Neocons Want ‘Regime Change’ in Iran

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

A curious trait of America’s neocons is that they never change course or learn from past mistakes. They simply press on for more and more “regime change,” explaining their determination to sink the Iranian nuclear talks to reopen the pathway to more war, as Jonathan Marshall explains.

FCC Delivers a Free Speech Victory

Free Press President Craig Aaron (Photo: Michael Winship)

The Democratic majority on the Federal Communications Commission sided with millions of Internet users, voting to prevent the Web from being turned into a high-speed super-highway for some and a slower-speed roadway for many, a victory for free speech and democracy, says Michael Winship.

Needed: Leaders Like JFK and Khrushchev

President John F. Kennedy addressing the nation regarding the October 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis.

Three days ago, former U.S. diplomat William R. Polk, who served President John F. Kennedy during the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962, warned that the West was risking a similar crisis in reverse by pressing NATO forces aggressively onto Russia’s borders. He has now added this postscript about the need for wise leaders.

The Mystery of the Civil War’s Camp Casey

A U.S. Colored Troop soldier in the Civil War.

Special Report: During the Civil War’s final years, a Union base in Northern Virginia trained hundreds of African-American soldiers to fight to end slavery, one of only a few such bases inside a Confederate state. But Camp Casey has nearly disappeared from history, a mystery examined by Chelsea Gilmour.

Americans Catching a New War Fever

President George W. Bush announcing the start of his invasion of Iraq on March 19, 2003.

The U.S. media/political elites are again riling up the American people about threats abroad, whether it’s the hysterical reporting about Russia or the sensationalistic coverage of Islamic State atrocities. The results are showing with more Americans favoring more war, as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar explains.

Planting False Evidence on Iran

Iranian women attending a speech by Iran's Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei. (Iranian government photo)

Prior to the U.S. intelligence community’s 2007 assessment that Iran was not working on a nuclear weapons program, there was a scramble among U.S. and Israeli officials to show that it was. The CIA’s Operation Merlin also revealed that U.S. officials were not above planting false evidence, writes Norman Solomon.

Saudis Said to Aid Israeli Plan to Bomb Iran

Saudi Prince Bandar bin Sultan (left) and Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud (right). (Photo credit: Press TV)

Exclusive: As the Obama administration is rushing to complete a nuclear agreement with Iran and reduce regional tensions, the Israeli media is reporting on a deal with Saudi Arabia to let Israeli warplanes transit Saudi airspace en route to bombing Iran, reports Robert Parry.

The Gaza Test for World Justice

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu presses his case for the military offensive against Gaza in a meeting with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon in 2014. (Israeli government photo)

The future of world justice – with powerful nations held as accountable as the weak – may be decided by how the International Criminal Court handles allegations of Israeli crimes in last year’s war on Gaza. Will the same standards apply to influential Israel that are enforced against Third World violators, asks Lawrence Davidson.

Should Jews Flee Europe to Israel?

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’s appeal to European Jews to seek refuge in Israel has offended many leaders in Europe who reject the charge that recent cases of violent anti-Semitism justify such a drastic step. Netanyahu’s call also smacks of political opportunism, says Professor Alon Ben-Meir.

Killing Democracy in Greece

The Parthenon in Athens, standing atop the Acropolis.

Greece, known as the birthplace of democracy, has seen the popular will thwarted often since World War II, from a brutal rightist coup to today’s austerity-driven depression touched off by financial manipulators, as William Blum describes.

Ukraine War: A Reverse Cuban Missile Crisis

In October 1962, Americans were terrified over Soviet missiles in Cuba, as this newspaper map showing distances between Cuba and major North American  cities demonstrates.

Guided by an aggressive neocon “regime change” strategy, the United States has stumbled into a potential military confrontation with Russia over Ukraine, a dangerous predicament that could become a Cuban Missile Crisis in reverse, as ex-U.S. diplomat William R. Polk explains.

A ‘Downton Abbey’ World of US Politics

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U.S. pundits and pols often lecture other countries for their lapses in democracy, sometimes citing barriers that some candidates may face to get on the ballot. But American politics has its own major barrier, the need to raise lots and lots of money, as Michael Winship notes.

The State Department’s ‘Twilight Zone’

Rod Serling, host of the iconic television series, "The Twilight Zone."

The gap between reality and what the U.S. government says is reality has widened into a chasm with the mainstream U.S. news media usually nodding at whatever absurdity is presented, but the AP’s Matthew Lee is one of the few reporters who challenges the State Department’s “Twilight Zone,” as William Blum notes.

Ready for Nuclear War over Ukraine?

Peter Sellers playing Dr. Strangelove as he struggles to control his right arm from making a Nazi salute.

Exclusive: A year after a U.S.-backed coup ousted Ukraine’s elected president, the new powers in Kiev are itching for a “full-scale war” with Russia — and want the West’s backing even if it could provoke a nuclear conflict, a Strangelovian madness that the U.S. media ignores, writes Robert Parry.

Jeb Bush’s Iraq War Cop-Out

President George W. Bush is introduced by his brother Florida Gov. Jeb Bush before delivering remarks at Sun City Center, Florida, on May 9, 2006. (White House photo by Eric Draper)

Very few promoters of the Iraq War faced any accountability for their aggressive war, nor it seems were many lessons learned. This failure is being tested again as President George W. Bush’s brother Jeb seeks the White House without a serious critique of this bloody disaster, notes ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

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In Case You Missed…

Some of our special stories in January focused on the sophistication of U.S. government propaganda, Roy Cohn’s role in recruiting Rupert Murdoch, the worsening crisis in Ukraine, and the prosecution of another whistleblower.

Failing Tonkin Gulf Test on Ukraine

President Lyndon Johnson announces "retaliatory" strike against North Vietnam in response to the supposed attacks on U.S. warships in the Gulf of Tonkin on Aug. 4, 1964. (Photo credit: LBJ Library)

Exclusive: As the Ukraine crisis worsens, Official Washington fumes only about “Russian aggression” — much as a half century ago, the Tonkin Gulf talk was all about “North Vietnamese aggression.” But then and now there were other sides to the story – and questions that Congress needed to ask, writes Robert Parry.

The Obama-Netanyahu Showdown

President Barack Obama holds a bilateral meeting with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel in the Oval Office, Oct 1, 2014. The meeting was described as chilly, reflecting the strained relationship between the two leaders. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

President Obama has been reduced to asking Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu for permission to reach a nuclear deal with Iran, recognizing Netanyahu’s power over the U.S. Congress. But Netanyahu’s determination to block any deal has left Obama traversing a difficult negotiating path, writes Gareth Porter.

Tick-Tock-ing toward Oblivion

The Doomsday Clock set at three minutes to midnight.

Blithely, the world’s political, military and financial leaders strut toward existential catastrophes while never questioning the rightness of their actions. This arrogance has caused leading scientists to push the symbolic clock of global destruction to three minutes to midnight, notes Nicolas J S Davies.

Ukraine Finance Minister’s American ‘Values’

Ukrainian Finance Minister Natalie Jaresko.

Special Report: Among the arguments for why Americans should risk nuclear war with Russia over Ukraine is that the regime that took power in a coup last year “shares our values.” But one of those “values” – personified by Finance Minister Natalie Jaresko – may be the skill of using insider connections, reports Robert Parry.

Giving Obama Even More War Powers

President Barack Obama shakes hands with U.S. troops at Bagram Airfield in Bagram, Afghanistan, Sunday, May 25, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

As much as Republicans hate President Obama, their love of war seems to be winning out as they ratchet up his request for powers to attack the Islamic State, another sign that the Founders’ vision of restraining armed conflicts is being lost, as Independent Institute’s Ivan Eland notes.

Shocked over Senate’s Gitmo Rhetoric

Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona, and Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-South Carolina, appearing on CBS' "Face the Nation."

A citizen who attended a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing about Guantanamo Bay was so shocked by the ugly rhetoric from some senators that she spoke up and was arrested. Now in an open letter, Helen Schietinger is asking Sen. McCain to use his chairmanship to finally close the prison.

Disdaining ‘the Search for Truth’

Wisconsin's Republican Gov. Scott Walker (Photo credit: Gage Skidmore)

When information becomes a weapon – whether in geopolitics or domestic politics – the democratic principle of an informed electorate is sacrificed, as is now the case in modern America, where some leaders pander to parts of the electorate that are disdainful of science, as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar observes.

President Gollum’s ‘Precious’ Secrets

Gollum, a character in J.R.R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings fantasy novels.

Exclusive: Despite promises of “openness,” President Obama has treated information that could inform American democracy like Tolkien’s character Gollum coveted his “precious” ring. Obama is keeping for himself analyses that could change how the public sees the crises in Syria and Ukraine, writes Robert Parry.

The Endless Tragedy of Vietnam

Scene from the Vietnam War

For the U.S. government, old lies die hard, even lies as discredited as blaming the North Vietnamese for the Tonkin Gulf incident in 1964, the non-event that launched the Vietnam War and caused ongoing tragedies for those who bombed and those who were bombed, as Myra MacPherson reported from Hanoi.

Netanyahu Uses US Congress as Prop

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the United Nations in 2012, drawing his own "red line" on how far he will let Iran go in refining nuclear fuel.

By addressing the U.S. Congress for a third time, Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu will again demonstrate his mastery of the American political process, using the backdrop of repeated standing ovations to keep Israelis from thinking too much about economic troubles, writes ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

How a Classic Movie Fueled US Racism

A scene from "The Birth of a Nation," D.W. Griffith's 1915, silent movie classic, depicting the "renegade Negro," Gus, played by white actor Walter Long in blackface, in the hands of the Klan. (Photo credit: Museum of Modern Art, Film Stills Archive.)

A century ago, there was a surge in lynching and other white racist violence against blacks across the American South, combined with a burst in Confederate pride, actions and attitudes fueled by the widely proclaimed movie, “The Birth of a Nation,” as William Loren Katz recalls.

Can ICC Mete Out Justice to Powerful?

The International Criminal Court in The Hague, Netherlands. (Photo credit: Vincent van Zeijst)

The International Criminal Court brought hope that victims of serious crimes of state could finally get some justice, but instead the truly powerful have retained their impunity while alleged violators from weak countries are dragged before the ICC, a reality that may yet change, says Lawrence Davidson.

The One-Sided US Narrative on Iran

Iran's Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei. (Iranian government photo)

In the preferred U.S. narratives, American leaders are always wise and rational but must deal with pigheaded and crazy adversaries. That is the way the current U.S.-Iranian nuclear negotiations are presented inside Official Washington but there is a very different reality, as Gareth Porter explains.

The Putin-Did-It Conspiracy Theory

President Barack Obama talks with President Vladimir Putin of the Russian Federation as they join other leaders en route to the APEC Family Photo at the International Convention Center in Beijing, China, Nov. 11, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Exclusive: A new truce agreement in Ukraine rekindles hope that the bloodshed can be reduced if not stopped, but Official Washington’s gross misunderstanding of the crisis, blaming everything on Russia’s President Putin, raises doubts and portends a potentially grave catastrophe, writes Robert Parry.