Tag Archive for Paul R. Pillar

US ‘Exceptionalism’ Boomerangs

Russian President Vladimir Putin delivering a speech on the Ukraine crisis in Moscow on March 18, 2014. (Russian government photo)

Official Washington thinks “American exceptionalism” means the U.S. government can ignore international law when intervening in other countries. But that hypocrisy is now coming back to bite the U.S. with Russia’s annexation of Crimea, as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar explains.

Risks of a New ‘Zero-Sum’ Cold War

Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona.

The one-sided uproar in Official Washington over the Ukraine crisis, a cartoonish depiction even including parallels to Hitler, ignores the many on-the-ground gray areas. It also threatens to recreate the Cold War’s dangerous “zero-sum” calculations, says ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

Dangerous ‘Toughness’ on Ukraine

Ex-Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice

A grave danger from false narratives – like the one on Ukraine now dominating the U.S. news media – is that they give rise to disastrous policies, such as the idea that the only possible response to the crisis is American “toughness” against Russia, as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar explains.

The Sanctions Madness on Russia

Russian President Vladimir Putin taking the presidential oath at his third inauguration ceremony  on May 7, 2012. (Russian government photo)

Official Washington is in full meltdown mode as politicians and pundits frantically one-up each other in over-the-top rhetoric on the Ukraine crisis. But now the madness is shifting into legislative excesses to sanction Russia, notes ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

Netanyahu Shape-Shifts Iran Reality

netanyahu-aipac-2

When Israel’s Prime Minister Netanyahu visits Washington, he behaves like the master of all he surveys, his arrogance extending to his shape-shifting reality about Iran, with expectations of hearty applause for his claims and robust guffawing at his jokes, ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar notes.

Neocons Move to Exploit Ukraine Crisis

Former Assistant Secretary of State Elliott Abrams, who was a leading neocon inside President George W. Bush's National Security Council.

U.S. neocons are wasting little time in taking advantage of the Ukraine crisis that they helped to stoke, with former Reagan-Bush operative Elliott Abrams urging Congress to pass legislation that would impose new sanctions on Iran, notes ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

A Selective View of ‘Democracy’

Ousted Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych.

Americans like the idea of promoting “democracy,” but prominent U.S. commentators praised the ouster of democratically elected leaders in Egypt and Ukraine, siding with military coup makers in Egypt and right-wing rioters in the streets of Ukraine. That suggests “democracy” is a malleable concept for many in Official Washington, as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar…

In Case You Missed…

Some of our special stories in January focused on the NSA surveillance scandal, the back story of Robert Gates’s new memoir, the Right’s continued assault on democracy, and the collapse of accusations against Syria and Libya.

Treating Netanyahu Like Winston Churchill

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

When Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu addressed Congress for his second time in 2011, both parties competed in jumping up and down to applaud. Now, Netanyahu’s fans want him back a third time, an honor only bestowed on Great Britain’s Winston Churchill, notes ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

Trying to Sink Iran Nuke Deal

Iran's Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei. (Iranian government photo)

Official Washington’s neocons, who never wanted deals with Iran or Syria to succeed, are having a field day attacking the difficult negotiations and doing everything possible to make them fail. The new front in this offensive will be Iran and its nuclear program, writes ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.