So far, the West is taking a hard line in talks with Iran, responding to its concessions on its nuclear program with only modest rewards and, indeed, with new threats of sanctions. U.S. politicians, in particular, are bending to Israeli demands for either Iranian capitulation or war, a worry to ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.
Israel has subjected thousands of Palestinians to detention without trial, a tactic that finally provoked a hunger strike and at least modest concessions from Israeli authorities regarding prison conditions, as described by ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.
By definition, “terrorism” applies to attacks on civilians for political ends. But the U.S. government has revised the term to cover any attack on Americans, including soldiers fighting anywhere in the world, a misuse of the concept that is hampering a deal to free a U.S. POW, writes ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.
To build support for “regime change” in Iran, neocon operatives and U.S. officials have tried to link al-Qaeda to Iran by exaggerating intelligence and ignoring evidence of mutual hostility, including new data in Osama bin Laden’s captured files, writes Gareth Porter for Inter Press Service.
Much of Europe has swallowed the bitter medicine of austerity on orders from conservative economic theorists, only to find that the supposed cure has made matters worse. Now, elections in France and Greece indicate that Europeans want a new approach that stimulates growth, ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar notes.
The long U.S. war in Afghanistan is finally being wound down by an agreement that removes U.S. combat troops in 2 1/2 years but lets a small contingent of Special Forces remain. The larger reality is that the war has gone on way too long for the American and Afghan people, says ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.
This week, there will be plenty of retrospectives on the U.S. Special Forces raid into Pakistan a year ago to kill al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden. But the focus on that one attack and one man may obscure the larger threat from the brand of terrorism that bin Laden represented, says ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.
Propaganda often involves taking the words of an adversary out of context and making them seem far worse or more dangerous than they are. When the news media joins in the distortion, the public can easily be stampeded into confrontation or war, a dilemma that ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar addresses.
Some special stories in March demonstrated our unique brand of investigative journalism, bringing historical context to current events. Stories included White House secrets on the sabotage of Vietnam peace talks, realization that Campaign 2012 may turn on old myths about Iran, the legal battle over health-care reform and more.
The rigidity of Official Washington – more than intransigence from Iran – is threatening negotiations beginning in Istanbul this weekend. President Obama’s flexibility to ease sanctions on Iran in exchange for Iranian safeguards against building a nuclear weapon is limited by political pressures, says ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.