Tag: Barack Obama

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Risky Blowback from Russian Sanctions

Russian President Vladimir Putin addresses a crowd on May 9, 2014, celebrating the 69th anniversary of victory over Nazi Germany and the 70th anniversary of the liberation of the Crimean port city of  Sevastopol from the Nazis. (Russian government photo)

Today’s American foreign policy “elite” rarely thinks through the dangerous consequences of its “tough-guy” actions, including its new plan to provoke economic and political chaos in nuclear-armed Russia, a “strategy” that is also spreading pain and disorder to Europe, as…

Cameron Calls Out Iran-Talk Saboteurs

President Barack Obama greets Prime Minister David Cameron of the United Kingdom prior to a bilateral meeting in the Oval Office, Jan. 16, 2015. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

As U.S. neocons and other hardliners keep trying to sabotage Iranian nuclear talks, British Prime Minister Cameron is the latest world leader to call them out on their sophistry about how threatening additional pain on Iran would help negotiations, as ex-CIA…

Can Obama Untangle from Syria’s Civil War?

President Barack Obama speaking to the United Nations General Assembly on Sept. 24, 2013. (UN photo)

President Obama appears open to a UN strategy of negotiating local ceasefires in Syria as a step toward a political solution to that civil war, but he remains tangled in the demand from Israel, Saudi Arabia and other U.S. allies…

Is a Clinton Revival Timed-Out?

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

There may not be a big demand for 1990s nostalgia, but the 2016 presidential race could offer one more contest involving a Clinton and a Bush. Yet, some Democrats fear Hillary Clinton could ultimately fail because she lacks a vision…

Obama’s Narrative of Deceits

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)

Though President Obama promised “transparency” and “openness,” he has slipped so far from those goals that some wonder how many sides of his mouth he can speak through. He has surely not broken from the longstanding pattern of presidential deceits…

The Challenge of Ending Wars

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)

Official Washington’s “tough-guy-ism” the one-upping macho rhetoric about how to respond to foreign crises makes it hard for leaders to avoid wars and perhaps even harder to end wars, a dilemma addressed by ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

In Defense of a CIA Whistleblower

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

The mainstream U.S. news media sometimes rallies to the defense of a reporter who is pressured to reveal a source but not so much for the brave whistleblower who is the target of government retaliation. Such is the case for…

The Political Imperative to Be Reckless

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)

The overarching “strategic” ideology in Official Washington is “tough-guy-ism,” with politicians fearful of being called “weak,” a public-relations threat that drives even cautious leaders into reckless military actions, as occurred with President Obama in the war on the Islamic State, as…

Rebuilding the Obama-Putin Trust

Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs Victoria Nuland, who pushed for the Ukraine coup and helped pick the post-coup leaders.

Exclusive: Heading into the last quarter of his presidency, Barack Obama must decide whether he will let the neocons keep pulling his strings or finally break loose and pursue a realistic foreign policy seeking practical solutions to world problems, including the crisis with Russia over…

The Oil-Crash Diplomatic Mirage

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry meets with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov at the U.S. Ambassador's residence in Rome, Italy, on Dec. 14, 2014. (State Department photo)

Official Washington’s latest “group think” is that the drop in oil prices will bring Russia and Iran to their knees ready to do whatever the U.S. demands. But this analysis is a miscalculation that could cause President Obama to miss…