The U.S. government has used Qatar to support “democracy promotion” in the Middle East, including as a logistical base for the invasion of Iraq. But Qatar’s rulers don’t like threats to their own tyrannical powers, even jailing a poet for life for implicitly criticizing the ruling sheikh, William Boardman reports.
Lying and warfare have long gone hand in hand, a reality that continues today with a U.S. news media that opts for simpleminded storylines about good guys vs. bad guys, the pro-U.S. side against the America-hating side. Such nonsense has caused much death and destruction, notes Gary G. Kohls.
When rebels challenged Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, the West and its media adopted a “good-guy/bad-guy” dichotomy, hyping dubious claims about Gaddafi and ignoring troubling extremism among the rebels. Now, the new Libya is clamping down on women’s rights, says Lawrence Davidson.
From the Archive: Modern U.S. history is more complete because journalist Gary Webb had the courage to revive the dark story of the Reagan administration’s protection of Nicaraguan Contra cocaine traffickers in the 1980s. But Webb ultimately paid a terrible price, as Robert Parry reports.
Exclusive: Montreal police may hope to just nail the “torch,” the culprit who hurled a fire-bomb into the home of ex-Israeli spy Ari Ben-Menashe. But to solve the mystery, they may have to delve into Ben-Menashe’s complex intelligence ties, including his hostile relations with his old superiors in Israel, writes Robert Parry.
Since the 1980s, Rupert Murdoch has built his U.S. media empire in close collaboration with the Republican Party, trading the his public influence for favorable regulatory treatment from GOP politicians. But now he is hoping for some help from President Obama’s regulators, say Bill Moyers and Michael Winship.
The prevailing view on Fox News is that everyone in America, regardless of his or her religious beliefs, must join in the lavish and lengthy celebration of the birth of Jesus – or be accused of warring on Christmas. But the real assault on Jesus’s teaching comes from gross materialism, says Lawrence S. Wittner.
From the Archive: In the month-long (or even longer) “Christmas season,” there is much faux outrage from Fox News and the Right about a “war on Christmas,” even as public places are adorned with Christmas decorations and Christmas music fills the air, as Robert Parry noted in 2005.
Official Washington can’t figure out how to have a meaningful discussion on critical foreign policy issues, like the alleged need for a stay-behind force in Afghanistan or rules for drone wars. Instead there’s a ginned-up scandal over Benghazi talking points, notes Independent Institute’s Ivan Eland.
The ginned-up fury over what Ambassador to the UN Susan Rice said about the Benghazi attack on TV shows obscures a bigger question, whether the U.S.-backed overthrow of Muammar Gaddafi was smart policy. Libya remains a country in turmoil amid growing doubts about U.S. trustworthiness, says ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.