Foreign Policy

Unjust Aftermath: Post-Noriega Panama

As an example of a U.S.-trained military officer gone bad, Gen. Manuel Noriega is escorted onto a U.S. Air Force aircraft by agents from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency after his arrest on Jan. 1, 1990. (U.S. military photo)

Special Report: Twenty-four years ago, the United States invaded Panama to capture Gen. Manuel Noriega on drug charges. Operation Just Cause promised the country a new day free of dictatorship and drug-tainted corruption, but it didn’t work out that way, as Jonathan Marshall describes.

Behind Colin Powell’s Legend: Panama War

U.S. Army Rangers assault La Comandancia, headquarters of the Panamanian Defense Force, in the El Chorrillo neighborhood of Panama City during the invasion of Panama,  December 1989. (U.S. military photo)

From the Archive: Though largely forgotten, the brief U.S. invasion of Panama in 1989 established key precedents that would reappear in later conflicts – from the Persian Gulf and Kosovo to Afghanistan and Iraq – policies shaped, in part, by Gen. Colin Powell, as Robert Parry and Norman Solomon wrote in 1996.

Contras, Dirty Money and CIA

Vice President George H.W. Bush meeting with Panamanian Gen. Manuel Noriega in the mid-1980s.

From the Archive: On Dec. 20, 1989, President George H.W. Bush ordered the invasion of Panama to arrest Gen. Manuel Noriega on drug charges. The U.S. news media viewed the assault as a case of Bush seeking justice, but there was a darker back story of U.S. guilt, as Robert Parry reported in 1997.

WPost Slips Behind Amazon’s Cloud

Amazon's founder and CEO Jeff Bezos, who also owns the Washington Post.

Technology moguls – many involved with high-tech U.S. intelligence projects – are deploying their fortunes to buy up or start up media entities that give them control of the tone and content of journalism, including Amazon’s Jeff Bezos and his Washington Post, notes Norman Solomon.

If You Believe the Government, ‘You’re Stupid’

Longtime CBS News correspondent Morley Safer.

Americans are taught the myth that their democracy is safeguarded by an independent press. But the government and other powerful entities have long mastered the art of manipulating the major media, even to the point of bluntly telling reporters the facts of life, as Jon Schwarz recalls.

No War Over Rocks

Islands at the center of the territorial dispute between China and Japan. (Image credit: Jackopoid)

U.S. foreign policy remains captive to unipolar hubris, enforced by neocon pundits who demand military interventions to solve the world’s problems. But this kneejerk response is particularly crazy when applied to Asian disputes over rocks far at sea, says Independent Institute’s Ivan Eland.

Judge Leon’s Dirty Climb to the Bench

U.S. District Judge Richard Leon

Exclusive: Civil libertarians are cheering federal judge Richard Leon for his ruling against the NSA’s massive surveillance program – and that’s all to the good – but Leon’s route to the bench followed a twisted course of partisan investigations and one historic cover-up, Robert Parry reports.

The Blacklisting of Noam Chomsky

Author Noam Chomsky.

An odd aspect of modern American life is that even with 24-hour news and its roster of blathering pundits, many creative thinkers with valuable insights are blacklisted from mainstream media, perhaps most notably Noam Chomsky who turned 85 on Dec. 7, as Jeff Cohen reflects.

Latin America Finds Its Footing

Argentine President Cristina Kirchner.

Exclusive: While the U.S. and Spain have wallowed in the Great Recession swamp, Latin America has begun breaking free of the old order that bogged down progress. Now, the region is restructuring relations with its old international masters, as Andrés Cala explains.

Wisdom in Restraint on Syria

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in front of a poster of his father, Hafez al-Assad.

The neocons are still beating the drums for U.S. military intervention in Syria, now supposedly for humanitarian reasons. But – as horrific as the Syrian violence is – it’s clear that President Obama’s restraint last summer averted making the mess even worse, says ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.