Politics

Why Take the Neocons Seriously?

President Barack Obama, with Vice President Joe Biden, attends a meeting in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, Dec. 12, 2013. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Exclusive: The Sunni extremist offensive into central Iraq appears to have stalled, but the political battle rages in Washington where neocons see an opening to pressure President Obama into recommitting the U.S. military in support of neocon goals in the Middle East, writes Robert Parry.

Neocons Double-Down on Iraq/Syria

President George W. Bush announcing the start of his invasion of Iraq on March 19, 2003.

America’s neocons won’t let go of their Middle East delusions, now trying to leverage the worsening crisis in Iraq into an excuse to return U.S. forces to that tragic country while also escalating military involvement in Syria, a compounding of misjudgments, say Flynt and Hillary Mann Leverett.

Overreacting to the Iraq Crisis

Embattled Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki. (Photo credit: U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Jessica J. Wilkes)

The new hysteria gripping Official Washington is over the collapse of the Iraqi army in the face of an offensive by Islamic militants. But the threat is not as extreme as some opinion leaders are describing, writes ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

GOP Descent into Mindless Meanness

President Richard Nixon.

Since the days of Richard Nixon’s “Southern Strategy” – a crass appeal to angry pro-segregationist whites – the Republican Party has descended into a political nastiness that has corroded the foundations of American democracy, a problem that Lawrence Davidson examines.

Reshaping the Vietnam Narrative

Daniel Ellsberg on the cover of Time after leaking the Pentagon Papers

The Vietnam War was a turning point in U.S. history but not as many people may think. In defeat, the national security state changed the narrative into one that made American soldiers the victims and made anti-war activists into traitors who spat on returning soldiers, as Marjorie Cohn explains.

Leaving the USS Liberty Crew Behind

USS Liberty (AGTR-5) receives assistance from units of the Sixth Fleet, after she was attacked and seriously damaged by Israeli forces off the Sinai Peninsula on June 8, 1967.  (US Navy photo)

Exclusive: Justifying the swap of Taliban prisoners for Sgt. Bergdahl, President Obama cited a principle of never leaving U.S. soldiers behind, but that rule was violated in the shabby treatment of the USS Liberty crew, attacked 47 years ago by Israeli warplanes, writes ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern.

Obama Takes Lead on Climate Change

pollution

Though the future of the planet is at stake, President Obama’s latest moves to reduce carbon pollution are drawing the predictable denunciations from right-wing talkers and from politicians afraid of offending the coal lobby, as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar explains.

The Real Villains of the Bergdahl Tale

President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney receive an Oval Office briefing from CIA Director George Tenet. Also present is Chief of Staff Andy Card (on right).

Exclusive: The right-wing media is denouncing Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl as a “deserter” who wasn’t worth ransoming from the Taliban, but the real villains are the architects of the disastrous Iraq and Afghan wars who frivolously put the many Bergdahls in harm’s way, writes ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern.

Piketty’s Exploration of Modern Capital

Thomas Piketty's "Capital in the Twenty-first Century."

Exclusive: Despite some predictable griping from the Right, Thomas Piketty’s Capital in the 21st Century has reinforced the case that Western societies – and especially America – are concentrating wealth at the very top and shortchanging almost everyone else, as Jim DiEugenio writes.

‘War on Terror’ and the Bergdahl Swap

U.S. Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl, who was freed from Taliban captivity in a swap for five former Taliban leaders.

After the 9/11 attacks, narrow “counterterrorism” operations gave way to the blunderbuss “war on terror,” opening the way to more traditional practices of war including prisoner exchanges, like the one for Sgt. Bergdahl, as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar writes.