Human Rights

Russia’s Countermove in Iran

Iran's President Hassan Rouhani talks by telephone with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Nov. 18, 2013, discussing developments in the talks between Tehran and the world powers as well as ways to end the bloodshed in Syria. (Iranian government photo)

Neocons hoped the Ukraine-Crimea crisis, which they encouraged, would drive a spike into the Obama-Putin collaboration and restore neocon dreams of a U.S. military attack on Iran. But the scheme could instead push Russia and Iran closer together, as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar explains.

Debating Secrecy vs. a Free Press

New York Times national security reporter James Risen.

The U.S. government’s campaign against “leakers” has pushed together some odd media bedfellows, with representatives of the mainstream news media joining with more active players who help disseminate government secrets in a conference on the dangers now facing a free press, as Danny Schechter observed.

The War Activists

Neoconservative pundit William Kristol. (Photo credit: Gage Skidmore)

Having evaded accountability for the Iraq War and other bloody disasters, star neocons – William Kristol and Robert Kagan – have refashioned their pro-war arguments, dressing them up in humanitarian garb, with glamorous accessories of national greatness, as David Swanson explains.

Crimea and Punishment

President Vladimir Putin of Russia welcomes President Barack Obama to the G20 Summit at Konstantinovsky Palace in Saint Petersburg, Russia, Sept. 5, 2013. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

U.S. politicians and pundits want the American people to get so upset about Crimea’s decision to split with Ukraine and rejoin Russia that they will support more U.S. military spending and more U.S. interventions around the world, a tragic misreading of the reality, writes Lorraine Barlett.

WPost’s Anti-Putin ‘Group Think’

Washington Post editorial writer Charles Lane appearing on Fox News.

Exclusive: In a stunning display of “group think,” virtually the entire Washington Post editorial section was devoted to denunciations of Russian President Putin, especially his “crazy” belief that the U.S. government often ignores international law and applies “the rule of the gun,” reports Robert Parry.

US ‘Exceptionalism’ Boomerangs

Russian President Vladimir Putin delivering a speech on the Ukraine crisis in Moscow on March 18, 2014. (Russian government photo)

Official Washington thinks “American exceptionalism” means the U.S. government can ignore international law when intervening in other countries. But that hypocrisy is now coming back to bite the U.S. with Russia’s annexation of Crimea, as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar explains.

Neocons’ Ukraine-Syria-Iran Gambit

Sen. John McCain appearing with Ukrainian rightists at a rally in Kiev.

Exclusive: The Ukraine crisis – in part stirred up by U.S. neocons – has damaged prospects for peace not only on Russia’s borders but in two Middle East hotspots, Syria and Iran, which may have been exactly the point, reports Robert Parry.

Why UK’s Tony Benn Didn’t Bend

Tony Benn, a Labour politician in the UK.

Since the Thatcher/Reagan era, “liberals” like Tony Blair and Bill Clinton have scurried toward “safer” political terrain, whether that meant endorsing aggressive wars or embracing deregulation. But some progressives, like UK’s Tony Benn, refused to bend, as Michael Winship recalls.

Europe’s Not So Shiny ‘Recovery’

Spain's Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy. (Screen shot from BBC)

Exclusive: The mainstream U.S. press explains the overwhelming Crimean vote to leave Ukraine as vote-rigging or coercion, but the reality is that “European aspirations” are not so attractive to people aware of the painful life for many in the EU’s “periphery,” from Spain to Greece, as Andrés Cala reports.

Letting Egypt Abuse Code Pink Leader

Code Pink leader Medea Benjamin.

The U.S. State Department, which – in just the past year – has made excuses for violent coups toppling democratically elected leaders in Egypt and Ukraine, showed more disdain for democracy by tolerating Egypt’s mistreatment of U.S. peace activist Medea Benjamin, writes Lawrence Davidson.