Foreign Policy

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Democrats in ‘Group Think’ Land

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton confronts Sen. Bernie Sanders in Democratic presidential debate on Jan. 17, 2016.

Exclusive: When Sunday’s Democratic presidential debate turned to world affairs, the NBC correspondents and both Sen. Sanders and ex-Secretary Clinton fell in line behind “group thinks” about Syria, Iran and Russia that lack evidentiary support, writes Robert Parry.

Toward a More Subtle US Foreign Policy

President Barack Obama talks with Secretary of State John Kerry and National Security Advisor Susan E. Rice in the Oval Office on March 19, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Largely because Israel’s right-wing government now considers Iran the great enemy and has a fonder view of Saudi Arabia, U.S. politicians and media have followed that lead, decrying Iranians and tolerating Saudis, but such simplistic thinking does not serve American interests well, as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar explains.

Turning Change into Chaos

President Barack Obama and former President George W. Bush (with First Lady Michelle Obama and former First Lady Laura Bush) walk to a White House event on May 31, 2012. (Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy)

Early U.S. presidents warned that foreign entanglements could endanger the Republic, but it turns out that modern U.S. interventions are hazardous to the rest of the world as well, achieving neither democracy nor human rights, while spreading chaos and death, a tragic turn addressed by ex-CIA official Graham E. Fuller.

Iran Changes the Regional Dynamic

Iran's President Hassan Rouhani addressing the United Nations General Assembly on Sept. 24, 2013. (UN Photo)

Israel and — to a lesser extent — Saudi Arabia continue to dictate much of U.S. foreign policy in the Mideast, especially animosity toward Iran. But the Iran nuclear deal may change the dynamic toward a more balanced strategy at least in the long term if not the short, as Gareth Porter explains.

MLK’s Warning of America’s Spiritual Death

Martin Luther King Jr. memorial in Washington, DC.

From the Archive: A year before his death, Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. broke with many political allies by warning that the Vietnam War was inflicting a “spiritual death” on America, casting King outside mainstream opinion circles which called his advice naïve and irresponsible, as Gary G. Kohls recalled in 2014.

The Battle over Dr. King’s Message

Martin Luther King Jr.

From the Archive: Martin Luther King Day is a rare moment in American life when people reflect on the ideals that guided Dr. King’s life and led to his death. Thus, the struggle over his message is intense, pitting a bland conventional view against a radical call for profound change, said Brian J. Trautman in 2014.

Playing Games with War Deaths

U.S. Army troops on patrol in during Operation Southern Strike III in the Spin Boldak district of Afghanistan's Kandahar province on Sept. 2, 2012. (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Katie Gray)

There’s a double standard in how the U.S. mainstream media reports civilian deaths depending if the U.S. military is fighting the wars or not, accepting absurdly low numbers when the U.S. is at fault and hyping death tolls when “enemies” are involved, a manipulation of human tragedy, says Nicolas J S Davies.

How Neocons Banished Realism

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

The grip that neocons and liberal interventionists have on Official Washington’s opinion circles is now so strong that “realists” who once provided an important counterbalance have been almost banished from foreign policy debates, a dangerous dilemma that James W Carden explores.

WPost’s Deadly Lack of Realism

Washington Post's editorial page editor Fred Hiatt.

The Washington Post’s neocon editors advocate one regime change after another, oblivious to the death and destruction that their strategies have unleashed across the Mideast and now into Europe – and reflecting a lack of realism about what U.S. foreign policy can achieve, as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar notes.

MH-17’s Unnecessary Mystery

Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.

Exclusive: Nearly 18 months after Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 crashed in eastern Ukraine, one of the troubling mysteries is why the U.S. government – after rushing to blame Russia and ethnic Russian rebels – then went silent, effectively obstructing the investigation into 298 deaths, writes Robert Parry.