Tag Archive for Al-Qaeda


Delinking Terrorism and Islam

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)

Exclusive: President Obama has faced sharp criticism from the Right for refusing to link Islam to acts of terrorism. He argues that to do so plays into the hands of violent criminals who wrap their brutality in the cloak of a great religion. But who has the better side of this argument, asks Jonathan Marshall.

Rethinking ‘Assad Must Go’ Slogan

Former CIA deputy director Michael Morell.

Official Washington’s “Assad must go!” slogan is threatening to destroy hopes for a political settlement of the horrific Syrian conflict and for an end to the chaos cascading from it – finally prompting some U.S. officials to rethink the “group think,” as Gareth Porter reported for Middle East Eye.

The Saudi Connection to Terror

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)

Exclusive: While Official Washington devotes much sound and fury to demands for a wider war in Syria and the need to turn away Syrian refugees, Democrats and Republicans dodge the tougher question: how to confront Saudi Arabia about its covert funding for Islamic State and Al Qaeda terrorists, writes Daniel Lazare.

The ‘War on Terror’ Has Been Lost

President George W. Bush announcing the start of his invasion of Iraq on March 19, 2003.

After 14 years, trillions of dollars spent and hundreds of thousands of people dead – with violence expanding, not abating – perhaps it’s finally time to admit that the Bush-Obama “War on Terror” has been lost and that a new strategy addressing root causes is required, as Nat Parry describes.

Hard Lessons from Paris Attack

Indian historian Vijay Prashad.

In Official Washington, the talk is all about expanded wars and how tough to be on Syrian refugees. But elsewhere there is some serious reflection on how the West went wrong in its approach toward the Middle East, as reflected in Dennis J Bernstein’s interview with Indian historian Vijay Prashad.

Tangled Threads of US False Narratives

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)

Exclusive: Official Washington’s many false narratives about Russia and Syria have gotten so tangled that they have become a danger to the struggle against Sunni jihadist terrorism and conceivably a threat to the future of the planet, a risk that Robert Parry explores.

Lost on the ‘Dark Side’ in Syria

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)

The full story of how the U.S. ended up allied with some Sunni extremists in Syria – while at war with others – is a convoluted tale dating back to President George W. Bush’s neocons venturing off into Vice President Cheney’s “dark side” to work with violent jihadists, writes British diplomat Alastair Crooke.

Falling into the ISIS Trap

President Barack Obama meets with his National Security Staff to discuss the situation in Syria, in the Situation Room of the White House, Aug. 30, 2013. From left at the table: National Security Advisor Susan E. Rice; Attorney General Eric Holder; Secretary of State John Kerry; and Vice President Joe Biden. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Special Report: The Islamic State has entered into “phase two” of its plan. After establishing a rudimentary “caliphate” in Syria and Iraq (phase one), it is now seeking to provoke the West into a self-defeating overreaction, a trap that “tough” politicians are falling into, as historian William R. Polk describes.

The Need for a Syrian Deal

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad

In the wake of the Paris terror attacks – and other mass killings in Beirut and aboard a Russian airliner – there are new demands for military action. But the one step that might help matters is a more pragmatic approach to resolving the political crisis in Syria, as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar explains.

How Saudi/Gulf Money Fuels Terror

Prince Bandar bin Sultan, then Saudi ambassador to the United States, meeting with President George W. Bush in Crawford, Texas, on Aug. 27, 2002. (White House photo)

Exclusive: With the death toll in the Paris terror attacks still rising, French President Hollande is condemning an “act of war” by the Islamic State, but the underlying reality is that France’s rich friends in the Persian Gulf are key accomplices in the mayhem, writes Daniel Lazare.