Tag Archive for Iraq


Lost on the ‘Dark Side’ in Syria

President and Mrs. Obama disembark from Air Force One at King Khalid International Airport in Riyadh on Jan. 27, 2015, for a state visit to Saudi Arabia. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

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.

Falling into the ISIS Trap

President Barack Obama meets with his National Security Staff to discuss the situation in Syria, in the Situation Room of the White House, Aug. 30, 2013. From left at the table: National Security Advisor Susan E. Rice; Attorney General Eric Holder; Secretary of State John Kerry; and Vice President Joe Biden. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Special Report: The Islamic State has entered into “phase two” of its plan. After establishing a rudimentary “caliphate” in Syria and Iraq (phase one), it is now seeking to provoke the West into a self-defeating overreaction, a trap that “tough” politicians are falling into, as historian William R. Polk describes.

Grasping the Motives for Terror

Aftermath of the U.S. destruction of the Doctors Without Borders hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan. (Graphic credit: RT)

The Paris terror attacks – particularly the methodical shooting of unarmed civilians – have shocked the world and generated new tough talk from policymakers. But the West cannot ignore how some of its violent policy prescriptions over the past 35 years have contributed to the crisis, writes James Paul.

The Death of a Charming Charlatan

Ahmed Chalabi, who served as leader of the Iraqi National Congress.

Exclusive: The death of Ahmed Chalabi, the Iraqi exile who collaborated with U.S. neocons to bamboozle the American people into invading Iraq, merits a moment of reflection on how the ongoing chaos in the Middle East (and now Europe) got going, writes retired USAF Lt. Col. Karen Kwiatkowski.

The Mideast’s Humpty Dumpty Problem

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)

Western powers – most recently the United States – have smashed up the Mideast so thoroughly that many of the options now under review in Official Washington go from bad to worse but almost certainly can never put the region back together again, writes ex-CIA official Graham E. Fuller.

A Plea for Mideast Policy Realism

Former U.S. Ambassador Charles W. "Chas" Freeman. (Photo credit: Chasfreeman.net)

Over the past two decades, a neoconservative-driven foreign policy has led to strategic disaster after disaster, but neocon belligerence continues to dominate Official Washington, a dilemma that former U.S. Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Chas W. Freeman addresses.

Collateral Damage/Stuff Happens

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush

President George W. Bush (and his successor Barack Obama) have lamented “collateral damage” in Afghanistan and Iraq – and Jeb Bush shrugs off a domestic mass shooting as “stuff happens” – but the tragedies have a common denominator: glorification of war and cultural acceptance of violence, writes David Marks.

The Hope Behind Putin’s Syria Help

Amid the crisis over Syria, President Vladimir Putin of Russia welcomed President Barack Obama to the G20 Summit at Konstantinovsky Palace in Saint Petersburg, Russia, Sept. 5, 2013. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Exclusive: President Obama insists on looking the gift horse of Russian military help for Syria’s embattled government in the mouth. Rather than welcome assistance in blocking a Sunni extremist victory, Obama bends to the neocons and liberal hawks, as ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern explains.

Putin’s Judo Move in Syria

Russian President Vladimir Putin addresses UN General Assembly on Sept. 28, 2015. (UN Photo)

Exclusive: Official Washington loves to hate Russian President Putin, especially when he obstructs a neocon “regime change” scheme, with that animus now focused on Putin’s concern that overthrowing Syria’s government would risk a disastrous victory by the Islamic State and Al Qaeda, says Daniel Lazare.

Obama’s True Foreign-Policy ‘Weakness’

Prominent neocon intellectual Robert Kagan. (Photo credit: Mariusz Kubik, http://www.mariuszkubik.pl)

From the Archive:  Official Washington considers President Obama “weak” because he doesn’t bomb every country that the neocons want bombed, so Obama talks “tough” in his major speeches to conceal his real “weakness” – his timidity in rebuffing neocon criticism – as Robert Parry described in 2014.