked, unlike what the Obama administration released Friday on Syria’s alleged chemical attacks – no direct quotes, no photographic evidence, no named sources, nothing but “trust us,” says Robert Parry.

An Appeal to Gen. Dempsey on Syria

Gen. Martin Dempsey,  Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman, has spoken soberly about the dangers from any military strike on Syria, but press reports indicate President Obama is still set on launching cruise missiles in the coming days, an action that former U.S. intelligence professionals say should prompt Dempsey’s resignation.

Who Blocked Syrian Peace Talks?

Exclusive: Though the international press reported earlier this year that it was the Syrian opposition blocking peace talks, that reality has disappeared in recent U.S. articles which blame lack of negotiations on President Bashar al-Assad, all the better to build a propaganda framework for a wider war, writes Robert Parry.

Dr. King’s ‘Four Catastrophes’

Reflections on Martin Luther King Jr.’s “dream” – a half century after he delivered his famous speech at the Lincoln Memorial – have been clouded by the prospect of a U.S. military strike against Syria, as President Obama seems to have forgotten that King’s message went beyond race, as Laura Finley notes.

The Saudi-Israeli Superpower

Exclusive: Egypt’s counterrevolution and Syria’s civil war could herald the arrival of a new superpower coalition, an unlikely alliance between Israel and Saudi Arabia, one with great political clout and the other with vast financial wealth, together flexing their muscles across the Middle East, writes Robert Parry.

Dangling Questions on Syrian War

Official Washington’s neocons are in full-throated war cry over Syria, creating what many of them surely hope is a momentum toward a U.S. intervention that cooler heads won’t be able to stop. But many questions regarding this latest rush to war remain unanswered, writes ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.