Obama Administration

Making Iran’s UN Envoy a Wedge Issue

Iranian Ambassador to the United Nations Hamid Aboutalebi.

America’s neocons and their allies want an escalating confrontation with Iran, not a negotiated solution to the nuclear issue. So they seek out hot buttons to anger Iran and make President Obama’s job harder, such as blocking Iran’s choice of UN ambassador, writes ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

Playing Word Games on Iran and Nukes

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani at a press conference in Iran. (Official Iranian photo)

In the U.S. propaganda war against Iran, a recurring tactic is to play games with words, conflating a nuclear program with a weapons program despite the longstanding judgment of  U.S. intelligence that Iran is not working on a bomb, as Gareth Porter reports for Inter Press Service.

South Africa’s Murder Trial Distraction

ParaOlympics runner Oscar Pistorius. (Photo credit: Parasport Images via OscarPistorius.com)

Despite South Africa’s transition into a multiracial democracy, profound economic inequality remains, a backdrop to both the high-profile murder trial of athlete Oscar Pistorius and the splintering of Nelson Mandela’s ANC, as Danny Schechter notes.

A Blind Eye to LBJ’s ‘X-File’

National Security Adviser Walt Rostow shows President Lyndon Johnson a model of a battle near Khe Sanh in Vietnam. (U.S. Archive Photo)

Exclusive: President Lyndon Johnson’s legacy is in the news – whether his many domestic achievements should outweigh his disastrous escalation of the Vietnam War – but no attention is being paid to evidence that LBJ might have ended the war if not for Richard Nixon’s sabotage, writes Robert Parry.

‘War-Wise’ Skepticism Prevailed on Syria

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on Aug. 30, 2013, claims to have proof that the Syrian government was responsible for a chemical weapons attack on Aug. 21, but that evidence failed to materialize or was later discredited. [State Department photo]

Though nearly going to war with Syria last year over a chemical attack, the Obama administration has still not presented a shred of verifiable proof against the Syrian government. And, interest is waning now that suspicions have shifted to Syrian rebels aided by U.S. allies, Nat Parry reports.

Greasing Skids for the Comcast Deal

comcast-logo

Americans often complain about their cable bills which always seem to be going up. Part of that money, however, goes not for entertainment but to curry favor with Congress and other officials who will judge the Comcast-Time Warner merger, as Michael Winship notes.

Reagan-Bush Ties to Iran-Hostage Crisis

President Ronald Reagan, delivering his Inaugural Address on Jan. 20, 1981.

Exclusive: The Senate wants to block Iran’s new UN ambassador because he was linked to the Iran hostage crisis 35 years ago, but that standard would strip honors from Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush, implicated in extending the hostage crisis to win the 1980 election, reports Robert Parry.

Spies, Diplomacy and Double Standards

Convicted Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard in the photo from his U.S. Naval Intelligence ID.

While Israel demands that the U.S. release spy Jonathan Pollard, it continues to persecute Mordechai Vanunu for exposing the existence of Israel’s nuclear arsenal, raising questions about secrecy, double standards and diplomacy, an issue addressed by ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

When Is a Putsch a Putsch?

Secretary of State John Kerry testifying before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on April 8, 2014.

Exclusive: Secretary of State John Kerry accuses Russia of a “contrived crisis” in Ukraine as the U.S.-backed coup regime in Kiev sends troops to crush resistance in the ethnic-Russian east. But the most “contrived” element of this crisis may be the false U.S. narrative, writes Robert Parry.

Seeking a Dead-End in Syria

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in front of a poster of his father, Hafez al-Assad.

By insisting that “Assad must go,” the West has locked itself in to a losing and dangerous game in Syria. Rather than negotiate a political settlement with President Assad, the alternative has been to back Saudi-funded jihadis with ties to al-Qaeda, say Flynt and Hillary Mann Leverett.