Tag Archive for Paul R. Pillar

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How the GOP Undermines America

Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Arkansas, while campaigning in 2014.

The world might find the goofy behavior of the “last remaining superpower” comical if it weren’t so scary. Though Democrats surely have their share of unfunny clowns, the Republicans took center stage in this circus of buffoonery with an open letter to Iran advertising U.S. unreliability, ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar notes.

Rearranging the Chairs at CIA

CIA Director John Brennan.

CIA Director Brennan wants to make his mark on the spy agency by shifting around the lines of authority to merge analysts and operatives into specialized “mission centers,” but the disadvantages may outweigh the advantages, according to ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

The Illogic of Netanyahu’s Speech

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.

Last week, the U.S. Congress, especially the Republican majority, treated Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu as if he were the true commander in chief, a cringe-worthy moment for many Americans, but one that distracted from the illogic of what Netanyahu said, as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar explains.

Telling Scary Stories about Iran

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)

Israel has a large, sophisticated and undeclared nuclear arsenal, but Prime Minister Netanyahu told scary stories to a rapt U.S. Congress entranced by his warnings about the chance that Iran might consider building one bomb a decade from now, a double standard if there ever was one, says ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

Netanyahu’s Troubling Subtext

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Though Iran’s nuclear program is the supposed focus of Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu’s extraordinary speech to Congress, a troubling subtext is that the U.S. must have no meaningful dealings with Iran, a condition that undercuts American interests, says ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

Americans Catching a New War Fever

President George W. Bush announcing the start of his invasion of Iraq on March 19, 2003.

The U.S. media/political elites are again riling up the American people about threats abroad, whether it’s the hysterical reporting about Russia or the sensationalistic coverage of Islamic State atrocities. The results are showing with more Americans favoring more war, as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar explains.

Jeb Bush’s Iraq War Cop-Out

President George W. Bush is introduced by his brother Florida Gov. Jeb Bush before delivering remarks at Sun City Center, Florida, on May 9, 2006. (White House photo by Eric Draper)

Very few promoters of the Iraq War faced any accountability for their aggressive war, nor it seems were many lessons learned. This failure is being tested again as President George W. Bush’s brother Jeb seeks the White House without a serious critique of this bloody disaster, notes ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

Disdaining ‘the Search for Truth’

Wisconsin's Republican Gov. Scott Walker (Photo credit: Gage Skidmore)

When information becomes a weapon – whether in geopolitics or domestic politics – the democratic principle of an informed electorate is sacrificed, as is now the case in modern America, where some leaders pander to parts of the electorate that are disdainful of science, as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar observes.

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.