Human Rights

Democracy Fights Austerity

Much of Europe has swallowed the bitter medicine of austerity on orders from conservative economic theorists, only to find that the supposed cure has made matters worse. Now, elections in France and Greece indicate that Europeans want a new approach that stimulates growth, ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar notes.

How US Hubris Baited Afghan Trap

Exclusive: Despite what Official Washington thinks it knows, the real error on Afghan policy after the Soviets left in 1989 was not the abrupt cutoff of U.S. aid but nearly the opposite, continued CIA support for the Islamist mujahedeen and rejection of peace overtures from Moscow, writes Robert Parry.

The Rebirth of May Day’s Message

Since the rise of Ronald Reagan in the 1980s, America’s rich have been on a roll, with their tax rates slashed by more than half and a concentration of both wealth and power at the top, a restoration of an earlier time of inequality and exploitation, as Lawrence S. Wittner recalls.

Not Explaining the Why of Terrorism

Exclusive: President Obama signed a U.S.-Afghan strategic agreement on May 1, committing U.S. combat forces to withdraw by the end of 2014 while leaving behind U.S. counter-terrorism teams for another decade. But Obama and his aides still duck a full debate over the causes of terrorism, writes ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern.

Rejecting War-Crime Rationales

Since the Fourth Century A.D., Christian churches have sanctified nationalism and wars rather than insist on the non-violent teachings of Jesus, leaving many misguided Christians to explain later why they became implicated in war crimes, a predicament that Gary G. Kohls says is repeating again in modern America.

Some Israelis Resist Netanyahu

Exclusive: In the past week, several senior Israelis have criticized the extremism of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu toward Iran and the Palestinians, but his American supporters continue to escalate their denunciations of anyone who won’t march in lockstep, as Robert Parry reports.

Slandering Critics of Israel

Even as some ex-officials in Israel question the “messianic” behavior of Prime Minister Netanyahu, his hard-line American supporters are escalating a propaganda war against U.S. academics who challenge Israel’s abuse of Palestinians. One ugly smear appeared on the New York Times’ editorial page, writes Lawrence Davidson.

About the bin Laden Anniversary

This week, there will be plenty of retrospectives on the U.S. Special Forces raid into Pakistan a year ago to kill al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden. But the focus on that one attack and one  man may obscure the larger threat from the brand of terrorism that bin Laden represented, says ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

The ‘Drone War’ Expands

Military technology continues to spill over into domestic law enforcement as unmanned drones – used to hunt down and kill suspected “militants” abroad – are now touted as the latest tool for monitoring Americans, a development that has drawn scant attention, writes Danny Schechter.

Confronting the Big Empty

As the richest one percent consolidates its wealth and power, the 99 percent are fed junk food for the mind and the body, explaining the overwhelming sense of emptiness even amid the obesity of physical and mental over-consumption, a wrenching human dilemma that ultimately must be confronted, writes Phil Rockstroh.