Foreign Policy


Judge Leon’s Dirty Climb to the Bench

U.S. District Judge Richard Leon

Exclusive: Civil libertarians are cheering federal judge Richard Leon for his ruling against the NSA’s massive surveillance program – and that’s all to the good – but Leon’s route to the bench followed a twisted course of partisan investigations and one historic cover-up, Robert Parry reports.

The Blacklisting of Noam Chomsky

Author Noam Chomsky.

An odd aspect of modern American life is that even with 24-hour news and its roster of blathering pundits, many creative thinkers with valuable insights are blacklisted from mainstream media, perhaps most notably Noam Chomsky who turned 85 on Dec. 7, as Jeff Cohen reflects.

Latin America Finds Its Footing

Argentine President Cristina Kirchner.

Exclusive: While the U.S. and Spain have wallowed in the Great Recession swamp, Latin America has begun breaking free of the old order that bogged down progress. Now, the region is restructuring relations with its old international masters, as Andrés Cala explains.

Wisdom in Restraint on Syria

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

The neocons are still beating the drums for U.S. military intervention in Syria, now supposedly for humanitarian reasons. But – as horrific as the Syrian violence is – it’s clear that President Obama’s restraint last summer averted making the mess even worse, says ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

What Mandela Did and Didn’t Do

President Obama Speaks at a Memorial Service for Nelson Mandela on Dec. 10, 2013. (White House photo)

While an inspiring tale of resilience and reconciliation, Nelson Mandela’s saga also marked a failure of black South Africans to transform their hard-won political power into economic equality, as domestic and foreign whites retained the reins of money, as Danny Schechter writes.

The Real Existential Threat

The mushroom cloud from the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima, Japan, on Aug. 6, 1945.

Most people on Earth – everyone born after World War II – have lived their entire lives under the threat of nuclear annihilation. But just because an existential threat has always been there doesn’t mean it won’t be activated, as Ira Helfand and Robert F. Dodge reflect.

An Open Door to Leave Afghanistan

President Barack Obama and President Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan participate in a joint press conference in the East Room of the White House, Jan. 11, 2013. (Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson)

President Obama has promised to end America’s combat role in Afghanistan by the end of 2014 but is haggling with Afghan President Karzai over how to keep soldiers there for another decade, a dispute that Independent Institute’s Ivan Eland says is a good excuse to leave.

Israel and the Bedouins

Thomas Edward Lawrence, better known as Lawrence of Arabia, a British intelligence officer who recruited Bedouin tribesmen during World War I.

Israel’s Right suddenly finds itself in a strange new world where it can’t do whatever it wants to Arabs under its control without encountering international resistance, like the recent plan to forcibly relocate Bedouins in the Negev, as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar notes.

Fresh Doubts about Syria’s Sarin Guilt

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon.

Exclusive: A new analysis, buried in a UN report, reveals that one of the two missiles at the center of the Syrian chemical weapons crisis, which nearly led to a U.S. military attack, showed no evidence of Sarin, further undermining Official Washington’s certainty that the Syrian government was to blame, reports Robert Parry.

Obama’s Syria Strategy at a Crossroads

President Barack Obama speaks by phone with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Jan. 12, 2012. (Official White House photo by Pete Souza)

Exclusive: The Islamic Front’s capture of a U.S.-stocked supply depot in northern Syria prompted a suspension of those shipments to “moderate” Syrian rebels. The incident also drove home how Islamists are gaining ground — and why President Obama may shift U.S. strategy, writes Robert Parry.