Tag Archive for Iraq War

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‘Group-Thinking’ the World into a New War

Russian President Vladimir Putin laying a wreath at Russia's Tomb of the Unknown Soldier on May 8, 2014, as part of the observance of the World War II Victory over Germany.

Exclusive: The armchair warriors of Official Washington are eager for a new war, this time with Russia over Ukraine, and they are operating from the same sort of mindless “group think” and hostility to dissent that proved so disastrous in Iraq, reports Robert Parry.

The West’s Help to Islamic Jihadists

In Afghanistan, U.S. Army Pfc. Sean Serritelli provides security outside Combat Outpost Charkh on Aug. 23, 2012. (Photo credit: Spc. Alexandra Campo)

Though Western leaders now lock arms in disgust over Islamic fundamentalism, the West’s actions – from Ronald Reagan to Barack Obama – have often promoted the interests of jihadists from Afghanistan in the 1980s to Iraq in the 2000s to Libya and Syria in the 2010s, as William Blum recalls.

The CIA’s Prosecutorial Defense

Jose Rodriguez, former director of operations for the Central Intelligence Agency.

In the trial of alleged CIA whistleblower Jeffrey Sterling, the U.S. government appears more intent on burnishing the CIA’s tarnished reputation than proving Sterling’s guilt. The defendant almost looks to be collateral damage in this PR process, as Norman Solomon observes.

How Propaganda Conquers Democracy

President Barack Obama delivers a statement on the situation in Ukraine, on the South Lawn of the White House, July 29, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson)

In recent decades, the U.S. propaganda system has grown more and more sophisticated in the art of “perception management,” now enlisting not only government PR specialists but careerist journalists and aspiring bloggers to push deceptions on the public, a crisis in democracy that Nicolas J S Davies explores.

‘Justice’ Hidden Behind a Screen

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)

Exclusive: Behind a physical (and perhaps metaphorical) screen, the U.S. government is putting on its case to pin ten felony charges on ex-CIA officer Jeffrey Sterling for allegedly leaking secrets to a U.S. journalist about a risky and convoluted covert op against Iran, as ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern reports.

Obama’s Narrative of Deceits

President Barack Obama talks with President Petro Poroshenko of Ukraine and Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker following a bilateral meeting in the Oval Office, Sept. 18, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Though President Obama promised “transparency” and “openness,” he has slipped so far from those goals that some wonder how many sides of his mouth he can speak through. He has surely not broken from the longstanding pattern of presidential deceits that have eroded the Republic, as Jason Hirthler writes.

The Challenge of Ending Wars

President Barack Obama meets with his national security advisors in the Situation Room of the White House, Aug. 7, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Official Washington’s “tough-guy-ism” – the one-upping macho rhetoric about how to respond to foreign crises – makes it hard for leaders to avoid wars and perhaps even harder to end wars, a dilemma addressed by ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

America’s Illusion of Free Will

President George W. Bush in a flight suit after landing on the USS Abraham Lincoln to give his "Mission Accomplished" speech about the Iraq War.

The mainstream U.S. news media’s narrow parameters, especially on foreign policy issues, give the American people little opportunity to engage in meaningful debate or to influence outcomes. Typically, public perceptions are managed and consensus is manufactured, as Lawrence Davidson writes.

What’s the Next Step to Stop Torture?

Former Vice President Dick Cheney.

Exclusive: The grim details about the CIA’s torture techniques – from waterboarding to “rectal rehydration” – have overwhelmed the final defenses of the torture apologists. Now the question is what to do with this evidence and how to make sure this behavior doesn’t happen again, says ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern.

The New Republic’s Ugly Reality

Former New Republic owner Martin Peretz.

Exclusive: Mainstream pundits are outraged over a Silicon Valley barbarian riding in and defacing The New Republic, a temple to all that is wonderful about deep-thinking policymaking and long-form journalism. But the truth about the Washington-based magazine is much less honorable, writes Robert Parry.