The end of the year brings reflection on what happened in the past 12 months and what lies ahead. But these retrospectives usually offer no more context – and often less – than the thin gruel of news as the events played out, News Dissector Danny Schechter notes.
Regarding the “fiscal cliff,” a consensus is forming in Official Washington that a top priority must be elimination of automatic Pentagon “cuts,” with the word “draconian” much tossed around. But the planned reductions are really quite modest, as the Independent Institute’s Ivan Eland explains.
Exclusive: The up-in-the-air nomination of Chuck Hagel to be Defense Secretary has become a test of whether the Israel Lobby can still shoot down an American public servant who is deemed insufficiently passionate regarding Israel, a test that now confronts President Obama, says ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern.
Since Chuck Hagel’s name was floated as possible Secretary of Defense, the former Republican senator has been subjected to vilification to blacklist him from public service, a new form of McCarthyism that replaces suspected leftist sympathies with insufficient support for Israel, as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar notes.
Exclusive: A number of Americans – on the Right and Left – embrace fantasies about fighting some glorious revolution in the future, requiring them to maintain arsenals of weapons today, even if the cost of their violent illusions is the brutal murder of children at school, at play or in the home, writes Robert Parry.
The backdrop of the Newtown massacre and similar slaughters across America is how frequently the U.S. government opts for violence to settle problems around the world, a message that might influence a troubled individual with access to a gun, says Laura Finley.
Much as Secretary of State Madeleine Albright once opined that the sanctions-related deaths of Iraqi children was “worth it,” many Americans seem to believe that the periodic slaughter of children at home is just the price for their “liberty” to own lots of guns, a throwback to frontier days, says Lawrence Davidson.
The Israel Lobby is taking aim at another prospective Obama administration appointee deemed insufficiently supportive of Israel’s Likud policies, ex-Nebraska Republican Sen. Chuck Hagel. A similar campaign of vilification was waged against Ambassador Chas Freeman in 2009, as he recalls.
Behind the scenes, diplomacy appears to be making slow progress toward a resolution of the Iranian-nuclear stalemate, possibly early in the new year. But obstacles remain – and they are mostly in Washington, say Flynt and Hillary Mann Leverett at RaceforIran.com.
Exclusive: The irony of the NRA’s crackpot idea for protecting America’s children by dramatically expanding the use of armed guards is that the proposal would push the U.S. further down the path toward a police state, threatening the “liberties” that the NRA claims it wants to ensure, writes Robert Parry.