Obama Administration

The Arms Dilemma in Syria

Much of Official Washington is clamoring for President Obama to arm the Syrian rebels, but the civil war in Syria is reminiscent of the anti-Soviet war in Afghanistan in which the Reagan administration ended up helping hard-line Islamists who then turned against the U.S., notes ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

Iran and West Inch toward Nuke Deal

The outline for a resolution of the Iranian nuclear dispute is coming into focus, perhaps only waiting for the U.S. presidential election to be decided. But suspicions between Iran and the West continue to beset the slow progress toward a resolution, as Gareth Porter noted for Inter Press Service.

Europe Blocks Iranian News

Amid stepped-up sanctions against Iran, European authorities are cutting off access to Europe’s satellites for Iran’s PressTV and other stations, thus preventing Europeans from hearing Iran’s point of view. Danny Schechter sees the move as a hypocritical assault on free speech and a free press.

The Real Blame for Deaths in Libya

Exclusive: Rep. Darrell Issa and the Republicans are making political hay from last month’s killings in Libya of Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans. But the real blame traces back to Official Washington’s endless interventions in the Middle East, says ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern.

Science Dispute in Heated Arizona Race

A dispute over President George W. Bush’s politicizing of science is reverberating in a close Arizona Senate race. The Republican is highlighting a personal attack against Democratic candidate Richard Carmona that was first raised to blunt his criticism of Bush’s politicization, writes William Boardman.

Buying ‘Justice’

Powerful corporations and right-wing interest groups are taking aim at state judges around the country who have ruled the “wrong” way and who can be tossed out via elections. This new flood of campaign cash is creating a system of justice for the highest bidder, write Bill Moyers and Michael Winship.

When ‘Lesser-Evil’ Misses the Point

The American Left is engaged in its quadrennial debate, whether to vote for “the lesser evil” Democrat or maintain political purity and either boycott the election or cast a ballot for a minor-party candidate. A similar argument in 1968 helped change the course of U.S. history, Ted Lieverman recalls.

Thanking Europe for No World Wars

The Nobel committee’s award of the Peace Prize to the European Union may be head-scratching to some, given the continent’s angry economic divisions and NATO’s role in recent wars. But the point was to commend Europe for having avoided a repeat of the two world wars, says ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

How to Save the Middle Class

Many Americans don’t know where the Great Middle Class came from. They see it as a natural outgrowth of “free-market capitalism” when it was really the product of conscious government policies, starting with the New Deal. That confusion must be addressed in this political season, says Beverly Bandler.

Treehouses Block Keystone Pipeline

Some environmentalists are living in treehouses in a last-ditch stand against building a section of the Keystone pipeline though Texas. The protest drew some attention after the arrest of actor Daryl Hannah, but has mostly been ignored by the U.S. news media, writes William Boardman.