The U.S. news media pretends to shy away from sex scandals but actually looks for any excuse to cover them. A case in point has been the ouster of CIA Director David Petraeus, but the press may have missed the bigger story of FBI snooping, says the Independent Institute’s Ivan Eland.
The United States tends to view itself as the gold standard for democracy and bristles at international criticism of its electoral flaws. But recent corrosion of democratic principles, caused mostly by Republicans, has lowered the quality of U.S. democracy, writes ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.
From the Archive: Just days after President Obama’s reelection, Israel launched a punishing bombing campaign against Palestinians in Gaza – much as Israel did shortly after his election in 2008. Obama again is put in a tight spot, but other U.S. presidents faced similar challenges, as Morgan Strong reported in 2010.
From the Archive: As Israel again “mows the grass” in Gaza – taking revenge on Palestinians for firing crude missiles into Israeli territory – the myth upon which the Jewish government stakes its claim to the land is front and center. But the myth faces challenges even inside Israel, as Morgan Strong reported in 2009.
A carefully cultivated mythology sustains Israel’s territorial claims to Palestine and rationalizes Israel’s ethnic cleansing of millions of Palestinians from the land. Challenges to those myths are typically met with fierce counterattacks, as Lawrence Davidson discovered.
Having won reelection, President Obama appears interested in a deal on Iran’s nuclear program. But key U.S. commentators continue to embrace baseless fraud charges about Iran’s 2009 election while pressing unrealistic negotiation demands, a recipe for failure, say Flynt and Hillary Mann Leverett at RaceforIran.com.
Exclusive: Major gaps in the history of Watergate and Iran-Contra have let Republicans minimize those scandals by comparing them to the fabricated “scandal” over the Benghazi attacks. A fuller understanding of Watergate would reveal its links to Richard Nixon’s prolonging the Vietnam War, writes Robert Parry.
France, which governed what is now Syria after World War I, has stepped forward as the first Western power to recognize the opposition as the legitimate government. But the future course of the Syrian civil war remains dangerous and complicated, says ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.
Exclusive: Israeli hardliners joke about the periodic need to decimate each new generation of Palestinian militants as “mowing the grass,” a process underway again in new bombardments of Gaza. This ugly metaphor has also penetrated the think-tank world of Official Washington, as ex-CIA analyst Elizabeth Murray learned.
The death and destruction from Super Storm Sandy – this time inflicted near the U.S. power center of New York City – are warnings of what’s in store if the global-warming deniers continue to obstruct action. Future devastation will shatter the creaky framework of modern civilization, says Phil Rockstroh.