Tag Archive for Paul R. Pillar

Libyan ‘Regime Change’ Worsened Chaos

Ousted Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi shortly before he was murdered on Oct. 20, 2011.

In 2011, a coalition of U.S. neocons and “humanitarian” war hawks pushed for and got a military intervention in Libya with the goal of eliminating Muammar Gaddafi, but the ouster and murder of Gaddafi has only led to worse chaos and more death in Libya, as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar explains.

In Case You Missed…

Some of our special stories from April looked behind the Ukraine crisis, challenged the conventional wisdom on the Syria-Sarin dispute, exposed U.S. hypocrisy on Iran, explained the hard truth about Israeli “apartheid,” and explored Oklahoma’s rush to a ghoulish execution.

Saudi-Iran Thaw Troubles the Neocons

Saud al-Faisal, Saudi Arabia's foreign minister.

Neocons and other hardliners are still fanning the flames of confrontation with Iran, but the recent thawing of relations between Iran and Saudi Arabia is making the hawks’ work more difficult, writes ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

Cold Water on the Neo-Cold War Hysteria

Russian President Vladimir Putin addresses a crowd on May 9, 2014, celebrating the 69th anniversary of victory over Nazi Germany and the 70th anniversary of the liberation of the Crimean port city of  Sevastopol from the Nazis. (Russian government photo)

Official Washington’s neo-Cold War hysteria over Ukraine, including predictions of an imminent Russian seizure of the east, has prevented a cold-eyed appreciation of what is actually happening as Russian President Putin keeps signaling a willingness to negotiate, ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar observes.

The Commandment to Save the Planet

Image of Planet Earth taken from Apollo 17

America’s right-wingers are so hostile to the federal government – and to the Constitution’s commandment to ”promote the general Welfare” – that they reject action even when needed to save the planet. A resistance that continues whatever the evidence, as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar notes.

American Hawks Who Never Learn

Columnist Charles Krauthammer

The mainstream U.S. news media has taken great umbrage over President Obama’s defense of the more peaceful parts of his foreign policy, when he suggested lessons were not learned by the many pundits and pols who supported the disastrous Iraq War, as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar explains.

Egypt’s Spectacle of Repression

Egyptian General Abdul-Fattah el-Sisi as shown on official Egyptian TV.

Egypt’s U.S.-backed coup regime has veered further toward political repression of the democratically elected Morsi government, including mass death sentences for its followers. The spectacle has spurred some U.S. opposition to continued military aid, as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar notes.

Hearing US ‘Allies’ Whine

President Barack Obama talks with Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko during a state call at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo, Japan, April 24, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Official Washington is abuzz with punditry about President Obama showing weakness around the world, with the old-reliable antidote being more Pentagon spending and more foreign military adventures. But this “debate” misses how real U.S. interests are served, writes ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

Hamas and the Tyranny of Labels

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin "Bibi" Netanyahu

Israel is using the latest rapprochement between the PLO and Hamas as the newest excuse to reject peace talks. The charge is that Hamas is “terrorist” although the same label has been applied to the PLO and indeed to some of Israel’s own leaders, as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar notes.

Foreign Entangling Sanctions

President Thomas Jefferson in a portrait by Rembrandt Peale.

The U.S. government prefers economic sanctions as the opening move in any international chess match with adversaries, but sanctions on Iran – and threatened ones against Russia – could disrupt energy supplies and hurt the West as much as the targets, ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar observes.