Having learned some lessons about Republican intransigence, President Obama is taking his budget case to the American people, but he still avoids a public confrontation with another first-term obstacle, Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu, notes ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.
Exclusive: Key Republicans object to Susan Rice getting a promotion from UN ambassador to Secretary of State, citing her flawed account of the Benghazi assault. But a more legitimate concern is her lack of judgment on the Iraq War and other foreign policy decisions, says ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern.
Official Washington can’t figure out how to have a meaningful discussion on critical foreign policy issues, like the alleged need for a stay-behind force in Afghanistan or rules for drone wars. Instead there’s a ginned-up scandal over Benghazi talking points, notes Independent Institute’s Ivan Eland.
Exclusive: President Obama’s reelection – perhaps even more than his first victory – marks a potential shift in the political and economic structure of the United States, as the old white ruling elite loses its grip. There is even a chance for revolutionary change, says Morgan Strong.
Even as the science – and reality – of global warming becomes painfully clear, some of the U.S. political/media class pretends it’s all a myth and that the important thing is to “drill, baby, drill.” But that rejection of empirical data is being challenged by international groups and grassroots movements, notes William Boardman.
Cracks are forming in the old U.S. political paradigm of support for Israel whatever it does. Israeli leaders may compare mowing down each new generation of Palestinian militants to a chore like trimming the grass, but the moral depravity and diplomatic damage are growing too severe, says ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.
With Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner planning to step down, President Obama is faced with an important appointment. Much of Official Washington wants a “deficit hawk,” but Obama and the country would be better served by someone who cares more about recovery than austerity, says Beverly Bandler.
In an age of spin and propaganda, one trick is to falsify the chronological order of events to turn reactions into instigations and vice versa, like when George W. Bush says he went to war in Iraq in response to bad intelligence when his decision predated the manufacturing of that intel, writes ex-CIA analyst Paul…
From the Archive: Just days after President Obama’s reelection, Israel launched a punishing bombing campaign against Palestinians in Gaza – much as Israel did shortly after his election in 2008. Obama again is put in a tight spot, but other U.S. presidents faced similar challenges, as Morgan Strong reported in 2010.
Exclusive: Israeli hardliners joke about the periodic need to decimate each new generation of Palestinian militants as “mowing the grass,” a process underway again in new bombardments of Gaza. This ugly metaphor has also penetrated the think-tank world of Official Washington, as ex-CIA analyst Elizabeth Murray learned.