Tag: Paul R. Pillar


Toward a More Subtle US Foreign Policy

President Barack Obama talks with Secretary of State John Kerry and National Security Advisor Susan E. Rice in the Oval Office on March 19, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Largely because Israel’s right-wing government now considers Iran the great enemy and has a fonder view of Saudi Arabia, U.S. politicians and media have followed that lead, decrying Iranians and tolerating Saudis, but such simplistic thinking does not serve American…

WPost’s Deadly Lack of Realism

Washington Post's editorial page editor Fred Hiatt.

The Washington Post’s neocon editors advocate one regime change after another, oblivious to the death and destruction that their strategies have unleashed across the Mideast and now into Europe and reflecting a lack of realism about what U.S. foreign policy can…

Diplomatic Sanity Prevails with Iran

Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif.

Before President Obama’s State of the Union Address, U.S. cable news blasted out bulletins about Iran seizing American sailors, as Obama’s critics blasted him. But the U.S. intrusion into Iranian waters was quickly explained and the sailors returned, a sign of…

The Power of Exaggerated Fear

Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Florida.

As the American middle class shrinks and citizens feel vulnerable and angry, politicians have found that exaggerating the dangers from some bogeyman “the Muslim terrorists are out to get you!” works wonders in distracting them from far more serious threats, as ex-CIA analyst Paul R.…

Not Taking Sides in Saudi-Iran Fights

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)

Many U.S. pols and pundits fret that Saudi Arabia’s feelings are hurt by the Obama administration’s opening to Iran, but they conveniently forget Saudi support for terrorism and other acts harmful to the American people, as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar explains.

Neocons Protest US Spying on Israel

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.

U.S. neocons are livid over a report that U.S. intelligence spied on Israeli efforts to sabotage the Iran nuclear talks, though they are curiously silent on evidence that Israel spies on the U.S. Ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar says it would be…

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…

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…

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.…