Human Rights

Obama’s Options on Iraq

Coffins of dead U.S. soldiers arriving at Dover Air Force Base in Delaware in 2006. (U.S. government photo)

Instead of sending U.S. troops back to Iraq to fight a resurgent Sunni jihadist insurgency, the Obama administration should put the squeeze on Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states to stop pouring billions of dollars into these radical groups, says Adil E. Shamoo.

The Cost of Iraq War Immunity

President George W. Bush pauses for applause during his State of the Union Address on Jan. 28, 2003, when he made a fraudulent case for invading Iraq. Seated behind him are Vice President Dick Cheney and House Speaker Dennis Hastert. (White House photo)

If Official Washington were not the corrupt and dangerous place that it is, the architects and apologists for the Iraq War would have faced stern accountability. Instead, they are still around – holding down influential jobs, making excuses and guiding the world into more wars, as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar notes.

Thomas Jefferson: America’s Founding Sociopath

Thomas Jefferson, the principal author of the Declaration of Independence and the third president of the United States.(in a 1788 portrait by John Trumbull, credit: Thomas Jefferson Foundation)

Special Report: For many Americans, Thomas Jefferson is the beloved author of the Declaration of Independence so they broach no criticism of him. But the real Jefferson may have been America’s founding sociopath, a man of racist self-interest and endless hypocrisies, writes Robert Parry.

The Restoration of Plundered Rights

Ex-slave and abolitionist leader Frederick Douglass in 1856.

There is cognitive dissonance in the way Americans view their Declaration of Independence of 1776, with pride over its assertion of fundamental human rights but in denial about the hypocrisy of Thomas Jefferson and other Founders who owned and abused their slaves, as Danny Schechter reflects.

Itching for a Genocide

Screen shot of the fire in Odessa, Ukraine, on May 2, 2014. (From RT video)

Exclusive: A meeting of French, German, Russian and Ukrainian foreign ministers sought a new ceasefire in Ukraine, but the U.S. State Department and the mainstream U.S. media seem eager for more bloodshed, an unseemly rush into a war that could become genocide, writes Robert Parry.

The Risk of a Ukraine Bloodbath

Russian President Vladimir Putin during a state visit to Austria on June 24, 2014. (Official Russian government photo)

Exclusive: Pressured by neocons and the mainstream U.S. media, the Obama administration is charting a dangerous course by seeking a military solution to Ukraine’s political crisis and possibly provoking Moscow to intervene to protect ethnic Russians, ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern warns.

A Band-Aid Approach to Fixing the V.A.

President Obama signs the prosthetic arm of Marine Sgt. Carlos Evans during a tour of the White House for wounded veterans on March 6, 2012. (White House photo by Pete Souza)

Despite promises from the Bush-43 administration that the Iraq War would pay for itself, the price tag keeps soaring with the predictable impact on V.A. hospitals struggling to care for wounded warriors. But the political solution has been to make a change at the top, as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar notes.

Does Cell-Phone Case Imperil NSA Spying?

U.S. Supreme Court

Though the Republican-controlled U.S. Supreme Court often splits 5-4 on partisan and ideological issues, a consensus is emerging against the government’s electronic intrusion on personal privacy, which could portend trouble for NSA spying, says Marjorie Cohn.

Understanding Islamic Fundamentalism

Sayyid Qutb, a philosopher of Islamic Fundamentalism.

Islamic Fundamentalism frightens the West and that fear has motivated a fierce retaliation deploying more weapons and inflicting more slaughter. But in not understanding what drives the jihadists the military strategies may be making matters worse, observes ex-U.S. diplomat William R. Polk.

Iraqi Chaos May Give Kurds a State

French diplomat Francois George-Picot, who along with British colonial officer Mark Sykes drew lines across a Middle East map of the Ottoman Empire after World War I, carving out states with boundaries that are nearly the same as they are today.

Millions of Kurds live in Iran, Iraq, Turkey and Syria but the British-French imperial division of the region left them without a state of their own, adding to the region’s tensions. But some Kurds see the current chaos in Iraq as a pathway to nationhood, as scholar Edmund Ghareeb told Dennis J Bernstein.