Politics

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US/Israeli/Saudi ‘Behavior’ Problems

Washington Post columnist David Ignatius. (Photo credit: Aude)

Exclusive: In Official Washington’s latest detour from the real world, top pundits are depicting Iran as the chief troublemaker in the Mideast and saying the nuclear deal should hinge on Iranian “behavior.” But the real “behavior” problems come from Israel, Saudi Arabia and the U.S., writes Robert Parry.

Iran’s Long-Game Diplomatic Strategy

Iran's President Hassan Rouhani celebrates the completion of an interim deal on Iran's nuclear program on Nov. 24, 2013, by kissing the head of the daughter of an assassinated Iranian nuclear engineer. (Iranian government photo)

Iran has sought negotiations with the U.S. for two decades, but both Democratic and Republican administrations favored hostility demanded by Israel and Saudi Arabia. Finally, Iran found a track – sacrificing much of its nuclear program – to achieve a breakthrough, writes Gareth Porter for Middle East Eye.

The Iran-Nuclear Choice

President Barack Obama, with Vice President Joe Biden, announcing the signing of the Iran-nuclear agreement on July 14, 2015. (White House photo)

Many Republicans will oppose the Iran-nuclear deal to discredit President Obama and some Democrats will succumb to pressure from Israel, but the ultimate choice is whether politics and pressure will overrule the world’s interest in constraining Iran’s nuclear program, writes ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

Touchy Issue: Talking with ‘Terrorists’

Afghan commandos demonstrate their skills for U.S. Army Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, on Camp Morehead, Afghanistan, April 23, 2012. (Defense Department photo by D. Myles Cullen)

Official Washington often exacerbates foreign conflicts by shoving them into misshapen narratives or treating them as good-guy-vs.-bad-guy morality plays, rather than political disputes that require mediation. The problem is particularly tricky with “terrorist” groups, writes ex-CIA official Graham E. Fuller.

Obama’s Posturing Risks Iran-Nuke Deal

Secretary of State John Kerry meets with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in a bilateral discussion in Vienna before Iran-nuclear negotiations on June 30, 2015. (State Department Photo)

The Obama administration is risking the success of the Iran nuclear negotiations by playing some political theater to appear tough to its Republican and neocon critics in Official Washington, write Flynt and Hillary Mann Leverett.

Time to Rethink US Mideast Policies

President Obama speaks with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu outside the White House on May 20, 2011 (White House photo by Pete Souza)

U.S. policy toward the Middle East carries an extraordinary burden of strategically outdated and politically overweight baggage, from oil deals with Saudi Arabia to emotional ties to Israel. What’s needed now is a thorough reexamination of what’s in the U.S. national interest, says ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

The Iran Deal’s Strategic Payoff

Iran's Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei speaks to a crowd. (Iranian government photo)

A successful nuclear deal with Iran could mean an expanded Iranian role in blocking Islamic State advances in Iraq and Syria, but the potential U.S.-Iran cooperation alarms Israel and Saudi Arabia – which may explain President Obama’s silence on the topic, examined by Flynt and Hillary Mann Leverett.

The 51-Day Genocide

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

There’s palpable fear in Official Washington whenever anyone dares suggest holding Israel accountable for its crimes against the Palestinians. Instead there’s a rush to make excuses and to deny reality, a pattern challenged by a book by Max Blumenthal, reviewed by David Swanson.

Can Greece and EU Make Amends?

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras (center) with French President Francois Hollande (left) and German Chancellor Angela Merkel (right).

Exclusive: The after-shocks from the Wall Street crash of 2007-08 continue to rattle international stability, with Greece now rejecting never-ending demands for more belt-tightening and raising the specter of a splintered European Union, as ex-U.S. diplomat William R. Polk explains.

Greek ‘No’ Vote Spurs Wider Resistance

Greek Flag

Exclusive: Greek voters rebelled against Germany and the dominant powers of Europe by rejecting demands for more austerity, but the Greek resistance also is resonating across the Continent, emboldening other hard-pressed countries tired of Depression-like conditions, says Andres Cala.