Tag Archive for Paul R. Pillar

Neocons Shift Case for Killing Iran Deal

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)

The neocons are back at their battle stations doing all they can in Official Washington to destroy a possible agreement to curtail Iran’s nuclear program, since a deal would make a new Mideast war less likely, as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar notes.

Overcoming Political Immobility

French President Charles de Gaulle in 1961.

The American Republic is facing a crisis of political immobility caused by Tea Party extremism overcoming the traditions of compromise that date back to the Founding. History has troubling lessons for such moments, but there are signs of hope, says ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

Taking Israel’s Side on Iran

Sen. Mark Kirk, R-Illinois.

Israel’s Capitol Hill lobbying clout is whipping into line members of Congress, like Sen. Mark Kirk, who are taking the Israeli-Saudi side in the Iranian-nuclear dispute over the diplomatic position of their own government, notes ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

US Veterans in Decline

President Barack Obama greets Richard Overton, with Earlene Love-Karo, in the Blue Room of the White House, Nov. 11, 2013. Mr. Overton,107 years old and the oldest living World War II veteran, attended the Veteran's Day Breakfast at the White House. (Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson)

Veterans Day, which replaced the World War I-era Armistice Day, has become another chance to glorify America’s wars and the soldiers sent to fight them. But another reality is that the number of vets is in decline, notes ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

Sabotaging an 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.

Israel’s leadership and America’s neocons are shifting into overdrive to block a plan that would put the brakes on Iran’s nuclear program, seeking confrontation, not conciliation, notes ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

The Scandal of Scandals

President Richard Nixon, speaking to the nation on Aug. 8, 1974, announcing his decision to resign.

The term “scandal” used to mean something, a serious abuse of power or some truly outrageous conduct – Watergate, Iran-Contra, lying a nation into war – but the word has grown almost meaningless, just one more partisan insult, as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar explains.

Trying to Derail Iran Talks

Iran's Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, waving to a crowd. (Iranian government photo)

Neocons won’t give up on involving the U.S. in more Mideast wars and are hard at work derailing negotiations on Syria and Iran’s nuclear program. Right now, the chief target is President Obama’s bid to reduce tensions with Iran, drawing resistance from hardliners on both sides, writes ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

The Two Types of Spy ‘Scandals’

A common complaint from spy agencies is that they get blamed for “intelligence failures” when they miss something and they get attacked for “intelligence abuses” when they go too far with their espionage. The public veers from one type of “scandal” to the next, as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar describes.

The Neocons’ Iraq War Mess

The neocons are rewriting more Iraq War history, arguing that if only President Obama had stayed the course on an open-ended U.S. military occupation, the regional situation would be a lot better. But the truth is that it was their invasion of Iraq that set loose the chaos, as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar explains.

The Two Amigos’ ‘Credibility’ Crisis

Neocons across Official Washington equate “credibility” with taking military action against some country that won’t bend to America’s will. But true credibility for the U.S. government can come from taking measured and responsible approaches to international disagreements, writes ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.