Tag Archive for William R. Polk

In Case You Missed…

Some of our special stories in July focused on the ongoing crisis in Ukraine (especially the shoot-down of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17), the Israeli war on Gaza, and the real history of Thomas Jefferson.

The Battle for Palestine

French diplomat Francois George-Picot, who along with British colonial officer Mark Sykes drew lines across a Middle East map of the Ottoman Empire after World War I, carving out states with boundaries that are nearly the same as they are today.

Special Report: Americans often focus on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict based on the latest atrocity and which side is to blame. But there is a long and important back story to this conflict which continues to stir up unrest across the Middle East, as retired U.S. diplomat William R. Polk explains.

In Case You Missed…

Some of our special stories in June examined America’s income inequality, assessed the significance of Edward Snowden’s leaks and explained who was at fault for the new extremist offensive in Iraq.

Plunging toward Armageddon in Israel

President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel hold a bilateral meeting in the Oval Office, Sept. 30, 2013.(Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Exclusive: The latest cycle of Israeli-Palestinian violence is pulling the region and the world deeper into a grotesque crime of religious-inspired slaughter, but U.S. politicians can’t see beyond their narrow self-interests, writes former U.S. diplomat William R. Polk.

Understanding Islamic Fundamentalism

Sayyid Qutb, a philosopher of Islamic Fundamentalism.

Islamic Fundamentalism frightens the West and that fear has motivated a fierce retaliation deploying more weapons and inflicting more slaughter. But in not understanding what drives the jihadists the military strategies may be making matters worse, observes ex-U.S. diplomat William R. Polk.

In Case You Missed…

Some of our special stories in May focused on the Ukraine crisis, the continuing fallout from neocon war strategies, and some inconvenient truths about Jesus.

America’s Blunderbuss Wars

Barack Obama, then President-elect, and President George W. Bush at the White House during the transition.

U.S. policymakers and pundits proclaim that America’s role in the world is all for the good. But more objective observers see a pattern of clumsy and brutal interference that can touch off cascades of chaos and death, as ex-State Department official William R. Polk describes.

Treating Snowden as a ‘Personality’

Vanity Fair graphic accompanying its profile of National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden.

The mainstream U.S. media prefers personalities over substance, so it was perhaps not a surprise that its focus at the first anniversary of Edward Snowden’s NSA leaks was on his alleged peculiarities, not the frightening prospect of a Big Brother state, says ex-State Department official William R. Polk.

Learning No Lessons About War

President George W. Bush in a flight suit after landing on the USS Abraham Lincoln to give his "Mission Accomplished" speech about the Iraq War.

Americans like to think of themselves as a peace-loving people but their record has been one of war-making with the pace of interventions picking up in recent decades as the U.S. military and intelligence services are dispatched around the world, notes ex-State Department official William R. Polk.

Covert US Military Training Goes to Africa

As an example of a U.S.-trained military officer gone bad, Gen. Manuel Noriega is escorted onto a U.S. Air Force aircraft by agents from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency after his arrest on Jan. 1, 1990. (U.S. military photo)

New U.S. plans for training security forces in four African countries recall similar programs around the world, which often ended in the hand-picked trainees slaughtering civilians or staging military coups, as ex-State Department official William R. Polk recalls.