Human Rights

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.

The Lost Legacy of Otis Pike

Rep. Otis Pike, D-New York.

Former Rep. Otis Pike died Monday at the age of 92, stirring recollections of his courageous efforts in the 1970s to expose abuses committed by the CIA, a struggle that ultimately bogged down as defenders of state secrecy proved too strong, as ex-CIA analyst Melvin A. Goodman writes.

Human Rights Watch’s Syria Dilemma

The cover photo of the Human Rights Watch's annual report.

Exclusive: Human Rights Watch, which has pushed for a U.S. military intervention in Syria, continues to blame the Assad government for the Aug. 21 Sarin attack even though the group’s high-profile map supposedly proving the case has been debunked, reports Robert Parry.

Big-Power Foot-Dragging on Nukes

A nuclear test detonation carried out in Nevada on April 18, 1953.

Most recent talk about nukes has focused on Iran, which doesn’t have one — and is accepting new constraints to show it won’t build one. But there’s been a long-delayed debate on a 44-year-old commitment by existing nuclear states to get rid of theirs, as Lawrence S. Wittner reports.

The Mistaken Guns of Last August

The controversial map developed by Human Rights Watch and embraced by the New York Times, supposedly showing the flight paths of two missiles from the Aug. 21 Sarin attack intersecting at a Syrian military base.

Exclusive: After hundreds of Syrians died from Sarin gas last summer, Secretary of State Kerry insisted the U.S. had solid intelligence on the locations of the Syrian government’s launch sites used in the attack, thus justifying a U.S. military retaliation which was only narrowly averted. Now, those U.S. government’s claims have collapsed, writes Robert Parry.

The Battle over Dr. King’s Message

Martin Luther King Jr.

Martin Luther King Day is a rare moment in American life when people reflect – even if only briefly – on the ideals that guided Dr. King’s life and led to his death. Thus, the struggle over King’s message can be intense, pitting a bland conventional view against a more radical call for profound change,…

MLK’s Warning of America’s Spiritual Death

Martin Luther King Jr. memorial in Washington, DC.

At the dawn of the last year of his life, Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. broke with many political allies by warning that the Vietnam War and the militarism that surrounded it were inflicting a “spiritual death” on America, an impassioned speech that cast King outside mainstream opinion circles which considered his advice naïve if…

The Injustice of US Justice

Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. in 1964, a powerful example of how dissenters have addressed injustice in America and given meaning to democracy.

Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. saw the injustices in American society and sought to correct them. He succeeded in many ways as laws were changed to eradicate overt segregation, but other problems proved more intractable as witnessed in the criminal justice system, as Laura Finley notes.