In defending freedom of speech at the UN, President Obama addressed a variety of audiences, especially the world’s Muslims angry over an offensive video, but he also didn’t want to rile up his political opponents at home. That kept some of the key defenses of free speech off the table, says ex-CIA analyst Paul R.…
President George W. Bush and his neocon advisers made much of mocking international law, with Bush once responding to a question in fake horror: “I better call my lawyer.” But the issue of the U.S. and its allies abiding by such laws is front and center again with Iran, notes Paul R. Pillar.
The latest fury over Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s condemnation of Israel’s Zionist government as “an insult to all humanity” ignores the growing body of evidence that today’s Israel is evolving into an Apartheid state similar to the old South Africa, Nima Shirazi writes.
A United Nations conference is looking at ways to reduce global instability by regulating the international flow of guns and other conventional weapons. But the talks face the usual obstacles, including political resistance in the United States to any constraints on the gun trade, ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar writes.
International agencies and global movements target human rights violators from small or isolated countries, but the idea of holding accountable the powerful and well-connected who cause much greater human suffering is considered unthinkable, a paradigm that Danny Schechter challenges.
Exclusive: The murder of Libyan strongman Muammar Gaddafi was widely hailed in the West as a just outcome. But it involved powerful nations making up the rules as they went along, the law of the jungle disguised as international justice, observes Peter Dyer.
The hard-to-believe accusation about an Iranian assassination plot in Washington may be thin on actual evidence but that has not stopped the Obama administration from using it to stir up animosity toward Iran within the American public and at the UN, writes Joe Lauria.
Palestinian officials have appealed for membership at the United Nations, prompting angry retorts from Israel and a veto threat from the Obama administration. But the UN issue is membership, not statehood, which Joe Lauria writes is already a de facto reality.
President Barack Obama struggled to explain his planned veto of UN recognition of a Palestinian state just a year after he welcomed the idea. His speech was a painful example of a leader knowing what is right and calculating that he can’t do what is right, notes Lawrence Davidson.
At the United Nations, President Barack Obama tried to square the circle of U.S. support for democracy and freedom across the Middle East with his threat to veto statehood for the Palestinians, a cause he championed just last year. In an open letter to the President, author Marc H. Ellis critiques Obama’s depressing double talk.