Obama Bends to ‘Endless’ Afghan War

U.S. troops in Afghanistan man a checkpoint near Takhteh Pol in Kandahar province, Afghanistan, Feb. 26, 2013. (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Shane Hamann)

By failing to challenge many of Official Washington’s “group thinks” on the war policy, President Obama has become captive to them as reflected in his decision to extend the U.S. military operation in Afghanistan despite little or no prospect of success, as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar explains.

Reflections on ‘Deep Poverty’

A classic photo of a poor mother and children in Elm Grove, California, during the Great Depression. (Photo credit: Library of Congress)

The Constitution’s Framers set as one of the new government’s priorities providing for the “general Welfare,” but that progressive mandate was soon swept away by slaveholders and industrialists who shaped America into a “me-first” society amazingly tolerant of “deep poverty,” as Lawrence Davidson reflects.

Rupert Murdoch: Propaganda Recruit

President Reagan meets with publisher Rupert Murdoch, U.S. Information Agency Director Charles Wick, lawyers Roy Cohn and Thomas Bolan in the Oval Office on Jan. 18, 1983. (Photo credit: Reagan presidential library)

Special Report: Journalistic objectivity was never high on Rupert Murdoch’s ethics list, but “secret” records from the 1980s show how far the media magnate went to ingratiate himself with President Reagan by collaborating with U.S. propaganda operations, reports Robert Parry.

US Tax Dollars and Ukraine’s Finance Minister

Ukrainian Finance Minister Natalie Jaresko.

Special Report: Though touted as the face of reform inside Ukraine’s post-coup regime, Finance Minister Natalie Jaresko enriched herself at the expense of a U.S.-taxpayer-financed investment fund – and USAID now says it’s missing some of the audit records detailing Jaresko’s dealings, reports Robert Parry.

Congress Deserving of Dunce Caps

The U.S. Capitol. (Photo credit: Architect of the Capitol)

The inability of the U.S. Congress to address basic responsibilities, such as funding the government, invites negative comparisons to unruly school children in need of detention, dunce caps or worse, as Michael Winship describes.

Will Peace Find a 2016 Advocate?

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton testifies before Congress on Jan. 23, 2013, about the fatal attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi, Libya, on Sept. 11. 2012. (Photo from C-SPAN coverage)

Exclusive: Campaign 2016 has offered few useful ideas about worsening global crises. On the Republican side, it’s been mostly the same-old tough talk while Democrats Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders have said little. Is there a way to break through the frozen thinking about world conflicts, asks Robert Parry.

The Case for Pragmatism

President Barack Obama talks with President Vladimir Putin of the Russian Federation as they join other leaders en route to the APEC Family Photo at the International Convention Center in Beijing, China, Nov. 11, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Exclusive: Since American neocons emerged in the 1980s, they have pushed an aggressive “regime change” strategy that has left bloody chaos in their wake. The cumulative impact, including Mideast refugees flooding Europe and overuse of sanctions, is now contributing to a global economic crisis, says Robert Parry.

Explaining the Trump Phenomenon

Billionaire and Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump.

Since the days of Richard Nixon’s “Southern Strategy,” the Republican Party has played to the grievances of angry white men (and some women), in effect creating a ready audience for a hot-headed and quick-witted showman like Donald Trump, a classic case of reaping what is sown, as Lawrence Davidson explains.

Pope Francis’ Appeal for the Future

Pope Francis. (Photo from Casa Rosada)

Pope Francis is pleading for world leaders to defend the rights of mankind and the future of nature against the power of corporations and the pillage of “free market” dogma, a warning about the planet’s survival that vested political and media interests reject out of hand, writes Daniel C. Maguire.

The Soft Power Hoax

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton testifies before Congress on Jan. 23, 2013, about the fatal attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi, Libya, on Sept. 11. 2012. (Photo from C-SPAN coverage)

U.S. officials love the idea of “soft power,” a concept that applies non-violent means – from propaganda to culture – to induce foreign countries to conform to Washington’s wishes. But the arrogance of the approach has alienated, rather than attracted, many people around the world, writes Mike Lofgren.