Tag Archive for Barack Obama


The War Responsibility of Congress

The U.S. Capitol. (Photo credit: Architect of the Capitol)

Looking nervously toward the November elections, members of Congress ducked the issue of authorizing U.S. military attacks on targets in Iraq and Syria, but that evasion of responsibility is not what the Founders had in mind, writes the Independent Institute’s Ivan Eland.

Obama’s Much-Conflicted Syrian Policy

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)

President Obama’s policy toward Syria is getting pulled in so many directions that it lacks any coherence, especially since the U.S.-backed Syrian “moderate” rebels are in a tacit alliance with al-Qaeda’s offshoots that are the target of the U.S. airstrikes, as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar describes.

An Imperial Death Grip on Democracy

President Barack Obama as he is sworn in on Jan. 20, 2009, with an oath to defend the Constitution. (Defense Department photo by Master Sgt. Cecilio Ricardo, U.S. Air Force)

Official Washington – controlled by a lethal mix of politics, ideology, media and money – has an imperial death grip on what’s left of the American democratic republic, a hold so suffocating that it’s hard to envision any move to escape. But some citizens keep on trying, writes Greg Maybury.

Ducking War Responsibilities

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.

Conservatives insist that they revere the U.S. Constitution, but congressional Republicans – as well as Democrats – hastily fled Washington to hit the campaign trail rather than vote up or down on authorizing new wars in Syria and Iraq, an abdication of duty, says Independent Institute’s Ivan Eland.

Guantanamo’s Force-Feeding Challenged

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

Exclusive: In the Kafkaesque world of Guantanamo, even inmates cleared for release are held indefinitely and – if they try to kill themselves via hunger strikes – are brutally force-fed to keep them alive. Finally, a U.S. court is confronting whether the force-feeding can be done more humanely, reports Ray McGovern.

Rushing to War in the Wrong Places

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)

Official Washington’s “group think” is that President Obama is “weak” because he doesn’t rush into wars with the abandon that talk-show favorite John McCain would like. But Obama may actually be “weak” because he gets pushed into conflicts that ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar says only make matters worse.

Eroding Principles of Human Rights

President Barack Obama and former President George W. Bush (with First Lady Michelle Obama and former First Lady Laura Bush) walk to a White House event on May 31, 2012. (Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy)

After World War II, there was hope that core principles of international law and human rights would become universal, but increasingly these standards have suffered from selective application and propagandistic manipulation, causing a loss of credibility in these key precepts, as Lawrence Davidson notes.

Eyes Finally Open to Syrian Realities

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad

Exclusive: For the past three years, Official Washington has viewed the Syrian civil war as “white-hatted” rebels against “black-hatted” President Assad, but finally some of the “gray-hatted” reality is breaking through, though perhaps too late, Robert Parry reports.

Who’s to Blame for ISIS ‘Surprise’?

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

For several years, Official Washington blinded itself to the growing radicalism of the Syrian opposition, all the better to portray the Assad regime as the “bad guys” and the rebels as the “good guys.” Now, everyone is pointing fingers about the ISIS “surprise,” as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar explains.

The Why of Obama’s Failed Hope

President Barack Obama runs onto a stage in Rockville, Maryland, Oct. 3, 2013 (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

The election of Barack Obama in 2008 brought hope and optimism to Americans and non-Americans alike. But after one and a half terms, the reality is sinking in that for all the promised change, it’s the “same old, same old.” The big question is why, writes Australian Greg Maybury.