Politics

Making Unnecessary Enemies in Yemen

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

The Saudi-Israeli tandem is trying to pull the U.S. and other militaries into the Yemeni civil war by arguing that the Houthi rebels are Iranian proxies. But the reality is much more nuanced and the American interest may go in a different direction, says ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

Did Money Seal Israeli-Saudi Alliance?

President Obama and King Salman Arabia stand at attention during the U.S. national anthem as the First Lady stands in the background with other officials on Jan. 27, 2015, at the start of Obama's State Visit to Saudi Arabia. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza). (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Special Report: The odd-couple relationship between Saudi Arabia and Israel may have been sealed with more than a mutual desire to kiss-off Iran. According to an intelligence source, there was a dowry involved, too, with the Saudis reportedly giving Israel some $16 billion, writes Robert Parry.

America’s Overuse of the Sanctions Option

President Barack Obama talks with Secretary of State John Kerry and National Security Advisor Susan E. Rice in the Oval Office on March 19, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

America’s use of economic sanctions to punish various foreign adversaries has grown so promiscuous that U.S. businesses often don’t know when they might be crossing some legal line, thus inflicting financial pain not only on other countries but on the U.S. economy, notes ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

Saudis Pour Oil on the Mideast Fire

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)

Saudi Arabia, now in alliance with Israel and with tacit U.S. approval, is dragging the Middle East into a nightmare of sectarian conflict, pitting its own warplanes and Sunni terrorists against Shiites, Christians and other minorities as part of a misguided competition with Iran, as Anthony F. Shaker describes.

Neocons, R2Pers and Hypocrisy

President Barack Obama talks with Ambassador Samantha Power, U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations, following a Cabinet meeting in the Cabinet Room of the White House, Sept. 12, 2013. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Exclusive: R2Pers say America has a “responsibility to protect” endangered people around the world, but this R2P moral imperative is selective, often indistinguishable from neocons tolerating some slaughters and choosing to wage war against certain enemies — just dressed up in liberal rhetoric, reports Robert Parry.

Capitol Hill’s Golden Revolving Door

Rep. Aaron Schock, R-Illinois, as pictured in CREW's list of the most corrupt members of Congress.

In the age of the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision – freeing billionaires to buy U.S. elections – many politicians know who owns their allegiance in office, but that financial obeisance grows even more when they leave government, as BillMoyers.com’s Michael Winship describes.

Israel’s Unsavory New ‘Allies’

President Barack Obama stands with Israeli President Shimon Peres and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during the President's official arrival ceremony in Tel Aviv, Israel, in 2013. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

The American people, who still want to stop Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State, are only dimly aware that longtime U.S. “allies” – Israel and Saudi Arabia – have shifted into an effective alliance with those Sunni jihadists as part of their regional war against Iran and Shiite Islam, as Lawrence Davidson explains.

Why America Needs Iran

King Salman greets the President and First Lady during a state visit to Saudi Arabia on Jan. 27, 2015. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

President Obama is tiptoeing around the sensitivities of Israel and Saudi Arabia as he depicts the Iran-nuclear deal as a one-off affair. But broader cooperation with Iran may be vital to salvage U.S. interests in the Mideast, say Flynt and Hillary Mann Leverett.

Obama’s Fateful Indecision

obama-cameron

Exclusive: With Israel and Saudi Arabia siding with the Islamic State and Al-Qaeda versus Iran and its allies, President Obama faces a critical decision – whether to repudiate those old allies and cooperate with Iran or watch as Sunni terrorist groups possibly take control of a major country in the Mideast, writes Robert Parry.

The Iran Deal’s Big Upside

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani meeting a group of Iranian citizens. (Iranian government photo)

The tentative deal with Iran, ensuring that its nuclear program stays peaceful, opens some avenues toward reducing tensions in the Mideast and addressing long-neglected American interests, but the hard-line opponents will still do all they can to kill it, as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar explains.