Tag: Paul R. Pillar

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Israel-Palestine, Hope Against Hope

Sen. John Kerry, D-Massachusetts, nominee to be Secretary of State.

Getting Israelis and Palestinians to the negotiating table may be a diplomatic accomplishment but it can’t be an end in itself. And while no one has lost money betting against an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal, there are some reasons that the…

Sending the Wrong Signals on Iran

Iran's President-elect Hassan Rouhani during a television appearance.

Tough-guy-ism is still a powerful ideology in the U.S. Congress, where House members just voted to ratchet up sanctions on Iran even as its new leadership is eager to reach an accommodation with the West on its nuclear program. This…

Brushing Aside the Rule of Law

Statues of Lady Justice can be found around the world, this one atop London’s Old Bailey courthouse.

President George W. Bush famously mocked questions about international law with fake horror and the response, “I better call my lawyer!” But the rule of law is under broader assault within the U.S. government, now centered on whether to call…

US, China Contend with Resentment

President Barack Obama.

Americans like to be liked and are often perplexed why so many people around the world “hate us.” Some of that comes from specific policies like support for Israel and  drone strikes, but there’s also the resentment toward big-power arrogance,…

Contrasting Views on US Nobility

U.S. Marines setup an M224 60mm mortar during mission rehearsals on Camp Leatherneck in Helmand province, Afghanistan, July 20, 2013. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Kowshon Ye)

Official Washington’s pundit class has renewed its op-ed barrage for a more robust U.S. intervention in Syria, citing the need to protect human rights. But many people around the world don’t share that view of noble American motives, including the…

How Israel Lobby Trained a Diplomat

Samantha Power, U.S. Ambassador-designate to the UN, once dared to suggest deploying a peace-keeping force to Israel to protect the lives on both sides, an idea that infuriated the Israel Lobby and taught Power a lesson in how she must temper…

Rushing to an Arab Spring Judgment

The Western media likes its stories neat and tidy, enough time for correspondents to parachute in, do some stand-up reports and depart as quickly as the public’s attention span shifts. But a true understanding of events as complex as the…

Israel’s War Talk on Iran

Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu is pounding the war drums on Iran again, drawing support from the usual suspects in Washington’s think tank community and the media. The goal seems to be to derail prospects for negotiations with Iran and on…

In Case You Missed…

Some of our special stories in June, focusing on the dangers of truth-telling (from Gary Webb and Daniel Ellsberg to Edward Snowden and Bradley Manning), a major turn in the 1980 October Surprise case, and the Right’s dark history of…

Israel’s In-Your-Face Appointment

Showing disdain for President Obama, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has appointed a neoconservative ex-aide to Newt Gingrich to serve as ambassador to the United States. The choice of Ron Dermer also reminds U.S. politicians why they should fear offending…