Human Rights

FDR’s Legacy of Can-Do Government

President Franklin Roosevelt

Born to a well-to-do family 132 years ago, Franklin Roosevelt would earn the hatred of America’s plutocrats when – as President – he deployed the federal government to battle the Great Depression, an animosity toward FDR that the modern Right continues to this day, writes Beverly Bandler.

Pete Seeger and the Causes of Mankind

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The death of Pete Seeger on Monday brought back waves of memories for millions of people around the world who recalled his friendly tenor voice appealing to the best instincts of mankind, urging an end to war and want, as Michael Winship recalls.

Red-State Blues: Trouble in Oklahoma

Republican political operative Karl Rove.

Exclusive: The Right has locked down political control of a number of states like Oklahoma, making them laboratories for far-right legislation. But some legal experiments are so extreme that they are causing unintended reactions that may hurt the Right’s cause, writes Oklahoman Richard L. Fricker.

An Afghan War for Drones?

A Predator drone firing a missile.

Amid the Afghan government’s growing resistance to an extended U.S. military stay, the Obama administration is trying out a new rationale: the need for a launching pad for drones. But it may be a case of a weapons system causing more trouble than it’s worth, says ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

The Crumbling Lockerbie Case

Ailing Abdelbaset al-Megrahi in September 2011, as he was dying from prostate cancer.

A quarter century ago, the Pan Am 103 bombing over Lockerbie, Scotland, killed 270 people and later was pinned on a Libyan agent. In 2011, Lockerbie was used to justify a U.S.-backed war to oust Libya’s Muammar Gaddafi, but the evidence now suggests the case was a miscarriage of justice, John Ashton writes.

MLK and the Curse of ‘Moderation’

A mug shot photo of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.

When Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. went to jail to focus national attention on the injustice of segregation, he was stung by criticism from Christian clergy who feared upsetting the status quo and urged “moderation,” prompting his historic rejoinder from the Birmingham jail, as Rev. Howard Bess recalls.

Neocons Take Aim at Syrian Peace Talks

Washington Post's editorial page editor Fred Hiatt.

Exclusive: Syrian peace talks have finally begun, but many powerful interests – including U.S. neocons – are determined to see the talks fail. The Washington Post’s neocon editorial page is urging President Obama to give up on “feckless diplomacy” and threaten war, writes Robert Parry.

The Why Behind Egypt’s Coup

Egyptian General Abdul-Fattah el-Sisi as shown on official Egyptian TV.

Egypt’s military coup meshed with the geopolitical interests of Saudi Arabia and Israel, but the toppling of the country’s first democratically elected government was driven by other factors, including the history of a politically powerful military, as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar notes.

The Mountaintops of the 1 Percenters

Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah.

In the final speech of his life, Martin Luther King Jr. talked about reaching the mountaintop and gazing down on a promised land of a brighter future. But today’s mountaintops are often reserved for elites to meet and gaze upon each other, with the teeming masses far from view, as Danny Schechter reflects.

J Street’s Dead End

Vice President Joe Biden addresses a J Street conference in 2013.

The hardline Zionist positions of AIPAC have given rise to a more moderate pro-Israel lobby called J Street, which deviates from some right-wing Israeli policies by favoring negotiations with Iran, for instance. But J Street still makes excuses for Israel’s repression of the Palestinians, write Abba A. Solomon and Norman Solomon.