How Money Silences Criticism of Israel

A portion of the separation wall built by the Israeli government jutting into the town of Bethlehem to enclose the tomb of Rachel within the Israeli zone.  Many portions of the wall contain graffiti and artwork by the Palestinians and their visitors. (Photo credit: Ted Lieverman)

Israel’s never-ending persecution of Palestinians is opening a chasm between the world’s public, which is growing disgusted by Israeli behavior, and Western elites who shy from criticism because of career fears and financial dependence, observes Lawrence Davidson.

Neocons Grow Frantic over Iran Progress

Iran's President Hassan Rouhani celebrates the completion of an interim deal on Iran's nuclear program on Nov. 24, 2013, by kissing the head of the daughter of an assassinated Iranian nuclear engineer. (Iranian government photo)

With an agreement on constraining Iran’s nuclear program within reach, Official Washington’s neocons are getting apoplectic about the need to rev up new animosities toward Iran, an approach not helpful to real U.S. security needs, as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar notes.

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Journalist Robert Parry.

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Blocking a ‘Realist’ Strategy on the Mideast

President Barack Obama talks with President Petro Poroshenko of Ukraine and Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker following a bilateral meeting in the Oval Office, Sept. 18, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Exclusive: Official Washington’s influential neocons appear back in the driver’s seat steering U.S. policy in the Middle East toward a wider conflict in Syria and away from a “realist” alternative that sought a Putin-Obama collaboration to resolve the region’s crises more peacefully, reports Robert Parry.

The Self-Interest in Climate ‘Denial’

The image of the Earth rising over the surface of the moon, a photograph taken by the first U.S. astronauts to orbit the moon.

Even in the face of new scientific reports on the escalating dangers from global warming, the “deniers” continue to pick at the now overwhelming data and pick up their checks from oil and other industry groups, write Bill Moyers and Michael Winship.

How Obama’s New War Could Backfire

President Barack Obama receives a briefing from Gen. Lloyd J. Austin III, Commander, U.S. Central Command, and his top commanders at U.S. Central Command at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, Florida, Sept. 17, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

The political imperative to “do something” against the brutal Islamic State has brought President Obama and congressional majorities together on a plan for a limited U.S. military response, but this strategy could actually make matters worse, says the Independent Institute’s Ivan Eland.

Cameras to Detect ‘Abnormal’ Behavior

Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport.

In the chimerical pursuit of perfect security, Western countries are turning to advanced technology to detect and stop terrorist attacks. But these expensive schemes often fail to deliver greater safety while further eroding personal freedom, as Sander Venema observed in the Netherlands.

Braveheart, Edward I, and Bush

Scottish street musicians including one in costume as William Wallace as portrayed in "Braveheart" by Mel Gibson. (Photo credit: Don North)

From the Archive: As Scots vote on independence from Great Britain, part of the motivation for those voting “aye” is the brutal history of English repression of Scottish freedom, dating back centuries but fresh in the minds of many Scots, a lesson about unintended consequences of violence that should be remembered by today’s politicians, as Robert Parry noted in 2005.

Reported US-Syrian Accord on Air Strikes

President Barack Obama in his weekly address on Sept. 13, 2014, vowing to degrade and ultimately defeat the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. (White House Photo)

Exclusive: A problem with President Obama’s plan to expand the war against ISIS into Syria was always the risk that Syrian air defenses might fire on U.S. warplanes, but now a source says Syria’s President Assad has quietly agreed to permit strikes in some parts of Syria, reports Robert Parry.

More Neocon Hypocrisy in the Mideast

Dennis Ross, who has served as a senior U.S. emissary in the Middle East.

America’s neocons are now advancing their “regime change” goals in the Mideast by tarring “enemies,” like Syria’s largely secular government, as “Islamist” while shielding “friends” like Saudi Arabia despite its intense religiosity, yet one more double standard, writes ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

The Lost Logic of ‘Perpetual War’

President Barack Obama meets with his national security advisors in the Situation Room of the White House, Aug. 7, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

President Obama’s plan to bomb Islamic State targets inside Syria amounts to an expansion of America’s “perpetual war” without either a clear legal basis or a likely expectation of success, as Nat Parry explains.

Hiding Ukraine’s Neo-Nazi Reality

Far-right militia members demonstrating outside Ukrainian parliament in Kiev. (Screen shot from RT video via YouTube video)

Perhaps the biggest taboo of the U.S. mainstream coverage of the Ukraine crisis is to block out the role played by neo-Nazi militias in both the Feb. 22 coup and this summer’s bloody offensive in eastern Ukraine, but the ugly reality occasionally breaks through, as William Blum noted in Anti-Empire Report.

In Case You Missed…

Some our special stories in August focused on Israel’s war on Gaza, the biased U.S. reporting on the Ukraine crisis, and the 50th anniversary of the Gulf of Tonkin deception.

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Ukraine’s ‘Romantic’ Nazi Storm Troopers

Nazi symbols on helmets worn by members of Ukraine's Azov battalion. (As filmed by

Exclusive: While most civilized people view the Swastika and other Nazi symbols as abhorrent reminders of unspeakable evil, the Washington Post trotted out a new way of seeing them – as “romantic” – a sign that apologists for Ukraine’s coup regime know no limits, reports Robert Parry.

PRISM’s Controversial Forerunner

William Hamilton, developer of the PROMIS software, and his wife Nancy.

From the Archive: Richard L. Fricker, a courageous journalist and frequent writer at Consortiumnews, died on Sept. 12 from heart failure. Among Fricker’s important work was his investigation of the U.S. government’s PROMIS software which preceded the NSA’s Orwellian PRISM, as Fricker noted last July.

The Illusion of Syria’s ‘Moderate’ Rebels

Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tennessee, says President Obama's plan for arming Syria's "moderate" rebels has strong support in Congress.

In militarily going after ISIS, President Obama is again letting his foreign policy be shaped by the popular illusions of Official Washington, particularly the idea that aiding Syrian “moderates” is a viable part of the strategy, as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar explains.

Dishing Up International Law a la Carte

President George W. Bush.

Official Washington honors international law when it’s politically useful, such as in condemning a global adversary, but then dismisses it as useless if it gets in the way of some desired U.S. action. This “international law a la carte” undermines the concept’s fundamental value, says Lawrence Davidson.

Perfecting ‘Regime Change’ in Ukraine

President Barack Obama.

The Obama administration has refined the practice of “regime change,” moving away from old-fashioned tanks in the street or overt invasions by U.S. troops, opting instead for “democracy promotion” that relies on “information warfare” to unseat elected governments disfavored by Washington, says Ted Snider.

A Third Decade of Bombing Iraq

President George H.W. Bush

Bombing ISIS amounts to attacking a symptom rather than finding a cure. But the cure would require addressing politically sensitive issues, such as Israel oppressing Palestinians and Saudi Arabia financing Islamic extremism. So the U.S. does what it knows best – blowing stuff up – as Nat Parry observes.

Cheney’s Dangerous Mideast Nostrums

Former Vice President Dick Cheney.

The extremist group ISIS asserts that only brutality will drive Westerners, including Israelis of European descent, from the Middle East. But the flip side of that coin is the demand from the likes of Dick Cheney for ever increasing repression of political Islam, as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar notes.

Neocons Revive Syria ‘Regime Change’ Plan

President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden meet with members of the National Security Council in the Situation Room of the White House, Sept. 10, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Exclusive: President Obama plans to violate international law by launching airstrikes inside Syria without that government’s consent, even though Syria might well give it. Is Obama playing into neocon hands by providing a new argument for “regime change” in Damascus, asks Robert Parry.

NYT Reverses on Merits of ‘Perpetual War’

President Barack Obama delivers an address to the nation on the U.S. Counterterrorism strategy to combat ISIL (or ISIS), in the Cross Hall of the White House, Sept. 10, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

President Obama’s decision to expand U.S. attacks against ISIS radicals into Syria without that government’s approval is fraught with risks, including that U.S. forces might be sucked into yet another Mideast civil war, but the New York Times seems all right with that, notes Norman Solomon.

‘Money-in-Politics’ Amendment Ignored

Mr. Moneybags from the "Monopoly" game

A few right-wing pundits like George Will are livid over the prospect of curbing the power of billionaires to buy U.S. elections, but mostly the debate over a proposed constitutional amendment to allow regulation of money in politics is just being ignored, as Nat Parry notes.

Will Scots Heed Ancient Call for ‘Freedom’?

A pro-independence sign near Inverness, Scotland. (Photo credit: Don North)

Exclusive: The Sept. 18 referendum on Scottish independence pits the ancient lure of freedom from English dominance against practical economic issues of the future. Continued union seemed to be winning but a late surge for separation has made the outcome a toss-up, as Don North reports.

The Earlier 9/11 Acts of Terror

Anti-Castro Cuban terrorist Eduardo Arocena.

Exclusive: As the U.S. government sets off on a new “war on terror” in the Middle East – on the eve of 9/11’s 13th anniversary – there is little national memory of how U.S. authorities tolerated waves of terror in the Western Hemisphere, including earlier 9/11 slaughters, writes Jonathan Marshall.

Israel Cited Hamas Rocket Fire as Excuse

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu presses his case for the military offensive against Gaza in a meeting with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon. (Israeli government photo)

Israeli destruction of Gaza’s civilian infrastructure, including schools and hospitals, is getting a pass from Official Washington because Israel asserts Hamas fired rockets from near the sites, but a close examination of those claims reveals a different reality, writes Gareth Porter for Inter Press Service.

Off on Another ‘War’ Against ‘Terror’

President Barack Obama shakes hands with U.S. troops at Bagram Airfield in Bagram, Afghanistan, Sunday, May 25, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

The original post-9/11 “war on terror” rejected a targeted police-oriented response toward al-Qaeda, which also would have focused on root causes of Sunni extremism, and instead demanded a military “war.” Now, 13 years later, few lessons have been learned, says ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

Malaysia Airlines Whodunnit Still a Mystery

A Malaysia Airways' Boeing 777 like the one that crashed in eastern Ukraine on July 17, 2014. (Photo credit: Aero Icarus from Zürich, Switzerland)

Exclusive: More than seven weeks after Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 crashed in eastern Ukraine killing 298 people, a preliminary report failed to address the mystery of who shot the plane down. The Dutch investigators didn’t even try to sort through conflicting allegations and evidence, writes Robert Parry.

Seeing No Neo-Nazi Militias in Ukraine

Sen. John McCain appearing with Ukrainian rightists of the Svoboda party at a pre-coup rally in Kiev.

Exclusive: With a new Amnesty International report on possible war crimes by a Ukrainian militia against ethnic Russians in the east, the evidence is mounting that the U.S.-backed Kiev regime knowingly deployed extremists, including neo-Nazis, as part of a conscious strategy, reports Robert Parry.

Fleshing Out Nixon’s Vietnam ‘Treason’

Richard Nixon, the 37th President of the United States.

Exclusive: Out of the Watergate scandal came a favorite mainstream media saying: “the cover-up is always worse than the crime.” But the MSM didn’t understand what the real crime was or why President Nixon was so desperate, as James DiEugenio explains in reviewing Ken Hughes’s Chasing Shadows.