Tag: Chemical Weapons

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Should We Fall Again for ‘Trust Me’?

Director of National Intelligence James Clapper

Exclusive: Forgetting lessons from the Tonkin Gulf to the Iraq War, the U.S. news media has mostly elbowed past doubts about whether the Syrian government launched the Aug. 21 chemical weapons attack and now is focused on the political drama…

Putting a Rush to War on Pause

President Barack Obama makes a statement on the situation in Syria, with Vice President Joe Biden, in the Rose Garden of the White House, Aug. 31, 2013. (Official White House Photo by David Lienemann)

By seeking congressional approval before bombing Syria, President Obama may have recognized a political reality the danger from pressing ahead unilaterally on a risky mission but the move also offers a valuable breather in the hasty rush to war, as…

Understanding the Syrian Civil War

A scene of destruction after an aerial bombing in Azaz, Syria, Aug. 16, 2012. (U.S. government photo)

With President Obama asking Congress to back a military strike to punish Syria for alleged chemical weapons use, the U.S. is lurching toward a new war. Beyond doubts about what happened and whether a U.S. missile attack will help, there is scant public understanding…

Getting Syria-ous About Peace Talks

President Barack Obama meets in the Situation Room with his national security advisors to discuss strategy in Syria, Saturday, Aug. 31, 2013. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Exclusive: President Obama’s decision to seek congressional approval before attacking Syria may represent a needed breather, slowing Official Washington’s stampede into another war, but the only way to stop the bloodshed is to get the various sides into peace talks…

The Risk from Distorting Intelligence

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)

The Obama administration’s emotional reaction to the alleged chemical attack in Syria may be understandable given the human toll, but the high-level clamor for action put pressure on intelligence analysts assessing the evidence. It also could have distorted their judgments, as ex-CIA analyst…

Ignoring Bloody Mideast Lessons

The USS New Jersey firing its guns at Lebanese anti-government strongholds on Jan. 9, 1984, an engagement approved by President Ronald Reagan's White House, setting the stage for a suicide bombing attack on the barracks of U.S. Marines at Beirut's international airport. (U.S. government photo)

The Obama administration appears blind to the history that when U.S. officials have lashed out in anger at Middle East adversaries, the consequences have usually been bad and bloody. The Iraq War is an obvious cautionary tale but so too…

Obama’s Flailing Mideast Strategy

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)

Not only has the Obama administration presented no hard evidence to support its charge that the Syrian government used chemical weapons, President Obama’s plan to retaliate with cruise missiles in violation of international law suggests a Mideast strategy in disarray,…

A Dodgy Dossier on Syrian War

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry delivers remarks on Syria at the Department of State in Washington, D.C., on Aug. 30, 2013. [State Department photo]

Exclusive: President George W. Bush misled the world on Iraq’s WMD, but Bush’s bogus case for war at least had details that could be checked, unlike what the Obama administration released Friday on Syria’s alleged chemical attacks no direct quotes, no…

Dangling Questions on Syrian War

United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon urges all sides to give UN inspectors time to complete their investigation into alleged chemical weapons attacks in Syria. (UN photo)

Official Washington’s neocons are in full-throated war cry over Syria, creating what many of them surely hope is a momentum toward a U.S. intervention that cooler heads won’t be able to stop. But many questions regarding this latest rush to…

Rushing to War Against Syria

obama-medalwinner

Exclusive: In a bizarre replay of America’s disastrous rush to judgment on Iraq, the Obama administration and the U.S. press corps seem set on brushing aside doubts about the Syrian government’s guilt for alleged chemical weapons attacks and pulling the lever on…