Tag Archive for George W. Bush

Guantanamo’s Force-Feeding Challenged

Some of the original detainees jailed at the Guantanamo Bay prison, as put on display by the U.S. military.

Exclusive: In the Kafkaesque world of Guantanamo, even inmates cleared for release are held indefinitely and – if they try to kill themselves via hunger strikes – are brutally force-fed to keep them alive. Finally, a U.S. court is confronting whether the force-feeding can be done more humanely, reports Ray McGovern.

Rushing to War in the Wrong Places

President Barack Obama meets with his National Security Staff to discuss the situation in Syria, in the Situation Room of the White House, Aug. 30, 2013. From left at the table: National Security Advisor Susan E. Rice; Attorney General Eric Holder; Secretary of State John Kerry; and Vice President Joe Biden. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Official Washington’s “group think” is that President Obama is “weak” because he doesn’t rush into wars with the abandon that talk-show favorite John McCain would like. But Obama may actually be “weak” because he gets pushed into conflicts that ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar says only make matters worse.

Eroding Principles of Human Rights

President Barack Obama and former President George W. Bush (with First Lady Michelle Obama and former First Lady Laura Bush) walk to a White House event on May 31, 2012. (Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy)

After World War II, there was hope that core principles of international law and human rights would become universal, but increasingly these standards have suffered from selective application and propagandistic manipulation, causing a loss of credibility in these key precepts, as Lawrence Davidson notes.

The Why of Obama’s Failed Hope

President Barack Obama runs onto a stage in Rockville, Maryland, Oct. 3, 2013 (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

The election of Barack Obama in 2008 brought hope and optimism to Americans and non-Americans alike. But after one and a half terms, the reality is sinking in that for all the promised change, it’s the “same old, same old.” The big question is why, writes Australian Greg Maybury.

How Israel Out-Foxed US Presidents

President Barack Obama holds a bilateral meeting with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel in the Oval Office, Oct 1, 2014. The meeting was described as chilly, reflecting the strained relationship between the two leaders. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

From the Archive: After six years, Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu has nearly weathered his chilly relationship with President Obama and can expect to coast through the next two years ignoring Obama’s appeals. But Obama is not the first U.S. president to be played by Israel, as Morgan Strong wrote in 2010.

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.

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…

A Third Decade of Bombing Iraq

President George H.W. Bush

Bombing ISIS amounts to attacking a symptom rather than finding a cure. But the cure would require addressing politically sensitive issues, such as Israel oppressing Palestinians and Saudi Arabia financing Islamic extremism. So the U.S. does what it knows best – blowing stuff up – as Nat Parry observes.

Off on Another ‘War’ Against ‘Terror’

President Barack Obama shakes hands with U.S. troops at Bagram Airfield in Bagram, Afghanistan, Sunday, May 25, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

The original post-9/11 “war on terror” rejected a targeted police-oriented response toward al-Qaeda, which also would have focused on root causes of Sunni extremism, and instead demanded a military “war.” Now, 13 years later, few lessons have been learned, says ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

America’s War Hawks Back in Flight

Barack Obama, then President-elect, and President George W. Bush at the White House during the transition.

With America’s government-and-media war hawks back in full flight – preparing to swoop down on Syria as well as Iraq – wiser heads might reflect on the chaos that previous adventures have caused, as Danny Schechter recalls.