Human Rights

Obama Takes Lead on Climate Change

pollution

Though the future of the planet is at stake, President Obama’s latest moves to reduce carbon pollution are drawing the predictable denunciations from right-wing talkers and from politicians afraid of offending the coal lobby, as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar explains.

The Real Villains of the Bergdahl Tale

President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney receive an Oval Office briefing from CIA Director George Tenet. Also present is Chief of Staff Andy Card (on right). (White House photo)

Exclusive: The right-wing media is denouncing Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl as a “deserter” who wasn’t worth ransoming from the Taliban, but the real villains are the architects of the disastrous Iraq and Afghan wars who frivolously put the many Bergdahls in harm’s way, writes ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern.

Piketty’s Exploration of Modern Capital

Thomas Piketty's "Capital in the Twenty-first Century."

Exclusive: Despite some predictable griping from the Right, Thomas Piketty’s Capital in the 21st Century has reinforced the case that Western societies – and especially America – are concentrating wealth at the very top and shortchanging almost everyone else, as Jim DiEugenio writes.

Money and Second-Class Citizenship

Mr. Moneybags from the "Monopoly" game

As America divides more and more into a class-stratified society, the idea of “gated communities” has spread into other areas of separation in which the rich get special benefits, the middle class is treated shabbily and lower-income people face outright disdain, Lawrence Davidson reports.

The World Still Splurges on War

Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi

Amid continued splurging on war – with the U.S. government still far-and-away the world’s leader – there are a few hopeful signs as common citizens learn from the likes of Gandhi and become more suspicious of advocates for violent conflict, writes Lawrence S. Wittner.

‘War on Terror’ and the Bergdahl Swap

U.S. Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl, who was freed from Taliban captivity in a swap for five former Taliban leaders.

After the 9/11 attacks, narrow “counterterrorism” operations gave way to the blunderbuss “war on terror,” opening the way to more traditional practices of war including prisoner exchanges, like the one for Sgt. Bergdahl, as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar writes.

Colombia’s Choice: Peace or War

Colombia's President Juan Manuel Santos.

Exclusive: Colombia’s future may be decided by the June 15 runoff election between a far-right candidate who favors a renewal of counterinsurgency war and the incumbent president who has staked his political career on a negotiated outcome, as Andrés Cala explains.

The Money Behind the Gun Madness

Wayne LaPierre, executive vice president of the National Rifle Association.

Since the American Right succeeded in reframing the Framers’ “well-regulated militia” context for the Second Amendment, gun madness – punctuated by frequent mass slaughters – has become the U.S. nightmare. But the real motivation is money, says Michael Winship.

Obama’s Collapsing Syria Policy

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in front of a poster of his father, Hafez al-Assad.

Syria has long been on the neocons’ “regime change” list, so they eagerly supported a violent insurgency to topple the Assad regime even as it veered into extremism. Now, that policy is collapsing but President Obama won’t admit the failure, write Flynt and Hillary Mann Leverett.

Covert US Military Training Goes to Africa

As an example of a U.S.-trained military officer gone bad, Gen. Manuel Noriega is escorted onto a U.S. Air Force aircraft by agents from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency after his arrest on Jan. 1, 1990. (U.S. military photo)

New U.S. plans for training security forces in four African countries recall similar programs around the world, which often ended in the hand-picked trainees slaughtering civilians or staging military coups, as ex-State Department official William R. Polk recalls.