Foreign Policy

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Israeli-Palestinian Talks Founder, Again

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

President Obama pondered freeing Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard to keep Israeli-Palestinian negotiations sputtering along, but Israel’s demand to be called a “Jewish state” and its refusal to free more Palestinian prisoners have pushed the talks to the brink, notes ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

‘We’re All Cheneyites Now’

Vice President Dick Cheney.

In late 2008, when President Obama opted more for “continuity” than “change” — and ceded control over much of his foreign policy to hawkish “rivals” — he locked in many of Dick Cheney’s neocon theories that trampled constitutional principles, as retired JAG Major Todd E. Pierce explains.

A Poison Pill for Iran Nuke Talks

Yukiya Amano, a Japanese diplomat and director-general of the International Atomic Energy Agency.

Israel and its hardline U.S. backers have tried to manipulate the UN’s IAEA to ensure failure of negotiations aimed at constraining but not eliminating Iran’s nuclear program. The new ploy is to sink the talks with a demand for an Iranian “confession,” as Gareth Porter wrote for Inter Press Service.

Did Manning Help Avert War in Iran?

U.S. Army Pvt. Chelsea (formerly Bradley) Manning.

From the Archive: Many of the world’s crises, like those in Syria and Ukraine, can be better understood by factoring in Israel’s maneuvers to involve the U.S. in bombing Iran. Documents leaked by Pvt. Manning exposed how one such scheme might have played out, as Robert Parry wrote in 2013.

Ukraine’s Inconvenient Neo-Nazis

Far-right militia members demonstrating outside Ukrainian parliament in Kiev. (Screen shot from RT video via YouTube video)

Exclusive: When Ukrainian neo-Nazis – infuriated over the killing of an ultranationalist leader – surrounded the Parliament in Kiev, the incident presented a problem for the U.S. news media which has been trying to airbrush the neo-Nazis out of the Ukraine narrative, Robert Parry reports.

Forgetting the Lessons of Deterrence

Russian President Vladimir Putin

“Tough-guy/gal-ism” is rampant again in Official Washington with many New Cold Warriors lusting for a military confrontation with Russia. But few of these hawks have a clear idea how deterrence worked during the real Cold War, writes ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

The Danger of False Narrative

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)

Exclusive: Like a decade ago with Iraq, Official Washington’s pundits and pols are locked shoulder-to-shoulder in a phalanx of misguided consensus on Ukraine, presenting a false narrative that is taking U.S. policy into dangerous directions, writes Robert Parry.

Why Europe Shies from Ukraine Showdown

German Chancellor Angela Merkel. (Photo credit: א (Aleph))

Exclusive: Despite pressure from President Obama to escalate the fight with Russian President Putin over Ukraine, the Europeans are reluctant to stoke the crisis any further because it could consume their fragile recovery and ignite more fires of political discontent, notes Andrés Cala.

Tolerating Saudi Arabia’s Intolerance

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

The U.S. government insists that it abides by principles of international law, democracy and respect for national sovereignty, but its actions often belie its words, with the U.S. support for Saudi Arabia’s monarchy a stark example of the hypocrisy, writes Lawrence Davidson.

Obama Ensnared in Bush’s Abuses

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)

President Obama’s fateful decision – after winning the 2008 election to seek “continuity” rather than “change” and “to look forward, not backward” – has trapped him in a web of constitutional abuses that began in the Bush-43 presidency and extended into his own, as Coleen Rowley describes.