GOP Vexed over Pope on Climate Change

Image of Planet Earth taken from Apollo 17

In the pocket of the oil industry, key Republicans continue to sow doubts about the science on climate change, an attitude that may extend to their annoyance with Pope Francis if he raises the issue when he addresses Congress, as Michael Winship describes.

The ‘Tempest-tost’ Syrian Refugees

The Statue of Liberty.

Like its predecessor in Iraq, the “regime change” war in Syria has killed hundreds of thousands and uprooted millions more, with many now seeking refuge in the West. But political forces have resisted providing safe haven, an affront to international law, writes Marjorie Cohn at Truthdig.

Blunting the Pope’s Environmentalism

Pope Francis

Pope Francis has challenged market economics to address the human cost of profit-making, especially global warming’s threat to the future of the planet. But opponents of government regulation are set to spin whatever criticism the Pope delivers during his U.S. trip, writes ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

The Frantic Fear of Islam

Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin.

The American Right and neocon activists have whipped up so much Islamophobia that this bigotry is now shaping the Republican presidential race and contributed to the arrest of a 14-year-old Texas boy who built a clock as a school project, writes Nat Parry.

Obama’s Fateful Syrian Choice

President Barack Obama, with Vice President Joe Biden, attends a meeting in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, Dec. 12, 2013. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Exclusive: President Obama faces a choice that could define his legacy and the future of the American Republic: He can either work with Russia’s President Putin to stabilize Syria or he can opt for a confrontation that could lead to an open-ended war with grave risks of escalation, writes Robert Parry.

Congress Deserving of Dunce Caps

The U.S. Capitol. (Photo credit: Architect of the Capitol)

The inability of the U.S. Congress to address basic responsibilities, such as funding the government, invites negative comparisons to unruly school children in need of detention, dunce caps or worse, as Michael Winship describes.

Was Turkey Behind Syria Sarin Attack?

President Barack Obama speaking to the United Nations General Assembly on Sept. 24, 2013. (UN photo)

From the Archive: As Washington pundits again demand Syrian President Assad’s ouster, a top talking point is that he “gassed his own people” in a Sarin attack in 2013. But that rush to judgment was picked apart by investigative journalist Seymour Hersh and others, as Robert Parry reported in spring 2014.

Solitary Confinement Under Attack

U.S. Supreme Court

One of the cruelest aspects of American prisons is the excessive use of solitary confinement, especially in “supermax” facilities, leaving inmates without normal human contact for years and even decades, a form of cruel punishment now under challenge in the courts, as Marjorie Cohn described for teleSUR.

Are Neocons an Existential Threat?

Jackson Diehl, deputy editorial page editor of the Washington Post.

Exclusive: Despite a record of unprecedented error, American neocons remain the dominant foreign policy force in Official Washington, demanding more “regime change” in the Middle East and a new Cold War that could heat up and end all life on the planet, writes Robert Parry.

US Confusion over the Syrian War

Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.

Official Washington is in a tizzy over Russia’s decision to join the fight in Syria to defeat Al Qaeda and ISIS, though one might have thought the U.S. would welcome Moscow’s help. But there are other factors, including the wishes of Israel and Saudi Arabia, complicating matters, writes Lawrence Davidson.