Tag Archive for Paul R. Pillar

Justifying Israel’s Slaughter in Gaza

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu meeting with his generals to discuss the offensive in Gaza. (Israeli government photo)

Mainstream U.S. politicians and press are engaged in their usual tolerance of Israel’s slaughter of Palestinians in Gaza, hitting the usual talking points by condemning Hamas as “terrorist” and accepting the mass killings of civilians and children with a shrug, as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar reflects.

Postponing Costs for Bad Decisions

President George W. Bush announcing the start of his invasion of Iraq on March 19, 2003.

Politicians from Washington to Beijing to Tel Aviv like to put off the negative consequences of their decisions as long as possible, but that often adds to the eventual costs to their people and the world, writes ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

Netanyahu’s Bloody Calculations

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu held a security meeting with senior Israeli Defense Forces commanders near Gaza on July 21, 2014. (Israel government photo)

As the Israeli killing of Palestinians spreads from Gaza to the West Bank, Prime Minister Netanyahu weighs his pursuit of military objectives against growing world outrage. But his trump card remains the fear of U.S. politicians to voice any criticism of Israel, as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar notes.

Obama and Fast-Moving Global Crises

President Barack Obama and White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough. (This White House photo by Pete Souza was taken when McDonough was deputy national security adviser.)

The three big international crises – Ukraine/Russia, Israel/Gaza and Iran/nuclear – mark a choice for President Obama, stick with Israel and the old alignments or shift toward more cooperation with Russia and Iran. But the pieces on this global chessboard are fast moving, says ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

Hyping the Iranian ‘Breakout’ Threat

Iran's Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei sitting next to President Hassan Rouhani and addressing the cabinet.

A danger from propaganda is that its disseminators can come to believe their own exaggerations and thus damage their own interests, a situation that now exists with U.S. hardliners seeking to sabotage an Iran nuclear deal that would make everyone safer, as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar notes.

The Imbalanced Slaughter in Gaza

The Gaza Strip is a tightly cordoned-off area of only 139 square miles where some 1.6 million Palestinians are essentially trapped.

Much of the world is horrified at Israel’s latest slaughter of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip but the continued power of the Israeli Lobby over Official Washington has silenced any protests against the imbalanced infliction of death, as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar observes.

Losing Faith in Democracy

Afghan presidential candidate Abdullah Abdullah.

When Republicans engage in voter suppression against likely Democratic voters, they may feel their moves are very clever, ensuring their continued power. But the trust undergirding a democratic culture can be fragile, as the current Afghan voting standoff shows, writes ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

Renewed Violence Boosts Netanyahu

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

The day-in-day-out goal of Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu seems to be how to prevent the compromise and reconciliation needed to achieve a comprehensive peace. In that sense, the latest rounds of violence and hatred are serving his interests well, as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar notes.

The Cost of Iraq War Immunity

President George W. Bush pauses for applause during his State of the Union Address on Jan. 28, 2003, when he made a fraudulent case for invading Iraq. Seated behind him are Vice President Dick Cheney and House Speaker Dennis Hastert. (White House photo)

If Official Washington were not the corrupt and dangerous place that it is, the architects and apologists for the Iraq War would have faced stern accountability. Instead, they are still around – holding down influential jobs, making excuses and guiding the world into more wars, as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar notes.

A Band-Aid Approach to Fixing the V.A.

President Obama signs the prosthetic arm of Marine Sgt. Carlos Evans during a tour of the White House for wounded veterans on March 6, 2012. (White House photo by Pete Souza)

Despite promises from the Bush-43 administration that the Iraq War would pay for itself, the price tag keeps soaring with the predictable impact on V.A. hospitals struggling to care for wounded warriors. But the political solution has been to make a change at the top, as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar notes.