Tag Archive for Syria

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A Vague War Declaration on ISIS

Journalist James Foley shortly before he was executed by an Islamic State operative.

President Obama has tossed Congress a draft resolution on using force against Islamic State militants but the vague language is something of a hot potato that neither the White House nor Congress is comfortable with, writes ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

Why Syria’s Assad Must Not Go — Yet

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad

America’s neocons and liberal war hawks still want a U.S. military intervention in Syria to enforce their “Assad must go” mantra, but President Obama has realized that such a “regime change” could bring the Islamic State to power, a worse predicament, as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar explains.

Al-Qaeda, Saudi Arabia and Israel

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)

Exclusive: Saudi Arabia is under a new cloud after a jailed al-Qaeda operative implicated senior Saudi officials as collaborators with the terror group – and the shadow could even darken the political future of Israeli Prime Netanyahu because of his odd-couple alliance with Riyadh, reports Robert Parry.

Congress Seeks Netanyahu’s Direction

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Exclusive: Conservative Pat Buchanan once got in trouble by calling Capitol Hill “Israeli occupied territory,” but even he might not imagine what’s happening now – with Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu invited to address a joint session of Congress to decry President Obama’s foreign policy, Robert Parry notes.

The West’s Help to Islamic Jihadists

In Afghanistan, U.S. Army Pfc. Sean Serritelli provides security outside Combat Outpost Charkh on Aug. 23, 2012. (Photo credit: Spc. Alexandra Campo)

Though Western leaders now lock arms in disgust over Islamic fundamentalism, the West’s actions – from Ronald Reagan to Barack Obama – have often promoted the interests of jihadists from Afghanistan in the 1980s to Iraq in the 2000s to Libya and Syria in the 2010s, as William Blum recalls.

How Propaganda Conquers Democracy

President Barack Obama delivers a statement on the situation in Ukraine, on the South Lawn of the White House, July 29, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson)

In recent decades, the U.S. propaganda system has grown more and more sophisticated in the art of “perception management,” now enlisting not only government PR specialists but careerist journalists and aspiring bloggers to push deceptions on the public, a crisis in democracy that Nicolas J S Davies explores.

The Syrian Ambassador’s Complaint

Bashar al-Ja'afari, Syria's Ambassador to the United Nations.

The Western news media calls itself “objective,” but many foreign crises are reported in a biased way, fawning over one side and hammering the other. To provide a sense of the “other side” in the Syrian civil war, we are reposting an interview with Syria’s UN ambassador by Eva Bartlett for a Lebanese newspaper.

Can Obama Untangle from Syria’s Civil War?

President Barack Obama speaking to the United Nations General Assembly on Sept. 24, 2013. (UN photo)

President Obama appears open to a UN strategy of negotiating local ceasefires in Syria as a step toward a political solution to that civil war, but he remains tangled in the demand from Israel, Saudi Arabia and other U.S. allies for “regime change” in Damascus, writes Gareth Porter.

Obama’s Narrative of Deceits

President Barack Obama talks with President Petro Poroshenko of Ukraine and Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker following a bilateral meeting in the Oval Office, Sept. 18, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Though President Obama promised “transparency” and “openness,” he has slipped so far from those goals that some wonder how many sides of his mouth he can speak through. He has surely not broken from the longstanding pattern of presidential deceits that have eroded the Republic, as Jason Hirthler writes.

The Political Imperative to Be Reckless

President Barack Obama shakes hands with U.S. troops at Bagram Airfield in Bagram, Afghanistan, Sunday, May 25, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

The overarching “strategic” ideology in Official Washington is “tough-guy-ism,” with politicians fearful of being called “weak,” a public-relations threat that drives even cautious leaders into reckless military actions, as occurred with President Obama in the war on the Islamic State, as Gareth Porter explains.