By cozying up to Israeli hardliners and embracing Official Washington’s hostility toward Iran, President Obama may be squandering an opportunity to resolve the Iranian nuclear dispute and inviting a worsening crisis in the Middle East, as Flynt and Hillary Mann Leverett explain.
Watching President Obama’s three-day love-fest toward Israel left critics and even some supporters cringing at his excessive embrace of Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu and everything Israel has ever done. But Obama’s “game-change” metaphor on Syria may be the most troubling, says ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.
President Obama seems determined to maintain a smile and bonhomie during his three-day trip to Israel, but the optics obscure deeper problems in the U.S.-Israeli relationship as Obama remains under pressure to bend U.S. policies in ways favored by Prime Minister Netanyahu, as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar explains.
Official Washington had a good laugh at flamboyant basketball star Dennis Rodman for befriending North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un and for suggesting the U.S. also has extensive prisons and commits human rights abuses. The media derision silenced Rodman, but his perspective deserved more respect, says Independent Institute’s Ivan Eland.
Exclusive: After a messy confirmation — which asked new questions about drone assassinations and old questions about enhanced interrogations — John Brennan has taken over at CIA. But his past may not be so easily forgotten in a world looking for accountability, writes ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern.
In recent decades, Watergate reporter Bob Woodward has blundered in fawning books on Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan and President George W. Bush – and now finds a threat in a routine exchange with a White House official. But overlooked is his war-mongering, says William Boardman.
There was a time in America when someone like Ramsey Clark could be Attorney General and assert the power of the federal government on the side of civil rights, but that now seems like ancient history, as Clark reflects on the past and present with Dennis J. Bernstein.
Even as the Obama administration inches toward a compromise with Iran over its nuclear program, U.S. officials keep up the tough talk to appease Official Washington’s hardliners. But wishful thinking about Iran’s vulnerabilities could raise the risk of conflict, say Flynt and Hillary Mann Leverett.
Some neocons hope they softened up new Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel during his bruising confirmation fight. But ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern suggests in these proposed “talking points” that Hagel stick to his principled reputation as someone who tells it like it is, regardless of political pressures.
Modest but real progress appears to have been made at the latest round of talks on Iran’s nuclear program, but that didn’t stop congressional war hawks in thrall to the Israel Lobby from seeking more sanctions and proposing a green light for an Israeli attack on Iran, as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar notes.