Trading Guatemala for Cuba

Two extremes of Latin American politics are represented by Guatemala and Cuba, the former a country where, in 1954, the CIA succeeded in overthrowing a government that offended Washington and the latter a nation that has resisted CIA covert operations…

Sexual Puritanism and Empire

As the ice caps melt and wars continue to kill, the U.S. news media remains obsessed with sex scandals, such as Rep. Anthony Weiner tweeting lewd photos of himself. But this persistent moral outrage is its own strange voyeurism, not just a distraction…

A Minister Out of Place

Prophets and priests have served rival and often contradictory roles throughout history, with priests officiating at society’s rituals and prophets addressing society’s injustices. Recently, the Rev. Howard Bess found himself in a position to serve both functions.

GOP Rejects Global Warming Threat

As a current article of political faith, Republican leaders decry the science on global warming as “junk” or a left-wing conspiracy. Even as temperatures rise around the planet and new weather patterns threaten food supplies, the GOP and its right-wing alllies refuse to face the…

Teddy Roosevelt’s ‘Bloodlust’

Americans know little about their nation’s real history or the flaws of their most famous leaders, even pivotal ones like Theodore Roosevelt, the 26th president of the United States. But this ignorance isn’t bliss; instead it contributes to a dangerous…

Three Deadly War Myths

Exclusive: The U.S. wars in Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya have involved myths pleasing to Official Washington — about its own wisdom and the evil of the enemy — but these false narratives have caused President Barack Obama and other U.S. policymakers to base decisions on illusion rather…

Can Obama Escape from Afghan War?

Holdovers from the Bush administration, including Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Gen. David Petraeus, boxed President Obama into a counterinsurgency “surge” during the 2009 policy review for Afghanistan. Now, Obama has a chance to go in a different direction, but…

Making the US Economy ‘Scream’

Exclusive: Over the past several decades, Republican methods for winning national power have come to resemble CIA techniques for destabilizing an enemy country — through the use of black propaganda, political skullduggery and economic disruptions. Now, heading toward Election 2012, the Republicans appear poised to make the U.S. economy “scream,” observes…

Is Unity Still a Value?

As the United States commemorates the 150th anniversary of the Civil War fought over the South’s secession in defense of slavery today’s irony is that the U.S. government is experiencing a resurgence of the divisions that empowered secession in 1861,…

US Spying Detects No Iranian Nukes

Despite fresh alarms from U.S. and Israeli officials about Iran’s nuclear program, evidence remains elusive that Iran has resumed work on a bomb. That lack of proof continues even though U.S. intelligence has engaged in extensive monitoring of suspected research…

Obama’s Peace Talk Ploy

The killing of Osama bin Laden and reports of peace talks with the Afghan Taliban have raised U.S. hopes that the long war in Afghanistan might finally be heading toward a conclusion, but some sources suggest that there is less to these…