Human Rights

One ‘Silent Night’ in the Trenches

Trench warfare during World War I.

Dehumanizing the enemy is a key part of modern warfare, bolstered by the modern art of propaganda, often with the blessing of religious leaders. That was why the Christmas Truce of 1914 was so seditious, as Gary G. Kohls explains.

The World Unites Behind Mandela

Nelson Mandela as a young African tribal leader.

President Obama’s speech at Nelson Mandela’s memorial service got the most attention, but the worldwide praise for the revolutionary leader who fought South Africa’s white supremacy was more significant, says Danny Schechter.

UN Investigator Undercuts NYT on Syria

Swedish scientist Ake Sellstrom, chief of the United Nations mission to inspect chemical weapons use in Syria, stands next to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon chemical weapons investiaSecretary-General speaks to correspondents before his meeting with Ǻke Sellström

Exclusive: Amid last summer’s rush to judgment on the Aug. 21 Sarin attack in Syria, the New York Times joined the stampede blaming the Assad regime by pushing a “vector analysis” showing where the rockets supposedly were launched, but now that certainty has collapsed, reports Robert Parry.

A History of False Fear

Sen. Joseph McCarthy, R-Wisconsin, who led the "Red Scare" hearings of the 1950s.

It’s always hard to get someone to speak honestly when his or her livelihood depends on not telling the truth. With the military-industrial-surveillance complex, that reality is multiplied by the billions of dollars and the many careers at stake, Joe Lauria writes.

Truman’s True Warning on the CIA

President Harry S. Truman.

Exclusive: National security secrecy and a benighted sense of “what’s good for the country” can be a dangerous mix for democracy, empowering self-interested or misguided officials to supplant the people’s will, as President Truman warned and ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern explains.

Mandela, MLK and Jesus

Nelson Mandela.

The death of Nelson Mandela offers Christians a chance to reflect on the great protest leader at the center of their religion, the historical Jesus, with his anger at ostentatious wealth and his disdain for social inequality, as Rev. Howard Bess reflects.

Snowden’s Leaks Doom NSA’s Snooping

President Barack Obama talks about the National Security Agency's surveillance policies at a press conference on Dec. 20, 2013. (Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson)

After long claiming to welcome a robust debate on NSA surveillance, President Obama found the debate more robust – and more substantive – than he expected, especially after the leaks by Edward Snowden, as Danny Schechter explains.

NYT Replays Its Iraq Fiasco in Syria

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: Much like the Iraq WMD fiasco in 2002-03, the New York Times has taken sides in the conflict in Syria and is ignoring evidence that undercuts its indictment of the Assad regime as the guilty party in the Aug. 21 Sarin attack outside Damascus, reports Robert Parry.

Lost in an Anthropocene Wonderland

NASA graphic showing the disappearing ice from the Muir Glacier in Alaska between 1941 and 2004.

The Anthropocene Epoch – dating from when human activity began to have a significant impact on the global ecosystem – is crashing toward a disastrous end amid melting icecaps, rising sea levels and dying species, but the human race can’t stop its rush to ecocide, as poet Phil Rockstroh observes.

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.