Human Rights

Charting a New Course on Terrorism

President Obama offered a comprehensive review of U.S. counterterrorism policies since 9/11, while vowing to ratchet down the violence and acknowledging harm done to America’s principles and image. Still, many details of his plans remain fuzzy and follow-through far from certain, says ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

Obama Distorts ‘Just War’ Principles

In assessing the consequences of the decade-plus “war on terror,” President Obama sought to place his continued — albeit more targeted — use of violence within the context of just-war principles, stressing self-defense and proportionality, a point that religious ethicist Daniel C. Maguire disputes.

Israel’s Hand in Guatemala’s Genocide

Exclusive: The Guatemalan genocide of the 1980s does not just implicate President Ronald Reagan and his senior aides but the Israeli government which secretly supplied helicopters, guns and computers that were used to hunt down and exterminate Ixil Indians and other perceived enemies of the state, reports Robert Parry.

Syrian Rebels Balk at Peace Talks

Russia and the Obama administration have made some moves toward seeking a peace settlement in Syria, even as Russia bolsters its support for Bashar al-Assad’s embattled regime. But an obstacle has emerged as the deeply divided Syrian rebels balk at meeting with Assad’s representatives, ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar notes.

Help Us Build Investigative ‘War Chest’

From Editor Robert Parry: I often hear the complaint that Consortiumnews is not devoting enough attention to some story of particular importance to that reader. And I must admit the criticism is often valid, but the explanation is mostly our lack of resources, not our lack of interest.

Stuck in a Job at the End of the World

Very little sympathy is felt for Air Force personnel assigned to fire nuclear missiles that could end all life on the planet. But their grim, boring and existentially absurd job has eroded staff morale so much that their collapsing competence has added to the world’s risk, explains John LaForge.

The Jackie Robinson Republicans

That Jackie Robinson and Branch Rickey were Republicans when they shattered baseball’s color barrier in 1947 is only surprising if you consider the changed GOP – after its Southern Strategy and unsubtle appeals to racism, leading to demonizing the first black president. But there was this other principled GOP, says Independent Institute’s Jonathan Bean.

Justice at a Guatemalan Crossroads

The genocide conviction of Guatemala’s ex-dictator Efrain Rios Montt has put respect for human rights at a crossroads, with one option to reverse the judgment and another to expand the investigation to Rios Montt’s accomplices in Guatemala and the U.S., journalist Allan Nairn tells Dennis J. Bernstein.

Racism and the American Right

Exclusive: From the start of the Republic to today’s Republican ranting against Barack Obama, racism has been a central element of the American Right. But this ugly feature of U.S. history has often come concealed behind words praising traditions, liberty and states’ rights, Robert Parry reports.

Reagan and Argentina’s Dirty War

Exclusive: The 87-year-old ex-Argentine dictator Jorge Videla died Friday in prison where he was serving sentences for grotesque human rights crimes in the 1970s and 1980s. But one of Videla’s key backers, the late President Ronald Reagan, continues to be honored by Americans, writes Robert Parry.