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.
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.
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.
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.
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.