Human Rights

Failure of ‘Pro-Democracy’ Wars

A key justification for three recent U.S. military actions – in Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya – was to oust brutal dictators and pave the way for a more democratic future. But these violent strategies have fallen short on the pro-democracy front, writes the Independent Institute’s Ivan Eland.

A Biohazard Valentine of Dissent

The powers-that-be would prefer the common folk to accept their fate quietly, even as many are made surplus to the work force and all are facing global warming’s coming devastation of the planet. But more and more people are choosing to make noise through messy dissent, as Phil Rockstroh observes.

Rick Santorum’s Nightmarish America

Rick Santorum, the latest Republican “flavor of the month” for president, exudes a boyish enthusiasm that many Americans find personally appealing. But his vision for America would combine a moralistic theocracy with free-market capitalism and perpetual war, a nightmarish scenario, says Lawrence Davidson.

Resisting the Pull of Anti-Iran Terror

Israeli agents reportedly have collaborated with an Iranian terror group to murder Iran’s civilian nuclear scientists in an escalation of violence that further draws the United States toward the precipice of another Mideast conflict, as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar writes.

Founders’ Secular Vision for America

The dispute over requiring church-run hospitals and schools to cover birth control for female employees has stirred up longstanding confusion over what the First Amendment does and doesn’t do. Some on the Christian Right insist that it means religious doctrine can trump secular law, but Rev. Howard Bess says that’s a misunderstanding.

Ginning Up ‘War’ on the Catholic Church

Exclusive: Republicans and the Right are on the offensive again, decrying an Obama administration ruling that some Catholic-run institutions must offer employees birth-control coverage in health care plans. Yet, this latest “war” rhetoric again misrepresents the countervailing principles, Robert Parry reports.

Obama’s Super-Bowl Fumble on Iran

Exclusive: In a televised interview before the Super Bowl, President Obama had the chance to send a clear signal to Israel not to launch a preemptive war against Iran but instead offered ambiguous remarks that Israeli hard-liners might read as a partial green light, reports ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern.

Who’s Wrong in ‘War on Catholics’?

Exclusive: GOP presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich claims President Obama has declared “war on the Catholic Church” with a ruling that contraception must be included in health plans for employees of church-led institutions, but Catholic moral theologian Daniel C. Maguire says it is the U.S. bishops (and Gingrich) who are wrong.

Behind the Saul Alinsky Smear

In demonizing the long-dead Saul Alinsky, Newt Gingrich is exploiting ignorance about the Chicago community organizer while blowing a dog whistle for some bigots on the Right over the “foreign-sounding” Russian-Jewish name. He’s also got his history wrong, as Bill Moyers and Michael Winship note.

Should Israel/Palestine Merge?

The U.S. appears on the verge of a new war in the Middle East, between Israel and Iran, but much of the casus belli traces back to the long-running dispute over the rights of Palestinians. In that context, Lawrence Davidson asks again if a one-state solution might be the only viable answer.