Human Rights

‘War on Women’ Breaches Global Norms

Republican bills taking aim at women’s reproductive freedoms have raised alarms about a “war on women,” a development that is shaking up the American political scene. But some of the legislation also is putting the U.S. outside the bounds of international norms, as Nat Parry reports.

Banks Are Called on to Repent

America’s banks remain under fire, including a public resignation by a Goldman Sachs executive disgusted by the firm’s abuse of its clients. New protests also include calls by some Christian churches for the banks to repent for their roles in the nation’s foreclosure crisis, Michael Winship reports.

Tragic Lessons of Afghan Massacre

The massacre of 16 Afghans, including nine children, allegedly by a deranged U.S. Army sergeant has stirred more anger toward the decade-long, U.S.-led occupation of Afghanistan, but it also underscores how the stresses of endless war are shattering the psyches of combat soldiers, as Democracy Now’s Amy Goodman notes.

America’s Crimes of War

A decade into the Afghan War, the atrocities by U.S. forces – whether accidental or intentional – keep piling up along with assurances from American leaders that “this is not who we are.” But the unwillingness to impose serious penalties and the failure to adopt less violent strategies say something else to many Afghans, writes John…

Losing Faith in a Democratic Israel

Since its founding in 1948 as a refuge for Holocaust survivors and other Jews, Israel has called itself a democracy but has restricted rights of Arabs inside Israel and under Israeli military occupation. This tension – and the rise of Jewish fundamentalism – are now eroding support among liberal Zionists, writes Lawrence Davidson.

America’s ‘Core Values’ in Afghan War?

U.S. officials are expressing outrage and regret over the slaughter of 16 Afghan civilians, including nine children, allegedly by a deranged U.S. staff sergeant. But the terrible rampage was not an isolated atrocity in the decade-long war in Afghanistan, as Nat Parry notes.

Reclaiming the Commons

A new law, known as H.R. 347, expands the power of the Secret Service and police to arrest protesters near a “protected person” or at special public events like nominating conventions, a further intrusion on the right of Americans to assemble in protest, as Phil Rockstroh explains.

How Dangerous Is Iran?

Israeli threats of war on Iran are not aimed at eliminating a nuclear bomb or even the imminent building of one, but rather to destroy Iran’s “capability” to build one in the future – because Iranians are deemed irrational. But filmmaker Sean Stone says that’s not the Iran he saw in a recent trip.

Slovakia Defies the Kochs and Cato

Exclusive: For the past decade, the people of the small central European nation of Slovakia have suffered under a harsh and corrupt “privatization” scheme devised by the Koch Brothers’ Cato Institute. However, in weekend elections, they defied their oligarchs by voting for a left-of-center “populist” party, reports Mark Ames.

Seeking Justice for Wall St.’s Victims

International agencies and global movements target human rights violators from small or isolated countries, but the idea of holding accountable the powerful and well-connected who cause much greater human suffering is considered unthinkable, a paradigm that Danny Schechter challenges.