The Oil-Crash Diplomatic Mirage

Official Washington’s latest “group think” is that the drop in oil prices will bring Russia and Iran to their knees ready to do whatever the U.S. demands. But this analysis is a miscalculation that could cause President Obama to miss diplomatic opportunities to resolve disputes, says ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

By Paul R. Pillar

The steep drop in the price of oil during the latter half of 2014 has generated much comment about how this development has weakened major oil-producing countries and supposedly made their governments more pliable on issues that separate them from other countries. Such commentary flows partly from the tendency of media and the commentariat to over-analyze any major development and to identify winners and losers.

In the current instance it also reflects how people have happily noticed that several of the significant producers whose revenues have been most adversely affected by the price decline are countries commonly identified as adversaries of the United States, including Venezuela, Russia, and Iran. Edward Luttwak remarks that the price decline “is knocking down America’s principal opponents without us even trying.”

The commentary reflects in addition a belief that is in evidence whenever similar hopes are placed on the consequences of someone else’s economic pain when that pain is imposed not by the market but instead by sanctions. The belief is that there is a reliable and positive correlation between the other country’s economic discomfort and the willingness of its government to make diplomatic concessions.

That belief is mistaken, regardless of whether it is markets or sanctions that have caused the economic and fiscal damage. It is mistaken because the presumed connection between a country’s economic discomfort and its regime’s diplomatic flexibility considers only one half of the regime’s calculations.

The other half concerns whether, and how much, that regime believes it can improve its economic situation by making concessions to its adversaries. If it sees no prospect for improvement, it has no incentive to concede. The point becomes all the clearer when, as with the recent drop in petroleum prices, it is a market that is causing the economic pain. Markets have no mechanism for pain reduction when someone changes a negotiating position or diplomatic posture.

If lower oil prices really are making the leadership of Russia more willing to make concessions regarding the conflict in eastern Ukraine, what is supposed to happen regarding the prices and the pain if such concessions are made? That car-owners in the West will be so happy about this development that they will start driving more, thus burning more fuel, sending crude oil prices back up, and repairing the damage to Russian finances?

The further, usually implicit, assumption underlying false beliefs about market-induced economic discomfort leading to diplomatic flexibility in cases such as Russia or Iran is that the cumulative effect of both sanctions and lower prices will push a regime past some breaking point beyond which it ceases to resist.

The notion of a breaking point has underlain other American foreign policy thinking, which has involved not only economic discomfort but also the infliction of physical pain through kinetic means. The notion was the basis for Operation Rolling Thunder, the Lyndon Johnson administration’s prolonged and escalating bombardment of North Vietnam in the 1960s. The notion is somewhat akin to the gambler’s fallacy that by persisting and playing a little longer one’s results will change for the better.

The Vietnam War example illustrates another part of the logic pertinent to such situations that is essential but commonly overlooked when people place hopes on the consequences of someone else’s pain. That part concerns the importance the other side places on the issues that are at stake.

Regimes and nations will endure a great deal of pain on behalf of causes that are very important to them. Moreover, in such bargaining relationships the logic works both ways, and the relative importance to us and to the other guy of the issues at stake is critical, too. If it makes sense for us to think about the other side having a breaking point, then it would make just as much sense for the other side to think about our breaking point, even if that point is to be expressed not in intensity of pain at any one moment but instead in impatience and the duration of stalemate.

Even if the idea of a breaking point were valid, we Americans are poorly equipped to identify any such point as it applies to others, including the adversaries most at issue today. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, referring to the oil price drop, said, “We have been in much worse situations in our history, and every time we were getting out of these fixes much stronger. This will happen this time.”

He’s right about Russian history, which included among other ordeals the incredibly costly fight against the Nazis in World War II. The Iranians also have had their ordeals, with the most salient and costly one for current Iranian leaders being the eight-year war that Saddam Hussein’s Iraq launched against their country.

The false hope being placed on lower oil prices and their presumed effect in softening the positions of adversaries may itself have the damaging effect of discouraging the flexibility that will be needed on the part of the United States to resolve important unresolved issues. Such flexibility, and not just contrition and concession from Vladimir Putin, will be required for even a partial resolution of the prolonged crisis in Ukraine.

An even greater potential for damage concerns the nuclear negotiations with Iran. The hope for a more pained and supposedly more pliable Tehran as a result of reduced oil revenue probably is entrenching further the notion that Iran must make all remaining concessions to reach a deal. That notion, if it persists, is likely to mean the failure of the negotiations and the loss of a golden opportunity to resolve the issue and assure that Iran’s nuclear program stays peaceful.

Paul R. Pillar, in his 28 years at the Central Intelligence Agency, rose to be one of the agency’s top analysts. He is now a visiting professor at Georgetown University for security studies. (This article first appeared as a blog post at The National Interest’s Web site. Reprinted with author’s permission.)




A ‘Cordial Rivalry’ for US and Iran?

America’s neocons remain dug in against normalizing U.S. relations with Iran — as Israel’s hardline leadership still places Iran at the top of its enemies list — but Iranian leaders appear willing to transform decades of anti-U.S. hostility into a “cordial rivalry,” writes Trita Parsi.

By Trita Parsi

On Christmas Eve, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei took to Twitter to score some points against America. Hashtaging #Ferguson and #Gaza, he tweeted  that if “Jesus were among us today he wouldn’t spare a second to fight the arrogants&support the oppressed.” He also shot off a few tweets hashtaging #BlackLivesMatter. Four days later, he commemorated the Wounded Knee massacre by asking on Twitter if killing millions of Native Americans and enslaving Africans constitute “American values”?

Coming in the midst of Iran’s negotiations with the P5+1 (the Permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany) as well as President Barack Obama ending decades of enmity with Cuba and the peculiar “non-coordination” between the U.S. and Iran against Islamic State fighters in Iraq, Khamenei’s tweets raise the question: What does Iran really want with America?

After Havana, does Tehran want to be next? Does it seek to end the enmity with America, or just lower its intensity? Or do the leaders in Iran fear not having America as an enemy?

Many in Washington have argued that Iran is addicted to its enmity with the U.S. “It’s a pillar of the revolution,” one often hears. Coming to terms with America would be the end of the Islamic Revolution. Yet, many of those voices also categorically rejected the idea that Iran would engage the U.S. in bilateral negotiations, have its foreign minister become email pals with Secretary John Kerry, or have its President tweet Happy Rosh Hashanah greetings to Jews worldwide.

A simplistic, one-dimensional (mis)understanding of the Iranian leadership generated crude and ultimately erroneous predictions of Iranian behavior. The surprising flexibility of the Iranian decision-makers could not be captured since Washington’s read of Tehran was surprisingly inflexible. Rather than categorical rejection of ties with the U.S. or open desire for such a relationship, the truth may simply be that Tehran itself did not know until recently what path to pursue in regards to Washington.

About three years ago, a debate emerged within Iran’s security establishment on redefining Tehran’s relations with the Great Powers, particularly the U.S. A realization had occurred that due to geopolitical changes in the region, some form of a relationship with Washington was necessary the question was the parameters of that relationship and the manner it would come about.

It was an intense debate; perhaps the most important and difficult one the leaders of the Islamic Republic have experienced since the Iraq-Iran war. With the fast-changing situation in the region, the debate never reached a finale. There are some indications, however, that Tehran has come closer to a conclusion in the past few weeks.

On Dec. 17, the secretary of the Supreme National Security Council, Ali Shamkhani, told the Financial Times  that even if a nuclear deal is reached, the U.S. and Iran can still not cooperate in the region. But, Shamkhani explained, the two “can behave in a way that they do not use their energy against each other.” This is a critical statement that sheds light on where the debate in Tehran is tilting. Rather than partnership, Tehran is offering a truce.

A top Iranian official explained it to me a year ago: Iran’s relationship with the United States would at best be a cordial rivalry, not an alliance or partnership. But the operative term is cordial, not rivalry. Just as Shamkhani hinted, contrary to their past behavior, the U.S. and Iran would not be challenging or undermining each other. There can even be tactical and strategic collaboration between the two, although Tehran likely will prefer to keep that behind-the-scenes. Or as in Shamkhani’s interview, flat out deny that collaboration is in the cards.

But why can’t Tehran shred its past objections and opt for a less conflicted approach to America? This is where the value of rivalry comes in. Iran does not aspire to be just a normal power. Both the current regime, as well as the regime of the Shah, seeks a strong regional leadership role. While the Shah used Persian nationalism internally, and an alliance with the U.S. and Israel externally to become the undisputed power of the region, the Khomeini regime’s instruments have been political Islam and rejection of America’s presence in the region.

If Tehran joined the American camp, it would become a normal power whose influence would be determined solely by its economic and military prowess. This wouldn’t take Iran very far, Tehran fears. It would at best be a second-tier state, below the United States.

By keeping its rivalry with the U.S. alive and challenging America’s vision for the region, Iran would catapult itself into a higher level of regional influence, Tehran believes. By positioning itself as a rival, Iran would approach the U.S. as an equal, rather than compete with Israel, Turkey, and Saudi Arabia for the role of America’s most valuable proxy in the region.

Keep this in mind next time Ayatollah Khamenei takes to Twitter to challenge the U.S. or point out America’s double standards. In an era where the U.S. and Iran may secretly collude against Sunni jihadists, where trade between the two may flow once again, and where quiet collaboration between the two may become commonplace to stabilize regional hotspots, the optics of rivalry must desperately be kept alive where it matters the most. On Twitter that is.

Trita Parsi is an award-wining author of two books, Treacherous Alliance – The Secret Dealings of Israel, Iran and the US (Yale University Press, 2007) and  A Single Roll of the Dice – Obama’s Diplomacy with Iran (Yale University Press, 2012). [This article originally appeared at Middle East Eye.]




A Special Look-back at 2014

At Consortiumnews, we combine reporting on current events with the historical context that gives those events meaning, a context that is often lacking in the mainstream media. So a selection of our stories from 2014 offers an intriguing way to look back and to understand the pivotal events of the year just ended.

January

Forgetting Why Al-Qaeda Spread” by Robert Parry, Jan. 5, 2014

NSA Insiders Reveal What Went Wrong,” Jan. 7, 2014

Robert Gates Double-Crosses Obama” by Robert Parry, Jan. 8, 2014

NSA’s Preference for Metadata” by Kirk Wiebe, Jan. 13, 2014

How NSA Invites Totalitarianism” by Arjen Kamphuis, Jan. 17, 2014

The Mistaken Guns of Last August” by Robert Parry, Jan. 20, 2014

The Crumbling Lockerbie Case” by John Ashton, Jan. 26, 2014

No Tears for the Real Robert Gates” by Ray McGovern, Jan. 27, 2014

FDR’s Legacy of Can-Do Government” by Barbara Bandler, Jan. 30, 2014

February

Hugo Chavez’s Legacy at Risk” by Andres Cala, Feb. 4, 2014

When the CIA’s Empire Struck Back” by Lisa Pease, Feb. 6, 2014

Is Hillary Clinton a Neocon-Lite?” by Robert Parry, Feb. 10, 2014

Syria at the Edge of ‘Shock Doctrine’” by Rob Prince, Feb. 15, 2014

Does Nixon’s ‘Treason’ Boost LBJ’s Legacy?” by Robert Parry, Feb. 16, 2014

Cuba Inches Toward New Future” by Andres Cala, Feb. 17, 2014

The Best and Worst US Presidents” by Robert Parry, Feb. 18, 2014

Hillary Clinton’s Unlearned Lessons” by Robert Parry, Feb. 20, 2014

Neocons and the Ukraine Coup” by Robert Parry, Feb. 23, 2014

A New Neocon Push for Syrian War” by Coleen Rowley, Feb. 24, 2014

Cheering a ‘Democratic’ Coup in Ukraine” by Robert Parry, Feb. 26, 2014

A Shadow US Foreign Policy” by Robert Parry, Feb. 27, 2014

March

Ukraine: One ‘Regime Change’ Too Many?” by Ray McGovern, March 1, 2014

What Neocons Want from Ukraine Crisis” by Robert Parry, March 2, 2014

Putin or Kerry: Who’s Delusional?” by Robert Parry, March 5, 2014

The ‘We-Hate-Putin’ Group Think” by Robert Parry, March 7, 2014

The West’s ‘War on Democracy’” by Annie Machon, March 11, 2014

How Reagan Enforced US Hypocrisy” by Robert Parry, March 11, 2014

Neocons Have Weathered the Storm” by Robert Parry, March 14, 2014

Corporate Interests Behind Ukraine Putsch” by JP Sottile, March 16, 2014

Mainstream US Media Is Lost in Ukraine” by Robert Parry, March 16, 2014

Europe’s Not So Shiny ‘Recovery’” by Andres Cala, March 17, 2014

Neocons’ Ukraine-Syria-Iran Gambit” by Robert Parry, March 19, 2014

Robert Strauss’s Watergate Secret” by Robert Parry, March 20, 2014

Crimea and Punishment” by Lorraine Bartlett, March 21, 2014

Obama Ensnared in Bush’s Abuses” by Coleen Rowley, March 24, 2014

Why Europe Shies from Ukraine Showdown” by Andres Cala, March 26, 2014

The Danger of False Narrative” by Robert Parry, March 27, 2014

Ukraine’s Inconvenient Neo-Nazis” by Robert Parry, March 30, 2014

April

We’re All Cheneyites Now” by Todd E. Pierce, April 1, 2014

Ukrainians Get IMF’s Bitter Medicine” by Robert Parry, April 2, 2014

The Torture Report’s Long, Winding Road” by Nat Parry, April 6, 2014

Was Turkey Behind Syria-Sarin Attack” by Robert Parry, April 6, 2014

When Is a Putsch a Putsch” by Robert Parry, April 8, 2014

Reagan-Bush Ties to Iran Hostage Crisis” by Robert Parry, April 9, 2014

’War Wise’ Skepticism Prevailed on Syria” by Nat Parry, April 11, 2014

What’s the Matter with John Kerry” by Robert Parry, April 14, 2014

What Venezuelan Regime Change Could Mean” by Andres Cala, April 15, 2014

Ukraine Through the US ‘Looking Glass’” by Robert Parry, April 16, 2014

The Dangerous Neocon-R2P Alliance” by Robert Parry, April 18, 2014

Telling the Truth about Easter” by Rev. Howard Bess, April 19, 2014

Trying Not to Give Peace a Chance” by Ray McGovern, April 20, 2014

Prepping for a Ukrainian Massacre” by Robert Parry, April 22, 2014

NYT Retracts Russian Photo Scoop” by Robert Parry, April 23, 2014

Beneath the Ukraine Crisis: Shale Gas” by Nat Parry, April 24, 2014

John Kerry’s Sad Circle to Deceit” by Robert Parry, April 25, 2014

Killing the Putin-Obama ‘Trust’” by Ray McGovern, April 28, 2014

Kerry’s Propaganda War on Russia’s RT” by Ray McGovern, April 30, 2104

Behind Oklahoma’s Ghoulish Execution” by Richard L. Fricker, April 30, 2014

May

Who’s the Propagandist: US or RT?” by Robert Parry, May 1, 2014

A People’s War in East Ukraine” by Daniel Patrick Welch, May 3, 2014

Ukraine’s Dr. Strangelove Reality” by Robert Parry, May 5, 2014

The Inconvenient Truth about Jesus” by Rev. Howard Bess, May 8, 2014

Putin’s Subtle Message to Obama” by Robert Parry, May 8, 2014

Ethnic Russians Are People Too” by Robert Parry, May 13, 2014

How NATO Jabs Russia on Ukraine” by Ray McGovern, May 15, 2014

The Bloody Victory at Monte Cassino” by Don North, May 18, 2014

Covert US Military Training Goes to Africa” by William R. Polk, May 30, 2014

June

Picketty’s Exploration of Modern Capital” by Jim DiEugenio, June 3, 2014

The Real Villains of the Bergdahl Tale” by Ray McGovern, June 4, 2014

The Only Standards Are Double Standards” by Robert Parry, June 4, 2014

Hillary Clinton’s Hawkish Legacy” by JP Sottile, June 5, 2014

Tracing the Source of Income Inequality” by Jim DiEugenio, June 6, 2014

How Snowden Changed the World” by Annie Machon, June 6, 2014

Leaving the USS Liberty Crew Behind” by Ray McGovern, June 8, 2014

Learning No Lessons About War” by William R. Polk, June 16, 2014

Obama at a Crossroad of War or Peace” by Robert Parry, June 18, 2014

Obama’s True Foreign Policy ‘Weakness’” by Robert Parry, June 23, 2014

America’s Blunderbuss Wars” by William R. Polk, June 24, 2014

Who Violated Ukraine’s Sovereignty?” by Ray McGovern, June 28, 2014

Understanding Islamic Fundamentalism” by William R. Polk, June 29, 2104

July

The Risk of a Ukraine Bloodbath” by Ray McGovern, July 2, 2014

Thomas Jefferson: America’s Founding Sociopath” by Robert Parry, July 4, 2014

An Insider’s View of Nixon’s ‘Treason’” by Robert Parry, July 5, 2014

Plunging toward Armageddon in Israel” by William R. Polk, July 9, 2014

No Lessons Learned at the NYT” by Robert Parry, July 11, 2014

The Human Price of Neocon Havoc” by Robert Parry, July 17, 2014

What Is Israel’s End Game in Gaza?” by Dennis Kucinich, July 18, 2014

Facts Needed on Malaysian Plane Shoot-down” by Ray McGovern, July 18, 2014

Airline Horror Spurs New Rush to Judgment” by Robert Parry, July 19, 2014

What Did Spy Satellites See in Ukraine?” by Robert Parry, July 20, 2014

Kerry’s Latest Reckless Rush to Judgment” by Robert Parry, July 21, 2014

The Mystery of a Ukrainian Army ‘Defector’” by Robert Parry, July 22, 2014

US Complicity in Israeli War Crimes” by Paul Findley, July 25, 2014

August

Flight 17 Shoot-Down Scenario Shifts” by Robert Parry, Aug. 3, 2014

Israel’s Bloody but Hollow ‘Victory’” by Andres Cala, Aug. 5, 2014

The Long Reach of Vietnam War Deceptions” by Todd E. Pierce, Aug. 6, 2014

Was Putin Targeted for Mid-Air Assassination?” by Robert Parry, Aug. 8, 2014

The Heinous Crime Behind Watergate” by Robert Parry, Aug. 9, 2014

NYT Discovers Ukraine’s Neo-Nazis at War” by Robert Parry, Aug. 10, 2014

The Rear-Guard Defense of Torture” by Ray McGovern, Aug. 12, 2014

The Berlin Wall and Missed Opportunities” by Ray McGovern, Aug. 13, 2014

The Hushed-Up Hitler Factor in Ukraine” by Dovid Katz, Aug. 16, 2014

The Powerful ‘Group Think’ on Ukraine” by Robert Parry, Aug. 18, 2014

Behind Obama’s ‘Chaotic’ Foreign Policy” by Robert Parry, Aug. 21, 2014

Russia’s Humanitarian ‘Invasion’” by Ray McGovern, Aug. 23, 2014

Forgetting Cheney’s Legacy of Lies” by Ray McGovern, Aug. 27, 2014

September

Who’s Telling the ‘Big Lie’ on Ukraine” by Robert Parry, Sept. 2, 2014

The Whys Behind the Ukraine Crisis” by Robert Parry, Sept. 3, 2014

Fleshing Out Nixon’s Vietnam Treason” by James DiEugenio, Sept. 7, 2014

Malaysia Airlines Whodunnit Still a Mystery” by Robert Parry, Sept. 9, 2014

The Earlier 9/11 Acts of Terror” by Jonathan Marshall, Sept. 10, 2014

Will Scots Heed Ancient Call for Freedom?” by Don North, Sept. 10, 2014

A Third Decade of Bombing Iraq” by Nat Parry, Sept. 12, 2014

Ukraine’s ‘Romantic’ Neo-Nazi Storm Troopers” by Robert Parry, Sept. 15, 2014

The Lost Logic of Perpetual War” by Nat Parry, Sept. 16, 2014

Cameras to Detect ‘Abnormal’ Behavior” by Sander Venema, Sept. 18, 2014

Blocking a ‘Realist’ Strategy on the Mideast” by Robert Parry, Sept. 19, 2014

Obama’s Novel Lawyering to Bomb Syria” by Robert Parry, Sept. 23, 2014

Argentina v. the Hedge Funds” by Andres Cala, Sept. 24, 2014

Obama’s Propagandistic UN Address” by Robert Parry, Sept. 25, 2014

The CIA/MSM Contra-Cocaine Cover-up” by Robert Parry, Sept. 26, 2014

Neocons’ Noses into the Syrian Tent” by Robert Parry, Sept. 29, 2014

Beheadings v. Drone Assassinations” by Coleen Rowley, Sept. 30, 2014

Oh What a Webb We Weave” by Greg Maybury, Sept. 30, 2014

October

Official Washington’s Syrian ‘Fantasy’” by Robert Parry, Oct. 1, 2014

The Why of Obama’s Failed Hope” by Greg Maybury, Oct. 3, 2014

Guantanamo’s Force-Feeding Challenged” by Ray McGovern, Oct. 8, 2014

The Sordid Contra-Cocaine Saga” by Robert Parry, Oct. 9, 2014

A Murder Mystery at Guantanamo Bay” by Ray McGovern, Oct. 10, 2014

Can MSM Handle the Contra-Cocaine Truth?” by Robert Parry, Oct. 11, 2014

An Imperial Death Grip on Democracy” by Greg Maybury, Oct. 12, 2014

‘Kill the Messenger’: Rare Truth-telling” by James DiEugenio, Oct. 16, 2014

WPost’s Slimy Assault on Gary Webb” by Robert Parry, Oct. 18, 2014

“The Battle for Palestine” Parts One, Two and Three by William R. Polk, Oct. 23-24, 2014

Using the Holocaust to Justify War” by Maidhc Ó Cathail, Oct. 25, 2014

Treating Putin Like a Lunatic” by Robert Parry, Oct. 25, 2014

How the Washington Press Turned Bad” by Robert Parry, Oct. 28, 2014

Big Media Has Betrayed the People” by Greg Maybury, Oct. 31, 2014

Petraeus Spared Ray McGovern’s Question” by Robert Parry, Oct. 31, 2014

November

Will the Right’s Fake History Prevail” by Robert Parry, Nov. 1, 2014

Gary Webb and Media Manipulation” by Beverly Bandler, Nov. 2, 2014

Saudi Arabia’s Oil Politics on Syria” by Andres Cala, Nov. 3, 2014

The Right’s Tenth Amendment Myth” by Robert Parry, Nov. 4, 2014

Obama’s Last Chance” by Robert Parry, Nov. 6, 2014

The Mystery of Ray McGovern’s Arrest” by Ray McGovern, Nov. 8, 2014

Standing in an Adversary’s Shoes” by William R. Polk, Nov. 10, 2014

The Neocon Plan for War and More War” by Robert Parry, Nov. 11, 2014

When Henry Kissinger Makes Sense” by Robert Parry, Nov. 12, 2014

Can the World Avert a New Cold War?” by Annie Machon, Nov. 14, 2014

The Iraq War’s Pricy Ticket” by William R. Polk, Nov. 14, 2014

Behind the War with Boko Haram” by Don North, Nov. 16, 2014

The EU Wobbles Amid Conflicting Priorities” by Andres Cala, Nov. 20, 2014

CIA’s Torturous Maneuvers on Torture” by Ray McGovern, Nov. 21, 2014

Why JFK Still Matters” by Beverly Bandler, Nov. 22, 2014

Possible Motives for Ousting Hagel” by Robert Parry, Nov. 24, 2014

Der Spiegel Tones Down Anti-Putin Hysteria” by Robert Parry, Nov. 28, 2014

December

A Dangerous Failure with Iran” by Ted Snider, Dec. 1, 2014

Obama, the People and the Facts” by Robert Parry, Dec. 3, 2014

Ukraine’s Made-in-USA Finance Minister” by Robert Parry, Dec. 5, 2014

Propaganda’s Triumph over Journalism” by John Pilger, Dec. 7, 2014

Stifling Dissent on the Upper East Side” by Todd E. Pierce, Dec. 8, 2014

The New Republic’s Ugly Reality” by Robert Parry, Dec. 8, 2014

Rescuing Diplomacy in an Age of Demagogy” by Paul Grenier, Dec. 9, 2014

What’s the Next Step to Stop Torture?” by Ray McGovern, Dec. 11, 2014

How ‘Awesome’ Is America?” by Robert Parry, Dec. 12, 2014

Clashing Face-to-Face on Torture” by Ray McGovern, Dec. 14, 2014

America’s Earlier Embrace of Torture” by Jonathan Marshall, Dec. 15, 2014

Torture Impunity and Police Shootings” by Nat Parry, Dec. 16, 2014

How Torture Puts Americans at Risk” by Todd E. Pierce, Dec. 18, 2014

The Crazy US ‘Group Think’ on Russia” by Robert Parry, Dec. 18, 2014

Krugman Joins the Anti-Putin Pack” by Robert Parry, Dec. 19, 2014

Torture’s Time for Accountability” by Ray McGovern, Dec. 20, 2014

“The Liberal Idiocy on Russia/Ukraine” by Robert Parry, Dec. 22, 2014

“Anything Learned from ‘Christmas Truce’?” by Greg Maybury, Dec. 23, 2014

“Selling ‘Peace Groups’ on US-Led Wars” by Margaret Sarfehjooy and Coleen Rowley, Dec. 25, 2014

“Neocons Link Cuba Opening to Iran Deal” by Andres Cala, Dec. 26, 2014

“The Victory of ‘Perception Management’” by Robert Parry, Dec. 28, 2014

“Murdoch, Scaife and CIA Propaganda” by Robert Parry, Dec. 31, 2014

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