Tag Archive for Paul R. Pillar

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Hyping More Fears about Iran

Iranian women attending a speech by Iran's Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei. (Iranian government photo)

Official Washington’s neocon/liberal-hawk establishment is working itself into another lather over Iran, this time by hyping fears about a ballistic missile program as another backdoor way to sabotage the Iran-nuclear agreement, as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar explains.

Dangerous Punditry on Syria

The Washington Post building. (Photo credit: Daniel X. O'Neil)

Washington Post columnist Richard Cohen has built a long record of getting nearly every major issue wrong over many decades but still eagerly dispenses the latest conventional wisdom emerging from Official Washington’s misguided “group thinks,” as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar noticed regarding Syria.

Congress’ Off-Point Iran-Bashing

An Iranian man holding a photo of Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei. (Iranian government photo)

The U.S. Congress, still in thrall to Israeli leaders and the neocons, cited Islamic State terrorism as an excuse to clamp down on travel to Iran even though Iran has nothing to with ISIS or other Sunni jihadists, unlike Saudi Arabia and Persian Gulf states that were left off the list, notes ex-CIA analyst Paul R.…

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.

The Murder of Yitzhak Rabin

Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, who was assassinated in 1995.

Israel’s decisive turn to the dark side of Jewish terrorism and religious-based repression of the Palestinians can be marked by the murder of Prime Minister Rabin by a right-wing Jewish extremist in 1995, a moment that also inflicted a fatal wound on the peace process, as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar describes.

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.

A Moment of Hope on the Climate

Image of Planet Earth taken from Apollo 17

Republican politics – especially the party’s growing separation from science-based reality – remain a major obstacle to a global consensus on climate change, but the Paris agreement shows that the world is capable of overcoming these “climate deniers,” as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar describes.

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 analyst Paul R. Pillar.

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.

Trump’s Heresy on Israel

Billionaire and Republican presidential candidate 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 by other candidates, notes ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.