Obama Administration

image_pdfimage_print

The Soft Power Hoax

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)

U.S. officials love the idea of “soft power,” a concept that applies non-violent means – from propaganda to culture – to induce foreign countries to conform to Washington’s wishes. But the arrogance of the approach has alienated, rather than attracted, many people around the world, writes Mike Lofgren.

The ‘Two Minutes Hate’ of Tom Brady

New England Patriot quarterback Tom Brady.

Exclusive: New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady may lose his day in court since the NFL maneuvered “Deflategate” into a corporate-friendly venue in Manhattan – possibly sparing the NFL from explaining why rival owners were allowed to intervene to push harsh penalties for Brady and the Patriots, says Robert Parry.

Nuclear War’s Unlearned Lessons

A nuclear test detonation carried out in Nevada on April 18, 1953.

The upcoming 70th anniversary of the U.S. nuclear destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki is a fitting moment for the world to contemplate the dangers from the continuation of nuclear arsenals and the cavalier attitude that many countries take toward geopolitical crises, as Robert Dodge explains.

Kafka-like Persecution of Julian Assange

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange at a media conference in Copenhagen, Denmark. (Photo credit: New Media Days / Peter Erichsen)

In an era when powerful institutions demonize decent people – and the mainstream media joins in, piling on the abuse – legal proceedings have become another Kafka-esque weapon of coercion. Few cases are more troubling than the persecution of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, as John Pilger describes.

America’s Mindless Clamor

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, left, interviewed Samuel Wurzelbacher (aka "Joe the Plumber") on his Fox News Channel program in 2009.

America has become a land of institutionalized noise – whether the clamor of a crowded restaurant or the more dangerous shout fests of TV “news” – both intruding on the ability to think and communicate coherently, writes Lawrence Davidson.

Mideast Alliances Shift Again

King Salman of Saudi Arabia and his entourage arrive to greet President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama at King Khalid International Airport in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Jan. 27, 2015. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Like shifting desert sands, the volatile Middle East is going through a new, though subtle, realignment of adversaries and allies, with Turkey’s political tensions shaking up one area while Saudi Arabia makes moves of its own, as recounted by ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

A Clash Over Whose Lives Matter

Afghan children await school supplies from Allied forces at Sozo School in Kabul. (French navy photo by Master Petty Officer Valverde)

A Twitter clash has broken out between people favoring #BlackLivesMatter or #AllLivesMatter, both protesting U.S. police violence against Americans but failing to take into account the hundreds of thousands of lives lost to the U.S. military as self-appointed global policeman, says Sam Husseini.

Plans to Destroy a Palestinian Village

A section of the barrier -- erected by Israeli officials to prevent the passage of Palestinians -- with graffiti using President John F. Kennedy's famous quote when facing the Berlin Wall, "Ich bin ein Berliner." (Photo credit: Marc Venezia)

Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu is holding together his fragile parliamentary coalition by backing the demands of the aggressive settlers encroaching on Palestinian lands, with one dramatic case the plan to demolish the Palestinian village of Susiya, writes Alon Ben-Meir.

Why Russia Shut Down NED Fronts

Russian President Vladimir Putin laying a wreath at Russia's Tomb of the Unknown Soldier on May 8, 2014, as part of the observance of the World War II Victory over Germany.

Exclusive: The neocon-flagship Washington Post fired a propaganda broadside at President Putin for shutting down the Russian activities of the National Endowment for Democracy, but left out key facts like NED’s U.S. government funding, its quasi-CIA role, and its plans for regime change in Moscow, writes Robert Parry.

Obama’s Egypt Policy Breeds Terrorism

mohamedmorsi

Exclusive: President Obama has gotten in line behind the Israeli-Saudi preference in Egypt for the brutal dictatorship of Gen. al-Sisi over the elected (but now deposed) Muslim Brotherhood government of President Morsi, a posture so shocking that even some U.S. neocons object, writes Jonathan Marshall.