Lost History

How to Save the Middle Class

Many Americans don’t know where the Great Middle Class came from. They see it as a natural outgrowth of “free-market capitalism” when it was really the product of conscious government policies, starting with the New Deal. That confusion must be addressed in this political season, says Beverly Bandler.

Iraq War’s ‘Trifecta of Failure’

Official Washington likes to pretend that the neocon-driven Iraq War “surge” secured a “victory,” rather than face the evidence of a multi-faceted failure. But the news of an Iraqi arms deal with Moscow underscores the scope of the U.S. policy disaster, observes ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

Romney Tests the Limits on Lying

Americans may see themselves as worldly cynics when it comes to political lying, observing that all politicians do it. But Mitt Romney is testing the limits with his ever-shifting positions and outright lies, notes Lawrence Davidson.

How Petraeus’s Afghan ‘Surge’ Failed

In 2009, Gen. David Petraeus insisted on a troop “surge” in Afghanistan like the one he had overseen in Iraq. Yet, despite the positive PR for Petraeus and his “surges,” little was accomplished beyond putting more U.S. GIs within range of devastating IEDs, as Gareth Porter wrote for Inter Press Service.

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.

When Debate ‘Zingers’ Backfired

Exclusive: Zingers are often the most memorable moments in presidential debates, but they are rarely spontaneous. In 1992, aides to President George H.W. Bush prepped him with insults intended to question Bill Clinton’s patriotism but the script went awry, reports Robert Parry.

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.

Romney’s Curious View of Freedom

Exclusive: Election 2012 is a choice between two visions for America’s future and also a contest between two versions of the U.S. past. Mitt Romney and the Tea Party draw from a national narrative that claims the Framers opposed a strong central government, while President Obama sees the opposite, writes Robert Parry.

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.

Dismantling FDR’s Legacy

With Mitt Romney exposed as another disciple of Ayn Rand’s gospel of makers and takers, Election 2012 is shaping up as a test of whether the United States will embrace the laissez-faire Gilded Age or uphold the New Deal with its middle-class values. Will Franklin Roosevelt be honored or rejected, asks Beverly Bandler.