P.R. experts are skilled at framing policy debates in favorable though misleading ways, like the “war on terror” or the “war on drugs.” What gets shielded by this packaging are the unstated goals, interests and outcomes that would draw popular opposition if known, writes Arjen Kamphuis.
Exclusive: Normally, peace negotiators end a conflict first and then examine the war crimes later. But the long-running civil war in Colombia has such a secretive and brutal history that efforts to cease the fighting began with an investigation of the slaughter, writes Andrés Cala.
Exclusive: Today’s crises – endless war, environmental catastrophe, desperate poverty and more – can seem so daunting that they paralyze action rather than inspire activism. But the imperative to do something in the face of injustice defines one’s moral place in the universe, as ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern explains.
Official Washington often lectures other countries on the need for accountability, especially when governments have engaged in war crimes. Yet, one of the clearest cases of a U.S. war crime – the mass spraying of Vietnam with Agent Orange – has escaped any reckoning, note Marjorie Cohn and Jeanne Mirer.
From the Archive: Even today – more than two decades after the Soviet Union disappeared – the Washington press corps views U.S.-Russian disputes through a one-way Cold War lens, with Moscow always at fault. But the reality is more complicated, as Robert Parry explained about Afghanistan in 2012.
The second – and hopefully last – nuclear bomb was dropped on Nagasaki, Japan, on Aug. 9, 1945. Among the bitter ironies of that day, the U.S. plane was flown by an all-Christian crew that picked for its target the landmark of a Christian church that had survived Japanese persecution, writes Gary G. Kohls.
“Defectors” are among the most unreliable intelligence sources since they have an obvious motive for discrediting their former governments, but still have been allowed outsized roles in whipping up hysteria against Iraq in 2003 and now against Iran, as Gareth Porter reports for Inter Press Service.
From the Archive: For years, “defectors” from “enemy” states have supplied the U.S. government and media with propaganda that is eagerly repeated to justify economic, diplomatic or even military retaliation. That was the case with Iraq in 2003 and now with Iran, as Robert Parry reported in 2012.
The cruel irony of how the United States has addressed post-9/11 war crimes, including President Bush’s invasion of Iraq and his use of torture, is that no major government official has been held accountable, yet whistleblowers have faced harsh reprisals, most notably Pvt. Bradley Manning, as Marjorie Cohn explains.
The resumption of peace talks between Israeli and Palestinian negotiators is widely cheered, but it will result in a positive result only if the genuine interests of both sides are treated fairly, a prospect that is undercut by the pro-Israeli bias of the U.S. government, says Lawrence Davidson.