Foreign Policy

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.

Obama Urged to Fire DNI Clapper

Director of National Intelligence James Clapper talks with President Barack Obama in the Oval Office, with John Brennan and other national security aides present. (Photo credit: Office of Director of National Intelligence)

Last March – before Edward Snowden revealed the NSA’s sweeping collection of phone and other data – Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said no such operation existed. Now, a group of ex-national security officials urge President Obama to fire Clapper.

Neocons Twist Iran’s Anti-Nuke Fatwa

Washington Post's "fact-checker" Glenn Kessler. (Photo credit: Singerhmk)

Washington Post “fact checker” Glenn Kessler is infamous for palming off his political bias as a dispassionate look at the evidence, a trick that he tried again by promoting a neocon distortion of Iran’s religious renunciation of nuclear weapons, as Gareth Porter explains.

Embracing Israel’s Atrocities

Israeli author and columnist Ari Shavit.

The mainstream U.S. media is in love with a new book by Ari Shavit that acknowledges Israel’s massacre of Palestinians but embraces the atrocities as necessary for the Zionist state’s existence, a moral contradiction that Lawrence Davidson dissects.

Itching for Confrontation with Iran

Columnist and pundit George F. Will

The neocons – along with their allies in Congress and on the Washington Post’s op-ed page – remain determined to sabotage a diplomatic rapprochement with Iran, demanding that its leaders be confronted, not engaged, as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar notes.