Manuel Noriega: feared dictator was the man who knew too much

The atmosphere outside Gen Manuel Noriega’s battered, bullet-scarred comandancia, headquarters of the Panamanian Defence Forces, one early morning in October 1989, bordered on frenetic. Beyond the railings a woman sobbed with grief. Her husband, an officer involved in the previous night’s failed coup attempt against Noriega, was missing. It later transpired he and dozens of [...]

How the 1989 War on Manuel Noriega’s Panama Super-Charged US Militarism

Manuel Noriega is dead at 83. He seems like a sad footnote to the last disastrous quarter century, but the December 1989 US invasion of Panama really was a permission slip for Washington—led by both Republicans and Democrats—to waste whatever potential benefits the end of the Cold War might have brought. Remember the “peace dividend”? [...]

Is Turkey Becoming a Dictatorship?

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has claimed victory in Sunday’s referendum over whether to give sweeping powers to the president, but Turkey’s main opposition party is calling for the the referendum results to be tossed out, citing irregularities. According to unofficial results, just 51 percent of voters approved the sweeping change. Turkey’s three largest cities—Istanbul, [...]

El Salvador Judge Reopens Case of Slain Archbishop Romero

A judge in El Salvador on Thursday reopened the nearly four-decade-old case of murdered Archbishop Oscar Romero, an icon of the Roman Catholic Church in Latin America, and asked that prosecutors seek criminal charges against the main suspect. Romero, then archbishop of San Salvador, was shot dead in 1980 by a right-wing death squad as [...]

The power of ordinary people facing totalitarianism

In the weeks since the election of President Donald J. Trump, sales of George Orwell’s “1984” have skyrocketed. But so have those of a lesser-known title, “The Origins of Totalitarianism,” by a German Jewish political theorist Hannah Arendt. “The Origins of Totalitarianism” discusses the rise of the totalitarian movements of Nazism and Stalinism to power [...]