Tag Archive for Paul R. Pillar

Sheldon Adelson’s Own GOP Primary

Casino mogul Sheldon Adelson.

Part of Ukraine’s crisis stems from the political power of 10 “oligarchs,” billionaires in a society with vast income inequality. It is a future that Americans seem headed toward, as one U.S. “oligarch,” Sheldon Adelson, picks his Republican presidential favorite, notes ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

In Case You Missed…

Some of our special stories in February focused on the good and the bad of past U.S. presidents — and on the resurgence of the neocons as they seek new wars in the Middle East and provoked a U.S.-Russia confrontation over Ukraine.

Russia’s Countermove in Iran

Iran's President Hassan Rouhani talks by telephone with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Nov. 18, 2013, discussing developments in the talks between Tehran and the world powers as well as ways to end the bloodshed in Syria. (Iranian government photo)

Neocons hoped the Ukraine-Crimea crisis, which they encouraged, would drive a spike into the Obama-Putin collaboration and restore neocon dreams of a U.S. military attack on Iran. But the scheme could instead push Russia and Iran closer together, as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar explains.

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

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaking to 2014 convention of the powerful lobbying group, American Israel Public Affairs Committee.

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…