Climbing into Bed with Al-Qaeda

King Salman greets the President and First Lady during a state visit to Saudi Arabia on Jan. 27, 2015. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Exclusive: President Obama is tolerating the smuggling of high-tech U.S. weapons to a Syrian rebel coalition led by an Al-Qaeda affiliate, as these Islamists — supported by the Saudis and other U.S. allies — mount a new offensive to topple the secular government in Damascus, as Daniel Lazare explains.

The Lasting Pain from Vietnam Silence

Scene from the Vietnam War

Exclusive: Many reflections on America’s final days in Vietnam miss the point, pondering whether the war could have been won or lamenting the fate of U.S. collaborators left behind. The bigger questions are why did the U.S. go to war and why wasn’t the bloodletting stopped sooner, as ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern reflects.

How Many Islamic State Fighters Are There?

Army Gen. Martin Dempsey, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

From the Archive: The mainstream U.S. media is marking the Vietnam War’s end 40 years ago with superficial remembrances that downplay the horror that the U.S. military inflicted on the Vietnamese. That prevents the real Vietnam lessons from illuminating today’s conflicts, as ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern noted in 2014.

How Saudi-Israel Alliance Helps Al-Qaeda

President Barack Obama stands with Israeli President Shimon Peres and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during the President's official arrival ceremony in Tel Aviv, Israel, in 2013. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Neither the U.S. political system nor the mainstream media can come to grips with the new reality in the Middle East as the Saudi-Israeli alliance effectively sides with Al-Qaeda-connected jihadists and seeks to entangle the U.S. government on the Sunni side of an ancient conflict with Shiites, as Lawrence Davidson explains.

Understanding Baltimore’s Violence

President Barack Obama at the White House on April 28, 2015, making comments on the death of Baltimore resident Freddie Gray apparently from injuries suffered at the hands of police. (White House photo)

As much as the United States thinks it’s made lots of progress on racial equality – we have a black president, you know – the on-the-street reality has, in many ways, gotten worse with the “war on drugs,” police violence and other repressive policies devastating black communities — and finally provoking a violent response, says Daniel Patrick Welch.

Reconstructing Democracy

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American government increasingly bent to the whims and desires of the wealthy is emerging as a populist issue among pro-democracy citizens who favor the old idea of government for the people, as Michael Winship describes.

Mixed Signals on the Middle East

The U.S. Congress has balked at approving a war resolution against the Islamic State, while moving aggressively to derail negotiations to ensure that Iran's nuclear program remains peaceful.(Photo credit: Architect of the Capitol)

On one level the Congressional failure to authorize war on the Islamic State while seeking to sabotage the peaceful nuclear accord with Iran would seem to fit neatly with the interests of the Saudi-Israeli alliance as it presses for “regime change” in Syria and Iran, but there are other factors afoot, writes ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

The Day After Damascus Falls

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

Exclusive: The Saudi-Israeli alliance has gone on the offensive, ramping up a “regime change” war in Syria and, in effect, promoting a military victory for Al-Qaeda or its spinoff, the Islamic State. But the consequences of that victory could toll the final bell for the American Republic, writes Robert Parry.

A Call to End War on Whistleblowers

Photo of (left to right) Kirk Wiebe, Coleen Rowley, Raymond McGovern, Daniel Ellsberg, William Binney, Jesselyn Radack, and Thomas Drake by Kathleen McClellan (@McClellanKM) via Twitter

The post-9/11 expansion of U.S. government spying on citizens has coincided with an equally draconian crackdown on government whistleblowers who try to alert the American people to what is happening, an assault on the Constitution that seven whistleblowers say must end, writes John Hanrahan.

Inventing a Record of Iranian Aggression

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

Following the lead of Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu, Official Washington’s neocons are hyping Iran’s record as an aggressor state, with some examples harkening back to the Sixteenth Century and other more recent cases simply not true, as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar explains.

How Discrimination Breeds Radicalism

One of the families featured on "All-American Muslim"

The radicalization of young Muslims has similarities to anger among other disaffected groups frustrated over the lack of economic and other opportunities. This problem is especially acute in European nations without much history of immigration and assimilation, says Alon Ben-Meir.

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.