Tag Archive for Hamas


Mideast Alliances Shift Again

King Salman of Saudi Arabia and his entourage arrive to greet President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama at King Khalid International Airport in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Jan. 27, 2015. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Like shifting desert sands, the volatile Middle East is going through a new, though subtle, realignment of adversaries and allies, with Turkey’s political tensions shaking up one area while Saudi Arabia makes moves of its own, as recounted by ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

Touchy Issue: Talking with ‘Terrorists’

Afghan commandos demonstrate their skills for U.S. Army Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, on Camp Morehead, Afghanistan, April 23, 2012. (Defense Department photo by D. Myles Cullen)

Official Washington often exacerbates foreign conflicts by shoving them into misshapen narratives or treating them as good-guy-vs.-bad-guy morality plays, rather than political disputes that require mediation. The problem is particularly tricky with “terrorist” groups, writes ex-CIA official Graham E. Fuller.

How Israel’s Gaza Blockade Backfires

An Israeli strike caused a huge explosion in a residential area in Gaza during the Israeli assault on Gaza in 2008-2009. (Photo credit: Al Jazeera)

Israel’s crushing blockade – and periodic assaults – against the 1.8 million people jammed into Gaza have led to the emergence of an Islamic State affiliate that is now challenging Hamas, an example of how extreme repression breeds ever greater extremism, writes ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

The Demonization of Iran

Iran's Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei sitting next to President Hassan Rouhani and addressing the cabinet.

Ever since Iran made it on to the neocon “regime change” list, its actions have been put through the special prism of demonization that is reserved for U.S. “enemies.” Now, those exaggerations and distortions are obstructing an agreement to constrain Iran’s nuclear program, writes ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

The Imbalanced Slaughter in Gaza

The Gaza Strip is a tightly cordoned-off area of only 139 square miles where some 1.6 million Palestinians are essentially trapped.

Much of the world is horrified at Israel’s latest slaughter of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip but the continued power of the Israeli Lobby over Official Washington has silenced any protests against the imbalanced infliction of death, as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar observes.

Hamas and the Tyranny of Labels

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin "Bibi" Netanyahu

Israel is using the latest rapprochement between the PLO and Hamas as the newest excuse to reject peace talks. The charge is that Hamas is “terrorist” although the same label has been applied to the PLO and indeed to some of Israel’s own leaders, as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar notes.

Egypt’s Coup Enflames Extremism

Al-Qaeda leader Ayman Al-Zawahiri.

By ousting elected President Morsi – and seeking to root out his Muslim Brotherhood supporters – Egypt’s military has touched off a wave of violence that threatens to deepen tensions across the region, including in the Gaza Strip and Israel, writes ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

The Danger from Conventional Wisdom

Official Washington’s “conventional wisdom” is a pernicious fact of life in the U.S. capital as various presumed realities reverberate through the echo chamber of policymakers and journalists. Conventional wisdom is especially dangerous when what-everybody-knows-is-true isn’t, as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar explains.

Hamas Speech Dampens Peace Hopes

Between Israel’s expansion of West Bank settlements and deepening Palestinian resentments, chances for a two-state solution continue to shrink. The fiery words of Hamas leader Khaled Meshal have only made prospects worse, says ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

Hamas, UN and Palestinian Statehood

The United States and Israel continue to oppose the UN granting the Palestinians recognition as a “non-member state.” But the objections seem increasingly farfetched, as even Hamas has shown a more moderate side in endorsing this modest proposal, notes ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.