Tag: Paul R. Pillar

image_pdfimage_print

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.…

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…

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

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…

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…