Israel Tests the Bounds of Its US Clout

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the United Nations in 2012, drawing his own "red line" on how far he will let Iran go in refining nuclear fuel.

Israeli resistance to deals on Palestinian peace and Iran’s nuclear program has strained U.S.-Israeli relations and will test if Congress is more loyal to Prime Minister Netanyahu or President Obama. But the tension underscores a deeper division between the two countries, says ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

Russia’s Key Role in Iran-Nuke Deal

Iran's President Hassan Rouhani talks by telephone with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Nov. 18, 2013, discussing developments in the talks between Tehran and the world powers as well as ways to end the bloodshed in Syria. (Iranian government photo)

Though the Ukraine crisis drove a wedge between Presidents Obama and Putin, their cooperation remains crucial to a negotiated agreement to constrain but not end Iran’s nuclear program, as Gareth Porter makes clear in reporting on a possible breakthrough for Inter Press Service.

Last Call on Fall Fundraiser

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From Editor Robert Parry: At Consortiumnews, we welcome substantive comments about our articles, but comments should avoid abusive language toward other commenters or our writers, racial or religious slurs, and allegations that are unsupported by facts. There are plenty of conspiracy theory sites; this is a journalistic one.

How the Washington Press Turned Bad

The Washington Post's Watergate team, including from left to right, publisher Katharine Graham,  Carl Bernstein, Bob Woodward, Howard Simons, and executive editor Ben Bradlee.

Exclusive: There was a time when the Washington press corps prided itself on holding the powerful accountable – Pentagon Papers, Watergate, Vietnam War – but those days are long gone, replaced by a malleable media that puts its cozy relations with insiders ahead of the public interest, writes Robert Parry.

The Arab Spring Hangovers

Ousted Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi shortly before he was murdered on Oct. 20, 2011.

Neocons and their “liberal interventionist” sidekicks thought Arab Spring “regime changes” in Libya and Syria (and a counterrevolution in Egypt) were great ideas, but the unleashed chaos has spread violence across the Mideast. A lone bright spot has been Tunisia, writes ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

Is Latin America’s ‘Pink Tide’ Ebbing?

Brazil's President Dilma Rousseff addressing the United Nations General Assembly. (UN Photo by Marco Castro)

Exclusive: Many in Official Washington still consider Latin America their “backyard,” a place where U.S. interests rule and where leftist and reformist governments have historically faced “regime change” tactics. But the region has finally broken from U.S. control and isn’t ready to go back, reports Andrés Cala.

Powerful Lobbies v. Public Interest

Secretary of State John Kerry speaking to the AIPAC conference on March 3, 2014.

Some American lobbies are so powerful that U.S. politicians cringe in fear, knowing that standing up for the broader national interest would be career-threatening, a reality most notable on issues of Israel and guns, as Lawrence Davidson explains.

Treating Putin Like a Lunatic

Russian President Vladimir Putin addresses a crowd on May 9, 2014, celebrating the 69th anniversary of victory over Nazi Germany and the 70th anniversary of the liberation of the Crimean port city of  Sevastopol from the Nazis. (Russian government photo)

Exclusive: Official Washington treats whatever comes out of Russian President Putin’s mouth as the ravings of a lunatic, even when what he says is obviously true or otherwise makes sense, as the New York Times has demonstrated again, writes Robert Parry.

Using the Holocaust to Justify War

The permanent exhibit at the U.S. Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C. (Photo credit: U.S. Holocaust Museum)

Since bursting onto the U.S. foreign policy stage in the 1980s, the neocons have been masters of “perception management,” devising emotional (and often false) messaging to justify aggressive war, as Maidhc Ó Cathail sees in recent Holocaust-themed propaganda against Syria’s government.

The Battle for Palestine — Part Three

Former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon. (Photo credit: Jim Wallace of the Smithsonian Institution)

Special Report: For nearly seven decades, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has fed into growing Mideast extremism, now including hyper-violent Islamic fundamentalism. But does this tortured history offer any hope for a peaceful future, asks ex-U.S. diplomat William R. Polk in the last of a three-part series.

The Battle for Palestine — Part Two

David Ben-Gurion, Israel's first prime minister

Special Report: After the Holocaust, Europe acquiesced to the Zionist settlement of Palestine and turned a blind eye to the ethnic cleansing that cleared Arabs from the land, as ex-U.S. diplomat William R. Polk describes in the second of a three-part series.

The Battle for Palestine

French diplomat Francois George-Picot, who along with British colonial officer Mark Sykes drew lines across a Middle East map of the Ottoman Empire after World War I, carving out states with boundaries that are nearly the same as they are today.

From the Archive: You can’t understand the worsening Mideast violence without knowing the modern history of Palestine, a story that begins with European anti-Semitism causing Zionists to claim Palestine for the Jews and to expel the Arabs, wrote retired U.S. diplomat William R. Polk in the first of three parts.

Citizenfour’s Escape to Freedom in Russia

NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden speaking in Moscow on Oct. 9, 2013. (From a video posted by WikiLeaks)

Exclusive: An international community of resistance has formed against pervasive spying by the U.S. National Security Agency with key enclaves in Moscow (with NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden) and in London (with WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange), way stations visited by ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern.

Neocon Sabotage of Iran-Nuke Deal

Iranian women attending a speech by Iran's Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei. (Iranian government photo)

Congressional neocons are determined to sink negotiations to constrain but not end Iran’s nuclear program – all the better to get on with bombing Iran at the heart of their agenda. They are now disguising their sabotage as a constitutional argument, as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar explains.

Chevron Invests in Political Campaigns

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Billionaires, such as the oilmen Koch Brothers, have exploited the bulldozing of campaign-finance laws to press their special interests but publicly traded corporations have been more hesitant, with the notable exception of Chevron, as Michael Winship notes.

Let’s Wrap Up This Fund Drive

From Editor Robert Parry: At Consortiumnews, we try to minimize the number of fund drives per year, now only three. But it’s important that we meet those goals if we are to continue this unique investigative news site that has been providing articles on important topics for 19 years.

In Case You Missed…

Some of our special stories in September focused on the new Cold War over Ukraine, President Obama plunging back into the Iraq War while expanding U.S. airstrikes into Syria, and the revival of the Contra-cocaine scandal.

Germans Clear Russia in MH-17 Case

A Malaysia Airways' Boeing 777 like the one that crashed in eastern Ukraine on July 17, 2014. (Photo credit: Aero Icarus from Zürich, Switzerland)

Exclusive: For months, Western governments and media have accused Russia of supplying the anti-aircraft missile that brought down Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 killing 298 people. But now German intelligence has reportedly determined the missile came from a Ukrainian military base, writes Robert Parry.

The ‘Threat Multiplier’ of Climate Change

Image of Planet Earth taken from Apollo 17

Climate change – what the Pentagon calls a “threat multiplier” – could put the world on course toward worsening chaos or even extermination as nuclear-armed nations scramble to cope with environmental dislocations and resource shortages, a danger that could define the future, says ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

The Two Sides of the Berlin Wall

A portion of the Berlin Wall as photographed in 1975, toward the east. (Photo credit: Edward Valachovic)

Historical narratives are often boiled down to simplistic and self-serving storylines that influence how people see the world, when a more sophisticated and fair-minded account would offer a different perspective, as William Blum writes about the Berlin Wall.

WPost’s Slimy Assault on Gary Webb

Journalist Gary Webb

Exclusive: The movie, “Kill the Messenger,” portrays the mainstream U.S. news media as craven for destroying Gary Webb rather than expanding on his investigation of the Contra-cocaine scandal. So, now one of those “journalists” is renewing the character assassination of Webb, notes Robert Parry.

Shaping the Vietnam Narrative

Scene from the Vietnam War

Controlling the narrative is a key tool for propagandists who realize that how people understand a foreign conflict goes a long way toward determining their support or opposition. So, the U.S. government’s sanitizing of the Vietnam War is not just about history, but the present, as Marjorie Cohn writes.

A Mysterious Iran-Nuke Document

Yukiya Amano, director-general of the International Atomic Energy Agency, speaking to the United Nations

A mysterious document has been used for a half dozen years to derail nuclear talks with Iran, but its origins remain dubious and one expert says it’s been used to take international inspectors “for a ride,” as Gareth Porter reports for Inter Press Service.

The Neocons — Masters of Chaos

Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Victoria Nuland during a press conference at the U.S. Embassy in Kiev, Ukraine, on Feb. 7, 2014. (U.S. State Department photo)

Exclusive: America’s neoconservatives, by stirring up trouble in the Middle East and Eastern Europe, are creating risks for the world’s economy that are surfacing now in the turbulent stock markets, threatening another global recession, writes Robert Parry.

Israel’s ‘Moral Hazard’ in Gaza

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu shows off photos that he claims justified the bombardment of Gaza. (Israeli government photo)

For generations now, the Israeli government has brutalized the Palestinian people, including this summer’s slaughter of more than 2,000 in devastated Gaza, but the Israelis also pass on the bill for repairing the damage to the international community, a lesson in moral hazard, says ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

Misdiagnosing What Ails US Schools

President Barack Obama meeting with students.

The American Right likes to bash public school teachers for supposedly deviating from an “America-can-do-no-wrong” approach to history and generally “failing” the students, but that is a misdiagnosis of the problem, says Lawrence Davidson.

‘Kill the Messenger’: Rare Truth-telling

Actor Jeremy Renner as journalist Gary Webb in "Kill the Messenger."

Exclusive: Much of modern American filmmaking is escapist and vapid, but not “Kill the Messenger,” the new movie recounting the brave Contra-cocaine reporting by Gary Webb and his subsequent destruction at the hands of the mainstream media, writes James DiEugenio.

James Risen’s Painful Truths

New York Times national security reporter James Risen, author of the new book, Pay Any Price.

President Obama promised a “transparent” administration – but the American people didn’t know the transparency would go only one way, letting the government look at the people while blocking the public’s view of the government, a reality described in James Risen’s new book, reviewed by Norman Solomon.

Ukraine’s Neo-Nazis Demand Respect

The neo-Nazi Wolfsangel symbol on a banner in Ukraine.

Exclusive: Thousands of Ukraine’s neo-Nazis surrounded the parliament in Kiev demanding that the government honor Ukrainian paramilitary forces who fought for Adolf Hitler in World War II, another embarrassing reminder of the extremism unleashed by last February’s U.S.-backed coup, says Robert Parry.

A Shift toward Recognizing Palestine

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Aug. 6, 2014,
announced the success of Operation Protective Edge, which killed some2,000 Gazans. Netanyahu said, "The goal of Operation Protective Edge was and remains to protect Israeli civilians." (Israeli government photo)

After Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu sank the latest peace talks by pushing forward on new settlements, he erased a chief argument for holding off on Palestinian nationhood, that the issue should be determined by talks. Now, European nations are shifting their stance, as John V. Whitbeck writes.