Going Nativist on Syrian Refugees

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas.

The political opportunism over Syrian refugees – from Donald Trump, Ted Cruz and other GOP presidential candidates – is one of the uglier features of the growing hysteria over terrorism. It also reflects a recurring strain of nativism that has infected the U.S. public at times of stress, as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar recalls.

Hitting Saudi Arabia Where It Hurts

King Salman of Saudi Arabia and his entourage arrive to greet President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama at King Khalid International Airport in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Jan. 27, 2015. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Exclusive: Though faced with a global terrorism crisis, Official Washington can’t get beyond its neocon-led “tough-guy-gal” rhetoric. But another option – financial sanctions on Saudi Arabia – might help finally shut down the covert supply of money and arms to Al Qaeda and the Islamic State, writes Robert Parry.

Ducking the Issue of ‘Perpetual War’

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, who is running for the Democratic presidential nomination.

During last week’s Democratic presidential debate, Sen. Bernie Sanders had an opening to reshape the campaign by offering a thoughtful critique of “perpetual war” and its consequences, but – like the other major candidates of both parties – ducked this crucial issue, writes Sam Husseini.

Rethinking ‘Assad Must Go’ Slogan

Former CIA deputy director Michael Morell.

Official Washington’s “Assad must go!” slogan is threatening to destroy hopes for a political settlement of the horrific Syrian conflict and for an end to the chaos cascading from it – finally prompting some U.S. officials to rethink the “group think,” as Gareth Porter reported for Middle East Eye.

The Saudi Connection to Terror

Saudi King Salman meets with President Barack Obama at Erga Palace during a state visit to Saudi Arabia on Jan. 27, 2015. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Exclusive: While Official Washington devotes much sound and fury to demands for a wider war in Syria and the need to turn away Syrian refugees, Democrats and Republicans dodge the tougher question: how to confront Saudi Arabia about its covert funding for Islamic State and Al Qaeda terrorists, writes Daniel Lazare.

The ‘War on Terror’ Has Been Lost

President George W. Bush announcing the start of his invasion of Iraq on March 19, 2003.

After 14 years, trillions of dollars spent and hundreds of thousands of people dead – with violence expanding, not abating – perhaps it’s finally time to admit that the Bush-Obama “War on Terror” has been lost and that a new strategy addressing root causes is required, as Nat Parry describes.

Tangled Threads of US False Narratives

President Barack Obama meets with his national security advisors in the Situation Room of the White House, Aug. 7, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Exclusive: Official Washington’s many false narratives about Russia and Syria have gotten so tangled that they have become a danger to the struggle against Sunni jihadist terrorism and conceivably a threat to the future of the planet, a risk that Robert Parry explores.

How Russians See the West and Russia

Russian President Vladimir Putin taking the presidential oath at his third inauguration ceremony  on May 7, 2012. (Russian government photo)

The U.S. mainstream media’s recent depictions of Russia amount to little more than crass propaganda, including the inside-out insistence that it is the Russian people who are the ones brainwashed by their government’s propaganda. Author Natylie Baldwin found a different reality in a tour of Russian cities.

Reform Judaism’s Israeli Critique

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu meeting with his generals to discuss the offensive in Gaza in 2014. (Israeli government photo)

Israel’s nearly seven decades of repressing Palestinians has soured many ethical Jews on the idea that the Jewish state should get unqualified support for its behavior, including now Rabbi Rick Jacobs, the leader of U.S. Reform Judaism, as Lawrence Davidson describes.

Baiting Obama to ‘Shock and Awe’

At the start of the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003, President George W. Bush ordered the U.S. military to conduct a devastating aerial assault on Baghdad, known as "shock and awe."

Official Washington’s armchair warriors are pounding their drums again, demanding a larger U.S. invasion of Syria and decrying President Obama as “feckless” for showing some restraint. But these hawks offer little thinking about the consequences of another long-term occupation, says ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.