Over the years, the U.S. “terrorism list” has become less an objective assessment of groups that use violence against civilians than an ideological battlefield littered with blatant hypocrisies and outdated hatreds. The list has even complicated strategies for reducing political violence, writes ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.
Even as Nobel Peace Prize winner Desmond Tutu urges a war-crimes trial for George Bush and Tony Blair for invading Iraq, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder gives an all-clear to Bush’s subordinates for homicides that resulted from torture in Afghanistan and Iraq, a repudiation of U.S. law and principles, says Marjorie Cohn.
From the Archive: The death of Rev. Sun Myung Moon at 92 ends the long personal saga of a Korean theocrat whose life intertwined his bizarre religion with threads into organized crime and right-wing politics. Moon also showed how a fortune spent on media could change Washington’s political dynamic, as Robert Parry wrote in 2010.
The challenge of poetry in a time of professional euphemism is to reconnect words to reality, a nearly subversive concept in an age when rich investors and bottom-line executives have been transformed into “job-creators.” Martin Espada is one poet who has taken on the task, as Dennis J. Bernstein explains.
Scandal-stained Republican activist Ralph Reed is back in the GOP’s good graces with a new “grassroots” operation organizing right-wing Christians. Also back on the Republican agenda is protection for an old Reed cause, maintaining sweatshops in the Marianas, note Bill Moyers and Michael Winship.
The pledges of the Boy Scouts of America to follow the nation’s laws and to befriend those who are different are increasingly at odds with the club’s continued rejection of gays and people who don’t believe in God, discriminatory policies that former Eagle Scout John LaForge protests.
The U.S. press readily accepts the narrative that non-nuclear Iran is threatening to wipe out nuclear-armed Israel, though Israel repeatedly vows to attack Iran if it even approaches a nuclear-weapons “capability.” The latest furor is over some harsh Iranian rhetoric, notes Nima Shirazi at WideAsleepinAmerica.
From the Archive: An Israeli court has ruled that Rachel Corrie “put herself in danger” and thus Israel bears no blame for the 23-year-old American being crushed by an Israeli bulldozer as it leveled Palestinian homes in Gaza in 2003. Last March, the ninth anniversary of her death, her parents recalled her sacrifice.
The latest selling point for American warfare is “smart power” humanitarianism, dispatching the U.S. military to eliminate foreign leaders designated by pundits as evildoers taking lives and resisting freedom. Ex-FBI agent Coleen Rowley warns against this latest con.
The U.S. press corps has been solicitous toward Mitt Romney’s work at Bain Capital with “fact-checkers” even insisting that Romney isn’t accountable for its actions while he was still the CEO. But almost completely out of the frame is how Romney raised the original money from right-wing Salvadorans, writes William Boardman.