Tag Archive for Syria


Rebuffing Peace Chances in Syria

Secretary of State John Kerry arriving in Paris on Jan. 12, 2014, for diplomatic meetings on the Middle East. (State Department photo)

Exclusive: Official Washington’s neocon-dominated “group think” on Syria is that everything is the fault of President Assad and Russian President Putin, but the actual history shows many missed opportunities for peace because of the U.S. obsession with dictating “regime change” in country after country, as Jonathan Marshall explains.

The Mideast’s Humpty Dumpty Problem

President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney receive an Oval Office briefing from CIA Director George Tenet. Also present is Chief of Staff Andy Card (on right). (White House photo)

Western powers – most recently the United States – have smashed up the Mideast so thoroughly that many of the options now under review in Official Washington go from bad to worse but almost certainly can never put the region back together again, writes ex-CIA official Graham E. Fuller.

A Plea for Mideast Policy Realism

Former U.S. Ambassador Charles W. "Chas" Freeman. (Photo credit: Chasfreeman.net)

Over the past two decades, a neoconservative-driven foreign policy has led to strategic disaster after disaster, but neocon belligerence continues to dominate Official Washington, a dilemma that former U.S. Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Chas W. Freeman addresses.

Will Obama Succumb to Pro-War Baiting?

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)

The “you’re a weakling” baiting of President Obama to get him to attack the Syrian government is unrelenting, stretching from the neocon Right to some elements of the liberal Left. And, there are doubts he is strong enough to rebuff the warmongers and pursue a path toward a negotiated peace, as Rick Sterling describes.

US Make-Believe in Syrian War

President Barack Obama meets in the Situation Room with his national security advisors to discuss strategy in Syria, Saturday, Aug. 31, 2013. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Official Washington and its mainstream media push deeper and deeper into a Mideast fantasyland where mythical “moderate rebels” in Syria represent a real force rather than a P.R. cover for Sunni jihadists, all the better to bash the Russians for their military offensive, as Gareth Porter explains at Middle East Eye.

The Reckless Guns of October

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: With Official Washington’s armchair warriors demanding confrontation with Russia over Syria, the prospects for the conflict spinning out of control rise by the day. Years from now, historians may shake their heads over the failure to compromise, cooperate and deescalate, as Daniel Lazare describes.

Syria and the ‘Vacuum’ Metaphor


Official Washington’s new “group think” is that President Obama’s hesitancy to fully invade Syria has created a “vacuum” that Russia is now filling, but the use of such metaphors can cloud serious analytical thinking and lead to catastrophic misjudgments, as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar explains.

Erdogan and the Ankara Bombing

Turkish President Recep Erdogan.

Turkish President Erdogan is playing some dangerous games, aiding Sunni extremists in their war to topple the Syrian government and stirring up old hatreds against the Kurds. So, was last week’s murderous bombing in Ankara an outgrowth of those schemes or something worse, asks ex-CIA official Graham E. Fuller.

Needling Obama for More Wars

President Barack Obama being interviewed by Steve Kroft of CBS' "60 Minutes." [Photo credit: CBS News]

Exclusive: Rather than encourage a healthy, wide-ranging debate on world affairs, the mainstream U.S. news media prevents any serious deviation from Official Washington’s war-loving “group thinks,” a task undertaken by CBS’ Steve Kroft in a hostile interview with President Obama, reports Robert Parry.

Obama’s Two-Faced Foreign Policy

President Barack Obama, with Vice President Joe Biden, attends a meeting in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, Dec. 12, 2013. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Exclusive: President Obama’s Syrian strategy is getting roundly denounced as incoherent, which – while true – is really a reflection of his failure to fully break with neocon-style interventionism even when he realizes the futility of the strategy, writes Robert Parry.