Politics

The Lost Hope of Democracy

Mr. Moneybags from the "Monopoly" game

Western nations are fond of using “democracy promotion” as a justification for interfering in other countries, including overthrowing elected leaders (as in Ukraine). But Western democracies themselves often fall short of democratic values, as John Chuckman explains.

Ducking War Responsibilities

Members of Congress avoided action on authorizing new wars in Syria and Iraq before departing Washington for the campaign trail.

Conservatives insist that they revere the U.S. Constitution, but congressional Republicans – as well as Democrats – hastily fled Washington to hit the campaign trail rather than vote up or down on authorizing new wars in Syria and Iraq, an abdication of duty, says Independent Institute’s Ivan Eland.

The Why of Obama’s Failed Hope

President Barack Obama runs onto a stage in Rockville, Maryland, Oct. 3, 2013 (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

The election of Barack Obama in 2008 brought hope and optimism to Americans and non-Americans alike. But after one and a half terms, the reality is sinking in that for all the promised change, it’s the “same old, same old.” The big question is why, writes Australian Greg Maybury.

How Israel Out-Foxed US Presidents

President Barack Obama holds a bilateral meeting with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel in the Oval Office, Oct 1, 2014. The meeting was described as chilly, reflecting the strained relationship between the two leaders. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

From the Archive: After six years, Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu has nearly weathered his chilly relationship with President Obama and can expect to coast through the next two years ignoring Obama’s appeals. But Obama is not the first U.S. president to be played by Israel, as Morgan Strong wrote in 2010.

Official Washington’s Syrian ‘Fantasy’

Washington Post columnist David Ignatius. (Photo credit: Aude)

Exclusive: It is perhaps not news that the U.S. government bases wars on illusions, such as the nonexistent WMD in Iraq, but it is rare when there is a broad consensus before the conflict begins that a war’s success rests on a “fantasy” like the chimera of “moderate” Syrian rebels, reports Robert Parry.

Ellsberg Sees Vietnam-Like Risks in ISIS War

Pentagon Papers whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg.

Daniel Ellsberg, the former Defense Department official who leaked the Pentagon Papers exposing the Vietnam War lies, is alarmed at the many parallels between Vietnam and President Obama’s new military campaign against ISIS in Iraq and Syria, as Barbara Koeppel reports.

Standing Up for Lessons of Dissent

Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. in 1964, a powerful example of how dissenters have addressed injustice in America and given meaning to democracy.

There is a general belief that Americans don’t care much about history, preferring to bask in self-reverential “exceptionalism” with U.S. behavior beyond criticism. But students outside Denver are taking to the streets to protest right-wing efforts to strip dissent from the history curriculum, writes Peter Dreier.

A Poison Pill for the Iran-Nuke Deal

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the United Nations in 2012, drawing his own "red line" on how far he will let Iran go in refining nuclear fuel.

Many in Congress continue to march in lockstep with the dictates of Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu who wants endless hostility toward Iran even if that torpedoes a deal to constrain Iran’s nuclear program. That includes a pointless demand for a past confession, notes ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

Neocons’ Noses Into the Syrian Tent

Jackson Diehl, deputy editorial page editor of the Washington Post.

Exclusive: The neocons say the next step in President Obama’s bombing raids inside Syria must be to move from attacking the terrorist Islamic State to destroying Syria’s air force and air defenses, all the better to achieve the neocons’ long-sought “regime change,” reports Robert Parry.

Obama’s Novel Lawyering to Bomb Syria

President Barack Obama talks with Ambassador Samantha Power, U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations, following a Cabinet meeting in the Cabinet Room of the White House, Sept. 12, 2013. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Exclusive: The U.S. government likes international law when it serves Washington’s purposes, but not when it constrains U.S. desires to use military force. Then, the rules are bent, ignored or subjected to novel lawyering, as President Obama is doing with airstrikes into Syria, reports Robert Parry.