Human Rights

Mali and the Lure of Intervention

Partly as a spillover from the U.S.-backed ouster of Libya’s Muammar Gaddafi, armed Islamists have asserted control of sparsely populated northern Mali, causing France to dispatch soldiers to the region. But does this new conflict affect U.S. interests, asks ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

Breaking Down Anti-Gay Dogma

Evangelicals remain one of the principal obstacles to the full acceptance of gay Americans as people deserving equal rights and equal respect. But even in those religious circles, pressure from more tolerant Evangelicals – especially the young – is breaking down the barriers, Rev. Howard Bess writes.

The Depressing ‘Zero Dark Thirty’

Exclusive: Director Kathryn Bigelow – in both Zero Dark Thirty and The Hurt Locker – presents stories of heroic Americans operating in a world of either apathetic or crazy Muslims, with little explanation of the whys behind the conflicts. This lack of context makes her films vacuous and depressing, writes Robert Parry.

Hit Movies Miss Mideast Realities

Oscar buzz is humming about two movies recounting real-life chapters of U.S. policy in the Middle East – the get-bin-Laden film “Zero Dark Thirty” and the escape-Iran drama “Argo.” But neither provides an in-depth examination of the reality behind the events, writes Winslow Myers.

America’s War for Reality

Exclusive: The United States has been on a three-decade binge of unreality, imbibing delusions that began with Ronald Reagan and have continued through the Tea Party. The challenge now is for rational Americans to show they have the toughness and tenacity to fight for the real world — and to save it, writes Robert Parry.

Hugo Chavez’s Lasting Legacy

Venezuela’s charismatic and controversial President Hugo Chavez missed his scheduled inauguration as he battles cancer in a Cuban hospital. But Chavez’s political impact on the oil-rich country may outlive him as his socialist movement remains popular, one of his backers told Dennis J. Bernstein.

More Second Amendment Madness

Exclusive: Elements of the American Right are suggesting that Barack Obama, the twice-elected President of the United States, is a tyrant whose gun-control plans should be resisted by force, a gross and dangerous distortion of why the Framers wrote the Second Amendment, says Robert Parry.

The Armed Right’s Violent Rhetoric

As America prepares for the Second Inaugural of its first African-American president – and as demands grow for some commonsense gun control after a horrific school massacre – the Right is arming itself amid hysterical rhetoric about the need to “shoot tyrants,” ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar notes.

Finding Excuses to Torture

Despite evidence over the centuries that torture fails to elicit reliable information – and is criminal as well – apologists for George W. Bush and movies like Zero Dark Thirty continue to perpetuate the myth that torture is a necessary evil, at least when Americans are doing the torturing, as Lawrence Davidson writes.

‘Fixing the Debt’ on Average Folks

Goldman Sachs’ Lloyd Blankfein and other tycoons behind “Fix the Debt” want average folks to expect less from Social Security and other safety-net programs but are doing all they can to protect their special interest tax breaks and dodge the slightly higher tax rates for the rich, note Bill Moyers and Michael Winship.