Tag: William Blum

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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…

The ‘Exceptionalism’ of US Torture

George W. Bush taking the presidential oath of office on Jan. 20, 2001. (White House photo)

Americans like to think of themselves as the ultimate “good guys” and anyone who gets in their way as a “bad guy.” Under this theory of U.S. “exceptionalism,” whatever “we” do must be moral or at least morally defensible, from…

The Two Sides of the Berlin Wall

A portion of the Berlin Wall as photographed in 1975, toward the east. (Photo credit: Edward Valachovic)

Historical narratives are often boiled down to simplistic and self-serving storylines that influence how people see the world, when a more sophisticated and fair-minded account would offer a different perspective, as William Blum writes about the Berlin Wall.

Hiding Ukraine’s Neo-Nazi Reality

Far-right militia members demonstrating outside Ukrainian parliament in Kiev. (Screen shot from RT video via YouTube video)

Perhaps the biggest taboo of the U.S. mainstream coverage of the Ukraine crisis is to block out the role played by neo-Nazi militias in both the Feb. 22 coup and this summer’s bloody offensive in eastern Ukraine, but the ugly reality…

Still Tolerating Torture

CIA Director John Brennan addresses officials at the Agency's headquarters in Langley, Virginia. (Photo credit: CIA)

President Obama admits that U.S. authorities engaged in torture during the “war on terror” but he has taken no action to hold the torturers accountable and even elevated one of its defenders, John Brennan, to chief of the CIA, notes…

Human Blowback from US Interventions

Former Honduran President Manuel Zelaya.

The flight of Central American children north to the U.S. border is another form of blowback from decades of U.S. refusal to permit reformist governments in the region, including the State Department’s support for a 2009 coup ousting Honduran President…

Putting the Ukraine Crisis in Context

Russian President Vladimir Putin laying a wreath at Russia's Tomb of the Unknown Soldier on May 8, 2014, as part of the observance of the World War II Victory over Germany.

When the Ukraine crisis began, the mainstream U.S. media cast aside any pretense of objectivity and joined in the service of State Department propaganda. But given the emergence of the Internet a far more honest and nuanced story is possible…

Explaining US Hypocrisy on Ukraine

A map showing stages of NATO's expansion. Dark blue showing original members; lighter blue the "round one" members; aqua the "round two" members; yellow represents neutral states; and brown and red (including Ukraine), otherwise aligned. On the map, Montenegro is one of the tiny brown spots on the eastern Adriatic.

U.S. government hypocrisy toward the Ukraine crisis has been breathtaking, as has the U.S. press corps’ stubborn refusal to see the hypocrisy (i.e. the Iraq War and many other U.S. interventions). William Blum looks at the reasons behind the double standards.

Which Side of the ‘War on Terror’?

Osama bin Laden in a video made at his Abbottabad compound and later seized by U.S. Special Forces. (Photo credit: U.S. Federal Government)

Many Americans scratched their heads at the prospect of going to war in Syria when U.S. intervention might tip the balance in favor of jihadists with links to al-Qaeda. But it would not be the first time that U.S. military…

Surveillance State Takes Offense

German writer Ilija Trojanow (Photo credit: Thomas Dorn)

President Obama proclaims his love of “transparency” but has an odd idea what the word means. He generally defines it as sharing some information with Congress and the Courts but keeping the public in the dark and punishing those who ask…