Tag Archive for Paul R. Pillar

A Poison Pill for the Iran-Nuke Deal

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the United Nations in 2012, drawing his own "red line" on how far he will let Iran go in refining nuclear fuel.

Many in Congress continue to march in lockstep with the dictates of Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu who wants endless hostility toward Iran even if that torpedoes a deal to constrain Iran’s nuclear program. That includes a pointless demand for a past confession, notes ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

Hoping Bombs Will Solve Iraq/Syria Mess

The guided-missile cruiser USS Philippine Sea launches a Tomahawk cruise missile as seen from the aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush in the Persian Gulf, Sept. 23, 2014.  (U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Eric Garst)

Contradictions beset the U.S. war over Iraq and Syria. The principal target ISIS wouldn’t even exist but for the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003, and al-Qaeda affiliates in Syria have benefited from defections of U.S.-backed “moderates.” But now warplanes and missiles are supposed to fix things, says ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

Obama’s Risks of Escalation

President Barack Obama announces U.S.-led airstrikes against Islamic State and other targets in Syria in comments at the White House on Sept. 23, 2014. (Screenshot from White House.gov)

As President Obama launched the first waves of U.S. airstrikes against Islamic State and other targets in Syria, the risks of further military escalation or other expected developments abound, as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar explains.

Neocons Grow Frantic over Iran Progress

Iran's President Hassan Rouhani celebrates the completion of an interim deal on Iran's nuclear program on Nov. 24, 2013, by kissing the head of the daughter of an assassinated Iranian nuclear engineer. (Iranian government photo)

With an agreement on constraining Iran’s nuclear program within reach, Official Washington’s neocons are getting apoplectic about the need to rev up new animosities toward Iran, an approach not helpful to real U.S. security needs, as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar notes.

More Neocon Hypocrisy in the Mideast

Dennis Ross, who has served as a senior U.S. emissary in the Middle East.

America’s neocons are now advancing their “regime change” goals in the Mideast by tarring “enemies,” like Syria’s largely secular government, as “Islamist” while shielding “friends” like Saudi Arabia despite its intense religiosity, yet one more double standard, writes ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

In Case You Missed…

Some our special stories in August focused on Israel’s war on Gaza, the biased U.S. reporting on the Ukraine crisis, and the 50th anniversary of the Gulf of Tonkin deception.

The Illusion of Syria’s ‘Moderate’ Rebels

Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tennessee, says President Obama's plan for arming Syria's "moderate" rebels has strong support in Congress.

In militarily going after ISIS, President Obama is again letting his foreign policy be shaped by the popular illusions of Official Washington, particularly the idea that aiding Syrian “moderates” is a viable part of the strategy, as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar explains.

Cheney’s Dangerous Mideast Nostrums

Former Vice President Dick Cheney.

The extremist group ISIS asserts that only brutality will drive Westerners, including Israelis of European descent, from the Middle East. But the flip side of that coin is the demand from the likes of Dick Cheney for ever increasing repression of political Islam, as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar notes.

Off on Another ‘War’ Against ‘Terror’

President Barack Obama shakes hands with U.S. troops at Bagram Airfield in Bagram, Afghanistan, Sunday, May 25, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

The original post-9/11 “war on terror” rejected a targeted police-oriented response toward al-Qaeda, which also would have focused on root causes of Sunni extremism, and instead demanded a military “war.” Now, 13 years later, few lessons have been learned, says ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

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.