America’s Short-sighted ‘Grand Strategy’

Barack Obama, then President-elect, and President George W. Bush at the White House during the 2008 transition.

“Tough-guy/gal-ism” remains the dominant rhetorical approach to foreign policy emanating from Official Washington, which may protect the political and media careers of the tough-talkers, but it is doing grave damage to America’s strategic standing in the world, as military analyst Franklin Spinney explains.

Why US Police Are Out of Control

A screen-shot from a video showing Walter Scott being shot in the back by a North Charleston, South Carolina, police officer Michael Slager on April  4, 2015. (Video via the New York Times.)

Exclusive: U.S. police forces are so out of control there’s not even a reliable database on how many times police officers shoot citizens. So, beyond racism and fear of guns, the problem includes fragmentation in law enforcement and gaps in training among the 18,000 police agencies in the 50 states, notes Daniel Lazare.

Pentagon Manual Calls Some Reporters Spies

An ABC News cameraman in the Persian Gulf War films the arrival of Syrian troops. (Photo credit: Don North)

Exclusive: The Pentagon’s new “Law of War” manual puts some journalists in the category of “unprivileged belligerents,” meaning they can be tried by military tribunals as spies, a further sign of U.S. government hostility toward reporting that undercuts Washington’s goals, writes veteran war correspondent Don North.

Assange and Democracy’s Future

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange

Democracy rests on citizens getting real facts and applying rational analysis. The ability of governments, including the U.S. government, to suppress facts and thus manage perceptions represents the opposite, a power over the people that WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange threatened, says Norman Solomon.

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.

Reporter Wins Fifth Amendment Case

The first ten amendments to the U.S. Constitution, known as the Bill of Rights.

The U.S. government’s recurring threats to prosecute journalists who receive classified documents may have created an avenue for some reporters to evade testimony at least in civil cases – by asserting a Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination, says Marcy Wheeler.

Kafka-like Persecution of Julian Assange

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange at a media conference in Copenhagen, Denmark. (Photo credit: New Media Days / Peter Erichsen)

In an era when powerful institutions demonize decent people – and the mainstream media joins in, piling on the abuse – legal proceedings have become another Kafka-esque weapon of coercion. Few cases are more troubling than the persecution of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, as John Pilger describes.

A Clash Over Whose Lives Matter

Afghan children await school supplies from Allied forces at Sozo School in Kabul. (French navy photo by Master Petty Officer Valverde)

A Twitter clash has broken out between people favoring #BlackLivesMatter or #AllLivesMatter, both protesting U.S. police violence against Americans but failing to take into account the hundreds of thousands of lives lost to the U.S. military as self-appointed global policeman, says Sam Husseini.

How to Eradicate Racism

Accused mass murderer and white supremacist Dylann Roof shown burning an American flag.

The massacre of nine black churchgoers in Charleston and a rash of arson at other black churches across the South show that despite conservative self-serving claims – and liberal wishful thinking – about racism becoming a thing of the past, much more work needs to be done, says Lawrence Davidson.

The Right’s Made-up ‘Constitution’

Gouverneur Morris, a delegate to the Constitutional Convention and a key drafter of the Preamble. (Painting by Edward Dalton Marchant)

From the Archive: Many Americans, especially Tea Partiers and Neo-Confederates, either haven’t read the U.S. Constitution or insist on distorting its plain language which established federal supremacy over the states and empowered the central government to “provide for … the general Welfare,” as Jada Thacker noted in 2013.