America is a place that expunges unpleasant memories that belie the happier vision of its “exceptionalism,” most notably the brutal ugliness of the Vietnam War and more recent war crimes in the Middle East, observes Michael Brenner.
The U.S. government gives free passes to officials who commit war crimes but imprisons whistleblowers who tell the truth, a fate that befell CIA’s John Kiriakou for disclosing torture. But he was honored by some ex-intelligence officers, reports Ray McGovern.
Donald Trump has urged a new “war on terror” that brings back torture and seeks revenge on terrorists’ families, but another problem with the Republican nominee’s approach is his exaggeration of the danger, writes ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.
The word “terrorism” – classically defined as violence against civilians for political effect – has become an epithet hurled at despised groups while not against favored ones, a challenge of hypocrisy and propaganda, explains Michael Brenner.
Turkish President Erdogan has abetted jihadist terror and cracked down on political dissent – making him a contributor to Mideast troubles – but a military coup is the wrong way to remove him, says ex-CIA official Graham E. Fuller.
The blowback from America’s “war on terror” swept into Dallas last Friday when an Afghan War veteran allegedly killed five police officers and was killed in turn by a remote-controlled robot deploying a bomb, writes retired Col. Ann Wright.
The United States touts its commitment to free speech but American discourse has degenerated into self-absorbed info-tainment and trivia, ignoring many of the most pressing issues of the day, writes Michael Brenner.
The Reagan administration inadvertently created Al Qaeda by arming the Afghan mujahedeen in the 1980s, then George W. Bush’s Iraq War gave rise to ISIS. So, one might draw a lesson about overusing military force abroad, says Ivan Eland.
President Obama vowed to close the prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, but has struggled against congressional resistance and a slow-moving review process, exemplified by the strange case of Haroon al-Afghani, reports Dennis J Bernstein.
America’s mass shootings, especially those linked to Islamic terrorism like the slaughter in Orlando, Florida, prompt a reflex of responses, but some reactions are particularly unhelpful, says ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.