Tag: Paul R. Pillar

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A GOP Terror Talking Point

Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, a Republican candidate for president.

Republican presidential candidates have a favorite talking point that President Obama won’t use the precise phrase “radical Islamic terrorism” even though he describes the problem in similar terms. Thus, the complaint is ridiculous and even a bit dangerous, writes ex-CIA…

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…

Trump’s Heresy on Israel

President-elect Donald Trump

The appeal of Donald Trump’s bigoted comments has exposed an unpleasant truth about the Republican Party, which has been flirting with racism since Richard Nixon’s Southern Strategy, but his refusal to toe the line on Israel also highlights the groveling…

Humanity’s ‘Hail Mary’ on Global Warming

The image of the Earth rising over the surface of the moon, a photograph taken by the first U.S. astronauts to orbit the moon.

The growing crisis over global warming must be addressed seriously now or require risky “geoengineering” strategies as a last resort in the not-too-distant future, a dangerous “Hail Mary” pass for humanity’s survival, as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar explains.

The Issue of Anti-Abortion Terrorism

Mug shot of Planned Parenthood shooting suspect Robert L. Dear. (Photo from Colorado Springs Police Department.)

There have long been double standards when using the word “terrorism,” with acts by political or ideological allies spared the label while it is ladled over the actions of an adversary, a dilemma that has reappeared in the attack on…

Going Nativist on Syrian Refugees

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas.

The political opportunism over Syrian refugees from Donald Trump, Ted Cruz and other GOP presidential candidates is one of the uglier features of the growing hysteria over terrorism. It also reflects a recurring strain of nativism that has infected the…

The Brutal Paris Terror Attack

Peace for Paris symbol.

As horrific as the Paris terror attack was, it was not a sophisticated operation engineered by some diabolical mastermind. It was a low-tech, brutal assault that has distracted from a more important debate how to give young, disaffected Muslim men…

Baiting Obama to ‘Shock and Awe’

At the start of the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003, President George W. Bush ordered the U.S. military to conduct a devastating aerial assault on Baghdad, known as "shock and awe."

Official Washington’s armchair warriors are pounding their drums again, demanding a larger U.S. invasion of Syria and decrying President Obama as “feckless” for showing some restraint. But these hawks offer little thinking about the consequences of another long-term occupation, says ex-CIA…

The Need for a Syrian Deal

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad

In the wake of the Paris terror attacks and other mass killings in Beirut and aboard a Russian airliner there are new demands for military action. But the one step that might help matters is a more pragmatic approach to resolving the…

Gulf States Slip Out of War on ISIS

Journalist James Foley shortly before he was executed by an Islamic State operative.

Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states went through the motions of joining the U.S.-led fight against the Islamic State and other Sunni terrorists, who received substantial help from the same Gulf states, but those U.S. “allies” have now slipped out of the conflict almost entirely, says…