Is War on ISIS America’s Fight?

President Barack Obama in his weekly address on Sept. 13, 2014, vowing to degrade and ultimately defeat the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. (White House Photo)

The Sunni resistance to the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003 led to what is now ISIS or the Islamic State, and many U.S. hawks now want President Obama to “surge” troops back into Iraq to fight this brutal force. But what is the right calibration for U.S. involvement, asks ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

A Reckless ‘Stand-upper’ on MH-17

A screen shot from the so-called "getaway" video supposedly taken shortly after MH-17 was shot down showing the road that the suspected BUK anti-aircraft missile battery was taking.

Exclusive: Australia’s “60 Minutes” claimed to do an investigative report proving the anti-aircraft battery that shot down Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 last July fled into Russia and pinning the atrocity on Russian President Putin. But the news show did a meaningless “stand-upper,” not an investigation, writes Robert Parry.

Resurgence of the ‘Surge’ Myth

President George W. Bush receiving applause during his 2003 State of the Union Address in which he laid out a fraudulent case for invading Iraq.

Exclusive: Official Washington loves the story – the Iraq War was failing until President George W. Bush bravely ordered a “surge” in 2007 that won the war, but President Obama squandered the victory, requiring a new “surge” now. Except the narrative is dangerous make-believe, says ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern.

GOP War-Mongering Back in Style

President George W. Bush.

As the new presidential campaign season starts, most Republican candidates are competing to show off who can sound the most belligerent, with many echoing George W. Bush. Brother Jeb stumbled over his own tough-guy message, as William Blum wrote at Anti-Empire Report.

Neocons: The Men of Dementia

Pablo Picasso's 1955 painting of Don Quixote and Sancho Panza.

In the classic novel Don Quixote de la Mancha, the great Spanish writer Cervantes explored the danger of mixing delusions of grandeur with adventurous combat. Yet, today instead of the man of la Mancha, we have the neocons playing the men (and some women) of dementia, as ex-diplomat William R. Polk describes.

Israel’s Looming War on Lebanon

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

As Israel joins Saudi Arabia and other Sunni sheikdoms in their sectarian war against the Shiites, Israel’s  new front may well be in Lebanon, with Israel attacking Hezbollah in a move that could also kill the Iran nuclear deal, as Trita Parsi and Paul Pillar explain.

Persecution of CIA’s Jeffrey Sterling

CIA seal in lobby of the spy agency's headquarters. (U.S. government photo)

The U.S. government’s successful prosecution of ex-CIA officer Jeffrey Sterling for leaking secrets about a failed covert operation to the press followed a long campaign against him for protesting racial discrimination inside the spy agency, writes Norman Solomon.

More Video Fakery on MH-17

A screen shot from Australia's "60 Minutes" update supposedly showing a utility pole in the "getaway" video and matching it up with a poll in an intersection of Luhansk in eastern Ukraine. However, not that the inset obscures the spot where a house appeared on the original video.

Exclusive: Australia’s “60 Minutes” program refuses to admit the obvious: that it messed up in determining the location where the “getaway” video was taken after last July’s Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 shoot-down. Instead, the show presented an update with more deceptive video, reports Robert Parry.

Blocking a Nuclear-Free Mideast

A nuclear test detonation carried out in Nevada on April 18, 1953.

With a large undeclared arsenal of nukes and the missiles to deliver them, Israel ranks as the world’s top rogue nuclear state, even as it threatens to bomb Iran over the theoretical possibility of building a single nuclear weapon, hypocrisy backed up by the U.S., as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar notes.

Saudis Eye Human Rights Chair

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

Despite an abysmal human rights record, Saudi Arabia reportedly hopes to chair the UN’s Human Rights Council, a test of how far money can go in buying the world’s silence and acquiescence, as Jonathan Marshall describes.

How to Honor Memorial Day

Graves at Arlington Cemetery

Exclusive: Of all the world’s holidays commemorating wars, Memorial Day should be one of sober reflection on war’s horrible costs, surely not a moment to glorify warfare or lust for more wars. But many pols and pundits can’t resist the opportunity, as ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern describes.

One More Casualty of US Wars

President Barack Obama shakes hands with U.S. troops at Bagram Airfield in Bagram, Afghanistan, Sunday, May 25, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

From the Archive: For many politicians, Memorial Day is just another chance to glorify war with little real remembrance of war’s horrors and waste, like the death of one young veteran a year ago, as recalled by Richard L. Fricker in one of his last articles before his own death from heart failure last Sept. 12.

Obama Winks at Terrorist Gains

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

President Obama is playing a reckless game as he winks at Saudi and other Sunni oil-state support for al-Qaeda affiliates in Syria, with the very real possibility that the secular government will collapse and the terrorist black flag will be hoisted over Damascus, writes Gareth Porter.

Why Islamic State Is Winning

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)

Exclusive: The Saudi-Israeli alliance and U.S. neocons have pressured President Obama into continuing U.S. hostility toward the secular Syrian government despite major military gains by the Islamic State and Al-Qaeda’s Nusra Front, leading to an emerging catastrophe in the Mideast, as Daniel Lazare explains.

Israel Seeks International Law Rewrite

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu held a security meeting with senior Israeli Defense Forces commanders near Gaza on July 21, 2014. (Israel government photo)

Israel and its supporters are leading a charge to rewrite how international law defines crimes against humanity to create more leeway for military attacks that kill large numbers of civilians, a bitterly ironic development, says Lawrence Davidson.

Drone Warfare’s Costs and Benefits

A Predator drone firing a missile.

Lethal drones are President Obama’s weapon of choice in striking at suspected Al-Qaeda terrorists in remote areas, but – as with any weapon of war – there must be a cost-benefit analysis, including whether drone strikes create more enemies than they kill, as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar explains.

The MH-17 Propaganda War

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

When called to account for an apparent inaccuracy in a broadcast pinning the MH-17 shoot-down on Russian President Putin, Australia’s “60 Minutes” responded with insults and dissembling. But that behavior has been typical of the propaganda wars around the Ukraine crisis, writes Australian Greg Maybury.

Obama’s Strategic Shift

President Barack Obama talks with President Petro Poroshenko of Ukraine and Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker following a bilateral meeting in the Oval Office, Sept. 18, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Exclusive: President Obama has belatedly detected the looming catastrophe in Syria and Iraq as Sunni terrorists gain ground. He also grasps the need for Russian and Iranian help. But his administration remains infested with neocons and liberal war hawks who could sabotage the needed deals, reports Robert Parry.

False Comparison of N. Korea to Iran

Near the ceasefire line between North and South Korea, President Barack Obama uses binoculars to view the DMZ from Camp Bonifas, March 25, 2012. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Opponents of a nuclear-limitation deal with Iran often cite the failed effort to constrain North Korea’s nuclear weapons program. But the two cases are dramatically different – from the levels of inspection involved to the nature of the political systems – as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar explains.

Israel’s Plan to Kill Lebanese Civilians

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu pressed his case for the military offensive against Gaza in a meeting with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon in 2014. (Israeli government photo)

Israel has preannounced its intent to inflict heavy civilian casualties the next time it bombs southern Lebanon, already claiming that Hezbollah will be at fault because its forces are enmeshed with the population, a remarkable public admission, says Jonathan Marshall.

You Be the Judge

Correspondent Michael Unsher of Australia's "60 Minutes" claims to have found the billboard visible in a video of a BUK missile launcher after the shoot-down of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 on July 17, 2014. (Screen shot from Australia's "60 Minutes")

Exclusive: An Australian news show bristled at being caught broadcasting misleading images designed to prove Russian President Putin was responsible for shooting down Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 last July. The program says it simply opted for “a wide shot” to give its audience the fuller “layout,” reports Robert Parry.

Punishing Poland for US Crimes

Some of the original detainees jailed at the Guantanamo Bay prison, as put on display by the U.S. military.

While former U.S. officials continue to deny torturing “war on terror” detainees – and President Obama fails to enforce any meaningful accountability – countries from the old Soviet bloc are confronting their complicity in the CIA’s crimes, writes Nat Parry.

On Iraq/Torture, Still in Denial

Former CIA deputy director Michael Morell.

Ex-senior CIA official Michael Morell is making the rounds promoting a new book and recycling old excuses about the Bush administration’s innocence in invading Iraq (just bad intel, you know) and torturing prisoners (the lawyers said it was okay) – and dodging pointed questions, as Sam Husseini discovered.

Saudi Arabia’s Nuclear Bluster

President Barack Obama shakes hands with His Highness Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al Sabah, Amir of the State of Kuwait, as Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) leaders prepare to have a group photo with the President outside of the Laurel Cabin at the conclusion of a summit meeting at Camp David, Maryland, May 14, 2015. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Saudi Arabia and Israel keep ratcheting up the pressure to kill the deal for constraining Iran’s nuclear program with the latest gambit a renewed Saudi threat to obtain its own nuclear capability if the Iran deal isn’t scrapped, a warning that may be more bluster than believable, writes Jonathan Marshall.

Fake Evidence Blaming Russia for MH-17?

A screen shot from a video of a suspected BUK missile battery traveling on a road in eastern Ukraine after the July 17, 2014 shoot-down of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17. (As shown in Australia's "60 Minutes" program.)

Exclusive: Pointing the finger of blame at Russian President Putin for the Malaysia Airlines shoot-down last July, an Australian news show claims to have found the spot where the Russian BUK missile battery made its getaway, but the images don’t match, raising questions of journalistic fakery, writes Robert Parry.

Right-Wing Pressure in Academia

Conservative pundit and publisher William F. Buckley Jr.

Exclusive: The American Right has gained substantial control of U.S. media but academia remains a juicy target as a vulnerable, last bastion of liberal thought and rationality, thus a key battlefield in the “culture wars,” writes James DiEugenio.

The Value of Effective Government

National Transportation Safety Board officials examine site of Amtrak derailment, which occurred on May 12, 2015, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (NTSB photo)

The Framers of the U.S. Constitution envisioned an activist federal government that would help build the new country, including transportation infrastructure, but that history has been lost amid Tea Party revisionism that treats all constructive government actions as bad, a dilemma addressed by ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

William & Mary Honors War Criminal

National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice, Secretary of State Colin Powell, and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld listen to President George W. Bush speak about the Middle East on June 24, 2002. (Photo from Whitehouse.gov)

Exclusive: Condoleezza Rice has crossed the threshold into esteemed celebrity – a welcomed speaker at this year’s College of William and Mary commencement – despite her record as the liar who sold the illegal war in Iraq and choreographed torture at CIA “black sites,” writes ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern.

The Phony ‘Bad Intel’ Defense on Iraq

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)

Exclusive: Jeb Bush’s stumbling start to his presidential bid has refocused attention on Official Washington’s favorite excuse for the illegal, aggressive and disastrous war in Iraq – that it was just a case of “bad intelligence.” But that isn’t what the real history shows, as ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern recalls.

Losing the American Republic

President George Washington, who warned against the dangers of a large military and an aggressive foreign policy to the Republic.

Decades of letting neocons dictate a hawkish foreign policy have put the American Republic in profound danger, just as presidents from George Washington to Dwight Eisenhower predicted, warnings that Americans must finally take to heart, says ex-U.S. diplomat William R. Polk.

The Cruel Punishment of Jeffrey Sterling

Courtroom sketch of Jeffrey Sterling trial by Debra Van Poolen (http://www.debvanpoolen.com/)

The Obama administration’s cruel war on whistleblowers won another round, getting a 42-month sentence meted out to ex-CIA officer Jeffrey Sterling even as the prosecutors were glum that he wasn’t given an even more draconian prison term, as Norman Solomon explains.