Obama Administration

The Backlash against Women’s Rights

Religious fundamentalism – Islamic, Judaic and Christian – is pushing back against progress toward equal rights for women. The fundamentalists want to restore patriarchal dominance and are gaining ground in the Muslim world, Israel and the United States inside the Republican Party, notes Lawrence Davidson.

Obama Backs Down Netanyahu

Despite doubts from many quarters, President Obama appears to have backed down Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu from his demands for an explicit American “red line” to attack Iran’s nuclear program and from Netanyahu’s own suggestions of a unilateral Israeli bombing strike, writes Gareth Porter.

Mitt Romney as Eddie Haskell

Exclusive: The conventional wisdom has spoken: Mitt Romney trounced Barack Obama in the first debate. But there was a squirrely sneakiness to Romney’s behavior as if Eddie Haskell from “Leave It to Beaver” had grown up and somehow won the Republican presidential nomination, writes Robert Parry.

Did Romney ‘Win’ the Debate?

Exclusive: The instant analysis after the first presidential debate — even on liberal-leaning MSNBC — was that Mitt Romney was the decisive “winner.” But Romney not only ducked the specifics of his plans but looked sneaky and nervous in doing so, writes Robert Parry.

Exploiting the Benghazi Attack

The Romney campaign thinks it has an opening with the Obama administration’s shifting explanations about the lethal attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya. But the reality is that diplomatic service is never risk free and facts about a complex event are never immediately clear, notes ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

The ‘Citizens United’ Tsunami

The five right-wing justices on the U.S. Supreme Court downplayed how distorting their Citizens United decision would be to American politics. But the tidal wave of campaign cash is now inundating U.S. voters with unchecked factual claims, says Michael Winship.

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.

Silence of the Drones

Exclusive: Even as the United States has withdrawn from Iraq and has begun to wind down the Afghan War, the lethal reach of the U.S. military has been extended into other countries through Predator drones. What is less known is the full human and political costs, writes ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern.

Iran Signals New Tone

If President Obama wins a second term, Iran is signaling it would be ready for improved relations with the United States and the West. One sign of that shift in attitude was the toned-down speech by Iran’s President Ahmadinejad at the UN, notes Danny Schechter.

The Burden of Pentagon Spending

The last decade’s surge in military spending has added to America’s debt while having a dubious impact on U.S. security. The upcoming elections now pit President Obama, who is calling for reductions, against Mitt Romney, who is calling for more increases, writes ex-CIA analyst Melvin A. Goodman.