Trump, McCain and ‘Chicken-hawk-ism’

Billionaire and Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump.

The fury over Donald Trump’s slur against Sen. McCain’s time as a Vietnam War POW has obscured a larger point about “chicken-hawk-ism,” how U.S. political/media insiders hail the soldiers for “heroism” but send them into harm’s way with little appreciation of their sacrifice, writes ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

Learning from the Greek ‘Betrayal’

Alexis Tsipras, leader of Greece's Syriza party. (Photo credit: FrangiscoDer)

Europe’s defenders of neoliberal economics – favoring the market interests of wealthy elites over the social needs of average people – marshaled their forces to crush the Greek challenge to “austerity,” with Greek Prime Minister Tsipras betraying his supporters, John Pilger told Dennis J Bernstein.

The Risks of Rejecting Iran-Nuke Deal

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu has told the U.S. Congress to reject the Iranian nuclear deal and the Israeli propaganda machine is fully in gear to back up his demands, but the deal’s opponents ignore the risks of their potential success, writes ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

Seeking War to the End of the World

Prominent neocon intellectual Robert Kagan. (Photo credit: Mariusz Kubik, http://www.mariuszkubik.pl)

Exclusive: Despite the disastrous Iraq War, neocons still dominate Official Washington’s inside-outside game, government policymakers coordinating with think-tank opinion leaders to keep world tensions high and money flowing to military projects, a process personified by Robert Kagan and Victoria Nuland, says Robert Parry.

Entering the Age of Nuclear Terror

Trinity test on July 16, 1945. (U.S. government photo)

As much as this year’s 70th anniversary of stopping the Holocaust was a moment to honor, the anniversaries over the next few weeks will mark the successful test of Trinity and America’s horrific atomic destructions of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, recalls Gary G. Kohls.

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.