Michael Ratner, Champion for Human Rights

Human rights activist Michael Ratner

Michael Ratner, who died last week, was a champion on behalf of the world’s oppressed, giving the phrase “human rights” real meaning and defying its current propaganda application to justify endless war, as Marjorie Cohn explained at Truthdig.

The Coming Democratic Crackup

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton at NATO conference in Munich, Germany, Feb. 4 (Official Defense Department photo)

Exclusive: Though the mainstream media is focused on Republican divisions, a more important story could be the coming Democratic crackup, as anti-war Democrats resist Hillary Clinton’s pro-war agenda, writes Robert Parry.

Seeing Humanity in ‘Enemy’ States

Iran's President Hassan Rouhani celebrates the completion of an interim deal on Iran's nuclear program on Nov. 24, 2013, by kissing the head of the daughter of an assassinated Iranian nuclear engineer. (Iranian government photo)

Official Washington’s propagandistic view of the world sees “good guys” and “bad guys,” a simplistic and dangerous dichotomy that ignores the common human elements, as ex-State Department official Matthew Hoh observes.

Inciting Iran’s ‘Bad Behavior’

Iran's Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei sitting next to President Hassan Rouhani and addressing the cabinet.

Washington’s neocon foreign policy establishment follows the Israeli-Saudi line on Iran, denouncing its every move, an approach that brings out the worst in the Iranians and raises the risk of war, notes ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

In Case You Missed…

Some of our special stories in April focused on the global troubles made worse by U.S. “endless war,” the unorthodox 2016 presidential race, and the crisis in the American mainstream news media.

Russia’s Diversity of Opinion

Russian President Vladimir Putin answering questions from Russian citizens at his annual Q&A event on April 14, 2016. (Russian government photo)

The usual U.S. depiction of Russian media is that all you get is Kremlin propaganda, but prime-time talk shows actually offer wider diversity of opinion and more substantive debates than what appears on American TV, says Gilbert Doctorow.

Refugees from ‘Endless’ War

Refugees from Mideast wars camped along rail lines in Greece.

Policymakers in Official Washington talk piously about waging “humanitarian” wars, but the real-life consequences of these interventions play out in squalid refugee camps far from U.S. shores, as Ann Wright witnessed.

Escalations in a New Cold War

President Barack Obama meets with President Vladimir Putin of Russia on the sidelines of the G20 Summit at Regnum Carya Resort in Antalya, Turkey, Sunday, Nov. 15, 2015. National Security Advisior Susan E. Rice listens at left. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Exclusive: The Obama administration poked Russia in the eye again by activating a missile defense site in Romania while building up NATO forces on Russia’s borders, acts that could escalate toward nuclear war, notes Jonathan Marshall.

Political Pressure Stymies US-Iran Ties

President Barack Obama, with Vice President Joe Biden, announcing the signing of the Iran-nuclear agreement on July 14, 2015. (White House photo)

Exclusive: With the Iran nuclear agreement, President Obama opened lines of communications to Iran, but political pressures in Washington prevent a more substantive shift in relations, reports Gareth Porter.

The Hillary Clinton/Neocon Merger

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

Between the mainstream media’s demonization of Donald Trump and the neocons jumping ship to Hillary Clinton’s campaign, a Clinton victory might prove grimly inevitable, but that will guarantee more neocon wars, says ex-CIA official Graham E. Fuller.

Democrats, Too Clever by Half on Clinton

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton confronts Sen. Bernie Sanders in Democratic presidential debate on Jan. 17, 2016.

Exclusive: Democratic Party honchos who wanted Hillary Clinton’s coronation are having some regrets as her weaknesses become obvious, her poll numbers sink, and Donald Trump surges toward the lead, reports Robert Parry.

Ghosts of ’68 in Election 2016

On March 31, 1968, President Lyndon Johnson announced that he would not seek reelection and devote the remainder of his presidency to bringing the Vietnam War to an end.  (Photo credit: LBJ Library by Yoichi Okamoto)

Longtime observers of American politics have noted striking parallels between the unpredictable wartime election of 1968 and the bizarre presidential contest of 2016, another time of war and distress, as Michael Winship recalls.

LBJ’s ‘X’ File on Nixon’s ‘Treason’

National Security Adviser Walt Rostow shows President Lyndon Johnson a model of a battle near Khe Sanh in Vietnam. (U.S. Archive Photo)

From the Archive: The 1968 election had one shocking turn after another, but its final and arguably worst twist – still largely unknown to Americans – traded untold death in Vietnam for political power in Washington, Robert Parry wrote in 2012.

Donald Trump’s Unsurprising Surprise

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump in an MSNBC interview.

Exclusive: Donald Trump’s ascension to the Republican presidential nomination was predictable, paved by years of right-wing fear-mongering and dissemination of anti-knowledge, says former GOP congressional staffer Mike Lofgren.

A Need to Rethink Mideast Wars

President Barack Obama delivers an address to the nation on the U.S. Counterterrorism strategy to combat the Islamic State, in the White House, Sept. 10, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Congress continues to shirk its duty to consider a new authorization of force for U.S. military conflicts in the Mideast that are on shaky legal grounds and deserve a thorough rethinking, writes ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.