The American Religious Right has been eager to tear down – or chip away – the wall that separates government from religion and thus declare the United States a “Christian nation.” But the principle of a secular state has served the country well, says retired Baptist Minister Howard Bess.
Though South Africa emerged from the cruel injustice of Apartheid to create a multiracial democracy, the country never addressed the residual inequality of wealth and property, contributing now to social unrest and political turmoil, as Danny Schechter reports from Durban.
Special Report: New evidence continues to accumulate showing how Official Washington got key elements of the Watergate and Iran-Contra scandals wrong, especially how these two crimes of state originated in treacherous actions to secure the powers of the presidency, writes Robert Parry.
In recent decades, Watergate reporter Bob Woodward has blundered in fawning books on Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan and President George W. Bush – and now finds a threat in a routine exchange with a White House official. But overlooked is his war-mongering, says William Boardman.
Jack Lew, the new U.S. Treasury Secretary, follows in the footsteps of other Wall Street insiders to hold that position. His Cayman accounts and “golden parachutes” also may make it hard for him to put himself in the shoes of average Americans, as Michael Winship notes.
There was a time in America when someone like Ramsey Clark could be Attorney General and assert the power of the federal government on the side of civil rights, but that now seems like ancient history, as Clark reflects on the past and present with Dennis J. Bernstein.
Exclusive: Iran’s ex-President Bani-Sadr, in criticizing inaccurate history in “Argo,” says most Iranian officials wanted a quick end to the 1980 U.S.-Iranian hostage crisis, but Ronald Reagan’s presidential campaign struck a deal with Ayatollah Khomeini to delay the hostages’ release, reports Robert Parry.
The genocide against Native Americans remains one of the worst blots on the collective U.S. conscience, but the crime was widely ignored until four decades ago when a movement of Indian activists returned to the historic massacre site at Wounded Knee, as Bill Means recounted to Dennis J. Bernstein.
Even as the Obama administration inches toward a compromise with Iran over its nuclear program, U.S. officials keep up the tough talk to appease Official Washington’s hardliners. But wishful thinking about Iran’s vulnerabilities could raise the risk of conflict, say Flynt and Hillary Mann Leverett.
Exclusive: In the U.S. system, the “supreme law” of the land is set by the Constitution and the federal government, though states, counties and cities have wide discretion over local matters. But problems arise when right-wingers start espousing the notion of “state sovereignty,” says Robert Parry.