Mideast Alliances Shift Again

King Salman of Saudi Arabia and his entourage arrive to greet President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama at King Khalid International Airport in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Jan. 27, 2015. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Like shifting desert sands, the volatile Middle East is going through a new, though subtle, realignment of adversaries and allies, with Turkey’s political tensions shaking up one area while Saudi Arabia makes moves of its own, as recounted by ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

A Clash Over Whose Lives Matter

Afghan children await school supplies from Allied forces at Sozo School in Kabul. (French navy photo by Master Petty Officer Valverde)

A Twitter clash has broken out between people favoring #BlackLivesMatter or #AllLivesMatter, both protesting U.S. police violence against Americans but failing to take into account the hundreds of thousands of lives lost to the U.S. military as self-appointed global policeman, says Sam Husseini.

Plans to Destroy a Palestinian Village

A section of the barrier -- erected by Israeli officials to prevent the passage of Palestinians -- with graffiti using President John F. Kennedy's famous quote when facing the Berlin Wall, "Ich bin ein Berliner." (Photo credit: Marc Venezia)

Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu is holding together his fragile parliamentary coalition by backing the demands of the aggressive settlers encroaching on Palestinian lands, with one dramatic case the plan to demolish the Palestinian village of Susiya, writes Alon Ben-Meir.

Why Russia Shut Down NED Fronts

Russian President Vladimir Putin laying a wreath at Russia's Tomb of the Unknown Soldier on May 8, 2014, as part of the observance of the World War II Victory over Germany.

Exclusive: The neocon-flagship Washington Post fired a propaganda broadside at President Putin for shutting down the Russian activities of the National Endowment for Democracy, but left out key facts like NED’s U.S. government funding, its quasi-CIA role, and its plans for regime change in Moscow, writes Robert Parry.

The Tom Brady Railroad

New England Patriot quarterback Tom Brady.

Exclusive: Powerful institutions – whether the U.S. government, the mainstream media or the NFL – can run roughshod over individuals, twisting facts in whatever direction is desired. The current railroading of New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady is a cautionary case in point, writes Robert Parry.

Obama’s Egypt Policy Breeds Terrorism

mohamedmorsi

Exclusive: President Obama has gotten in line behind the Israeli-Saudi preference in Egypt for the brutal dictatorship of Gen. al-Sisi over the elected (but now deposed) Muslim Brotherhood government of President Morsi, a posture so shocking that even some U.S. neocons object, writes Jonathan Marshall.

When Israel/Neocons Favored Iran

Former Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz, a leading neocon and proponent of the Iraq War. (Defense Department photo)

Exclusive: The modern history of U.S.-Israeli-Iranian relations dates back 35 years to a time of political intrigue when Israel’s Likud leaders and the Reagan administration’s neocons secretly worked to arm Iran’s radical regime, an inconvenient truth given today’s anti-Iran hysteria, writes Robert Parry.

Turkey’s Geopolitical Gyrations

Turkish President Recep Erdogan.

The Obama administration is joining with Turkey in airstrikes against Islamic State targets in northern Syria – a shift from President Erdogan’s past tolerance and even support for Islamic terrorists inside Syria – but a more complex geopolitical game is afoot, writes ex-CIA official Graham E. Fuller.

Obama Buys False Iran Narrative

An Iranian man holding a photo of Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei. (Iranian government photo)

President Obama has fallen into the habit of accepting whatever “group think” is prevalent in Official Washington, which often falsely accuses some “enemy” of a nefarious deed, but Obama then tries to dodge the desired reaction: war. This risky pattern is playing out again over Iran, writes Gareth Porter.

The Unreality of the Iran-Nuke Fight

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

Israel is throwing the full weight of its U.S. lobby to crush the Iran nuclear agreement, but there are other factors adding momentum to the opposition – partisanship among Republicans and money from Israeli backers to propagandize the American people, explains ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

How ‘Adjunct’ Professors Are Exploited

Ohio State University's University Hall.

While some “star” professors at major universities are very well compensated and college football coaches can make millions of dollars a year, “adjunct” professors are exploited as cheap labor, often needing other jobs and food stamps to survive, notes Laura Finley.

Israel Clears the Bench in Iran Fight

Secretary of State John Kerry and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. (State Department photo)

Exclusive: Israel – in its desperation to kill the Iran nuclear deal – is exposing its often-denied influence over the U.S. political/media process. Israeli officials are even using football analogies to rally U.S. lawmakers while emptying the bench of friendly “experts” to mount a goal-line stand, writes Robert Parry.

NYT Enforces Ukraine ‘Group Think’

President Barack Obama talks with President Petro Poroshenko of Ukraine and Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker following a bilateral meeting in the Oval Office, Sept. 18, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Exclusive: Determined to enforce the “group think” on Ukraine, the editors of The New York Times lashed out at Russia for urging an expanded inquiry into last year’s MH-17 shoot-down. But the Times won’t join calls for the U.S. government to release its intelligence on the tragedy, writes Robert Parry.

The Dangers of European Dis-Union

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras (center) with French President Francois Hollande (left) and German Chancellor Angela Merkel (right).

The “European Project” is under unprecedented stress from fissures both east-and-west (over the Ukraine crisis) and north-and-south (over the Greek and refugee crises) – and it’s unclear whether the Continent’s bureaucrats can keep the European Union from splintering apart, as Nat Parry explains.

Philippines’ Terror-Inducing ‘War on Terror’

President George W. Bush pauses for applause during his State of the Union Address on Jan. 28, 2003, when he made a fraudulent case for invading Iraq. Seated behind him are Vice President Dick Cheney and House Speaker Dennis Hastert. (White House photo)

A largely forgotten front in George W. Bush’s “global war on terror” has been the Philippines where military campaigns to crush various rebel groups and political activists have led to charges of extrajudicial killings, torture and other war crimes, reports Marjorie Cohn.

Hillary Clinton’s Leftward Flip-Flops

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Faced with a populist surge in favor of Sen. Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton has tacked strongly to the left and – in so doing – is leaving in her wake many long-held positions on crime, trade, same-sex marriage, etc., to such a degree that it’s hard to know what she’d do as president, says Evan Popp.

Trump, McCain and ‘Chicken-hawk-ism’

Billionaire and Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump.

The fury over Donald Trump’s slur against Sen. McCain’s time as a Vietnam War POW has obscured a larger point about “chicken-hawk-ism,” how U.S. political/media insiders hail the soldiers for “heroism” but send them into harm’s way with little appreciation of their sacrifice, writes ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

Obama Should Release MH-17 Intel

President Barack Obama delivers a statement on the situation in Ukraine, on the South Lawn of the White House, July 29, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson)

A year ago, the U.S. government issued a sketchy report on the Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 shoot-down citing “social media” and other flimsy data implicating eastern Ukrainian rebels and Russia, but then – as hard intelligence became available – went silent. Now, U.S. intelligence veterans are demanding release of that intel.

Iran Deal Dooms ‘Full-Spectrum Dominance’

President Barack Obama talks with President Hassan Rouhani of Iran during a phone call in the Oval Office, Sept. 27, 2013. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

The international agreement to ensure that Iran’s nuclear energy program stays peaceful is not just a victory for non-proliferation but part of a more realistic realignment of U.S. policy toward the Mideast, finally recognizing the bloody futility of “full-spectrum dominance,” writes ex-CIA official Graham E. Fuller.

In Case You Missed…

Some of our special stories in June focused on the bloody crises in Ukraine, Syria, Libya and elsewhere in the Middle East — and on propaganda’s harm to democracy and fairness, from war to Tom Brady.

A Reminder about Comment Policy

From Editor Robert Parry: At Consortiumnews, we welcome substantive comments about our articles, but comments should avoid abusive language toward other commenters or our writers, racial or religious slurs (including anti-Semitism and Islamophobia), and allegations that are unsupported by facts.

Learning from the Greek ‘Betrayal’

Alexis Tsipras, leader of Greece's Syriza party. (Photo credit: FrangiscoDer)

Europe’s defenders of neoliberal economics – favoring the market interests of wealthy elites over the social needs of average people – marshaled their forces to crush the Greek challenge to “austerity,” with Greek Prime Minister Tsipras betraying his supporters, John Pilger told Dennis J Bernstein.

Hidden Origins of Syria’s Civil War

A scene of destruction after an aerial bombing in Azaz, Syria, Aug. 16, 2012. (U.S. government photo)

Exclusive: In the early months of the Syrian civil war, the West’s mainstream media presented the conflict as a simple case of good-guy protesters vs. bad-guy government, but the conflict was more complicated than that and the one-sided version only made matters worse, writes Jonathan Marshall.

The US Hand in the Syrian Mess

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in front of a poster of his father, Hafez al-Assad.

Exclusive: Neocons and the mainstream U.S. media place all the blame for the Syrian civil war on President Bashar al-Assad and Iran, but there is another side of the story in which Syria’s olive branches to the U.S. and Israel were spurned and a reckless drive for “regime change” followed, writes Jonathan Marshall.

The Risks of Rejecting Iran-Nuke Deal

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu has told the U.S. Congress to reject the Iranian nuclear deal and the Israeli propaganda machine is fully in gear to back up his demands, but the deal’s opponents ignore the risks of their potential success, writes ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

Seeking War to the End of the World

Prominent neocon intellectual Robert Kagan. (Photo credit: Mariusz Kubik, http://www.mariuszkubik.pl)

Exclusive: Despite the disastrous Iraq War, neocons still dominate Official Washington’s inside-outside game, government policymakers coordinating with think-tank opinion leaders to keep world tensions high and money flowing to military projects, a process personified by Robert Kagan and Victoria Nuland, says Robert Parry.

Who Benefits from Iranian Business?

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani (left) shakes hands with Russian President Vladimir Putin at the Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit in the Kyrgyz capital of Bishkek on Sept. 13, 2013. (Photo credit: Press TV)

Exclusive: European and U.S. businesses are hoping for a bonanza once Iran is freed from economic sanctions, but the West must overcome decades of distrust from the Iranians, meaning that Russia and China may have an early edge in building commercial bridges to Iran, writes Andrés Cala.

Making Excuses for Saudi Misbehavior

Saudi King Salman bids farewell to President Barack Obama at Erga Palace after a state visit to Saudi Arabia on Jan. 27, 2015. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Exclusive: Saudi-Israeli apologists are doing back flips to justify why the U.S. interest in having peaceful relations with Iran should take a back seat to sectarian and regional desires of Riyadh and Tel Aviv, including that peace with Iran will cause the Saudis to misbehave even more, notes Daniel Lazare.

MH-17 Mystery: A New Tonkin Gulf Case?

Russian-made Buk anti-missile battery.

Exclusive: In 1964, the Tonkin Gulf incident was used to justify the Vietnam War although U.S. intelligence quickly knew the facts were not what the U.S. government claimed. Now, the MH-17 case is being exploited to justify a new Cold War as U.S. intelligence again is silent about what it knows, writes Robert Parry.

Entering the Age of Nuclear Terror

Trinity test on July 16, 1945. (U.S. government photo)

As much as this year’s 70th anniversary of stopping the Holocaust was a moment to honor, the anniversaries over the next few weeks will mark the successful test of Trinity and America’s horrific atomic destructions of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, recalls Gary G. Kohls.

US/Israeli/Saudi ‘Behavior’ Problems

Washington Post columnist David Ignatius. (Photo credit: Aude)

Exclusive: In Official Washington’s latest detour from the real world, top pundits are depicting Iran as the chief troublemaker in the Mideast and saying the nuclear deal should hinge on Iranian “behavior.” But the real “behavior” problems come from Israel, Saudi Arabia and the U.S., writes Robert Parry.