Foreign Policy


Can Obama Untangle from Syria’s Civil War?

President Barack Obama speaking to the United Nations General Assembly on Sept. 24, 2013. (UN photo)

President Obama appears open to a UN strategy of negotiating local ceasefires in Syria as a step toward a political solution to that civil war, but he remains tangled in the demand from Israel, Saudi Arabia and other U.S. allies for “regime change” in Damascus, writes Gareth Porter.

The Problems with Being Charlie

Islamic terrorists prepare to execute a wounded policeman after their attack on the offices of French magazine Charlie Hebdo on Jan. 7, 2015.

It’s one thing to decry all terrorism and defend the principle of free expression; it’s another to show disproportionate concern for some victims over others and to embrace offensive or irresponsible media content, troubling issues from the Charlie Hebdo case, says ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

‘Justice’ Hidden Behind a Screen

President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney receive an Oval Office briefing from CIA Director George Tenet. Also present is Chief of Staff Andy Card (on right). (White House photo)

Exclusive: Behind a physical (and perhaps metaphorical) screen, the U.S. government is putting on its case to pin ten felony charges on ex-CIA officer Jeffrey Sterling for allegedly leaking secrets to a U.S. journalist about a risky and convoluted covert op against Iran, as ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern reports.

A ‘Free Press’ and Double Standards

The slogan used to show support for the Charlie Hebdo journalists killed by Islamist terrorists in Paris on Jan. 7, 2015.

The Western reaction to last week’s terror attacks in Paris has been rife with double standards as U.S. and European politicians and pundits reinvent themselves as purists on freedom of the press and compound the hypocrisy by ignoring the longstanding slaughter in the Middle East, John V. Walsh observes.

Savage Atrocity Reported in Nigeria

Nigerian Army Special Forces.

Exclusive: Islamist terrorists shocked the world with the killing of 17 people in Paris, but a possibly larger atrocity occurred a continent away in Nigeria where Boko Haram insurgents may have slaughtered as many as 2,000 in a remote village, reports Don North.

CIA-Friendly Jury Seen in Sterling Trial

Former CIA officer Jeffrey Sterling.

Accused leaker and ex-CIA officer Jeffrey Sterling may face an uphill battle for acquittal as a northern Virginia federal court empanelled a jury that seemed generally sympathetic to the U.S. intelligence community, reports Norman Solomon.

Behind the Saudi Oil-Price Gambit

King Abdullah, the ailing monarch of Saudi Arabia whose country is playing a power game with its oil.

Exclusive: Saudi Arabia is wielding its oil weapon by keeping production high and prices low – all the better to punish some rivals and consolidate market share – but the gambit may come back to bite the House of Saud, as Andrés Cala explains.

Crime and CIA Embarrassments

Gen. David Petraeus in a photo with his biographer/mistress Paula Broadwell. (U.S. government photo)

Exclusive: Ex-CIA official Jeffrey Sterling is going on trial for espionage because he allegedly told a reporter about a botched covert op that sent flawed nuclear designs to Iran, but powerful people want to spare ex-CIA Director David Petraeus indictment for leaking secrets to a mistress, notes ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern.

The Sorry Record of a Muslim-Basher

On Fox News, Steve Emerson is interviewed by Jeanine Pirro on Fox News where he claimed that Muslims have terrorized non-Muslims into staying out of Birmingham, Great Britain's second-largest city. (From the UK Guardian)

Exclusive: Jumping on the Muslim-bashing bandwagon, Fox News’ commentator Steven Emerson claimed Muslims have seized control of parts of London and all of Birmingham, terrorizing non-Muslims to flee, claims so absurd that even he was forced to back-track, reports Robert Parry.

Twisting the Iran-Nuke Intelligence

Iran's President Hassan Rouhani celebrates the completion of an interim deal on Iran's nuclear program on Nov. 24, 2013, by kissing the head of the daughter of an assassinated Iranian nuclear engineer. (Iranian government photo)

Since the Reagan administration broke the back of professionalism at the CIA’s analytical division, U.S. intelligence has regularly been twisted for geopolitical purposes, including the case made over Iran’s alleged nuclear weapons program, as Gareth Porter explains.