Official Washington’s “conventional wisdom” is a pernicious fact of life in the U.S. capital as various presumed realities reverberate through the echo chamber of policymakers and journalists. Conventional wisdom is especially dangerous when what-everybody-knows-is-true isn’t, as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar explains.
In recent decades, the U.S. government and news media have treated international law as a matter of convenience and hypocrisy, applying rules self-righteously when they’re useful and ignoring them when a hindrance. The dispute over Iran’s nuclear program is a case in point, as Flynt and Hillary Mann Leverett explain.
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.
Congress seems poised again to ratchet up tensions with Iran by acting on a resolution that, in effect, gives a green light for Israel to attack Iran with promises of U.S. military support. This “back-door-to-war” resolution shows how the Israel lobby can dominate U.S. policymaking, notes ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.
With a reasonable compromise within reach on Iran’s nuclear program, the Obama administration pulled back, apparently fearing domestic political fallout. The result means a likely painful stalemate for the foreseeable future, as Flynt and Hillary Mann Leverett describe.
Exclusive: Looking back at the Iraq War and other disastrous U.S. foreign policy choices, you might wonder about the sanity of American leadership. But if you read star columnist Thomas L. Friedman, you’ll learn that it’s the rest of the world that’s crazy, as Robert Parry explains.
The mainstream U.S. news media is blaming Iran for the impasse over nuclear talks, but many stumbling blocks – like refusal to accept Iran’s right to a peaceful nuclear program – are the fault of Western negotiators, raising Iran’s concerns about what is actually afoot, as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar notes.
Venturing outside Official Washington’s conventional wisdom to apply realistic analysis to U.S. foreign policy can be dangerous to one’s reputation, especially when challenging cherished myths about a designated enemy. Then, the realist can expect to be dismissed as a loon, as Flynt and Hillary Mann Leverett have seen.
Official Washington’s conventional wisdom on Iran – that it is building a nuclear weapon though the U.S. intelligence community says it isn’t – is spilling into the results of public opinion polls. The false assumption about Iran’s nuke program affects both the questions and the answers, notes ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.
After signaling a willingness last year to undertake serious negotiations on Iran and Syria, President Obama appears to have slid back into the default U.S. position of “tough-guy-ism.” Obama’s retreat to that neocon-favored posture could bring chaos to the Mideast, warns Adil E. Shamoo.