Human Rights

America’s Early Wars of Empire

America’s founding myths are often wielded like clubs to batter political rivals, especially today by well-funded Libertarians. One such myth treats the Founders as “free market” ideologues, while another portrays them as militarily non-aggressive and anti-imperialist, a pleasing but false narrative, says historian Jada Thacker.

Hunger Strike Wins Concessions

Israel has subjected thousands of Palestinians to detention without trial, a tactic that finally provoked a hunger strike and at least modest concessions from Israeli authorities regarding prison conditions, as described by ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

How Crucial Is Media?

Perhaps the Right’s biggest advantage in U.S. politics is its advanced media infrastructure – built over several decades and designed to reach the entire country on a variety of levels – especially when it’s compared to the Left’s general neglect of a messaging system, an imbalance that Danny Schechter addresses.

Contemplating the Abyss

The urgent question facing the planet is whether today’s late-capitalist era, possessed of unbridled greed at the top, can be turned to meet the needs of the world’s people or will hurtle onward to a global abyss, disrupting age-old patterns of life and bringing mass destruction, a crisis pondered by Phil Rockstroh.

Death of a Two-State Solution

Israeli hardliners continue to block the compromises for a two-state solution with the Palestinians, while Jewish settlements keep expanding into land that would be part of a possible deal. Thus, the prospect for a meaningful two-state solution is dying, with dire consequences for both Arabs and Jews, writes Lawrence Davidson.

Misdefined ‘Terrorism’ Hurts US POW

By definition, “terrorism” applies to attacks on civilians for political ends. But the U.S. government has revised the term to cover any attack on Americans, including soldiers fighting anywhere in the world, a misuse of the concept that is hampering a deal to free a U.S. POW, writes ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

Mitt Romney, the Bully

As a privileged preppy, Mitt Romney enjoyed humiliating suspected gays and other vulnerable people. But his bullying didn’t stop when he grew older. Instead, he applied similar tactics to make a fortune as a corporate raider, writes Marjorie Cohn.

Reflecting on Mother’s Day and War

The original idea of Mother’s Day was to promote peace so mothers would not have to suffer the grief that many American moms faced after the slaughter of the Civil War. But some of today’s most powerful women, including moms, are war advocates, writes ex-FBI agent Coleen Rowley.

Honoring a ‘Terror War’ Architect

Exclusive: In this season of graduations – and the rush to bestow honorary degrees on the “great and powerful” – one ironic moment will play out at Fordham University, where Jesuits are giving top billing among its honorees to White House counterterrorism chief John Brennan, notes Fordham grad (and ex-CIA analyst) Ray McGovern.

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.