Human Rights

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.

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.