American politicians like to show how tough they are by citing some disagreeable behavior by a disdained government and sponsoring sanctions legislation to punish that country. However, politics also make such laws hard to repeal even as circumstances change, ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar notes.
Political pressure is building on the Obama administration to intervene in Syria’s civil war on the side of the anti-government rebels, but an escalation of the violence might only prolong the conflict and prevent serious national reconciliation, say Flynt and Hillary Mann Leverett at RaceForIran.com.
The invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq – followed by failed nation-building – may have taught the U.S. government a few lessons in humility, but the temptation to intervene in crises around the world remains strong, with recent examples in Syria and South Sudan, notes the Independent Institute’s Ivan Eland.
The Olympic ideal of replacing armed conflict with athletic competition has fallen to the pressures of nationalism and money. Now, the Olympics are celebrated even as nations continue the killing and plan for more, Danny Schechter writes from Johannesburg.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s visit to newly democratic Egypt was met by some protesters throwing tomatoes, but her stop in Israel, which included no overt signs of dissension, may have had more turmoil just below the surface, writes ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.
The U.S. government condemns Russia for blocking aggressive steps to oust Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. But Moscow fears Sunni extremists in the Syrian opposition and recalls how the West’s tolerance of such radicals before — in Afghanistan and the Balkans — led to even worse violence, writes Joe Lauria.
For decades, Amnesty International has been a respected name in the cause of human rights, but its recent hiring of Suzanne Nossel, a longtime U.S. “humanitarian interventionist,” has swung the organization more behind the Afghan War and the use of U.S. military force, Ann Wright and Coleen Rowley write.
The original idea of Mother’s Day was to promote peace so mothers would not have to suffer the grief that many American moms faced after the slaughter of the Civil War. But some of today’s most powerful women, including moms, are war advocates, writes ex-FBI agent Coleen Rowley.
U.S. officials are expressing outrage and regret over the slaughter of 16 Afghan civilians, including nine children, allegedly by a deranged U.S. staff sergeant. But the terrible rampage was not an isolated atrocity in the decade-long war in Afghanistan, as Nat Parry notes.
From the Archive: A year ago, ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern protested a speech by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton by standing in protest, before being assaulted by security guards and arrested. McGovern’s non-violent act became part of a year of protest against powerful forces ignoring the people’s will.