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Empire of Illusion

Empire of Illusion

By Chris Hedges

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Tag: Afghanistan


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



AP/B.K. Bangash

How the Women of Pakistan Cope With War, Honor Killings and Prejudice

The West is flooded by news of all the incessant outrages, but by looking back at history we get a better understanding of what is happening in this forsaken country of ours. Progress is never linear.

Posted on Jun 23, 2014 READ MORE



AP/Lefteris Pitarakis

The Ghoulish Face of Empire

The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant reflects back to us a disturbing image of ourselves. Our murderous rampages, carried out in a foolish attempt to remake the Middle East through violence, have given birth to a Frankenstein monster.

Posted on Jun 22, 2014 READ MORE



Photo by Gage Skidmore (CC-BY-SA)

What New Details Reveal About Benghazi ‘Scandal’—and Its Promoters

If the Benghazi tragedy has revealed anything, it is the utterly partisan obsession of those who have tried to stoke the “scandal.”

Posted on Jun 20, 2014 READ MORE



Heed the Voices for Peace Amid the Tragedy of Iraq

It didn’t take long this week for the architects of the disastrous U.S. invasion and occupation of Iraq to apply their makeup and jump before the cable news television cameras.

Posted on Jun 19, 2014 READ MORE



AP/Charles Dharapak

Up Close and Personal With George W. Bush’s Horrifying Legacy

The Iraq disaster remains George W. Bush’s enduring folly, and the Republican attempt to shift the blame to the Obama presidency is obscene nonsense.

Posted on Jun 18, 2014 READ MORE



AP Photo/Jerome Delay

Don’t Trust the Bombers on Iraq: ‘Shock and Awe’ Never Works

In March of 2003, we were treated to an intensive bombardment of Iraq, which the Bush White House propagandists termed “Shock and Awe.”

Posted on Jun 17, 2014 READ MORE



U.S. Marine Corps/Cpl. Zachary Scanlon

Keeping America’s Baghdad Swimming Pools Safe From Fanatics

The Marines—250 of them, together with carrier air support and Marine Corps Osprey support craft—have been dispatched to save the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, the “biggest in the world,” “the size of the Vatican City,” with its swimming pools and skating rinks, from the menace of the offensive directed at Baghdad by the forces of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.

Posted on Jun 17, 2014 READ MORE



Ververidis Vasilis / Shutterstock.com

Where’s the Bread and Butter?

The 2014 campaign is being waged against a backdrop of national news dominated by everything except the core economic worries of most Americans.

Posted on Jun 16, 2014 READ MORE



Don’t Walk Away From War

Here are five straightforward lessons—none acceptable in what passes for discussion and debate in this country—that could be drawn from that last half century of every kind of American warfare.

Posted on Jun 12, 2014 READ MORE



Frederic Legrand / Shutterstock.com

Hillary’s Pre-Campaign Campaign

The curse of inevitability isn’t likely to ruin Hillary Clinton’s presidential ambitions, assuming she has them. Not this time.

Posted on Jun 11, 2014 READ MORE



U.S. Air Force/Staff Sgt. Evelyn Chavez

Robert Kagan and the Ruin of Ideas

Neoconservative commentator Robert Kagan, co-founder in 1997 of the Project for a New American Century, and after that institution crashed amid the ruins of Iraq, founder of its 2009 successor, the Foreign Policy Initiative, is continuing his crusade for a new Reaganism—which he construes as American world domination.

Posted on Jun 10, 2014 READ MORE



White House/Pete Souza

Seeking Sanity on Sgt. Bergdahl

It’s hard not to be cynical after the display of rancid partisanship that greeted the release of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl after five years as a Taliban-held prisoner of war. The Greatest Generation would not have acted this way.

Posted on Jun 9, 2014 READ MORE



If We Stop Eating Deep-Sea Fish, They May Help Save Us From Global Warming

Thanks to deep-sea fish, the ocean absorbs about half of the carbon humans produce; Las Vegas’ main water supply is a lake that just hit record-low levels; meanwhile, Bowe Bergdahl would not be alone in the “honorable history of war deserters.” These discoveries and more after the jump.

Posted on Jun 7, 2014 READ MORE



AP Photo

Welcome Home, Sergeant

If today’s Republican Party had been around during the Civil War, it would have tried to stop its own president, a fellow named Lincoln, from appointing Gen. Ulysses S. Grant commander of the Union Army because he drank on duty.

Posted on Jun 6, 2014 READ MORE


In Bergdahl Case, ‘Conservatives’ Ignore Basic American Principles

What the Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl saga demonstrates beyond question—to anyone who still nurtured any doubt—is that the Republican right will junk just about any basic American value to satisfy its hatred of President Barack Obama.

Posted on Jun 6, 2014 READ MORE



Six Points Concerning Bergdahl

Bringing Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl home was the right thing to do, and President Obama did it in a mostly reasonable way.

Posted on Jun 6, 2014 READ MORE


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