Human Rights

Dark Days Ahead in Afghan War

When President Obama took office, he retained George W. Bush’s military high command and then let himself be trapped into an expanded counterinsurgency war in Afghanistan. But the strategy isn’t working and the current prospect is for an eventual Taliban resurgence, writes ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

Buying Off the ‘Terrorist’ List

The label “terrorist” has been bent to political use so often the word has lost any semblance of objective meaning. American politicians and pundits like to hurl it against perceived enemies, but now it appears a group can escape the opprobrium with enough high-priced lobbying, Danny Schechter writes.

Jesus: Redistributionist-in-Chief

From the Archive: Christian conservatives are cheering Mitt Romney’s attack on a 14-year-old comment by Barack Obama endorsing a limited “redistribution” of wealth, but they ignore that Jesus called for a far more radical wealth redistribution – and it may have led to his crucifixion, as Rev. Howard Bess wrote in 2011.

Cuba’s Post-Castro Future

Exclusive: With Fidel Castro now 86 and his brother Raul at 81, big changes appear inevitable in Cuba over the next few years. Cuban-Americans are ramping up investment plans, assuming the U.S. government will finally lift the embargo. But the future may not be all that’s expected, reports Don Ediger.

Romney’s Cluelessness on Palestine

Mitt Romney’s casual dismissal of Israeli-Palestinian peace as simply something to “kick … down the field” was perhaps meant to sound tough, even coolly cynical, but actually revealed a stunning naiveté and ignorance, says ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

The Delusional Mr. Romney

Exclusive: Mitt Romney told supporters behind closed doors that he’s disadvantaged because he was born to a rich white family, that he’d have a better chance to win if his dad were a Mexican. It’s getting hard to decide if Romney is simply a country-club racist or delusional, writes Robert Parry.

Did Anti-Muslim Film Cross Legal Line?

The makers of an anti-Islamic propaganda video achieved what they apparently intended, inciting a violent reaction among Muslim and creating new tensions between Islam and the West. But the killing of four U.S. diplomatic personnel raises questions about whether legal lines were crossed, maintains Lawrence Davidson.

What Jesus Meant about Love

Popular psychology, in discussing self-love, sometimes references Jesus’s edict to “love your neighbor as yourself,” noting that you can’t love others unless you love yourself. But Rev. Howard Bess sees that logic as missing what Jesus meant when he talked about love.

Why the Mideast Exploded, Really

Exclusive: The new conventional wisdom, in the wake of angry protests roiling the Middle East, is that Muslims are either way too sensitive or irrational. How else to explain the fury over an offensive anti-Islam video? But the video was just the spark that ignited a long-smoldering fire, says ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern.

Over-Simplifying Mideast Turmoil

Simplistic journalism, especially about misunderstood parts of the world and complex conflicts, can do grave harm by reinforcing biases or deepening anger. The U.S. news media has demonstrated this point with its coverage of the current Middle East unrest, writes Erin Niemela.