Tag Archive for Global War on Terror

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On TV, the Enemy We’ve Met

The two lead characters in Showtime's original "Homeland" series, Nicholas Brody and Carrie Mathison.

Exclusive: Popular TV shows can reflect the public mood, especially when they address existing fears like the “War on Terror.” Attitudes evolved from the post-9/11 revenge fantasies of “24” to the more ambivalent narratives of “Homeland” and even historical spy series like “The Americans,” says Patrick Cribben.

Drone Warfare’s Costs and Benefits

A Predator drone firing a missile.

Lethal drones are President Obama’s weapon of choice in striking at suspected Al-Qaeda terrorists in remote areas, but – as with any weapon of war – there must be a cost-benefit analysis, including whether drone strikes create more enemies than they kill, as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar explains.

Punishing Poland for US Crimes

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

While former U.S. officials continue to deny torturing “war on terror” detainees – and President Obama fails to enforce any meaningful accountability – countries from the old Soviet bloc are confronting their complicity in the CIA’s crimes, writes Nat Parry.

The Saudis’ Hurt Feelings

President Barack Obama meets with King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia during a bilateral meeting at Rawdat Khuraim in Saudi Arabia, March 28, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Republicans are slamming President Obama for strained relations with the Saudi royals and other Persian Gulf sheiks, but U.S. relations with these oil-rich monarchs have been tense before and – given their support for Sunni terrorism – should be tenser still, as Jonathan Marshall explains.

The Lasting Pain from Vietnam Silence

Scene from the Vietnam War

Exclusive: Many reflections on America’s final days in Vietnam miss the point, pondering whether the war could have been won or lamenting the fate of U.S. collaborators left behind. The bigger questions are why did the U.S. go to war and why wasn’t the bloodletting stopped sooner, as ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern reflects.

Double Standards and Drones

President Barack Obama speaks in the White House press room on April 23, 2015, regarding a counterterrorism strike that accidentally killed an American and an Italian hostage. (Screen shot from WhiteHouse.gov)

American politicians and pundits genuflect to the theory of exceptionalism, which holds that the U.S. can do pretty much whatever it wants, but this lawlessness – best exemplified by drones raining down death on “terrorists” and civilians alike – makes more enemies than it kills, writes Marjorie Cohn.

How Washington Adds to Yemen’s Nightmare

map-yemen

Exclusive: Tangled in corrupt old alliances, such as with the Saudi monarchy, the Obama administration has now joined a war in Yemen that pits some of the region’s most anti-democratic forces and Al-Qaeda against a home-grown rebel movement with limited backing from Iran, as Jonathan Marshall describes.

The Nasty Blowback from America’s Wars

A screen-shot from a video showing Walter Scott being shot in the back by a North Charleston, South Carolina, police officer Michael Slager on April  4, 2015. (Video via the New York Times.)

Exclusive: There are historical warnings to countries that inflict violence abroad, that the imperial impulse will blow back on the domestic society with suppression of public debate and repression of common citizens, that the war will come home — as is happening in the United States, says ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern.

Trusting High-Tech Weapons of War

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The U.S. military insists its drones and other high-tech gadgets can kill “bad guys” with an unmatched precision. But these assassination weapons may just be the latest example of putting too much faith in the murderous technology of war, as Andrew Cockburn explains in a new book reviewed by Chuck Spinney.

Reinforcing the Mindset of War

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

During Campaign 2008, Barack Obama promised to “end the mindset” that led to the Iraq War, but more than six years later, he has failed to live up to that commitment as the same belligerent “mindset” continues to grow and to spread, as Nicolas J S Davies explains.