Lost History

Challenging the Neocons on Iran

Despite the Iraq debacle, neocons remain in the driver’s seat setting official U.S. attitudes toward Iran, mixing worst-case assumptions with unrelenting hostility. But national security experts Flynt and Hillary Mann Leverett have stood up to this neocon-driven conventional wisdom, says Gareth Porter at Inter Press Service.

The Shortsighted History of ‘Argo’

Exclusive: The Oscar for Best Picture went to Ben Affleck’s Argo, an escape-thriller set in post-revolutionary Iran. It hyped the drama and edged into propaganda. But Americans would have learned a lot more if Affleck had chosen the CIA coup in 1953 or the Republican chicanery in 1980, says Robert Parry.

Eyes Wide Shut on the Iraq War

Exclusive: As the tenth anniversary of the Iraq War approaches, it’s worth recalling one moment when the curtain was prematurely lifted on the lies justifying the invasion – and how quickly government officials and the complicit mainstream press pulled it back down, as ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern explains.

Forgetting the Success of Deterrence

A decade ago, President George W. Bush and his neocon aides were convinced that hi-tech American weapons in a “uni-polar world” meant the U.S. could remake the Middle East through violence. It was a moment of hubris that ignored the lessons of history and the Cold War, says ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

The Depressing ‘Zero Dark Thirty’

From the Archive: Director Kathryn Bigelow won an Oscar for “The Hurt Locker” and is in the running again with “Zero Dark Thirty,” but both movies have a troubling undercurrent of racism, heroic Americans operating in a world of apathetic or crazy Muslims, wrote Robert Parry.

An Incurious ‘Zero Dark Thirty’

From the Archive: “Zero Dark Thirty,” the big-screen chronicling of the manhunt for Osama bin Laden, won critical acclaim for its taut storytelling, but the Oscar-nominated film ignored the complex history between the CIA and its terrorist target, wrote Jim DiEugenio.

Hit Movies Miss Mideast Realities

From the Archive: Two Oscar favorites – “Argo” and “Zero Dark Thirty” – purport to tell real-life stories about America’s troubles in the Middle East, one an escape-from-Iran thriller and the other a get-bin-Laden film. But neither confronts some hard realities, wrote Winslow Myers.

Waking Up to Iran’s Real History

From the Archive: An Oscar frontrunner for best picture is “Argo,” depicting a little-known chapter of the U.S-Iran hostage standoff in 1979-81. Yet, while focusing on this story of six hostages escaping, “Argo” missed bigger dramas, before and after, as David Swanson explained.

Honoring a Heroic Slavery-Fighter

The movie “Lincoln” was a dramatic depiction of the political fight to end American slavery with the 13th Amendment – and presented a rare sympathetic portrayal of anti-slavery Congressman Thaddeus Stevens, played by Tommy Lee Jones. This offered a belated chance to reconsider this courageous fighter for freedom, says William Loren Katz.

How Reagan Promoted Genocide

Special Report: A newly discovered document reveals that President Reagan and his national security team in 1981 approved Guatemala’s extermination of both leftist guerrillas and their “civilian support mechanisms,” a green light that opened a path to genocide against hundreds of Mayan villages, reports Robert Parry.