Tag Archive for Al-Qaeda

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.

Blaming Obama for Iraq’s Chaos

President Barack Obama holds a bilateral meeting with His Highness Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al Sabah, the Amir of Kuwait, in the Oval Office, Sept. 13, 2013. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Exclusive: As Islamic militants gain ground in Iraq, Official Washington’s neocons and the mainstream media are blaming President Obama for ending the U.S. military occupation, but they ignore their own role in destabilizing Iraq with the 2003 invasion, Robert Parry reports.

Obama’s Collapsing Syria Policy

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

Syria has long been on the neocons’ “regime change” list, so they eagerly supported a violent insurgency to topple the Assad regime even as it veered into extremism. Now, that policy is collapsing but President Obama won’t admit the failure, write Flynt and Hillary Mann Leverett.

Doubting Obama’s Resolve to Do Right

President Barack Obama.

From the Archive: As President Obama prepares to make another speech explaining his foreign policy, the question is whether he can climb out of the rut of his previous whiny apologies for continuing many of George W. Bush’s abuses, as ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern wrote last year.

Chastened Saudis Look to Iran Detente

Prince Bandar bin Sultan, former Saudi ambassador to the United States and now the ex-chief of Saudi intelligence.

Exclusive: Last year, Saudi intelligence chief Bandar bin Sultan was swaggering around the world boasting of Saudi influence over radical jihadists from Syria to Chechnya and collaborating with Israel against Iran. But Bandar is gone and the Saudis may be retrenching, writes Andres Cala.

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.

Tolerating Saudi Arabia’s Intolerance

King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, one of the new U.S. "allies" in the bombing campaign against the Islamic State and other targets inside Syria.

The U.S. government insists that it abides by principles of international law, democracy and respect for national sovereignty, but its actions often belie its words, with the U.S. support for Saudi Arabia’s monarchy a stark example of the hypocrisy, writes Lawrence Davidson.

Reining in the Drones

Done "pilots" launch an MQ-1 Predator unmanned aerial vehicle for a raid in the Middle East. (U.S. military photo)

Key aspects of George W. Bush’s post-9/11 “war on terror” are finally winding down: U.S. troops have left Iraq and are leaving Afghanistan, but the troubling issue of lethal drones remains – and it is time for Congress to set new limits, says ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

Bush’s Anti-American Legacy

President George W. Bush in a flight suit after landing on the USS Abraham Lincoln to give his "Mission Accomplished" speech about the Iraq War.

As Iraq becomes a hotbed for al-Qaeda terrorism, President George W. Bush’s legacy grows even dimmer. But one could argue that he did succeed in stirring democratic impulses in the region, albeit mostly of an anti-American variety, as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar describes.

The More Complex Truth of Benghazi

President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton honor the four victims of the Sept. 11, 2012, attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi, Libya, at the Transfer of Remains Ceremony held at Andrews Air Force Base, Joint Base Andrews, Maryland, on Sept. 14, 2012. [State Department photo)

The single-minded Republican drive to exploit the deaths of four U.S. diplomats in Benghazi, Libya, in 2012 – and use the tragedy to embarrass President Obama and then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton – has obscured the more complex reality of what happened, writes ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.