In the chimerical pursuit of perfect security, Western countries are turning to advanced technology to detect and stop terrorist attacks. But these expensive schemes often fail to deliver greater safety while further eroding personal freedom, as Sander Venema observed in the Netherlands.
America’s neocons are now advancing their “regime change” goals in the Mideast by tarring “enemies,” like Syria’s largely secular government, as “Islamist” while shielding “friends” like Saudi Arabia despite its intense religiosity, yet one more double standard, writes ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.
Perhaps the biggest taboo of the U.S. mainstream coverage of the Ukraine crisis is to block out the role played by neo-Nazi militias in both the Feb. 22 coup and this summer’s bloody offensive in eastern Ukraine, but the ugly reality occasionally breaks through, as William Blum noted in Anti-Empire Report.
Official Washington honors international law when it’s politically useful, such as in condemning a global adversary, but then dismisses it as useless if it gets in the way of some desired U.S. action. This “international law a la carte” undermines the concept’s fundamental value, says Lawrence Davidson.
The Obama administration has refined the practice of “regime change,” moving away from old-fashioned tanks in the street or overt invasions by U.S. troops, opting instead for “democracy promotion” that relies on “information warfare” to unseat elected governments disfavored by Washington, says Ted Snider.
Bombing ISIS amounts to attacking a symptom rather than finding a cure. But the cure would require addressing politically sensitive issues, such as Israel oppressing Palestinians and Saudi Arabia financing Islamic extremism. So the U.S. does what it knows best – blowing stuff up – as Nat Parry observes.
The extremist group ISIS asserts that only brutality will drive Westerners, including Israelis of European descent, from the Middle East. But the flip side of that coin is the demand from the likes of Dick Cheney for ever increasing repression of political Islam, as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar notes.