A basic tenet of “tough-guy-ism” is that throwing around U.S. military and economic muscle is the way to advance American global power. A corollary is that sensitivity toward world opinion is for sissies. But the reality is that the U.S. government undermines America’s influence with this arrogance, as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar explains.
Exclusive: America’s political dysfunction stems, in large part, from the Right’s success in distorting U.S. history and the mainstream news media’s failure to counter those false narratives. That has left the nation adrift in a faux reality, a crisis described by Robert Parry’s new book and analyzed by Jim DiEugenio.
The Republican Party that emerged from Vietnam and Watergate was determined to obliterate the lessons learned, and the Democrats veered between timidity and complicity as those lessons were unlearned. Now, the key lessons are more reminiscence than real, as Michael Winship laments.
In the early 1990s, Republicans turned Ronald Reagan into an icon; they hailed him for “winning the Cold War;” they used his name to put conservatism beyond challenge. But this deification was hollow, a reality that today’s thoughtful conservatives, like the Independent Institute’s Ivan Eland, recognize.
Like an overeager suitor, President Obama professed his love for and lavished praise on Israel during a three-day visit, causing some Israelis to blush at his fawning rhetoric and promises of endless fidelity. But Obama on bended knee failed to note a malodorous reality, says Lawrence Davidson.
By cozying up to Israeli hardliners and embracing Official Washington’s hostility toward Iran, President Obama may be squandering an opportunity to resolve the Iranian nuclear dispute and inviting a worsening crisis in the Middle East, as Flynt and Hillary Mann Leverett explain.
In 1961, President Eisenhower warned Americans about the danger of a Military-Industrial Complex diverting public funds into excessive arms manufacturing, but now that influence reaches more broadly into U.S. politics as military contractors flex their muscles on other businesses, as Lawrence S. Wittner describes.
Watching President Obama’s three-day love-fest toward Israel left critics and even some supporters cringing at his excessive embrace of Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu and everything Israel has ever done. But Obama’s “game-change” metaphor on Syria may be the most troubling, says ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.
In a world where all emotion is translated into a sales pitch and each thought becomes a talking point, the existential question is how to live a life that embraces real emotion and articulates original thinking, a dilemma that poet Phil Rockstroh addresses in this commentary on late-stage capitalism.
Exclusive: With solid Republican opposition and many Democrats scared of the gun lobby, Congress is turning its back on a renewed assault weapons ban, a collapse made easier by the refusal of Newtown officials to release crime-scene photos of the bullet-riddled bodies of 20 first-graders, writes Robert Parry.