Tag Archive for Iraq

image_pdfimage_print

Will Reckless Saudis Seek War with Iran?

King Salman the President and First Lady to a reception room at Erga Palace during a state visit to Saudi Arabia on Jan. 27, 2015. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Exclusive: Under growing economic and political pressure, the new Saudi leadership is showing a dangerous impulse toward military interventions, raising prospects for a direct and destructive confrontation with its regional rival Iran, writes Daniel Lazare.

The Myth of ‘Taking Out’ ISIS

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas.

“Tough-guy-gal-ism” remains the dominant rhetoric of Official Washington as politicians and pundits compete to outdo each other in advocating bloody remedies for “taking out” the Islamic State. But the armchair warriors misunderstand the problem and offer no solution, writes ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

Saudis’ Anti-Terror Window-dressing

Saudi King Salman meets with President Barack Obama at Erga Palace during a state visit to Saudi Arabia on Jan. 27, 2015. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Faced with greater public awareness of its role promoting Sunni jihadist terror, Saudi Arabia has announced a 34-nation “anti-terrorism coalition,” but it may be just window-dressing for Riyadh’s anti-Shiite agenda, not a serious move against extremism, an issue addressed by ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

Closing the Wrong Visa Loopholes

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)

After the San Bernardino terror attack, Congress rushed to address security gaps in visa-free travel but addressed the wrong ones, leaving out visitors from “allied” countries such Saudi Arabia which have actually produced terrorists who attacked the U.S., note Georgianne Nienaber and Coleen Rowley.

Putting the ISIS ‘Crisis’ in Context

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, who has joined in calling for a "safe zone" in Syria, a euphemism for invasion.

The hysteria over Islamic State terrorism is driving talk of a new U.S.-led ground war in the Middle East – this time an invasion of Syria under the guise of a “safe zone” – but such rash actions would only make matters worse, writes ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

The Incredible Shrinking President

President Barack Obama addresses the nation from the Oval Office about terrorism on  Dec. 6, 2015. (Image from Whitehouse.gov)

Exclusive: Trying to soothe American fears about “terrorism,” President Obama glossed over the dangerous contradictions in his own policy, particularly the fact that Saudi Arabia, Turkey and other “allies” have been helping Al Qaeda and ISIS, notes Daniel Lazare.

Obama Taunts Putin over Syria

President Barack Obama, Secretary of State John Kerry and other heads of state and delegations, observe a minute of silence for the Paris attack victims during the opening ceremony of the 21st Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP21), at the Parc des Expositions du Bourget in Le Bourget, Paris, France, Nov. 30, 2015. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

President Obama mocked Russian President Putin for not fixing Syria during the past month and chided him about Moscow’s Afghan quagmire in the 1980s, proving that Obama has either no self-awareness or no sense of irony given the U.S. misadventures in both countries, as Sam Husseini describes.

Avoiding the Trap of Retaliation

President Obama holds a joint press conference with President Hollande of France in the East Room of the White House on November 24, 2015. (Photo credit: Whitehouse.gov)

The Paris terror attacks brought demands for retaliation against the Islamic State, which claimed responsibility, but by lashing out against the group in Syria and Iraq the West may be falling into a trap that will only strengthen the terrorists, writes John V. Whitbeck.

In the Dark on the ‘Dark Side’

Prince Bandar bin Sultan, then Saudi ambassador to the United States, meeting with President George W. Bush in Crawford, Texas, on Aug. 27, 2002. (White House photo)

The “War on Terror” – now more than 14 years long – has trapped the U.S. and other nations in the “dark side” of human behavior, a dilemma that is both moral and practical because the continued use of brutal methods has only made the crisis worse, as Nicolas J S Davies explains.

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.