Some of our special stories from July, focusing on the National Security Agency surveillance scandal, the deepening chaos in the Middle East, and the American Right’s growing hostility to science and history.
Amid the triumphalism of the Cold War’s end, Francis Fukuyama foresaw the “end of history” with capitalist liberal democracy prevailing. But that hubris has confronted failures of both capitalism and democracy in recent years, raising doubts about history’s course, ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar observes.
The Israeli government and its U.S. lobby are pulling their political levers in Washington to prevent a cutoff of U.S. aid to Egypt in response to the military coup and bloody crackdown on Islamists and backers of ousted President Morsi. But saving the Camp David Accords is not the reason, says ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.
Despite U.S. and European appeals for restraint, the Egyptian military slaughtered supporters of ousted President Mohamed Morsi, an atrocity rationalized by claims of combating Islamic “terrorism.” But the bloody crackdown is likely to make terrorism a self-fulfilling prophecy, writes ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.
The bloody assault on Egyptians protesting the ouster of democratically elected President Mohamed Morsi has the look of madness – as the military pushes Islamists toward more violence – but there is a sick logic if the generals see more Islamic extremism as their lock on U.S. aid, writes ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.
Edward Snowden’s leaks about the National Security Agency’s surveillance programs might have been avoided if more members of Congress had done their duty to stay informed about these classified activities, rather than get distracted by the fluff of politics, says ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.
A common refrain in Official Washington is that President Obama should have intervened militarily in Syria’s civil war and that somehow that would have solved the problem. But there’s no reason to think that U.S. meddling would do much good, as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar explains.
Though it’s summer, Official Washington’s factionalism never takes a vacation. The neocons are in workaholic mode, claiming the precautionary closure of some U.S. embassies proves al-Qaeda remains a major threat, despite the fact that no terror attack has actually happened, as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar observes.
Double standards abound in how the West treats Iran’s nuclear program, most notably the silence about Israel’s undeclared nuclear arsenal. Iran has not built a single bomb and accepts nuclear inspections, yet it is the one confronted with threats of war, as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar observes.
After a terrorist attack – like Benghazi or the Boston Marathon – the press, pols and much of the public decry the failure to prevent the violence, but the mood shifts amid disclosures of intrusive means to counter threats. This ambivalence can put government officials in an impossible spot, says ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.