Human Rights


Selling Access to Pope Francis

Pope Francis

As much as Pope Francis criticized hyper-capitalism’s cruelty to the poor and the middle class, it was business as usual for the Catholic Church bureaucracy, selling access to the Pope’s events with front-row seats going to well-heeled benefactors, notes Michael Winship.

Obama’s Ludicrous ‘Barrel Bomb’ Theme

At the start of the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003, President George W. Bush ordered the U.S. military to conduct a devastating aerial assault on Baghdad, known as "shock and awe."

Exclusive: In addressing the United Nations, President Obama singled out for condemnation Syria’s President Assad and his alleged use of “barrel bombs,” but Obama was silent on his own use of far more powerful ordnance or the civilian tolls from Saudi/Israeli attacks with highly lethal U.S. bombs, writes Robert Parry.

Putin’s Judo Move in Syria

Russian President Vladimir Putin addresses UN General Assembly on Sept. 28, 2015. (UN Photo)

Exclusive: Official Washington loves to hate Russian President Putin, especially when he obstructs a neocon “regime change” scheme, with that animus now focused on Putin’s concern that overthrowing Syria’s government would risk a disastrous victory by the Islamic State and Al Qaeda, says Daniel Lazare.

Hillary Clinton’s ‘Wicked’ Syrian Choice

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)

As Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton bought into the neocon/liberal-hawk agenda which spread the chaos of Iraq across Libya, Syria and now into Europe. How Clinton approached those challenges suggests that she would head down the same “regime change” path as President, Rick Sterling explains.

Obama’s Self-Deceit

U.S. President Barack Obama addresses the United Nations General Assembly on Sept. 28, 2015. (Photo credit: United Nations.)

President Obama, who has boasted of ordering military strikes on seven countries, chastised Russia and China for not abiding by the rules of international behavior, a breathtaking example of hypocrisy or self-deceit, writes Joe Lauria.

The Power of False Narrative

President Barack Obama.

Exclusive: “Strategic communications” or Stratcom, a propaganda/psy-op technique that treats information as a “soft power” weapon to wield against adversaries, is a new catch phrase in an Official Washington obsessed with the clout that comes from spinning false narratives, reports Robert Parry.

Obama’s True Foreign-Policy ‘Weakness’

Prominent neocon intellectual Robert Kagan. (Photo credit: Mariusz Kubik,

From the Archive:  Official Washington considers President Obama “weak” because he doesn’t bomb every country that the neocons want bombed, so Obama talks “tough” in his major speeches to conceal his real “weakness” – his timidity in rebuffing neocon criticism – as Robert Parry described in 2014.

Can Obama Lecture Xi on Human Rights?

A screen shot of the White House home page on Sept. 25, 2015, noting the summit with China's President Xi Jinping by showing an earlier meeting between Xi and President Barack Obama.

Exclusive: The Obama administration often scolds China over its human rights record – and President Obama is sure to hammer away at those themes in his summit with Chinese President Xi – but it’s hard for the United States not to look hypocritical given its own checkered history, writes Jonathan Marshall.

Giving Up the Global-Cop Badge

A U.S. Army soldier provides security at a school in Farah City, Afghanistan, on Aug. 1, 2012. (Photo credit: U.S. Navy Lt. Benjamin Addison)

Official Washington is fuming over Russia’s expanded military role in helping Syria fight the Islamic State and Al Qaeda (as if the U.S. has been doing such a crack job). Instead, the U.S. should retreat from the unpopular job of global policeman, says ex-CIA official Graham E. Fuller.

Decline of Western Ethnic States

Flag of the European Union.

The neocon-driven wars in the Middle East have unleashed a demographic tidal wave on Europe, the arrival of refugees from Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya and other war-torn countries. Despite political resistance, this flood inevitably will reshape the Continent’s ethnic character, says Lawrence Davidson.