Tag Archive for Paul R. Pillar

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Netanyahu Uses US Congress as Prop

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.

By addressing the U.S. Congress for a third time, Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu will again demonstrate his mastery of the American political process, using the backdrop of repeated standing ovations to keep Israelis from thinking too much about economic troubles, writes ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

A Vague War Declaration on ISIS

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

President Obama has tossed Congress a draft resolution on using force against Islamic State militants but the vague language is something of a hot potato that neither the White House nor Congress is comfortable with, writes ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

‘Christianists’ Howl at Obama’s Truth-telling

President Barack Obama addresses the National Prayer Breakfast at the Washington Hilton in Washington, D.C., Feb. 7, 2013. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Though founded by a pacifist who spoke for the oppressed, Christianity has contributed to more wars, injustices and genocides – in all corners of the world – than any other religion. But President Obama’s glancing reference to this reality prompted howls of protests, as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar notes.

WPost Is Lost in Neocon Fantasyland

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

The neocons now control the editorial pages of the New York Times and the Washington Post, a dangerous development for the American people and the world. Yet, the Post remains the more extreme of the two, pushing for endless confrontations and wars, as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar describes.

Why Syria’s Assad Must Not Go — Yet

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad

America’s neocons and liberal war hawks still want a U.S. military intervention in Syria to enforce their “Assad must go” mantra, but President Obama has realized that such a “regime change” could bring the Islamic State to power, a worse predicament, as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar explains.

Twisting Diplomacy to Hurt Iran

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

Neocon-domination of Official Washington continues to put an eminently reachable deal to constrain Iran’s nuclear program in jeopardy because the neocons favor bombing Iran on a path for “regime change.” But their obstructionism hurts U.S. interests, says ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

Obama Finds Common Ground in India

President Obama greets Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India as he and First Lady Michelle Obama arrive at Air Force Station Palam in New Delhi, India, Jan. 25, 2015. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

For decades, U.S. policymakers have berated foreign leaders to get in line behind U.S. desires – from Secretary of State John Foster Dulles to President George W. Bush – but sometimes a lighter touch proves more effective as President Obama learned in India, notes ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

Neocons Dig in to Bomb-Bomb Iran

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.

America’s neocons remain determined to sink nuclear talks with Iran, even seeking help from Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu to reopen the path to bomb-bomb-bomb Iran and reassert a direct U.S. combat role in the Mideast. But that doesn’t serve U.S. interests, says ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

The Death of King Abdullah

King Abdullah, the ailing monarch of Saudi Arabia whose country is playing a power game with its oil.

The death of Saudi King Abdullah adds a new layer of uncertainty to the already chaotic Middle East, including whether his successor will continue pursuing a détente with Israel and how the oil-rich kingdom will approach the dangerous issue of Sunni extremism, as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar explains.

The Anti-Empirical Empire

New York Times graphic based on data from NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

In many ways, America has become the anti-empirical empire, a superpower where many political leaders divorce themselves from facts. Few examples are more glaring or dangerous than the continued denial of global warming despite the latest evidence of impending catastrophe, as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar explains.