Human Rights

The Weapons of the Poor

Jesus delivering his Sermon on the Mount as depicted in a painting by Nineteenth Century artist Carl Heinrich Bloch.

Many on the American Right define themselves as Christians and angrily defend the religion’s symbols and myths, but this Christian Right ignores a core reality about Jesus, that he spoke to and for the poor, decried the rich, and demanded social justice for all, as Rev. Howard Bess recounts.

America’s War-Weary Public

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

A new wave of neocon opinion is pounding President Obama for failing to keep troops in Iraq and resisting wars in Syria and Iran – claiming U.S. prestige and power are in decline – but these bellicose appeals are, for once, getting little traction with a war-weary public, as Lawrence S. Wittner observes.

US Foreign Policy — If Obama Had Lost

President Barack Obama talks with President Hassan Rouhani of Iran during a phone call in the Oval Office, Sept. 27, 2013. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Some progressives see little difference between the foreign policies of a President Obama and a President McCain or Romney or Hillary Clinton. But those shades of gray can mean invading Syria or bombing Iran or continuing the occupation of Iraq – or not, as Adil E. Shamoo notes.

Colombia’s Battered Rebels Seek Peace

Colombia's President Juan Manuel Santos.

Exclusive: The U.S. government’s use of targeted killings on al-Qaeda-linked “terrorists” has stirred legal and moral objections. But what about using drones to assassinate Latin American peasants fighting a corrupt oligarchy? That issue has emerged in Colombia’s long guerrilla war, Andrés Cala writes.

The War on Poverty at 50

President Lyndon Johnson

The Right has long cited President Johnson’s War on Poverty as proof that “guv-mint” has no place in providing for “the general Welfare,” that the “free market” must rule as the master of American society. But there are real lessons to be learned from the past half century, writes Alice O’Connor.

Israel’s Elusive Search for Security

President Obama speaks with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu outside the White House on May 20, 2011 (White House photo by Pete Souza)

Israel has made its security the sin qua non of negotiations with the Palestinians, including insistence on military control of the Jordan River valley. But these escalating demands ignore questions of Palestinian security and the greater risk to Israel – from worldwide opprobrium, says ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

Israel’s Ethical Challenges

Secretary of State John Kerry and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. (State Department photo)

A bitter irony of modern Israel is that the Jewish people have historically been at the forefront of tolerance, reason and egalitarianism but now have leaders who demand a Jewish religious state accompanied by the repression of Palestinian Muslims, a dilemma addressed by Winslow Myers.

Forgetting Why Al-Qaeda Spread

President George W. Bush announcing the start of his invasion of Iraq on March 19, 2003.

Exclusive: Al-Qaeda extremism is resurgent across the Middle East with its affiliates seizing territory in western Iraq and in neighboring Syria. But the neocons are whitewashing their role in spreading this extremism via George W. Bush’s 2003 invasion of Iraq, reports Robert Parry.

Bush’s Anti-American Legacy

President George W. Bush in a flight suit after landing on the USS Abraham Lincoln to give his "Mission Accomplished" speech about the Iraq War.

As Iraq becomes a hotbed for al-Qaeda terrorism, President George W. Bush’s legacy grows even dimmer. But one could argue that he did succeed in stirring democratic impulses in the region, albeit mostly of an anti-American variety, as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar describes.

Egypt Heads from Bad to Worse

Egypt's ousted President Mohamed Morsi.

The Obama administration has grown more tolerant of the Egyptian military coup that ousted elected President Morsi and is now cracking down on his Muslim Brotherhood, repression favored by the Saudi-Israeli alliance, as Lawrence Davidson explains.