Human Rights

When ‘Lesser-Evil’ Misses the Point

The American Left is engaged in its quadrennial debate, whether to vote for “the lesser evil” Democrat or maintain political purity and either boycott the election or cast a ballot for a minor-party candidate. A similar argument in 1968 helped change the course of U.S. history, Ted Lieverman recalls.

Thanking Europe for No World Wars

The Nobel committee’s award of the Peace Prize to the European Union may be head-scratching to some, given the continent’s angry economic divisions and NATO’s role in recent wars. But the point was to commend Europe for having avoided a repeat of the two world wars, says ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

Treehouses Block Keystone Pipeline

Some environmentalists are living in treehouses in a last-ditch stand against building a section of the Keystone pipeline though Texas. The protest drew some attention after the arrest of actor Daryl Hannah, but has mostly been ignored by the U.S. news media, writes William Boardman.

Tribunal Weighs Crimes on Palestine

A “peoples” tribunal, modeled after an examination of U.S. war crimes in Vietnam, is exploring Israel’s mistreatment of the Palestinians. Meeting in New York City, the Russell Tribunal on Palestine sometimes was legalistic but addressed frequently ignored issues, says Danny Schechter.

Ryan’s Distortion of America’s Founding

Rep. Paul Ryan wraps his Ayn Randian philosophy of unrestrained selfishness in phrasing selectively lifted from the Founders, but the Republican vice presidential nominee misses the role of democracy and self-government in establishing human rights, says historian Jada Thacker.

The Backlash against Women’s Rights

Religious fundamentalism – Islamic, Judaic and Christian – is pushing back against progress toward equal rights for women. The fundamentalists want to restore patriarchal dominance and are gaining ground in the Muslim world, Israel and the United States inside the Republican Party, notes Lawrence Davidson.

Silence of the Drones

Exclusive: Even as the United States has withdrawn from Iraq and has begun to wind down the Afghan War, the lethal reach of the U.S. military has been extended into other countries through Predator drones. What is less known is the full human and political costs, writes ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern.

Iran Signals New Tone

If President Obama wins a second term, Iran is signaling it would be ready for improved relations with the United States and the West. One sign of that shift in attitude was the toned-down speech by Iran’s President Ahmadinejad at the UN, notes Danny Schechter.

Israel’s Strategic ‘Dead End’

The expectation at the annual UN General Assembly has been for Iran’s President Ahmadinejad to come across as wacky while the U.S. media lauds Israel’s Prime Minister Netanyahu for his seriousness, except that the script went differently this year, as Flynt and Hillary Mann Leverett note at RaceForIran.com.

In Case You Missed…

Some of our special stories in August followed the strange twists and turns of Campaign 2012, the prospects for war with Iran, and the role of government in improving lives and solving problems.