Contradictions beset the U.S. war over Iraq and Syria. The principal target ISIS wouldn’t even exist but for the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003, and al-Qaeda affiliates in Syria have benefited from defections of U.S.-backed “moderates.” But now warplanes and missiles are supposed to fix things, says ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.
Exclusive: The U.S. government likes international law when it serves Washington’s purposes, but not when it constrains U.S. desires to use military force. Then, the rules are bent, ignored or subjected to novel lawyering, as President Obama is doing with airstrikes into Syria, reports Robert Parry.
From the Archive: As Scots vote on independence from Great Britain, part of the motivation for those voting “aye” is the brutal history of English repression of Scottish freedom, dating back centuries but fresh in the minds of many Scots, a lesson about unintended consequences of violence that should be remembered by today’s politicians, as…
From the Archive: Richard L. Fricker, a courageous journalist and frequent writer at Consortiumnews, died on Sept. 12 from heart failure. Among Fricker’s important work was his investigation of the U.S. government’s PROMIS software which preceded the NSA’s Orwellian PRISM, as Fricker noted last July.
Official Washington honors international law when it’s politically useful, such as in condemning a global adversary, but then dismisses it as useless if it gets in the way of some desired U.S. action. This “international law a la carte” undermines the concept’s fundamental value, says Lawrence Davidson.
The Obama administration has refined the practice of “regime change,” moving away from old-fashioned tanks in the street or overt invasions by U.S. troops, opting instead for “democracy promotion” that relies on “information warfare” to unseat elected governments disfavored by Washington, says Ted Snider.
Bombing ISIS amounts to attacking a symptom rather than finding a cure. But the cure would require addressing politically sensitive issues, such as Israel oppressing Palestinians and Saudi Arabia financing Islamic extremism. So the U.S. does what it knows best – blowing stuff up – as Nat Parry observes.
The extremist group ISIS asserts that only brutality will drive Westerners, including Israelis of European descent, from the Middle East. But the flip side of that coin is the demand from the likes of Dick Cheney for ever increasing repression of political Islam, as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar notes.