Tag Archive for Paul R. Pillar

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Still Sabotaging the Iran-Nuke Deal

Iran's President Hassan Rouhani addressing the United Nations General Assembly on Sept. 24, 2013. (UN Photo)

Since Israel and the influential U.S. neocons never wanted the Iranian nuclear deal, many U.S. politicians – including presidential candidates – are lining up to sabotage the agreement by finding new excuses to sanction Iran. This trick is a dangerous game, writes ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

Seeking More Cold War with Cuba

Cuban leader Fidel Castro in 2003. (Photo credit: Antonio Milena - ABr)

The neocons who dominate Official Washington speak most loudly through their flagship newspaper, The Washington Post, almost always seeking confrontation rather than cooperation in addressing the world’s problems, such as Cold War-era hostility toward Cuba, as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar explains.

Letting US ‘Lead’ Against Islamic State

syria-map

America’s Mideast “allies” are less eager to take on Islamic State terrorists themselves than to urge the U.S. military to do so, raising questions about whether much of today’s campaign-trail tough-guy/gal talk about Washington taking the lead really means doing the dirty work for Saudi Arabia, Israel and others, as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar…

Islamic State’s Bloody Decline

Journalist James Foley shortly before he was executed by an Islamic State operative, known as Jihadi John and identified as Mohammed Emwazi, the target of a drone attack that the Pentagon announced on Thursday.

Washington’s pundit class has interpreted the Islamic State’s recent turn toward international terrorism as proof of its growing strength, but it may actually represent the opposite, the group’s recognition that its “caliphate” is under stress and shrinking, observes ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

Toward a More Subtle US Foreign Policy

President Barack Obama talks with Secretary of State John Kerry and National Security Advisor Susan E. Rice in the Oval Office on March 19, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Largely because Israel’s right-wing government now considers Iran the great enemy and has a fonder view of Saudi Arabia, U.S. politicians and media have followed that lead, decrying Iranians and tolerating Saudis, but such simplistic thinking does not serve American interests well, as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar explains.

WPost’s Deadly Lack of Realism

Washington Post's editorial page editor Fred Hiatt.

The Washington Post’s neocon editors advocate one regime change after another, oblivious to the death and destruction that their strategies have unleashed across the Mideast and now into Europe – and reflecting a lack of realism about what U.S. foreign policy can achieve, as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar notes.

Diplomatic Sanity Prevails with Iran

Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif.

Before President Obama’s State of the Union Address, U.S. cable news blasted out bulletins about Iran seizing American sailors, as Obama’s critics blasted him. But the U.S. intrusion into Iranian waters was quickly explained and the sailors returned, a sign of diplomatic sanity, writes ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

The Power of Exaggerated Fear

Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Florida.

As the American middle class shrinks and citizens feel vulnerable and angry, politicians have found that exaggerating the dangers from some bogeyman – “the Muslim terrorists are out to get you!” – works wonders in distracting them from far more serious threats, as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar describes.

Not Taking Sides in Saudi-Iran Fights

Iran's President Hassan Rouhani celebrates the completion of an interim deal on Iran's nuclear program on Nov. 24, 2013, by kissing the head of the daughter of an assassinated Iranian nuclear engineer. (Iranian government photo)

Many U.S. pols and pundits fret that Saudi Arabia’s feelings are hurt by the Obama administration’s opening to Iran, but they conveniently forget Saudi support for terrorism and other acts harmful to the American people, as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar explains.

Neocons Protest US Spying on Israel

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the United Nations in 2012, drawing his own "red line" on how far he will let Iran go in refining nuclear fuel.

U.S. neocons are livid over a report that U.S. intelligence spied on Israeli efforts to sabotage the Iran nuclear talks, though they are curiously silent on evidence that Israel spies on the U.S. Ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar says it would be a mistake to let this pressure blind U.S. leaders on what Israel is up to.