Tag Archive for Iraq

President Obama’s Long Summer

President Barack Obama and President-elect Petro Poroshenko of Ukraine talk after statements to the press following their bilateral meeting at the Warsaw Marriott Hotel in Warsaw, Poland, June 4, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Official Washington’s war hawks continue to dominate the U.S. political/media debate, always hyping foreign “threats” and saying, “do something.” President Obama thus gets accused of being “weak” if he fends off demands to escalate confrontations, as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar explains.

The Whys Behind the Ukraine Crisis

Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs Victoria Nuland, speaking to Ukrainian and other business leaders at the National Press Club in Washington on Dec. 13, 2013, at a meeting sponsored by Chevron.

Exclusive: Given the very high stakes of a nuclear confrontation with Russia, some analysts wonder what’s the real motive for taking this extraordinary risk over Ukraine. Is it about natural gas, protection of the U.S. dollar’s dominance, or an outgrowth of neocon extremism, asks Robert Parry.

How to Handle the ISIS Threat

Journalist James Foley shortly before he was executed by an ISIS operative.

After ISIS murdered a second American hostage – freelance journalist Steven Sotloff – pressure mounted on President Obama to react. But a contrary view is that ISIS doesn’t threaten the U.S. homeland and regional powers could best defeat this brutal group, as Independent Institute’s Ivan Eland suggests.

Behind Obama’s ‘Chaotic’ Foreign Policy

President Barack Obama talks with Secretary of State John Kerry and National Security Advisor Susan E. Rice in the Oval Office on March 19, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Exclusive: The chaos enveloping U.S. foreign policy stems from President Obama’s unwillingness to challenge Official Washington’s power centers which favor neoconservatism and “liberal interventionism” – strategies that have often undercut real U.S. national security interests, writes Robert Parry.

Iraq and the Oil Wars

Embattled Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki. (Photo credit: U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Jessica J. Wilkes)

Oil has always been part of U.S. decision-making on Iraq, a key motive for the 2003 invasion and the bloody occupation that followed. Now, as President Obama returns U.S. forces to Iraq, the issue of oil has bubbled back to the surface, as oil analyst Antonia Juhasz explained to Dennis J Bernstein.

Back into Iraq, Again

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel speaks to Marines stationed on Camp Pendleton, Calififornia, Aug. 12, 2014, after returning from a trip to Germany, India and Australia.  (DoD photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Sean Hurt)

As the U.S. military returns to Iraq, Official Washington won’t tolerate a serious examination of the back story of the crisis, which began with the U.S. invasion of Iraq and continued with covert support of Sunni rebels seeking to overthrow Syria’s government, now returning to Iraq. Instead, its more hype and deception, says Danny Schechter.

Wisdom in Obama’s ‘Don’t Do Stupid Stuff’

President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton honor the four victims of the Sept. 11, 2012, attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi, Libya, at the Transfer of Remains Ceremony held at Andrews Air Force Base, Joint Base Andrews, Maryland, on Sept. 14, 2012. [State Department photo)

Hillary Clinton and other war hawks are scolding President Obama for not asserting U.S. power more aggressively around the world to deal with a rash of crises, but there is wisdom in Obama’s saying, “Don’t do stupid stuff,” observes ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

The Kurds Eye Long-Desired State

Kurdish leader Massoud Barzani. (U.S. government photo)

Exclusive: The sectarian conflict engulfing Iraq has created an historic opportunity for the Kurds, a people who have long dreamed of their own homeland. A new Kurdish state carved out of Iraq also could shift the region’s power relationships, says Andrés Cala.

The Human Price of Neocon Havoc

Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs Victoria Nuland, who pushed for the Ukraine coup and helped pick the post-coup leaders.

Exclusive: Neocons are the “masters of chaos” as they destabilize disfavored governments around the world. But real people pay the price as we’ve seen with Israel’s slaughter of four boys on a Gaza beach and an apparent shoot-down of a Malaysian airliner over war-torn Ukraine, writes Robert Parry.

The Wisdom of Lawrence of Arabia

Thomas Edward Lawrence, better known as Lawrence of Arabia, a British intelligence officer who recruited Bedouin tribesmen during World War I.

A century ago, during World War I, a British intelligence officer known as “Lawrence of Arabia” deeply understood the Mideast and saw hope for rational politics, but Western imperial ambitions intervened to ensure regional instability, as Bill Moyers and Michael Winship recall.