Politics

Hearing US ‘Allies’ Whine

President Barack Obama talks with Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko during a state call at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo, Japan, April 24, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Official Washington is abuzz with punditry about President Obama showing weakness around the world, with the old-reliable antidote being more Pentagon spending and more foreign military adventures. But this “debate” misses how real U.S. interests are served, writes ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

Obama Urged to Show Restraint on Ukraine

President Barack Obama discusses Ukraine during a meeting with members of his National Security Staff in the Oval Office, Feb. 28, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Across Official Washington and the mainstream U.S. media, there is a rush to restart the Cold War with all its black-and-white propaganda, ignoring Russia’s understandable concerns and portraying the “U.S. side” as always right. But some U.S. intelligence veterans urge a more adult response.

The Iron Law of Oligarchy Returns

Thomas Piketty's "Capital in the Twenty-first Century."

America likes to think of itself as a land of the Great Middle Class with a government “of, by and for the people.” But that reality has changed drastically over the past several decades, as money and power have created a dominant American Oligarchy, writes Danny Schechter.

America’s Surge Toward Oligarchy

Timothy Geithner (left), then Treasury Secretary, meeting with President Barack Obama in the Oval Office. (White House photo)

Exclusive: With the rapid concentration of wealth in a few well-manicured hands and the right-wing U.S. Supreme Court declaring money to be speech, the American surge toward oligarchy has gained what looks like an unstoppable momentum, as JP Sottile explains.

America’s Mad Dash to Oligarchy

Mr. Moneybags from the "Monopoly" game

Since Ronald Reagan’s “supply-side” tax cuts for the rich – followed by other giveaways like eliminating the “death tax” so billionaires can pass on their fortunes to lucky heirs – the United States has been on a mad dash to oligarchy, as Bill Moyers and Michael Winship note.

Marijuana as a Wedge Issue

A marijuana plant.

Given the damage to so many lives from enforcement of the prohibition on marijuana use, liberalization of those laws is emerging as a movement with bipartisan appeal, even reaching into Red States like Oklahoma, as Richard L. Fricker reports.

The Dangerous Neocon-R2P Alliance

Secretary of State John Kerry attending a four-way diplomatic conference in Geneva, involving the U.S., Russia, Ukraine and the European Union. (State Department photo)

Exclusive: After U.S. neocons helped stir up a crisis in Ukraine—with a big assist from the biased American press corps – the Obama administration looked for a diplomatic off-ramp, but this pattern of hyped outrage and belated reconciliation is a risky way to make foreign policy, says Robert Parry.

What’s the Matter with John Kerry?

Secretary of State John Kerry.

Special Report: As a young warrior and senator, John Kerry stood up to politicians who spread propaganda that misled the public and got people killed. Now, as a 70-year-old Secretary of State, he has become what he once challenged, reports Robert Parry.

Making Money the Measure of Politics

U.S. Chief Justice John Roberts.

U.S. pundits decry countries like Iran as undemocratic for having a screening process for candidates to high office. But U.S. politicians must pass muster with wealthy donors to be considered serious candidates, a system that the Supreme Court just made worse, says Lawrence Davidson.

Making Iran’s UN Envoy a Wedge Issue

Iranian Ambassador to the United Nations Hamid Aboutalebi.

America’s neocons and their allies want an escalating confrontation with Iran, not a negotiated solution to the nuclear issue. So they seek out hot buttons to anger Iran and make President Obama’s job harder, such as blocking Iran’s choice of UN ambassador, writes ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.