Tag Archive for Barack Obama

‘War on Terror’ and the Bergdahl Swap

U.S. Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl, who was freed from Taliban captivity in a swap for five former Taliban leaders.

After the 9/11 attacks, narrow “counterterrorism” operations gave way to the blunderbuss “war on terror,” opening the way to more traditional practices of war including prisoner exchanges, like the one for Sgt. Bergdahl, as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar writes.

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.

Congress Bends to Israel’s Iran Demands

Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tennessee, who is seeking a disapproval vote on any agreement that the Obama administration negotiates with Iran over its nuclear program.

Congressional mischief-making to undermine a deal to restrict Iran’s nuclear program continues, much of it orchestrated by the Israel Lobby which supports the Israeli government’s threats of a military strike against Iran, as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar notes.

Finding an End to Endless Wars

President Barack Obama announces on May 27, 2014, plans for ending U.S. combat operations in Afghanistan by the end of 2014 and withdrawing all U.S. forces by 2016. (White House photo)

For Official Washington’s neocons all wars should go on indefinitely and any timetable for leaving Iraq, Afghanistan or any other country subject to American military assault in recent years represents defeatism. But such open-ended commitments would likely mean endless occupations, says ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

How Neocons Constrain Obama’s Message

President Barack Obama touches the Marshall Plaque at Michie Stadium upon arrival for the United States Military Academy at West Point commencement in West Point, N.Y., May 28, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Exclusive: President Obama said that just because the U.S. military is “the best hammer does not mean that every problem is a nail” – a wise observation – but he then confused his foreign policy speech by pandering to neocon narratives on crises in Ukraine and elsewhere, reports Robert Parry.

Can Obama Speak Strongly for Peace?

President Barack Obama, with Vice President Joe Biden, attends a meeting in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, Dec. 12, 2013. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

From the Archive: President Obama is preparing a speech to address neocon charges that he’s shown “weakness” toward U.S. adversaries, but the greater challenge would be for him to tell the people why cooperation with those adversaries is vital for real peace, as Robert Parry wrote in March.

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.

WPost Seeks US-Patrolled ‘Safe Zone’ in Syria

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry delivers remarks on Syria at the Department of State in Washington, D.C., on Aug. 30, 2013. [State Department photo]

Exclusive: Neocons never blush at their own hypocrisies, demanding Russia respect international law and do nothing to protect eastern Ukrainians, while demanding President Obama ignore international law and create a rebel “safe zone” in Syria, writes ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern.

Too Many VA Delays, Too Many Wars

Graves at Arlington Cemetery

The scandal about excessive waiting times for U.S. veterans to get medical coverage is a fresh reminder about the delayed costs from the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, indeed from the excessive use of the American military, as Michael Winship reflects on the message from Memorial Day.

The State Department’s Ukraine Fiasco

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry addresses Yale University graduates on Class Day in New Haven, Connecticut, on May 18, 2014. Kerry himself is a 1966 Yale graduate. (State Department photo)

Exclusive: The State Department’s handling of the Ukraine crisis may go down as a textbook diplomatic fiasco, doing nothing to advance genuine U.S. interests while disrupting cooperation with Moscow and pushing Russia and China back together, reports Robert Parry.