There’s an ominous sense of déjà vu as the U.S. prepares to attack Syria: dubious WMD claims, intense pressure from self-interested lobbies, a compliant mass media, a disregard of popular opposition, even a rush to remove UN investigators. This repeat of Iraq-2003 indicts U.S. democratic institutions, says Lawrence Davidson.
Secretary of State Kerry’s move to shut down or preempt a UN probe of alleged chemical weapons attacks inside Syria suggests that the U.S. doesn’t want facts to undermine its case for launching a retaliatory strike, an attitude reminiscent of George W. Bush’s behavior on Iraq, Gareth Porter writes for Inter Press Service.
U.S. government officials concede that a barrage of cruise missiles against Syria could result in collateral civilian deaths, possibly exceeding the numbers allegedly killed by chemical weapons. Such an assault also would violate international law and risk widening the Syrian conflict, note Marjorie Cohn and Jeanne Mirer.
On the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington and Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech, the inspiration from King’s non-violent civil disobedience has spread around the world, including to Palestine where much of the resistance to Israeli repression is following King’s guidebook, writes Jeff Cohen.
Exclusive: Though some intelligence analysts still doubt that the Syrian government launched a chemical attack, the political momentum for a U.S. retaliatory strike may be unstoppable. But the broader framework of the crisis involves the Israeli-Iranian dispute and the future of regional peace, says ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern.
On Sept. 18, 1961, a plane carrying UN Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjold crashed in Africa as he was negotiating to stop a war in Congo. Hammarskjold’s death removed one of the great advocates for international peace, as Roger Lipsey explains in a biography reviewed by Winslow Myers.
Special Report: The U.S. government decries leaks, but the other side of the story is that key chapters of American history are hidden from the public for decades and maybe forever. The CIA has just admitted its 1953 Iran coup and may never acknowledge a role in ousting Jimmy Carter in 1980, Robert Parry reports.
Egypt’s “democracy movement” largely sided with the military in its brutal coup against an elected Muslim Brotherhood government. But that fateful choice suggests these “moderates” may not understand the grim history of such tradeoffs, says Lawrence Davidson.
Amid the triumphalism of the Cold War’s end, Francis Fukuyama foresaw the “end of history” with capitalist liberal democracy prevailing. But that hubris has confronted failures of both capitalism and democracy in recent years, raising doubts about history’s course, ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar observes.
From the Archive: A vengeful U.S. military has sentenced Pvt. Bradley Manning to 35 years in prison for disclosing unpleasant truths about the Afghan and Iraq wars and other government deceits. Manning’s bravery inspired ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern in 2010 to reflect on an earlier dilemma between secrecy and truth.