Official Washington’s “tough-guy-ism” – no one wanting to look “weak” on “terror” – has stopped sane and humane policies toward Guantanamo. Members of Congress have blocked President Obama’s efforts to close the prison and he has shied away from a political battle to do so, as Marjorie Cohn explains.
Three decades ago, the Reagan administration followed Israel into the middle of the Lebanon civil war with disastrous results, including the deaths of 241 U.S. servicemen and a U.S. withdrawal. Now, the Obama administration faces a similar choice regarding the Syrian civil war, as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar writes.
Exclusive: The dam holding back pressure for U.S. war in Syria is giving way with President Obama – like the little Dutch boy with his finger in the dike – seeming unable to stop the inevitable. Cheering on the impending flood are many of the same big-name pundits from the Iraq War, Robert Parry notes.
For years Americans have been warned that George W. Bush’s brutal “war on terror” and his invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan would spur more anti-U.S. terrorism. But when such events occur – as in Boston last month – anyone who observes that fact is shouted down, as happened to Richard Falk, notes Lawrence Davidson.
Though many of today’s domestic and international crises date back to George W. Bush’s presidency, Republicans see a political edge in frustrating President Obama’s efforts to solve them, reveling in a new narrative about Obama’s “weakness.” The Guantanamo mess is a case in point, says ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.
From the Archive: President Obama has nominated Hyatt Hotels heiress Penny Pritzker to be the next Commerce Secretary. Pritzker, also a major fundraiser for Obama’s two presidential campaigns, faced controversy because of her role in the sub-prime mortgage disaster, as Dennis J. Bernstein reported in 2008.
Exclusive: Black flags of Islamic extremism are flying over “liberated” zones in Syria as hard-line fundamentalists take control of the uprising. Yet, Official Washington continues to demand the overthrow of the secular Assad regime, rather than consider a power-sharing compromise, Robert Parry reports.
American foreign policy remains locked in a cycle of violence, with the Obama administration failing to escape the neocon insistence on a swaggering “tough-guy-ism” abroad. That reliance on military intervention also comes with the cost of “blowback,” as ex-CIA analyst Melvin A. Goodman notes.
Exclusive: The defeat of a modest gun-safety bill in the Senate is further vindication of Orwell’s cynical observation that “who controls the past controls the future” since the American Right has persuaded millions of Americans that a false narrative about the Second Amendment is true, says Robert Parry.
Just when it seemed the U.S. news media had learned some lessons from earlier “terrorism” misreporting, CNN rushed out – and then retracted – a report about the arrest of a “dark-skinned” suspect. But a related problem is the compulsion to draw broad conclusions about a rare event, says ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.