The “War on Terror” – now more than 14 years long – has trapped the U.S. and other nations in the “dark side” of human behavior, a dilemma that is both moral and practical because the continued use of brutal methods has only made the crisis worse, as Nicolas J S Davies explains.
Official Washington’s armchair warriors are pounding their drums again, demanding a larger U.S. invasion of Syria and decrying President Obama as “feckless” for showing some restraint. But these hawks offer little thinking about the consequences of another long-term occupation, says ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.
CIA officer John Kiriakou, the first U.S. official to confirm that waterboarding was used to torture “war on terror” detainees, then faced a retaliatory prosecution and 30 months in prison. Recognizing his sacrifice, the literary group PEN gave Kiriakou its First Amendment Award, observed ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern.
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.
Many progressives struggle with the “lesser-evil” dilemma. They may sympathize with Green Party positions but fear that voting for Green candidates will give right-wing Republicans control of the U.S. government, as in getting George W. Bush close enough to steal Election 2000 from Al Gore, notes Lawrence Davidson.
From the Archive: As Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu meets with President Obama, the mainstream media is asking who’s to blame for their chilly relationship. But the problem is not just personal. It goes to Israel’s longstanding efforts to out-fox U.S. presidents, as Morgan Strong described in 2010.