Foreign Policy

Can Obama Speak Strongly for Peace?

President Barack Obama, with Vice President Joe Biden, attends a meeting in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, Dec. 12, 2013. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

From the Archive: President Obama is preparing a speech to address neocon charges that he’s shown “weakness” toward U.S. adversaries, but the greater challenge would be for him to tell the people why cooperation with those adversaries is vital for real peace, as Robert Parry wrote in March.

Doubting Obama’s Resolve to Do Right

President Barack Obama.

From the Archive: As President Obama prepares to make another speech explaining his foreign policy, the question is whether he can climb out of the rut of his previous whiny apologies for continuing many of George W. Bush’s abuses, as ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern wrote last year.

WPost Seeks US-Patrolled ‘Safe Zone’ in Syria

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry delivers remarks on Syria at the Department of State in Washington, D.C., on Aug. 30, 2013. [State Department photo]

Exclusive: Neocons never blush at their own hypocrisies, demanding Russia respect international law and do nothing to protect eastern Ukrainians, while demanding President Obama ignore international law and create a rebel “safe zone” in Syria, writes ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern.

Too Many VA Delays, Too Many Wars

Graves at Arlington Cemetery

The scandal about excessive waiting times for U.S. veterans to get medical coverage is a fresh reminder about the delayed costs from the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, indeed from the excessive use of the American military, as Michael Winship reflects on the message from Memorial Day.

The State Department’s Ukraine Fiasco

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry addresses Yale University graduates on Class Day in New Haven, Connecticut, on May 18, 2014. Kerry himself is a 1966 Yale graduate. (State Department photo)

Exclusive: The State Department’s handling of the Ukraine crisis may go down as a textbook diplomatic fiasco, doing nothing to advance genuine U.S. interests while disrupting cooperation with Moscow and pushing Russia and China back together, reports Robert Parry.

America’s Death-Penalty Fellow Travelers

Amnesty International's graphic showing the countries that extensively use the death penalty.

An inconvenient truth about America’s use of capital punishment is that it puts the U.S. in company with unappealing authoritarian states, like China, Iran and Saudi Arabia, while creating a divide from modern democratic societies in Europe and the Americas, notes ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

Reasons for Intellectual Conformity

President Woodrow Wilson.

In theory, many people hail the idea of independent thinking and praise the courage of speaking truth to power. In practice, however, the pressure of “group think” and the penalties inflicted on dissidents usually force people into line even when they know better, as Lawrence Davidson notes.

Libyan ‘Regime Change’ Worsened Chaos

Ousted Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi shortly before he was murdered on Oct. 20, 2011.

In 2011, a coalition of U.S. neocons and “humanitarian” war hawks pushed for and got a military intervention in Libya with the goal of eliminating Muammar Gaddafi, but the ouster and murder of Gaddafi has only led to worse chaos and more death in Libya, as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar explains.

Why Iran Wants Its Own Nuclear Fuel

Iranian women attending a speech by Iran's Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei. (Iranian government photo)

Iran’s insistence on having its own capability to enrich uranium for its nuclear reactors stems from its bitter experience when forced to rely on outside suppliers that were susceptible to international political pressures, Gareth Porter reports for Inter Press Service.

Chastened Saudis Look to Iran Detente

Prince Bandar bin Sultan, former Saudi ambassador to the United States and now the ex-chief of Saudi intelligence.

Exclusive: Last year, Saudi intelligence chief Bandar bin Sultan was swaggering around the world boasting of Saudi influence over radical jihadists from Syria to Chechnya and collaborating with Israel against Iran. But Bandar is gone and the Saudis may be retrenching, writes Andres Cala.