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December 19, 2014
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Life and Fate

Life and Fate

By Vasily Grossman; Robert Chandler (Introduction by)

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Tag: Afghanistan


The Senate Drone Report of 2019

Three years into a sagging Clinton presidency and a bitterly divided Congress, the 500-page executive summary of the Senate Intelligence Committee’s long fought-over, much-delayed, heavily redacted report on the secret CIA drone wars was finally released. Committee chairman Ron Wyden (D-OR) took to the Senate floor, and said…

Posted on Dec 19, 2014 READ MORE



Truthdig’s Books of the Year: Part One

Whether on climate change, soaring wealth inequality, or the surveillance state, this has been a year of calls to action.

Posted on Dec 12, 2014 READ MORE



Shutterstock

Answering Evil With Evil

The “debate” over torture is almost as grotesque as torture itself. There can be no legitimate debate about the intentional infliction of pain upon captive and defenseless human beings.

Posted on Dec 12, 2014 READ MORE


Defense Secretary

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Posted on Dec 3, 2014 READ MORE



Mikhail Metzel/TASS

America’s Superpower Thinking Is a Bad Habit From a Bygone Century

China is emerging as the new Number One, while the policy makers in Washington can’t get their heads out of the Cold War.

Posted on Dec 2, 2014 READ MORE



Russians Invade Afghanistan (Again!), Chinese Fight Iraq War (Again!)

After 13 years of doing its damnedest, the U.S. has overseen the rise of the dominant narco-state on the planet with monopoly control over up to 90 percent of the global opium supply and 75 percent of the heroin. It’s also been complicit in the creation of the first terrorist mini-oil state in history, a post-al-Qaeda triumph of extreme jihadism.

Posted on Nov 27, 2014 READ MORE


Obama Strategy

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Posted on Nov 27, 2014 READ MORE



U.S. Air Force/Master Sgt. Adrian Cadiz

Does Hagel’s Departure Pave the Way for Combat Troops to Iraq?

It’s a surprise to see President Obama actually fire someone. But I have to worry that Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel’s forced departure may signal further expansion of U.S. military involvement in Iraq and Syria.

Posted on Nov 25, 2014 READ MORE



The Last Days of Tomas Young

The maimed veteran died last week after a desperate battle with the VA, which callously had reduced his pain medication. His crucible is familiar to the many other Americans who have become the fodder of our wars.

Posted on Nov 16, 2014 READ MORE


The Afghanistan War Turned This Republican Soldier Into a Socialist Peace Activist

This week on Truthdig Radio in association with KPFK: Rory Fanning’s extraordinary journey, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler’s come-apart and California’s rebellious blue streak.

Posted on Nov 14, 2014 READ MORE


The Afghanistan War Turned This Republican Soldier Into a Socialist Peace Activist

This week on Truthdig Radio in association with KPFK: Rory Fanning’s extraordinary journey, FCC Chair Tom Wheeler’s come-apart, and California’s rebellious blue streak.

Posted on Nov 14, 2014 READ MORE



The Bases of War in the Middle East

There is almost no way to overemphasize how thoroughly the U.S. military now covers the Greater Middle East. After 35 years of base-building there, it’s long past time to look carefully at how this garrisoning affects the region, the U.S., and the world.

Posted on Nov 14, 2014 READ MORE



Shrinking the Empire: A Session on the Imperial Couch

What follows is a transcript of a therapy session between the American Empire and a psychiatrist whose name we at TomDispatch have agreed not to disclose. Normally we wouldn’t consider publishing such a private encounter, but the probative news value of the exchange is so obvious that we decided to make an exception.

Posted on Nov 13, 2014 READ MORE



Tomas Young, Rest in Peace

There were 8,920,000 military veterans in the United States as of last June, according to the Department of Veterans Affairs. Sometime last Sunday or Monday, hours before Veterans Day began, that number dropped by one, when Tomas Young died at home in Seattle, with his wife by his side.

Posted on Nov 13, 2014 READ MORE


Veterans Day

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Posted on Nov 11, 2014 READ MORE



Building an Escalation Machine

Sometimes it seemed that only two issues mattered in the midterm election campaigns just ended: ISIS and Ebola. Think of them as the two horsemen of the present American apocalypse. And count on this: Oppositional pressure to escalate will be a significant factor in Washington “debates” in the last years of the Obama administration.

Posted on Nov 6, 2014 READ MORE



The Missing Women of Afghanistan

On Sept. 29 Ashraf Ghani was sworn in as president of Afghanistan. What he had to say in his inaugural speech about his wife, Rula Ghani, sent his nation’s progressive women over the moon. (At right, an Afghan.)

Posted on Oct 30, 2014 READ MORE


John Oliver on How America Is Turning Its Back on Middle Eastern Translators Who Risked Their Lives

In a moving (but of course, still funny) episode of “Last Week Tonight,” John Oliver sheds light on the plight of Iraqi and Afghani translators who worked for U.S. forces and contractors, a position that jeopardized the well-being of their families as well as themselves.

Posted on Oct 20, 2014 READ MORE


Chris Hedges Takes On the ‘Global Culture of Violence’

On Sept. 28, Chris Hedges spoke at the Brooklyn Society for Ethical Culture’s Charley Horwitz Platform on the pervasive violence that characterizes our era and offered possible solutions.

Posted on Oct 15, 2014 READ MORE


Bad Chemistry

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Posted on Oct 3, 2014 READ MORE



U.S. Navy/MC1 Trevor Welsh

10 Myths About Obama’s Latest War

Reese Erlich was in northern Iraq at the start of the U.S. bombing campaign against Islamic State. He says the reality on the ground is far different from the propaganda coming out of Washington.

Posted on Oct 1, 2014 READ MORE



LEE SNIDER PHOTO IMAGES / Shutterstock.com

Learning From History

It is something of a cliche to quote George Santayana one more time, saying, "Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it." But for folks of my age, ignorant repetition has been a constant in our lives. And, of course, it is happening again right now.

Posted on Sep 29, 2014 READ MORE



Truthdigger of the Week: Jacob George

Tragic news of the young veteran received enormous attention over the past week. Friends and fellow veterans remember his warmth, wisdom and commitment to bringing the horrors of war to an end.

Posted on Sep 28, 2014 READ MORE



The Underground Girls of Kabul

A fascinating new book about the Afghan subculture of “bacha posh,” in which families without boys designate their young daughters to live as honorary sons.

Posted on Sep 26, 2014 READ MORE



Global Warming and Global Warring

Hours after 400,000 people joined in the largest climate march in history, the United States began bombing Syria, starting yet another war.

Posted on Sep 24, 2014 READ MORE



Shutterstock

The Mideast Horrors Grow

Cutting off the heads of aid workers and journalists is nothing in comparison with the degradation and dehumanization being inflicted on the pathetic people of the Middle East by all sides.

Posted on Sep 23, 2014 READ MORE



U.S. Navy/Photographer's Mate 3rd Class Tyler J. Clements

American Amnesia: Why the GOP Leads on National Security

If the latest polls are accurate, most voters believe that Republican politicians deserve greater trust on matters of national security.

Posted on Sep 22, 2014 READ MORE



U.S. Marine Corps/Lance Cpl. Darien J. Bjorndal

House Votes to Arm Syrian Rebels, but Not to Pay for It

With the help primarily of Republicans, President Obama’s plan to arm Syrian rebels won approval in the House on Wednesday.

Posted on Sep 17, 2014 READ MORE



AP/Mark Humphrey

No Thanks From an Ungrateful Nation: The Surge of Female Vets Living on the Streets

Sexual assault is a major reason for the growing number of homeless female veterans.

Posted on Sep 15, 2014 READ MORE



Gage Skidmore (CC-BY-SA)

Republicans’ Reaction to Obama Speech Reveals Much—About Them

Minutes after President Barack Obama concluded his strong and sensible address explaining how he intends to destroy the terrorist organization the Islamic State, Republicans popped up on television like political snipers.

Posted on Sep 12, 2014 READ MORE



U.S. Air Force/Senior Airman Armando A. Schwier-Morales

9/11, ISIS and the New Politics of Foreign Policy

Over the last decade, Americans’ views on foreign policy have swung sharply from support for intervention to a profound mistrust of any military engagement overseas.

Posted on Sep 12, 2014 READ MORE



Here Comes Dick Cheney to Beat the Drums of War in Iraq (Again)

In what is hopefully not one of the seven signs of imminent apocalypse, former Vice President Dick Cheney once again darkened the halls of Congress on Tuesday, huddling with House Republicans to strategize about the simmering war zone that is Iraq. Yes, it is 2014 and not 2004.

Posted on Sep 9, 2014 READ MORE



Shutterstock

Our Challenge With Islam

Destroying, degrading or containing the Islamic State—whichever goal President Obama chooses—will be the easy part. Finding ways for fundamentalist Islam to express itself peacefully is a bigger, tougher and more important project.

Posted on Sep 5, 2014 READ MORE



White House/Pete Souza

Obama Beyond the Sound Bite

In contemplating President Obama’s foreign policy, Mark Twain’s reference to Richard Wagner’s music—it’s “better than it sounds”—comes to mind.

Posted on Sep 5, 2014 READ MORE



Obama and NATO Allies Signal Support for Ukraine at Wales Summit

In an expected show of solidarity, President Barack Obama, British Prime Minister David Cameron, French President Francois Hollande and other NATO delegates meeting in Wales on Thursday agreed to disagree with Moscow over the ongoing crisis in Ukraine and readied new sanctions against Russia.

Posted on Sep 4, 2014 READ MORE



The Guns of August

What, if anything, have we learned from the disaster of World War I? Look no farther than Gaza, or Ferguson, Mo.

Posted on Aug 27, 2014 READ MORE



AP/Hatem Moussa

How the Brutalized Become Brutal

The beheading of a U.S. reporter, Hamas’ executions of suspected collaborators and fundamentalists’ slaughters in Iraq are the end of a long horror story, not the beginning.

Posted on Aug 24, 2014 READ MORE



Has Surplus Military Gear Wound Up in Your City?

An interactive map of American counties lets readers see how many aircraft, armored vehicles, body armor, grenade launchers, vision accessories and assault rifles left over from the military-industrial complex’s bloody adventures in the Middle East have ended up in their hometown.

Posted on Aug 22, 2014 READ MORE



The American Cult of Bombing

When you do something again and again only to see indifferent or even negative results, you wouldn’t be surprised if a neutral observer questioned your sanity. Yet few Americans question the sanity or cult-like behavior of American presidents as they continue to seek solutions to complex issues by bombing Iraq (as well as numerous other countries across the globe).

Posted on Aug 21, 2014 READ MORE


Military Plans

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Posted on Aug 20, 2014 READ MORE



Gaza to Afghanistan: Killing Machines and the Madness of Militarism

Incapable of thinking beyond military solutions to social problems, militarism absolves individuals and governments, if not the public, of the horror produced by the weapons it builds. Moreover, just as it erases the memory of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, it suggests that the killing of hundreds of children in Gaza is a necessity.

Posted on Jul 25, 2014 READ MORE



Why America Continues to Back Israel While Some Other Countries Call for Boycotts

The U.S. government wasn’t always Israel’s strongest ally, but as political figures in countries such as Norway call for a boycott of Israeli goods to protest the Gaza operation, our politicians almost unanimously continue their unfailing support.

Posted on Jul 23, 2014 READ MORE



Nomads of the Digital Age

The freedom to communicate and to share has entered a new era. The power promised by this freedom, by the Internet, is immense, so much so that it frightens entrenched institutions.

Posted on Jul 9, 2014 READ MORE



ChameleonsEye / Shutterstock.com

Bush Trifecta Lands on Obama: Gaza, Iraq and Afghanistan Imploding

President Barack Obama of Hawaii had fondly dreamed of bidding turbulent and unrewarding West Asia farewell and turning the attentions of American diplomacy to East and South East Asia.

Posted on Jul 9, 2014 READ MORE



U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Nicole Sikorski

How Do You ‘Make’ Democracy?

Barring the increasingly influential isolationist/tea party wing of the American electorate, opinion is and always has been that the United States is the messenger of democracy to a world that usually hasn’t earned it and probably doesn’t deserve it.

Posted on Jul 8, 2014 READ MORE



Kneeling in Fenway Park to the Gods of War

In sporting events across the country the religion of sports fuses with the religion of war—a mark of all militarized societies. Games at Fenway are as much about venerating the military as the Red Sox.

Posted on Jul 7, 2014 READ MORE



Syrian Opposition: Baghdadi ‘Caliphate’ Lame Attempt to Take Spotlight Off His Crime Spree

Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi’s proclamation of himself as “caliph” is rather like the grand wizard of the Ku Klux Klan declaring himself the Holy Roman emperor.

Posted on Jul 2, 2014 READ MORE



Pity the Children

War brings with it a host of horrors, but the worst is what it does to children. The suffering of the young, perpetrated by those who carry weapons, exposes war’s demented pathology.

Posted on Jun 30, 2014 READ MORE



State Department

It’s Too Late, Mr. Kerry

Secretary of State John Kerry thinks Iraq can be saved with a new prime minister to take the place of Nouri al-Maliki.

Posted on Jun 24, 2014 READ MORE


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