Month: September 2013

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What the IRS ‘Scandal’ Wrought

Rep. Darrell Issa, R-California.

The anger of Tea Partiers, as they precipitate a federal government shutdown, still burns from the IRS “scandal” of earlier this year, even though the supposed singling out of conservative groups proved to be a myth. But the furor disrupted IRS policing…

Losing Control of Nukes

commandandcontrol

Politics and propaganda continue to color how the world views the existential issue of nuclear weapons. Some nations are treated as if they are entitled to have nukes while others aren’t. Yet, the risks from use in an accident or in…

Poisoning the US-Iran Detente

President Barack Obama talks with President Hassan Rouhani of Iran during a phone call in the Oval Office, Sept. 27, 2013. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Israel, Saudi Arabia and other enemies of Iran hope to poison improved U.S.-Iranian relations by blocking sanctions relief for Iran, even at the cost of losing new restrictions on Iran’s nuclear program, an emerging dilemma assessed by ex-CIA analyst Paul…

The Four Eras of the American Right

James Madison, the chief architect of the U.S. Constitution and the fourth President of the United States.

Exclusive: In the coming weeks, the Republican Party and its Tea Party extremists vow to create budgetary and fiscal crises if the Democrats don’t gut health-care reform and submit to a host of other right-wing demands. But a driving force…

Was Jesus a Zealot?

zealot

The turning point of Jesus’s fateful week in Jerusalem was his protest at the Temple, which the Jewish priests saw as a challenge to their authority and which led to his trial and execution. But was this disruption violent or non-violent, a question posed by Reza…

Syrian Rebels Embrace al-Qaeda

President Barack Obama delivers remarks during his address to the United Nations General Assembly in New York, N.Y., Sept. 23, 2013. (Official White House Photo by Amanda Lucidon)

Exclusive: The leading Syrian rebel groups have declared their intent to transform Syria into a Taliban-style state that would collaborate with al-Qaeda-affiliated groups in the heart of the Middle East. This lifting of the veil presents President Obama with an even…

Why Netanyahu Spurns an Iran Deal

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

With new Iranian leadership eager for détente, a negotiated settlement over its nuclear program is within reach. But Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu appears determined to torpedo an agreement and press ahead toward war, a prospect that ex-CIA analyst Paul…

Christianity’s Contradictions on War

Martin Luther, the Father of the Protestant Reformation in the 1500s.

Though based on the pacifist teachings of Jesus, Christianity has been an accomplice to more wars and genocides than any other religion, a paradox reflected in the contradictory views of 16th Century protestant reformer Martin Luther and 20th Century civil…

Dangerous Addiction to Secrecy

President Barack Obama speaking to the United Nations General Assembly on Sept. 24, 2013. (UN photo)

Exclusive: After decades of mutual suspicions, the U.S. and Iranian governments appear headed toward face-to-face contacts. But mutual trust still awaits truth-telling about important facts that defined the relationship — and that may require breaking a dangerous addiction to secrecy, says Robert…

Should Cruise Missiles Target Saudis?

President George W. Bush meeting with then-Saudi Ambassador Prince Bandar bin Sultan at the Bush Ranch in Crawford, Texas. (U.S. government photo)

Exclusive: Saudi Arabia confident in its leverage over energy and finance and emboldened by a de facto  regional alliance with Israel is throwing its weight around with threats against Russia. But this muscle-flexing is drawing a tough reaction from President…