Double Standards and Drones

President Barack Obama speaks in the White House press room on April 23, 2015, regarding a counterterrorism strike that accidentally killed an American and an Italian hostage. (Screen shot from WhiteHouse.gov)

American politicians and pundits genuflect to the theory of exceptionalism, which holds that the U.S. can do pretty much whatever it wants, but this lawlessness – best exemplified by drones raining down death on “terrorists” and civilians alike – makes more enemies than it kills, writes Marjorie Cohn.

Syria’s Nightmarish Narrative

syria-map

Exclusive: With military and political help from Saudi Arabia and Israel, the nightmare scenario of an Al-Qaeda and/or Islamic State victory in Syria may be coming true, as the army of the more secular Syrian government retreats and as President Obama seems frozen by indecision, reports Robert Parry.

Just $1,000 to Go in Spring Fund Drive

Journalist Robert Parry.

From Editor Robert Parry: We’ve gotten to within $1,000 of our reduced $25,000 goal for the Spring Fund Drive. So, please, if you can help us get over this final hump, I’d be very appreciative. We should then have enough money to get through the summer months.

Shutting Down Debate about Israel

Pope Francis praying a separation wall in Palestine on May 25, 2014. (Photo credit: Pope Francis's Facebook page.).

Anyone who dares criticize Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians knows what to expect: accusations of being “anti-Israel” or “anti-Semitic.” In mainstream political and academic circles, the topic can be especially toxic as “pro-Israel” zealots go to great lengths to block even a debate, writes Lawrence Davidson.

Embracing the Saudi War on Yemen

President and Mrs. Obama disembark from Air Force One at King Khalid International Airport in Riyadh on Jan. 27, 2015, for a state visit to Saudi Arabia. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Exclusive: Fearful of further offending the powerful Saudi-Israeli alliance, President Obama is deploying the U.S. Navy to seal off poverty-stricken Yemen so the Saudi air force has free rein to pummel its regional rivals from the air while the population faces a humanitarian crisis on the ground, reports Robert Parry.

Obama’s ‘Openness’ and Deceit

A photograph of a Russian BUK missile system that U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt published on Twitter in support of a claim about Russia placing BUK missiles in eastern Ukraine, except that the image appears to be an AP photo taken at an air show near Moscow two years ago.

Exclusive: President Obama claims to value “openness” as a core principle of democracy, but the truth is that his administration has been among the most secretive and manipulative in modern times, tailoring what the public hears about foreign crises to what serves his agenda, writes Robert Parry.

Gen. Petraeus: Too Big to Jail

Gen. David Petraeus in a photo with his biographer/mistress Paula Broadwell. (U.S. government photo)

From the Archive: Retired Gen. David Petraeus confessed on Thursday to giving sensitive government secrets to his mistress and then lying about it to the FBI, but will get no jail time, only two years probation and a fine, showing that he is too big to jail, as ex -CIA analyst Ray McGovern predicted in March.

Citing Iran to Justify Yemen Slaughter

Saudi King Salman meets with President Barack Obama at Erga Palace during a state visit to Saudi Arabia on Jan. 27, 2015. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

The indiscriminate and U.S.-backed Saudi bombing campaign over a largely defenseless Yemen has reportedly killed hundreds of civilians and devastated historic cities. To justify the slaughter, the mainstream U.S. media has trumpeted dubious allegations about Iranian influence, notes Gareth Porter.

Seeking Justice for Egyptian Massacres

Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi meeting with U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in July 2012. (U.S. government photo)

Egypt’s 2013 military coup killed hundreds of unarmed protesters as it overthrew the elected Muslim Brotherhood of Mohamed Morsi. The coup had the support of Saudi Arabia and Israel which assured that the U.S. did little. But an appeal for justice is underway in the Netherlands, writes Marjorie Cohn.

Is Hillary Clinton a Neocon-Lite?

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

From the Archive: As Democrats line up behind Hillary Clinton as their presumptive 2016 presidential nominee, many are whistling past the graveyard of her disastrous record on foreign interventions, judgments that raise doubts about her fitness for the job, as Robert Parry observed in 2014.

We Lucky Molecules

The image of the Earth rising over the surface of the moon, a photograph taken by the first U.S. astronauts to orbit the moon.

Exclusive: As American neocons and other war hawks push for endless war in the Mideast and now eastern Europe, the resulting chaos is straining the capacity of civilization to meet basic human needs and raising the risk of nuclear war, what would be a tragic ending to the Universe’s luckiest molecules, writes Robert Parry.

The US Hand in Libya’s Tragedy

Ousted Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi shortly before he was murdered on Oct. 20, 2011.

Exclusive: Some 900 people from Libya may have died when their boats capsized in the Mediterranean Sea as they fled the barbaric chaos that the Obama administration helped unleash in Libya in 2011. Yet, the mainstream U.S. media has amnesia about the bloody American hand in this tragedy, writes Robert Parry.

Last Push for Spring Fund Drive

Journalist Robert Parry.

From Editor Robert Parry: I want to thank those readers who have been able to donate to our Spring Fund Drive. But we remain almost $5,000 short of our reduced goal of $25,000, which is the absolute minimum we need to carry us through the summer. So, please, if you can help…

The West Snubs Russia over V-E Day

American and Soviet troops symbolically shake hands across the Elbe River on April 25, 1945, in the final days of World War II in Europe.

Exclusive: Last year’s U.S.-backed coup in Ukraine – followed by violence and tensions – has soured plans for the May 9 commemoration in Moscow of World War II’s V-E Day, the Allied defeat of Nazi Germany, a war which cost the Russian people nearly 27 million dead, as ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern describes.

Obama Tries His Hand at ‘Realism’

President Richard Nixon with his then-National Security Advisor Henry Kissinger in 1972.

President Obama is what might be called a “closet realist” who often pounds his fists upon the table while shaking hands under the table. He has to pull off this trick because of America’s ugly partisan realities, says ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

A Fact-Resistant ‘Group Think’ on Syria

Scott Pelley, anchor of CBS Evening News

Exclusive: CBS News’ anchor Scott Pelley is known for his clueless journalism which never goes beyond Official Washington’s “group think” – and he was at it again in a dangerously provocative “60 Minutes” segment on the sarin gas attack near Damascus, Syria, in 2013, reports Robert Parry.

Making Unnecessary Enemies in Yemen

Saudi King Salman bids farewell to President Barack Obama at Erga Palace after a state visit to Saudi Arabia on Jan. 27, 2015. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

The Saudi-Israeli tandem is trying to pull the U.S. and other militaries into the Yemeni civil war by arguing that the Houthi rebels are Iranian proxies. But the reality is much more nuanced and the American interest may go in a different direction, says ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

How Ukraine Commemorates the Holocaust

Peter Sellers playing Dr. Strangelove as he struggles to control his right arm from making a Nazi salute.

Exclusive: Pundit Thomas Friedman says the new Ukraine regime “shares our values” but – as much of the world marked the 70th anniversary of the Nazi Holocaust finally being ended by Russian and U.S. armies – politicians in Kiev were busy honoring Ukraine’s Nazi collaborators, writes Robert Parry.

Anti-Islam Hate in City of Brotherly Love

The Islam-hating poster displayed on buses in Philadelphia. (Photo via Forward)

Though the First Amendment protected the right of American Nazis to march through Jewish neighborhoods of Skokie, Illinois, in 1978, the provocation was universally condemned. Now, an Islamophobic group is posting Muslim-bashing ads on Philadelphia buses, notes Lawrence Davidson.

Syrian Rebels Caught in ‘False-Flag’ Kidnapping

Richard Engel, NBC's chief foreign correspondent.

Exclusive: In August 2013, when the U.S. government almost went to war in Syria over a Sarin attack, suspicions that it was a rebel “false-flag” were ridiculed. But new disclosures about a rebel role in kidnapping NBC’s Richard Engel several months earlier show the rebels knew such propaganda tricks, says Robert Parry.

Prisoners Inside America’s Raging Storm

The aging federal facilities in Lexington, Kentucky, which include a prison for women. (Photo: Bureau of Prisons)

America’s obsession with meting out long prison sentences for drug offenses and various non-violent crimes has produced a vast population locked inside a prison-industrial complex and assigned to work for pennies an hour, a hidden world that anti-war activist Kathy Kelly describes from within.

Still Not Halfway to Spring Fund Goal

Journalist Robert Parry.

From Editor Robert Parry: We want to wrap up our spring fund drive soon, but we’re still not even halfway to our goal of $35,000. So let’s see if we can at least reach the two-thirds mark, raising about $25,000 – or about $8,000 more. Given the importance of the journalism that we produce, that shouldn’t be so hard.

Did Money Seal Israeli-Saudi Alliance?

President Obama and King Salman Arabia stand at attention during the U.S. national anthem as the First Lady stands in the background with other officials. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Special Report: The odd-couple relationship between Saudi Arabia and Israel may have been sealed with more than a mutual desire to kiss-off Iran. According to an intelligence source, there was a dowry involved, too, with the Saudis reportedly giving Israel some $16 billion, writes Robert Parry.

America’s Overuse of the Sanctions Option

President Barack Obama talks with Secretary of State John Kerry and National Security Advisor Susan E. Rice in the Oval Office on March 19, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

America’s use of economic sanctions to punish various foreign adversaries has grown so promiscuous that U.S. businesses often don’t know when they might be crossing some legal line, thus inflicting financial pain not only on other countries but on the U.S. economy, notes ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

Russia Impinges on Israeli ‘Right’ to Bomb Iran

An Israeli who  joined a public campaign in 2012 to discourage an Israeli war against Iran.

Exclusive: American neocons are in a lather over Russia’s decision to go ahead with the sale of anti-aircraft missiles to Iran. The apparent outrage is that Iran thinks it has a right to protect its citizens from Israel’s right to launch airstrikes into Iran’s territory, as ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern explains.

Saudis Pour Oil on the Mideast Fire

King Salman of Saudi Arabia and his entourage arrive to greet President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama at King Khalid International Airport in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Jan. 27, 2015. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Saudi Arabia, now in alliance with Israel and with tacit U.S. approval, is dragging the Middle East into a nightmare of sectarian conflict, pitting its own warplanes and Sunni terrorists against Shiites, Christians and other minorities as part of a misguided competition with Iran, as Anthony F. Shaker describes.

Neocon ‘Chaos Promotion’ in the Mideast

Former Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz, a leading neocon and proponent of the Iraq War. (Defense Department photo)

Exclusive: After the Persian Gulf War in 1991, America’s neocons thought no country could stand up to the high-tech U.S. military, and they realized the Soviet Union was no longer around to limit U.S. actions. So, the “regime change” strategy was born – and many have died, writes ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern.

How Washington Adds to Yemen’s Nightmare

map-yemen

Exclusive: Tangled in corrupt old alliances, such as with the Saudi monarchy, the Obama administration has now joined a war in Yemen that pits some of the region’s most anti-democratic forces and Al-Qaeda against a home-grown rebel movement with limited backing from Iran, as Jonathan Marshall describes.

The Nasty Blowback from America’s Wars

A screen-shot from a video showing Walter Scott being shot in the back by a North Charleston, South Carolina, police officer Michael Slager on April  4, 2015. (Video via the New York Times.)

Exclusive: There are historical warnings to countries that inflict violence abroad, that the imperial impulse will blow back on the domestic society with suppression of public debate and repression of common citizens, that the war will come home — as is happening in the United States, says ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern.

Neocons, R2Pers and Hypocrisy

President Barack Obama talks with Ambassador Samantha Power, U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations, following a Cabinet meeting in the Cabinet Room of the White House, Sept. 12, 2013. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Exclusive: R2Pers say America has a “responsibility to protect” endangered people around the world, but this R2P moral imperative is selective, often indistinguishable from neocons tolerating some slaughters and choosing to wage war against certain enemies — just dressed up in liberal rhetoric, reports Robert Parry.

Reasons for the Mideast’s Despair

French diplomat Francois George-Picot, who along with British colonial officer Mark Sykes drew lines across a Middle East map of the Ottoman Empire after World War I, carving out states with boundaries that are nearly the same as they are today.

The West is quick to show disdain for the Muslim world and almost as quick to bomb it. But the only way to ultimately diffuse Islamic extremism is to understand the West’s historic role in causing the problem – and then pursuing practical ways to address legitimate concerns, as Alon Ben-Meir explains.