The West Snubs Russia over V-E Day

American and Soviet troops symbolically shake hands across the Elbe River on April 25, 1945, in the final days of World War II in Europe.

Exclusive: Last year’s U.S.-backed coup in Ukraine – followed by violence and tensions – has soured plans for the May 9 commemoration in Moscow of World War II’s V-E Day, the Allied defeat of Nazi Germany, a war which cost the Russian people nearly 27 million dead, as ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern describes.

Obama Tries His Hand at ‘Realism’

President Richard Nixon with his then-National Security Advisor Henry Kissinger in 1972.

President Obama is what might be called a “closet realist” who often pounds his fists upon the table while shaking hands under the table. He has to pull off this trick because of America’s ugly partisan realities, says ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

A Fact-Resistant ‘Group Think’ on Syria

Scott Pelley, anchor of CBS Evening News

Exclusive: CBS News’ anchor Scott Pelley is known for his clueless journalism which never goes beyond Official Washington’s “group think” – and he was at it again in a dangerously provocative “60 Minutes” segment on the sarin gas attack near Damascus, Syria, in 2013, reports Robert Parry.

Making Unnecessary Enemies in Yemen

Saudi King Salman bids farewell to President Barack Obama at Erga Palace after a state visit to Saudi Arabia on Jan. 27, 2015. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

The Saudi-Israeli tandem is trying to pull the U.S. and other militaries into the Yemeni civil war by arguing that the Houthi rebels are Iranian proxies. But the reality is much more nuanced and the American interest may go in a different direction, says ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

How Ukraine Commemorates the Holocaust

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

Exclusive: Pundit Thomas Friedman says the new Ukraine regime “shares our values” but – as much of the world marked the 70th anniversary of the Nazi Holocaust finally being ended by Russian and U.S. armies – politicians in Kiev were busy honoring Ukraine’s Nazi collaborators, writes Robert Parry.

Anti-Islam Hate in City of Brotherly Love

The Islam-hating poster displayed on buses in Philadelphia. (Photo via Forward)

Though the First Amendment protected the right of American Nazis to march through Jewish neighborhoods of Skokie, Illinois, in 1978, the provocation was universally condemned. Now, an Islamophobic group is posting Muslim-bashing ads on Philadelphia buses, notes Lawrence Davidson.

Syrian Rebels Caught in ‘False-Flag’ Kidnapping

Richard Engel, NBC's chief foreign correspondent.

Exclusive: In August 2013, when the U.S. government almost went to war in Syria over a Sarin attack, suspicions that it was a rebel “false-flag” were ridiculed. But new disclosures about a rebel role in kidnapping NBC’s Richard Engel several months earlier show the rebels knew such propaganda tricks, says Robert Parry.

Prisoners Inside America’s Raging Storm

The aging federal facilities in Lexington, Kentucky, which include a prison for women. (Photo: Bureau of Prisons)

America’s obsession with meting out long prison sentences for drug offenses and various non-violent crimes has produced a vast population locked inside a prison-industrial complex and assigned to work for pennies an hour, a hidden world that anti-war activist Kathy Kelly describes from within.

Still Not Halfway to Spring Fund Goal

Journalist Robert Parry.

From Editor Robert Parry: We want to wrap up our spring fund drive soon, but we’re still not even halfway to our goal of $35,000. So let’s see if we can at least reach the two-thirds mark, raising about $25,000 – or about $8,000 more. Given the importance of the journalism that we produce, that shouldn’t be so hard.

Did Money Seal Israeli-Saudi Alliance?

President Obama and King Salman Arabia stand at attention during the U.S. national anthem as the First Lady stands in the background with other officials. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Special Report: The odd-couple relationship between Saudi Arabia and Israel may have been sealed with more than a mutual desire to kiss-off Iran. According to an intelligence source, there was a dowry involved, too, with the Saudis reportedly giving Israel some $16 billion, writes Robert Parry.

America’s Overuse of the Sanctions Option

President Barack Obama talks with Secretary of State John Kerry and National Security Advisor Susan E. Rice in the Oval Office on March 19, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

America’s use of economic sanctions to punish various foreign adversaries has grown so promiscuous that U.S. businesses often don’t know when they might be crossing some legal line, thus inflicting financial pain not only on other countries but on the U.S. economy, notes ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

Russia Impinges on Israeli ‘Right’ to Bomb Iran

An Israeli who  joined a public campaign in 2012 to discourage an Israeli war against Iran.

Exclusive: American neocons are in a lather over Russia’s decision to go ahead with the sale of anti-aircraft missiles to Iran. The apparent outrage is that Iran thinks it has a right to protect its citizens from Israel’s right to launch airstrikes into Iran’s territory, as ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern explains.

Saudis Pour Oil on the Mideast Fire

King Salman of Saudi Arabia and his entourage arrive to greet President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama at King Khalid International Airport in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Jan. 27, 2015. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Saudi Arabia, now in alliance with Israel and with tacit U.S. approval, is dragging the Middle East into a nightmare of sectarian conflict, pitting its own warplanes and Sunni terrorists against Shiites, Christians and other minorities as part of a misguided competition with Iran, as Anthony F. Shaker describes.

Neocon ‘Chaos Promotion’ in the Mideast

Former Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz, a leading neocon and proponent of the Iraq War. (Defense Department photo)

Exclusive: After the Persian Gulf War in 1991, America’s neocons thought no country could stand up to the high-tech U.S. military, and they realized the Soviet Union was no longer around to limit U.S. actions. So, the “regime change” strategy was born – and many have died, writes ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern.

How Washington Adds to Yemen’s Nightmare

map-yemen

Exclusive: Tangled in corrupt old alliances, such as with the Saudi monarchy, the Obama administration has now joined a war in Yemen that pits some of the region’s most anti-democratic forces and Al-Qaeda against a home-grown rebel movement with limited backing from Iran, as Jonathan Marshall describes.

The Nasty Blowback from America’s Wars

A screen-shot from a video showing Walter Scott being shot in the back by a North Charleston, South Carolina, police officer Michael Slager on April  4, 2015. (Video via the New York Times.)

Exclusive: There are historical warnings to countries that inflict violence abroad, that the imperial impulse will blow back on the domestic society with suppression of public debate and repression of common citizens, that the war will come home — as is happening in the United States, says ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern.

Neocons, R2Pers and Hypocrisy

President Barack Obama talks with Ambassador Samantha Power, U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations, following a Cabinet meeting in the Cabinet Room of the White House, Sept. 12, 2013. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Exclusive: R2Pers say America has a “responsibility to protect” endangered people around the world, but this R2P moral imperative is selective, often indistinguishable from neocons tolerating some slaughters and choosing to wage war against certain enemies — just dressed up in liberal rhetoric, reports Robert Parry.

Reasons for the Mideast’s Despair

French diplomat Francois George-Picot, who along with British colonial officer Mark Sykes drew lines across a Middle East map of the Ottoman Empire after World War I, carving out states with boundaries that are nearly the same as they are today.

The West is quick to show disdain for the Muslim world and almost as quick to bomb it. But the only way to ultimately diffuse Islamic extremism is to understand the West’s historic role in causing the problem – and then pursuing practical ways to address legitimate concerns, as Alon Ben-Meir explains.

Hyping the Iranian ‘Threat’

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

Iran hasn’t invaded another country for centuries and is helping the U.S. push back against the Islamic State in Iraq, but Israeli leaders and American neocons want to enlist the West in the Saudi cause of promoting Sunni Islam over Shiite Islam, while America’s interests suffer, as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar explains.

Spring Fund Drive Coming Up Short

As a thank-you gift for donations of $150 or more, you can get the just-released DVD of "Kill the Messenger," starring Jeremy Renner as the late Gary Webb, and a CD of a 1996 joint appearance by Webb and Robert Parry discussing the Contra-cocaine scandal.

From Editor Robert Parry: At Consortiumnews, we only have a few special fund drives each year. So, it’s important that we meet – or come close to meeting – our goals. Sadly, that’s not been the case for our spring fund drive. So far, we have raised less than one-third of our $35,000 goal, putting our future at risk.

Capitol Hill’s Golden Revolving Door

Rep. Aaron Schock, R-Illinois, as pictured in CREW's list of the most corrupt members of Congress.

In the age of the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision – freeing billionaires to buy U.S. elections – many politicians know who owns their allegiance in office, but that financial obeisance grows even more when they leave government, as BillMoyers.com’s Michael Winship describes.

Israel’s Unsavory New ‘Allies’

President Barack Obama stands with Israeli President Shimon Peres and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during the President's official arrival ceremony in Tel Aviv, Israel, in 2013. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

The American people, who still want to stop Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State, are only dimly aware that longtime U.S. “allies” – Israel and Saudi Arabia – have shifted into an effective alliance with those Sunni jihadists as part of their regional war against Iran and Shiite Islam, as Lawrence Davidson explains.

When Journalists Join the Cover-ups

President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney receive an Oval Office briefing from CIA Director George Tenet. Also present is Chief of Staff Andy Card (on right). (White House photo)

From the Archive: Ex-New York Times reporter Judith Miller still insists only innocent mistakes were made in the phony claims used to justify invading Iraq, but what the case really showed was a systematic failure of the Washington press corps, as Robert Parry explained in a two-part series in 2005.

Judith Miller’s Blame-Shifting Memoir

Former New York Times reporter Judith Miller.

U.S. intelligence veterans recall the real story of how New York Times reporter Judith Miller disgraced herself and her profession by helping to mislead Americans into the disastrous war in Iraq. They challenge the slick, self-aggrandizing rewrite of history in her new memoir.

Why America Needs Iran

King Salman greets the President and First Lady during a state visit to Saudi Arabia on Jan. 27, 2015. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

President Obama is tiptoeing around the sensitivities of Israel and Saudi Arabia as he depicts the Iran-nuclear deal as a one-off affair. But broader cooperation with Iran may be vital to salvage U.S. interests in the Mideast, say Flynt and Hillary Mann Leverett.

Obama’s Fateful Indecision

obama-cameron

Exclusive: With Israel and Saudi Arabia siding with the Islamic State and Al-Qaeda versus Iran and its allies, President Obama faces a critical decision – whether to repudiate those old allies and cooperate with Iran or watch as Sunni terrorist groups possibly take control of a major country in the Mideast, writes Robert Parry.

The Iran Deal’s Big Upside

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani meeting a group of Iranian citizens. (Iranian government photo)

The tentative deal with Iran, ensuring that its nuclear program stays peaceful, opens some avenues toward reducing tensions in the Mideast and addressing long-neglected American interests, but the hard-line opponents will still do all they can to kill it, as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar explains.

When Occupation Becomes Apartheid

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)

Backers of right-wing Israeli policies bristle when the South African term “apartheid” is applied to the Jewish state’s isolation and persecution of Palestinians. But the near half century of West Bank occupation leaves little doubt the description fits, says Gil Maguire, whose father famously airlifted Jews into Israel.

In Case You Missed…

Some of our special stories in March focused on the nuclear-war dangers implicit in the Ukraine crisis, Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu’s U.S. intervention to kill talks on Iran’s nuclear program, the role of propaganda past and present, and the way the national-security state influences public debate.

The Evolution of Consortiumnews

From Editor Robert Parry: Frankly, the evolution of Consortiumnews.com has surprised me. Twenty years ago, the idea was to provide a home for independent investigative journalism that was getting squeezed out of the mainstream U.S. news media. We have done that, but we have done much more.

Reasons for Despair and Hope

Pope Francis. (Photo from Casa Rosada)

This year, Holy Week – marking the crucifixion of Jesus – coincides with the anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.’s murder on April 4, 1968, with some Christians seeing many reasons to despair and a few reasons to hope, as Kathy Kelly explains from her cell in a Kentucky federal prison serving a sentence for anti-war activism.