Human Rights

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Rescuing Diplomacy in an Age of Demagogy

Russian President Vladimir Putin. (Russian government photo)

“Information warfare” is a new centerpiece of U.S. foreign policy, with demonizing an “enemy” the predictable first step sometimes toward actual war, as we’ve seen with Russian President Putin over Ukraine. But this propagandistic approach raises troubling philosophical questions about democracy, says Paul Grenier.

The New Republic’s Ugly Reality

Former New Republic owner Martin Peretz.

Exclusive: Mainstream pundits are outraged over a Silicon Valley barbarian riding in and defacing The New Republic, a temple to all that is wonderful about deep-thinking policymaking and long-form journalism. But the truth about the Washington-based magazine is much less honorable, writes Robert Parry.

Stifling Dissent on the Upper East Side

Exclusive: Modern U.S. counterinsurgency doctrine doesn’t just target people in faraway lands where the U.S. military is battling some uprising. It also takes aim at Americans whose dissent might undermine those wars, possibly explaining the strange arrest of Ray McGovern, writes retired JAG Major Todd E. Pierce.

Legacy of Whites Killing Black ‘Demons’

The autopsy drawing of Michael Brown's body after the 18-year-o;d was gunned down by a police officer in Ferguson, Missouri.

The police officer who killed Michael Brown convinced a St. Louis grand jury not to indict by likening the unarmed 18-year-old black man to “a demon” who looked “mad that I’m shooting at him” – language reminiscent of an earlier era when whites saw blacks as frightening sub-humans, writes William Loren Katz.

Raw Deal for Black Freedom Trail

Freedman's Village as it appeared in Harper's Weekly in May 1864.

Exclusive: Columbia Pike has long been the most neglected corridor in Arlington, Virginia, despite – or perhaps because of – its historic role as the freedom trail for thousands of African-Americans fleeing the Confederacy and slavery. That neglect now has a new chapter as a planned Streetcar is killed, reports Robert Parry.

Asking Christians about Tolerance of War

Jesus delivering his Sermon on the Mount as depicted in a painting by Nineteenth Century artist Carl Heinrich Bloch.

Many Americans are tuning out on politics and international affairs – feeling they have no real say in what the government does – but there is a danger from such passivity, particularly the license given to the powers-that-be to make war and more war, as Gary G. Kohls explains.

The Right’s Dubious Claim to Madison

James Madison in an engraving

From the Archive: Central to the question of whether America’s Right is correct that the Constitution mandated a weak central government is the person of James Madison and what he and his then-fellow Federalists were doing at the Constitutional Convention in 1787, wrote Robert Parry in 2013.

Learning the Lessons of Peace

The Prophet Isaiah (Illustration from a Bible card published by the Providence Lithograph Company)

Isaiah, one of the great Jewish prophets, was an advocate of peace whose words inspired Jesus’s non-violent teachings centuries later and continue to resonate to the present day, writes Rev. Howard Bess.

The Price for Criticizing Israel

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at AIPAC conference in Washington, D.C., on March 4, 2014.

Part of the neocon grip on Official Washington comes from the harsh career damage inflicted on people who criticize Israel’s abuse of the Palestinians, with such critics deemed anti-Semitic and thus often denied work or a place to express their opinions, as Lawrence Davidson notes.

The Strange Ferguson Grand Jury

Michael Brown, the victim of a police shooting in Ferguson, Missouri.

There is an old saying that prosecutors can get a grand jury to indict a ham sandwich – and statistics bear that out. But the police slaying of a young African-American man in Missouri received startlingly different treatment with the grand jury almost invited to exonerate the officer, says Marjorie Cohn.