Human Rights

Obama Carefully Defends Free Speech

In defending freedom of speech at the UN, President Obama addressed a variety of audiences, especially the world’s Muslims angry over an offensive video, but he also didn’t want to rile up his political opponents at home. That kept some of the key defenses of free speech off the table, says ex-CIA analyst Paul R.…

The Fuzzy Line of Terrorism

The Obama administration’s plan to remove a group of violent Iranian émigrés from the U.S. terror list suggests a readiness to pursue the-enemy-of-my-enemy-is-my-friend strategy that put the United States on the side of Osama bin Laden and Islamic extremists in Afghanistan in the 1980s, says ex-FBI agent Coleen Rowley.

The Price of US Interventionism

Mitt Romney and his neocon advisers want to confront the Muslim world with a “credible military threat” as if more American “tough-guy-ism” will quell the region’s anti-Americanism. But the reality is that the long history of U.S. intervention has engendered the hostility, says the Independent Institute’s Ivan Eland.

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.