Human Rights

How Boycotts Can Help Israel

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (center at a cabinet meeting).

When South Africa was ruled by white supremacists and faced boycotts, Pretoria’s defense was that many black-ruled African states were worse and apartheid shouldn’t be singled out. Now, Israel is advancing a similar argument, as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar notes.

Unjust Aftermath: Post-Noriega Panama

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)

Special Report: Twenty-four years ago, the United States invaded Panama to capture Gen. Manuel Noriega on drug charges. Operation Just Cause promised the country a new day free of dictatorship and drug-tainted corruption, but it didn’t work out that way, as Jonathan Marshall describes.

Behind Colin Powell’s Legend: Panama War

U.S. Army Rangers assault La Comandancia, headquarters of the Panamanian Defense Force, in the El Chorrillo neighborhood of Panama City during the invasion of Panama,  December 1989. (U.S. military photo)

From the Archive: Though largely forgotten, the brief U.S. invasion of Panama in 1989 established key precedents that would reappear in later conflicts – from the Persian Gulf and Kosovo to Afghanistan and Iraq – policies shaped, in part, by Gen. Colin Powell, as Robert Parry and Norman Solomon wrote in 1996.

Playing Deadly Games with ‘Gun Rights’

Noah Pozner, 6, one of 20 children murdered on Dec. 14, 2012, at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.

Pro-gun extremists routinely edit out of the Second Amendment its stated purpose of having “a well-regulated militia” maintain state “security.” The tampering lets them pretend the Founders would be okay with slaughters like the Newtown massacre, as Bill Moyers and Michael Winship reflect.

Wisdom in Restraint on Syria

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

The neocons are still beating the drums for U.S. military intervention in Syria, now supposedly for humanitarian reasons. But – as horrific as the Syrian violence is – it’s clear that President Obama’s restraint last summer averted making the mess even worse, says ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

What Mandela Did and Didn’t Do

President Obama Speaks at a Memorial Service for Nelson Mandela on Dec. 10, 2013. (White House photo)

While an inspiring tale of resilience and reconciliation, Nelson Mandela’s saga also marked a failure of black South Africans to transform their hard-won political power into economic equality, as domestic and foreign whites retained the reins of money, as Danny Schechter writes.

The Real Existential Threat

The mushroom cloud from the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima, Japan, on Aug. 6, 1945.

Most people on Earth – everyone born after World War II – have lived their entire lives under the threat of nuclear annihilation. But just because an existential threat has always been there doesn’t mean it won’t be activated, as Ira Helfand and Robert F. Dodge reflect.

The 2nd Amendment and Killing Kids

President James Madison, a principal author of the Bill of Rights..

From the Archive: The comedy team Key and Peele cut through the Right’s Second Amendment madness best in a bit in which Peele travels back in time with Uzis to confront its authors over their careless wording. But there is nothing funny about piles of dead kids, victims of bad history, as Robert Parry wrote…

The NRA’s War on America

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

From the Archive: One year ago, 20 first-graders went off to school in Newtown, Connecticut, some surely thinking about the upcoming Christmas holidays. But they never came home, becoming – along with six of their educators – collateral damage in the NRA’s big-dollar war to boost gun sales, as Beverly Bandler noted last March.

Israel and the Bedouins

Thomas Edward Lawrence, better known as Lawrence of Arabia, a British intelligence officer who recruited Bedouin tribesmen during World War I.

Israel’s Right suddenly finds itself in a strange new world where it can’t do whatever it wants to Arabs under its control without encountering international resistance, like the recent plan to forcibly relocate Bedouins in the Negev, as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar notes.