The invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq – followed by failed nation-building – may have taught the U.S. government a few lessons in humility, but the temptation to intervene in crises around the world remains strong, with recent examples in Syria and South Sudan, notes the Independent Institute’s Ivan Eland.
The Olympic ideal of replacing armed conflict with athletic competition has fallen to the pressures of nationalism and money. Now, the Olympics are celebrated even as nations continue the killing and plan for more, Danny Schechter writes from Johannesburg.
Official Washington, including the U.S. press corps, depicts the Syrian crisis as a civil war between black hats and white hats with no room for talks with dictator Bashar al-Assad and certainly no role for Iranian negotiators, but Flynt and Hillary Mann Leverett at RaceForIran.com see that position as shortsighted.
The neoconservatives who run the Washington Post continue to beat the drum for more U.S. war in the Middle East, now giving voice to influential neocon pundits demanding that the Obama administration begin lethal aid to Syrian rebels, as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar notes.
The U.S. government condemns Russia for blocking aggressive steps to oust Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. But Moscow fears Sunni extremists in the Syrian opposition and recalls how the West’s tolerance of such radicals before — in Afghanistan and the Balkans — led to even worse violence, writes Joe Lauria.
Led by the neocons, a growing chorus of Washington pols and pundits are clamoring for President Obama to “do something” militarily to remove the Assad regime from power in war-torn Syria. But the real-life options remain fraught with risk, says ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.
Exclusive: The world seems on a headlong rush toward the abyss, with American neocons eager to escalate their “clash of civilizations” and religious fundamentalists of various stripes insisting their own ancient texts must be accepted as political prescriptions for the modern era, a crisis addressed by Robert Parry.
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.
It’s difficult to know what’s happening in Syria not only because of the confusing violence but because the Western news media has lost nearly all credibility when it comes to reporting on Muslim countries, at least those on America’s and Israel’s enemies lists. William Blum explained the dilemma at the Anti-Empire Report.
President Barack Obama’s speech on a “new chapter” in U.S. policy toward the Middle East was filled with platitudes befitting a New Year’s resolution, but there is little expectation that he will follow through, especially on the hardest issues like the Israeli-Palestinian impasse, says Lawrence Davidson.