Tag Archives | Foreign Policy

Mission Unstoppable: The CIA Is Pulling The Strings Of US Foreign Policy

“From drone strikes to prison torture, the CIA has been pulling the strings of US foreign policy since 9/11. And if history is a guide, the agency will be calling the shots in the middle east for years to come,” write Yochi Dreazen and Sean D. Naylor at Foreign Policy:

Dennis Blair was itching for a fight. In May 2009, the retired U.S. Navy admiral was serving as the director of national intelligence (DNI). Theoretically, Blair’s title gave him oversight of the CIA and Washington’s constellation of 16 other spy agencies. Yet, in reality, the director was powerless even to designate the senior American spy in a given country—a rank that, for decades, had traditionally been given to the CIA station chief in capitals from London to Beirut. Blair felt entitled to have charge over this. So sidestepping the White House, he sent a written order codifying that the DNI would now be the one to select the most senior spies.

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The Death Sentence That Could Inflame Sectarian Tensions Across The Middle East

Nimr al-Nimr (Photo: freenimr.org)

Nimr al-Nimr (Photo: freenimr.org)

Giorgio Cafiero writes at Foreign Policy in Focus:

Last October, Saudi Arabia’s Special Criminal Court sentenced Sheikh Nimr Baqir al-Nimr — a popular Shi’ite cleric and outspoken political dissident — to death.

This was not an ordinary criminal trial, even considering Saudi Arabia’s liberal use of capital punishment. Among other charges, the prosecutor sought to convict al-Nimr of “waging war on God” and “aiding terrorists,” even calling for the cleric to be publicly executed by “crucifixion.” In Saudi Arabia, this rare method of execution entails beheading the individual before publicly displaying his decapitated body.

The widely revered Shi’ite cleric was ultimately convicted of “disobeying” the king, waging violence against the state, inviting “foreign meddling” in the kingdom, inciting vandalism and sectarian violence, and insulting the Prophet Muhammad’s relatives. However, al-Nimr’s family and supporters claim that the ruling was politically driven and insist that the cleric led a non-violent movement committed to promoting Shi’ite rights, women’s rights, and democratic reform in Saudi Arabia.

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After 13 years, 2 wars and trillions in military spending, terrorist attacks are rising sharply

Surprise! Wonkblog shows the stats on what we all knew anyway: American military intervention only causes more terrorism:

Last year saw the highest number of terrorist incidents since 2000, according to the latest Global Terrorism Index released by the Institute for Economics and Peace. Worldwide, the number of terrorist incidents increased from less than 1,500 in 2000 to nearly 10,000 in 2013. Sixty percent of attacks last year occurred in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Nigeria and Syria.

The report suggests that U.S. foreign policy has played a big role in making the problem worse: “The rise in terrorist activity coincided with the US invasion of Iraq,” it concludes. “This created large power vacuums in the country allowing different factions to surface and become violent.” Indeed, among the five countries accounting for the bulk of attacks, the U.S. has prosecuted lengthy ground wars in two (Iraq and Afghanistan), a drone campaign in one (Pakistan), and airstrikes in a fourth (Syria).

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The Less Americans Know About Geography, The More They Favor Overseas Military Invasions

american eagleToday’s looming evidence that we are living in the Idiocracy, via the Washington Post:

Our results are clear, but also somewhat disconcerting: The less people know about where Ukraine is located on a map, the more they want the U.S. to intervene there militarily. Even controlling for a series of demographic characteristics and participants’ general foreign policy attitudes, we found that the less accurate our participants were, the more they wanted the U.S. to use force [and] the greater the threat they saw Russia as posing.

On March 28-31, 2014, we asked a national sample of 2,066 Americans what action they wanted the U.S. to take in Ukraine, but with a twist: we also asked our survey respondents to locate Ukraine on a map as part of a larger, ongoing project to study foreign policy knowledge. We wanted to see where Americans think Ukraine is and to learn if this knowledge (or lack thereof) is related to their foreign policy views.

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What’s Really Going On: Bahrain vs. Ukraine, Can You Spot the Difference?

PIC: Mstyslav Chernov

PIC: Mstyslav Chernov

via chycho

What amazes me is that sane intelligent people have become hysterical by consuming western mainstream media propaganda designed to divert our attention away from the root cause of what ails our society.

For example, with the Ukrainian crisis shock doctrine tactics are being used to bombard us into a frenzy, the ultimate purpose for which is to distract us from the great game: Zbigniew Brzezinski’s Grand Chessboard (2), our economy’s addiction to indefinite growth, the transfer of wealth from Main Street to Wall Street (2), the resource wars, The Project for the New American Century (PNAC), the geography of energy pipelines, the misconception of American exceptionalism and how it influences our foreign policy specifically on how it relates to the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, the significance of war being a racket (2), and the inverted totalitarian nature of our governments waging war on information (2, 3).

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It’s Not the Economy Stupid, It’s Your Stupid Foreign Policy: How to Get Rid of Our Oligarchs

via chycho

oligarch

Isn’t what’s going on in the Ukraine, this attempt at regime change, which is unfortunately on the verge of turning into a full blown proxy-civil war (2) threatening to bring about the Balkanization of the region, the same game that has been played out in countless other countries for the better part of the last century?

I. 1953 Regime Change in Iran

It was the 1953 CIA instigated coup of the democratically elected government of Iran that really began the regime changing endeavors of the Western superpowers.

The first attempt of a Middle Eastern country to free themselves of Western control of their resources occurred with Iran in 1951 when the democratically elected president, Dr. Mohammed Mosaddeq, nationalizated Iran’s oil industry. Unfortunately, however, Western powers would not stand idly by while Iranians took control of their own resources, which is why in 1953 the CIA, following instructions from Britain, organized a coup against Dr.

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How America Is Militarizing Borders Around The World

borderTomDispatch on the ballooning border-military-industrial complex:

CESFRONT is an outgrowth of a U.S. effort to promote “strong borders” abroad as part of its Global War on Terror. An overlooked manifestation of U.S. imperial policy in the post-9/11 era [is that] militarized borders are becoming ever more common throughout the world, especially in areas of U.S. influence.

In a seminal article “Where’s the U.S. Border?,” Michael Flynn, founder of the Global Detention Project, described the expansion of U.S. “border enforcement” to the planet in the context of the Global War on Terror as essentially a new way of defining national sovereignty. “U.S. border control efforts,” he argued, “have undergone a dramatic metamorphosis in recent years as the United States has attempted to implement practices aimed at stopping migrants long before they reach U.S. shores.”

In this way, borders are, in a sense, being both built up and torn down. Just as with the drones that, from Pakistan to Somalia, the White House sends across national boundaries to execute those it has identified as our enemies, so with border patrolling: definitions of U.S.

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The Six Primary Reasons for Why They Hate Us

via chycho

Why-Do-You-Hate-UsIn response to 9/11, on September 20, 2001, then President George W. Bush delivered a speech in which he deflected and trivialized the reasons for the grievances that many around the globe have regarding U.S. foreign policy. In his address to a joint session of Congress and the nation, in his attempt to answer America’s questions as to “Why do they hate us?”, he stated:

“They hate what they see right here in this chamber: a democratically elected government. Their leaders are self-appointed. They hate our freedoms: our freedom of religion, our freedom of speech, our freedom to vote and assemble and disagree with each other.”

Now that most of us are well aware that the situation is a lot more complicated than they hate us because of “our freedoms”, let’s hear what some of those reasons are.

In the following House Homeland Security Committee meeting held on October 9, 2013, former CIA intelligence officer, Michael F.Read the rest

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On Sovereignty And Double Standards

double standardVia The New Inquiry, Aaron Bady explains that acting arbitrarily is the point:

American foreign policy is full of double standards. But if we observe the hypocrisy of our leaders and are scandalized by it—John Kerry lunching with the Assads, Donald Rumsfeld shaking hands with Saddam Hussein—then we actually misunderstand what “foreign policy” is and is for.

If American foreign policy is anything, it is not even-handed and impartial. It is a state arrogating to itself the right to make arbitrary choices, to make the rules while other countries only follow them. And to prove that distinction the US must not only establish “red lines,” and enforce them, but it is the very arbitrary nature of those red lines which allows them to function as signs on the international stage. Lawlessness is how a state proves itself sovereign; submission to law is the sign of the weak.

“Legality” only obscures the real issue, which is why we are hearing so much talk about it, why so many commentators are pretending it matters.

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Hypocrisy on the Moral High Ground

obomberPlease enjoy Aaron’s full article rather than the small excerpt we previously ran yesterday – thanks Aaron!

Aaron Dames writes about the absurdity of war with Syria.

From Divided Core:

Political language is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind.

-George Orwell

When it comes to making the case for bombing Syria, the US military, government, and mainstream media have taken the moral high ground, where they probably have a house or condo.  In justifying launching a possible attack against Syria, Secretary of State John Kerry accused the Assad regime of crossing a red line and committing a “moral obscenity” by using chemical weapons which have resulted in “the indiscriminate slaughter of civilians, the killing of women and children and innocent bystanders.”  Though the killing of civilians by any means is a sin regardless of how they are killed, if chemical weapons delineate a red line, then it has been crossed before. 

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