From the Archive: President Obama has nominated Hyatt Hotels heiress Penny Pritzker to be the next Commerce Secretary. Pritzker, also a major fundraiser for Obama’s two presidential campaigns, faced controversy because of her role in the sub-prime mortgage disaster, as Dennis J. Bernstein reported in 2008.
Across Official Washington – including the neocon Washington Post and “liberal” MSNBC – pundits are demanding U.S. intervention in the Syrian civil war. But the furor over alleged use of chemical weapons represents just the latest dubious argument for regime change, says ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.
In recent decades, the U.S. government and news media have treated international law as a matter of convenience and hypocrisy, applying rules self-righteously when they’re useful and ignoring them when a hindrance. The dispute over Iran’s nuclear program is a case in point, as Flynt and Hillary Mann Leverett explain.
Before his execution by hanging in 1947, Auschwitz commander Rudolf Hoess confessed to his role in the industrialized slaughter of millions of Jews and other “enemies” of Hitler’s Third Reich. But Hoess’s guilt – while extraordinary in its numbers – extends to all leaders who carelessly choose war, Gary G. Kohls observes.
Many journalists are confronted with a choice in their careers: pursue a difficult truth by taking on powerful interests or protect their livelihoods by going with the flow. While readers may think the choice is obvious – pursue the truth – it often comes with a high price, as journalist Alan Hart learned.
Official Washington’s “tough-guy-ism” – eschewing diplomacy in favor of military force – has slammed the United States into a series of foreign-policy disasters, such as the Iraq War. But key promoters keep denouncing anyone favoring less aggression as an “isolationist,” as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar explains.
The intense response to the Boston Marathon bombings – including a government shutdown of metropolitan Boston and hysterical national news coverage – sent troubling messages, both on civil liberties and the U.S. susceptibility to terrorist-inspired disruptions, says Independent Institute’s Ivan Eland.
Exclusive: Black flags of Islamic extremism are flying over “liberated” zones in Syria as hard-line fundamentalists take control of the uprising. Yet, Official Washington continues to demand the overthrow of the secular Assad regime, rather than consider a power-sharing compromise, Robert Parry reports.
Placing bombs among civilians – as happened at the Boston Marathon – is an inexcusable act, but Americans invite future violence when they ignore how their government’s acts of brutality abroad drive people to extremism, a half-century-old lesson from Martin Luther King Jr., as Jose-Antonio Orosco recalls.
American foreign policy remains locked in a cycle of violence, with the Obama administration failing to escape the neocon insistence on a swaggering “tough-guy-ism” abroad. That reliance on military intervention also comes with the cost of “blowback,” as ex-CIA analyst Melvin A. Goodman notes.