Tag Archive for Barack Obama

Hoping Bombs Will Solve Iraq/Syria Mess

The guided-missile cruiser USS Philippine Sea launches a Tomahawk cruise missile as seen from the aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush in the Persian Gulf, Sept. 23, 2014.  (U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Eric Garst)

Contradictions beset the U.S. war over Iraq and Syria. The principal target ISIS wouldn’t even exist but for the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003, and al-Qaeda affiliates in Syria have benefited from defections of U.S.-backed “moderates.” But now warplanes and missiles are supposed to fix things, says ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

Obama’s Novel Lawyering to Bomb Syria

President Barack Obama talks with Ambassador Samantha Power, U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations, following a Cabinet meeting in the Cabinet Room of the White House, Sept. 12, 2013. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Exclusive: The U.S. government likes international law when it serves Washington’s purposes, but not when it constrains U.S. desires to use military force. Then, the rules are bent, ignored or subjected to novel lawyering, as President Obama is doing with airstrikes into Syria, reports Robert Parry.

Obama’s Risks of Escalation

President Barack Obama announces U.S.-led airstrikes against Islamic State and other targets in Syria in comments at the White House on Sept. 23, 2014. (Screenshot from White House.gov)

As President Obama launched the first waves of U.S. airstrikes against Islamic State and other targets in Syria, the risks of further military escalation or other expected developments abound, as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar explains.

High Cost of Bad Journalism on Ukraine

Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs Victoria Nuland, who pushed for the Ukraine coup and helped pick the post-coup leaders.

Exclusive: By driving a wedge between President Obama and President Putin over Ukraine, America’s neocons and the mainstream media can hope for more “shock and awe” in the Mideast, but the U.S. taxpayers are footing the bill, including $1 trillion more on nuclear weapons, writes Robert Parry.

Blocking a ‘Realist’ Strategy on the Mideast

President Barack Obama talks with President Petro Poroshenko of Ukraine and Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker following a bilateral meeting in the Oval Office, Sept. 18, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Exclusive: Official Washington’s influential neocons appear back in the driver’s seat steering U.S. policy in the Middle East toward a wider conflict in Syria and away from a “realist” alternative that sought a Putin-Obama collaboration to resolve the region’s crises more peacefully, reports Robert Parry.

How Obama’s New War Could Backfire

President Barack Obama receives a briefing from Gen. Lloyd J. Austin III, Commander, U.S. Central Command, and his top commanders at U.S. Central Command at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, Florida, Sept. 17, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

The political imperative to “do something” against the brutal Islamic State has brought President Obama and congressional majorities together on a plan for a limited U.S. military response, but this strategy could actually make matters worse, says the Independent Institute’s Ivan Eland.

Braveheart, Edward I, and Bush

Scottish street musicians including one in costume as William Wallace as portrayed in "Braveheart" by Mel Gibson. (Photo credit: Don North)

From the Archive: As Scots vote on independence from Great Britain, part of the motivation for those voting “aye” is the brutal history of English repression of Scottish freedom, dating back centuries but fresh in the minds of many Scots, a lesson about unintended consequences of violence that should be remembered by today’s politicians, as…

Reported US-Syrian Accord on Air Strikes

President Barack Obama in his weekly address on Sept. 13, 2014, vowing to degrade and ultimately defeat the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. (White House Photo)

Exclusive: A problem with President Obama’s plan to expand the war against ISIS into Syria was always the risk that Syrian air defenses might fire on U.S. warplanes, but now a source says Syria’s President Assad has quietly agreed to permit strikes in some parts of Syria, reports Robert Parry.

The Lost Logic of ‘Perpetual War’

President Barack Obama meets with his national security advisors in the Situation Room of the White House, Aug. 7, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

President Obama’s plan to bomb Islamic State targets inside Syria amounts to an expansion of America’s “perpetual war” without either a clear legal basis or a likely expectation of success, as Nat Parry explains.

The Illusion of Syria’s ‘Moderate’ Rebels

Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tennessee, says President Obama's plan for arming Syria's "moderate" rebels has strong support in Congress.

In militarily going after ISIS, President Obama is again letting his foreign policy be shaped by the popular illusions of Official Washington, particularly the idea that aiding Syrian “moderates” is a viable part of the strategy, as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar explains.