Politics

How Sanctions Become Baggage

American politicians like to show how tough they are by citing some disagreeable behavior by a disdained government and sponsoring sanctions legislation to punish that country. However, politics also make such laws hard to repeal even as circumstances change, ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar notes.

A Test for the Right’s Machine

Exclusive: The Right’s imposing media/political machine is facing a tough test. Can it put an unappealing Republican in the White House by using false propaganda and by systematically suppressing the votes of minorities? The outcome may define the future of American democracy, says Robert Parry.

Jerusalem as Political Football

When the Democratic platform was initially silent on Jerusalem being Israel’s capital, Mitt Romney’s campaign pounced, questioning President Obama’s commitment to Israel and causing him to reinsert Jerusalem-as-capital language. But is this any way to deal with a complex foreign policy issue, asks ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

Obama Impedes Israel’s Iran Attack

The ploy of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to use the November elections to push President Obama into supporting an attack on Iran’s nuclear sites appears to be failing in the face of Obama’s firm “no,” say Jim Lobe and Gareth Porter at Inter Press Service.

Clint Eastwood’s Jobless Exaggeration

Fact-checking Campaign 2012 has become more than a fulltime job, but one danger is to apply false equivalence as fact-checkers protect their “credibility” by blaming both sides equally. That ignores the fact that some people lie more than others and some of the lies are bigger, notes William Boardman.

Romney’s New Global-Warming ‘Joke’

Exclusive: At the Republican National Convention and on the campaign trail, Mitt Romney has come up with a new laugh line, mocking President Obama’s policies to slow global warming. In doing so, Romney distorts a quote from an Obama speech in 2008 about ocean levels, reports Robert Parry.

An All-Clear for Bush’s Torturers

Even as Nobel Peace Prize winner Desmond Tutu urges a war-crimes trial for George Bush and Tony Blair for invading Iraq, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder gives an all-clear to Bush’s subordinates for homicides that resulted from torture in Afghanistan and Iraq, a repudiation of U.S. law and principles, says Marjorie Cohn.

How Rev. Moon’s ‘Snakes’ Infested US

From the Archive: The death of Rev. Sun Myung Moon at 92 ends the long personal saga of a Korean theocrat whose life intertwined his bizarre religion with threads into organized crime and right-wing politics. Moon also showed how a fortune spent on media could change Washington’s political dynamic, as Robert Parry wrote in 2010.

A Strange New Watergate Book

Exclusive: A new book, Watergate: The Hidden History, suggests Teamster boss Jimmy Hoffa and a Cuban report on attempts to kill Fidel Castro played major roles in the scandal, but author Lamar Waldron relies on dubious evidence, strange theories and sketchy sources, writes James DiEugenio.

GOP Defends Marianas’ Sweatshops

Scandal-stained Republican activist Ralph Reed is back in the GOP’s good graces with a new “grassroots” operation organizing right-wing Christians. Also back on the Republican agenda is protection for an old Reed cause, maintaining sweatshops in the Marianas, note Bill Moyers and Michael Winship.