The U.S. government has used Qatar to support “democracy promotion” in the Middle East, including as a logistical base for the invasion of Iraq. But Qatar’s rulers don’t like threats to their own tyrannical powers, even jailing a poet for life for implicitly criticizing the ruling sheikh, William Boardman reports.
Susan Rice’s possible promotion from U.S. Ambassador to the UN to Secretary of State continues to come under fire, now over her apparent conflicts of interest with African clients from her days as a private consultant, notes ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.
Between Israel’s expansion of West Bank settlements and deepening Palestinian resentments, chances for a two-state solution continue to shrink. The fiery words of Hamas leader Khaled Meshal have only made prospects worse, says ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.
The United States and Israel have threatened war against Iran if it crosses some “red line” in nuclear capability, yet these two nuclear-armed states are rarely criticized for their own nuke arsenals. A recent U.S. nuclear weapons test attracted almost no public attention, notes William Boardman.
When rebels challenged Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, the West and its media adopted a “good-guy/bad-guy” dichotomy, hyping dubious claims about Gaddafi and ignoring troubling extremism among the rebels. Now, the new Libya is clamping down on women’s rights, says Lawrence Davidson.
Exclusive: Montreal police may hope to just nail the “torch,” the culprit who hurled a fire-bomb into the home of ex-Israeli spy Ari Ben-Menashe. But to solve the mystery, they may have to delve into Ben-Menashe’s complex intelligence ties, including his hostile relations with his old superiors in Israel, writes Robert Parry.
The United States has blocked a conference aimed at banning nuclear weapons in the Middle East, thus shielding Israel from criticism for keeping a rogue nuclear arsenal even as it threatens to attack Iran for the mere “capacity” to build a bomb. This latest move is counterproductive, says ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.
Besides rejecting many aspects of science, the American Right despises the idea of international agreements as well, considering them infringements on U.S. “sovereignty.” That attitude among GOP senators turned back a global agreement on protecting the disabled, notes ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.
For more than three decades, many Americans have viewed Iran through the lens of the painful hostage crisis of 1979-81, seeing the Islamic Republic as irrational and dismissive of international law. But the fuller story is more complicated and less frightening, write Flynt and Hillary Mann Leverett.
Since the 1980s, Rupert Murdoch has built his U.S. media empire in close collaboration with the Republican Party, trading the his public influence for favorable regulatory treatment from GOP politicians. But now he is hoping for some help from President Obama’s regulators, say Bill Moyers and Michael Winship.