Tag Archive for Barack Obama


Obama’s Risky ‘Mission Creep’ in Syria

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: President Obama’s plan to dispatch up to 50 Special Forces troops into northern Syria may be a bid to appease Official Washington’s war hawks but it presents a serious risk of “mission creep” – if those soldiers and their trainees come under fire in the complicated proxy war, writes Daniel Lazare.

Obama’s Criminal Drone War

U.S. President Barack Obama addresses the United Nations General Assembly on Sept. 28, 2015. (Photo credit: United Nations.)

President Obama has relied on the lethal drone program as a “low cost” way to eliminate “terrorists,” but the project has institutionalized an imprecise strategy of human slaughter that violates international law and creates more enemies, writes Marjorie Cohn at Truthdig.

Why NYT Dissed the ‘Drone Papers’

A Predator drone firing a missile.

When the “Downing Street Memo” surfaced in the UK in 2006 revealing that the intelligence to justify the Iraq War had been “fixed” around the policy, the mainstream U.S. media largely ignored it. The same has now happened with the leak of documents about President Obama’s drone war, writes John Hanrahan.

Obama’s Abuse of ‘Espionage’ Act

A button urging freedom for Army Pvt. Bradley/Chelsea Manning.

President Obama who took office vowing “transparency” has run one of the most opaque administrations in U.S. history, hiding information that the public needs to know and destroying the lives of government officials who dare to share some secrets with the citizenry, ex-CIA officer John Kiriakou says.

Obama’s Half-Hearted Cuba Detente

U.S. President Barack Obama addresses the United Nations General Assembly on Sept. 28, 2015. (Photo credit: United Nations.)

President Obama’s “normalization” of relations with Cuba have been more tell than show, with much of the half-century U.S. embargo left in place and some “relaxations” designed to coerce Cuba into “privatizing” its economy, as Art Heitzer and Marjorie Cohn describe.

Obama Keeps Pentagon Spigot Open

President Barack Obama on the campaign trail. (Photo credit: barackobama.com)

Though he ran for the White House as a “change” candidate, President Obama has mostly favored continuity, including bending to the usual pressure from the Military-Industrial Complex to keep the Pentagon spending flowing, as budget watchdog Chuck Spinney explains.

A Glimmer of Hope for Syria

Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.

Exclusive: With new negotiations starting in Vienna – and with Iran now allowed to participate – there is finally a glimmer of hope that the Syrian slaughter might end. But that will require concessions from all sides and President Obama standing up to the neocons who put “regime change” ahead of peace, writes Robert Parry.

Seeing Syrian Crisis Through Russian Eyes

Amid the crisis over Syria, President Vladimir Putin of Russia welcomed President Barack Obama to the G20 Summit at Konstantinovsky Palace in Saint Petersburg, Russia, Sept. 5, 2013. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Exclusive: While there is a ray of hope that international negotiations may finally find a way to resolve the Syrian war, there is also growing pressure on President Obama to escalate U.S. military involvement even if that risks a wider war with Russia, a danger that ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern assesses.

Rebuffing Peace Chances in Syria

Secretary of State John Kerry arriving in Paris on Jan. 12, 2014, for diplomatic meetings on the Middle East. (State Department photo)

Exclusive: Official Washington’s neocon-dominated “group think” on Syria is that everything is the fault of President Assad and Russian President Putin, but the actual history shows many missed opportunities for peace because of the U.S. obsession with dictating “regime change” in country after country, as Jonathan Marshall explains.

Presidential Success or Failure

President Barack Obama and his national security team monitor the Special Operations raid into Pakistan that killed Osama bin Laden. (White House photo by Pete Souza)

There are two kinds of presidential foreign policy decisions, one operational like the raid to kill Osama bin Laden, which can go right or wrong almost by chance, and the other strategic like the invasion of Iraq that can be based on fraudulent information and bad judgment, writes ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.