Right Wing

Making Iran’s UN Envoy a Wedge Issue

Iranian Ambassador to the United Nations Hamid Aboutalebi.

America’s neocons and their allies want an escalating confrontation with Iran, not a negotiated solution to the nuclear issue. So they seek out hot buttons to anger Iran and make President Obama’s job harder, such as blocking Iran’s choice of UN ambassador, writes ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

Reagan-Bush Ties to Iran-Hostage Crisis

President Ronald Reagan, delivering his Inaugural Address on Jan. 20, 1981.

Exclusive: The Senate wants to block Iran’s new UN ambassador because he was linked to the Iran hostage crisis 35 years ago, but that standard would strip honors from Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush, implicated in extending the hostage crisis to win the 1980 election, reports Robert Parry.

When Is a Putsch a Putsch?

Secretary of State John Kerry testifying before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on April 8, 2014.

Exclusive: Secretary of State John Kerry accuses Russia of a “contrived crisis” in Ukraine as the U.S.-backed coup regime in Kiev sends troops to crush resistance in the ethnic-Russian east. But the most “contrived” element of this crisis may be the false U.S. narrative, writes Robert Parry.

Seeking a Dead-End in Syria

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in front of a poster of his father, Hafez al-Assad.

By insisting that “Assad must go,” the West has locked itself in to a losing and dangerous game in Syria. Rather than negotiate a political settlement with President Assad, the alternative has been to back Saudi-funded jihadis with ties to al-Qaeda, say Flynt and Hillary Mann Leverett.

Anti-Iran Hardliners Seek New Excuse

Sen. Robert Menendez, D-New Jersey.

U.S. hardliners seeking to disrupt negotiations that would constrain – but not eliminate – Iran’s nuclear program are citing Iran’s efforts to evade U.S. oil sanctions as their latest excuse. But Iran has no obligation to submit to U.S. sanctions, notes ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

Was Turkey Behind Syrian Sarin Attack?

President Barack Obama speaking to the United Nations General Assembly on Sept. 24, 2013. (UN photo)

Exclusive: Journalist Seymour Hersh has unearthed information implicating Turkish intelligence in last summer’s Sarin attack near Damascus that almost pushed President Obama into a war to topple Syria’s government and open a path for an al-Qaeda victory, writes Robert Parry.

The Torture Report’s Long, Winding Road

President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney receive an Oval Office briefing from CIA Director George Tenet. Also present is Chief of Staff Andy Card (on right). (White House photo)

Any encouragement that torture opponents may take from an initial step toward releasing part of a long Senate report on CIA abuses during the Bush-43 years is tempered by the fact that the declassification process may be glacially slow and still leave much hidden, writes Nat Parry.

US Triumphalism and the Ukraine Mess

Russian President Vladimir Putin delivering a speech on the Ukraine crisis in Moscow on March 18, 2014. (Russian government photo)

Besides the misleading simplicity of Official Washington’s narrative on Ukraine, the “good guy/bad guy” storyline ignores important lessons of world history and human nature, as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar explains.

The Age of the Oligarchs

Oil billionaires David and Charles Koch.

Exclusive: The concentration of power in the hands of billionaire “oligarchs” may be most alarming in places like Ukraine but the United States is moving in the same direction as wealth is consolidated at the top — and both elections and media are up for sale, says Robert Parry.

The Perception Management Priority

Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Michigan, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee.

Since the Reagan era, Republicans have pushed “perception management” to manage how Americans perceive the world. A key element is right-wing talk radio, which has now lured Rep. Mike Rogers from his powerful intelligence post to a seat behind a microphone, as JP Sottile explains.