Tag: Syria

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Is Assad Part of a Solution?

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad before a poster of his late father, Hafez Assad.

A favorite talking point of Official Washington is that Syrian President Assad is “a magnet for terrorism” who thus must be removed, but that’s a line not stuck on other leaders who are attacked by terrorists. A more sober assessment would see…

The Collision Course in Syria

Saudi King Salman bids farewell to President Barack Obama at Erga Palace after a state visit to Saudi Arabia on Jan. 27, 2015. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Exclusive: President Obama’s continued insistence on “regime change” in Syria and his support for Sunni jihadists not called ISIS have escalated tensions with Moscow, especially after Turkey shot down a Russian warplane along the Syrian border. This division may help…

In the Dark on the ‘Dark Side’

Prince Bandar bin Sultan, then Saudi ambassador to the United States, meeting with President George W. Bush in Crawford, Texas, on Aug. 27, 2002. (White House photo)

The “War on Terror” now more than 14 years long has trapped the U.S. and other nations in the “dark side” of human behavior, a dilemma that is both moral and practical because the continued use of brutal methods has…

Turkey Provokes Russia with Shoot-down

Turkish President Recep Erdogan.

Exclusive: Turkey appears to have deliberately shot down a Russian warplane as a provocation designed to escalate tensions between NATO and Russia, a ploy that seems to have sucked in President Obama as he tries to look tough against Russia to appease his…

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…

Hitting Saudi Arabia Where It Hurts

King Salman of Saudi Arabia and his entourage arrive to greet President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama at King Khalid International Airport in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Jan. 27, 2015. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Exclusive: Though faced with a global terrorism crisis, Official Washington can’t get beyond its neocon-led “tough-guy-gal” rhetoric. But another option financial sanctions on Saudi Arabia might help finally shut down the covert supply of money and arms to Al Qaeda and…

Rethinking ‘Assad Must Go’ Slogan

Former CIA deputy director Michael Morell.

Official Washington’s “Assad must go!” slogan is threatening to destroy hopes for a political settlement of the horrific Syrian conflict and for an end to the chaos cascading from it finally prompting some U.S. officials to rethink the “group think,” as…

Tangled Threads of US False Narratives

President Barack Obama meets with his national security advisors in the Situation Room of the White House, Aug. 7, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Exclusive: Official Washington’s many false narratives about Russia and Syria have gotten so tangled that they have become a danger to the struggle against Sunni jihadist terrorism and conceivably a threat to the future of the planet, a risk that Robert…

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…

Lost on the ‘Dark Side’ in Syria

President and Mrs. Obama disembark from Air Force One at King Khalid International Airport in Riyadh on Jan. 27, 2015, for a state visit to Saudi Arabia. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

The full story of how the U.S. ended up allied with some Sunni extremists in Syria while at war with others is a convoluted tale dating back to President George W. Bush’s neocons venturing off into Vice President Cheney’s “dark side” to work…