Fallout from Reagan’s Afghan War

Ronald Reagan, 40th U.S. President

In the 1980s, President Reagan funded and armed Islamic fundamentalists to defeat a Soviet-backed secular regime in Afghanistan. Now, one of those ex-U.S. clients is throwing his support behind the brutal Islamic State, a lesson about geopolitical expediency, writes ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

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.

Obama’s Deadly Cold War Legacy

President Barack Obama and President Petro Poroshenko of Ukraine talk after statements to the press following their bilateral meeting at the Warsaw Marriott Hotel in Warsaw, Poland, June 4, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Exclusive: President Obama is endangering his legacy by letting neoconservatives still set his foreign policy, including the creation of a new and costly Cold War with Russia that could have been easily avoided and that now risks spinning off into a nuclear showdown, writes Robert Parry.

Risking a Jihadi Victory in Syria

Journalist James Foley shortly before he was executed by an Islamic State operative.

Exclusive: President Obama’s “regime change” policy in Syria has rested on a hopeful fantasy about the existence of a “moderate” rebel force and a willful blindness toward the jihadists who actually stand to gain power – a dangerous mix of make-believe and denial – as Ted Snider explains.

MH-17 Case Slips into Propaganda Fog

A Malaysia Airways' Boeing 777 like the one that crashed in eastern Ukraine on July 17, 2014. (Photo credit: Aero Icarus from Zürich, Switzerland)

Exclusive: Almost a year ago, Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 was shot down over eastern Ukraine killing 298 people. Yet, instead of a transparent investigation seeking justice, the case became a propaganda game of finger-pointing, with the CIA withholding key evidence all the better to blame Russia, reports Robert Parry.

Time to Rethink US Mideast Policies

President Obama speaks with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu outside the White House on May 20, 2011 (White House photo by Pete Souza)

U.S. policy toward the Middle East carries an extraordinary burden of strategically outdated and politically overweight baggage, from oil deals with Saudi Arabia to emotional ties to Israel. What’s needed now is a thorough reexamination of what’s in the U.S. national interest, says ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

The Iran Deal’s Strategic Payoff

Iran's Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei speaks to a crowd. (Iranian government photo)

A successful nuclear deal with Iran could mean an expanded Iranian role in blocking Islamic State advances in Iraq and Syria, but the potential U.S.-Iran cooperation alarms Israel and Saudi Arabia – which may explain President Obama’s silence on the topic, examined by Flynt and Hillary Mann Leverett.

The 51-Day Genocide

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu meeting with his generals to discuss the offensive in Gaza in 2014. (Israeli government photo)

There’s palpable fear in Official Washington whenever anyone dares suggest holding Israel accountable for its crimes against the Palestinians. Instead there’s a rush to make excuses and to deny reality, a pattern challenged by a book by Max Blumenthal, reviewed by David Swanson.

Inching Toward an Iran-Nuke Deal

Secretary of State John Kerry and other negotiators from the P5+1 at a meeting in Vienna, Austria, on July 6, 2015, on the Iran nuclear talks. (State Department photo)

Brushing aside political obstacles and applying creative diplomacy, Iran and six world powers appear to be closing in on a historic agreement constraining Iran’s nuclear program and lifting economic sanctions, writes Gareth Porter.

Ukraine Merges Nazis and Islamists

The insignia of the Azov battalion, using the neo-Nazi symbol of the Wolfsangel.

Exclusive: Ukraine’s post-coup regime is now melding neo-Nazi storm troopers with Islamic militants – called “brothers” of the hyper-violent Islamic State – stirring up a hellish “death squad” brew to kill ethnic Russians in eastern Ukraine, on Russia’s border, reports Robert Parry.

US Still Won’t Confirm Israeli Nukes

A photograph of a control room at Israel's Dimona nuclear weapons plant in the 1980s. (Photograph taken by nuclear technician Mordechai Vanunu, who was later kidnapped and imprisoned by Israel as punishment for revealing its secret nuclear arsenal.)

Among the more absurd aspects of U.S. foreign policy is the persistent refusal to confirm that Israel has a nuclear arsenal, even as U.S. officials threaten and even attack other countries for allegedly harboring the intent to build a single bomb, hypocrisy that Sam Husseini dissects.

Can Greece and EU Make Amends?

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras (center) with French President Francois Hollande (left) and German Chancellor Angela Merkel (right).

Exclusive: The after-shocks from the Wall Street crash of 2007-08 continue to rattle international stability, with Greece now rejecting never-ending demands for more belt-tightening and raising the specter of a splintered European Union, as ex-U.S. diplomat William R. Polk explains.

Greek ‘No’ Vote Spurs Wider Resistance

Greek Flag

Exclusive: Greek voters rebelled against Germany and the dominant powers of Europe by rejecting demands for more austerity, but the Greek resistance also is resonating across the Continent, emboldening other hard-pressed countries tired of Depression-like conditions, says Andres Cala.

America’s Endless Air Wars

F-15 Eagles from the 493rd Fighter Squadron at Royal Air Force Lakenheath, England, taxi to the runway during the final day of Anatolian Eagle June 18, 2015, at 3rd Main Jet Base, Turkey. The 493rd FS recently received the 2014 Raytheon Trophy as the U.S. Air Force's top fighter squadron. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Eric Burks)

Like his predecessors, President Obama is relying heavily on aerial bombardment to wage war across the Mideast, but the vague notions of who is the enemy and the horrific civilian casualties have continued to generate an endless supply of new enemies, writes Nicolas J S Davies.

Whining White Southerners

Confederate battle flag flying on the grounds of the South Carolina Statehouse.

Exclusive: Some brave white Southerners, including the son of segregationist Strom Thurmond, have spoken out against Confederate symbols like the battle flag, but many whites still react with fury at calls for retiring those symbols and other honors bestowed on Confederate leaders, writes Robert Parry.

Trump’s Fixation on Rape and Color

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump

Real estate and entertainment mogul Donald Trump has soared to the top tier of Republican presidential candidates after a rant about Mexican immigrant “rapists” – not the first time that Trump has mixed the explosive topics of rape and color, leading Jeff Cohen to ask if Trump is a “serial racist.”

How Israel’s Gaza Blockade Backfires

An Israeli strike caused a huge explosion in a residential area in Gaza during the Israeli assault on Gaza in 2008-2009. (Photo credit: Al Jazeera)

Israel’s crushing blockade – and periodic assaults – against the 1.8 million people jammed into Gaza have led to the emergence of an Islamic State affiliate that is now challenging Hamas, an example of how extreme repression breeds ever greater extremism, writes ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

Info-War in the Iran-Nuke Talks

Iranian women attending a speech by Iran's Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei. (Iranian government photo)

Information warfare — or “info-war” — is all the rage inside the Obama administration, which delights in distorting or misrepresenting facts as a “soft power” weapon to advance its international goals. Those games have reached into the Iran nuclear negotiations, reports Gareth Porter.

Still Waiting for USS Liberty’s Truth

USS Liberty (AGTR-5) receives assistance from units of the Sixth Fleet, after she was attacked and seriously damaged by Israeli forces off the Sinai Peninsula on June 8, 1967.  (US Navy photo)

Exclusive: During the Six-Day War in 1967, Israeli warplanes and warships tried to sink the USS Liberty, killing 34 of the spy ship’s crew. Afterwards, U.S. and Israeli officials excused the attack as an unfortunate mistake and covered up evidence of willful murder, as ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern explains.

Jeb Bush’s ‘Transparency’ Ploy

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush

Exclusive: In an opening volley of a possible clash between two well-to-do political dynasties, Jeb Bush challenged Hillary Clinton by releasing more than three decades of tax returns,  both to quiet criticism of his own past business dealings and to highlight Clinton’s reputation for secrecy, writes Chelsea Gilmour.

Not Learning from Mideast Mistakes

Barack Obama, then President-elect, and President George W. Bush at the White House during the 2008 transition.

Exclusive: The neocon strategy of “regime change” has proved financially costly and strategically disastrous – setting almost the entire Middle East on fire – but almost no lessons have been learned, no accountability assessed, and no relevant questions asked, writes ex-U.S. diplomat William R. Polk.

Offending Iran’s Dignity

Iran's Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, waving to a crowd. (Iranian government photo)

America’s neocons are back at work demeaning an agreement to constrain Iran’s nuclear program – to keep alive the neocon dream of bomb-bomb-bombing Iran. And the insults are having an effect by offending Iran’s dignity and creating friction among the negotiators, writes Trita Parsi.

Behind the Greek Crisis

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

Exclusive: The usual narrative of the Greek economic tragedy is that the country is paying for its past profligacy, but there is deeper back story of political repression fueled by major powers intervening in Greece and contributing to a dysfunctional political system, recalls ex-U.S. diplomat William R. Polk.

How Zionism Corrupts Judaism

The Prophet Isaiah (Illustration from a Bible card published by the Providence Lithograph Company)

Judaism is a religion based on humanistic principles offering powerful arguments for social justice, but it has been hijacked by Zionists who have twisted it into an excuse for ethnic cleansing and mass murder, as Professor of Moral Theology Daniel C. Maguire describes.

How to Eradicate Racism

Accused mass murderer and white supremacist Dylann Roof shown burning an American flag.

The massacre of nine black churchgoers in Charleston and a rash of arson at other black churches across the South show that despite conservative self-serving claims – and liberal wishful thinking – about racism becoming a thing of the past, much more work needs to be done, says Lawrence Davidson.

Hillary Clinton’s Failed Libya ‘Doctrine’

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

Exclusive: Libya remains a nation shattered by political chaos and bloody terrorism, a result of the U.S.-backed “regime change” in 2011 that Secretary of State Clinton championed and once saw as her crowning foreign policy achievement, even the basis for a “Clinton Doctrine,” reports Robert Parry.

The Right’s Made-up ‘Constitution’

Gouverneur Morris, a delegate to the Constitutional Convention and a key drafter of the Preamble. (Painting by Edward Dalton Marchant)

From the Archive: Many Americans, especially Tea Partiers and Neo-Confederates, either haven’t read the U.S. Constitution or insist on distorting its plain language which established federal supremacy over the states and empowered the central government to “provide for … the general Welfare,” as Jada Thacker noted in 2013.

Toward a Rational US Strategy (Part 2)

President Barack Obama meets with his national security advisors in the Situation Room of the White House, Aug. 7, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Special Report: The ultimate madness of today’s U.S. foreign policy is Official Washington’s eager embrace of a new Cold War against Russia with the potential for nuclear annihilation. A rational strategy would seek alternatives to this return to big-power confrontation, writes ex-U.S. diplomat William R. Polk.

Toward a Rational US Strategy (Part 1)

World_map_changes_02-6-20

Special Report: Current U.S. foreign policy is driven by neoconservative ideologues and tough-talking “liberal interventionists” who spread chaos and death around the world while failing to serve real American interests. It’s time for a fundamental rethinking, writes former U.S. diplomat William R. Polk.

Game of Chicken with Iran

Secretary of State John Kerry (third from right) with other diplomats who negotiated an interim agreement with Iran on its nuclear program. (Photo credit: State Department)

In lock-step with Israeli hardliners, U.S. neocons continue their campaign to block a nuclear deal with Iran even if the tight restrictions would serve broad American interests and avert another Mideast war. That has left Secretary of State Kerry in a dangerous game of chicken, writes ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

Gay Marriage and Western Muslims

One of the families featured on TLC's 2011 series, "All-American Muslim"

The evolution of thought on gay marriage shows how religions can adapt to humanistic trends of society, but religious fundamentalists refuse to budge from ancient prejudices, a challenge confronting not only Judaism and Christianity but Islam, as ex-CIA officer Graham E. Fuller describes.