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Desert Reckoning

Desert Reckoning

By Deanne Stillman
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Tag: Afghanistan


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


Except Bergdahl

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Posted on Jun 6, 2014 READ MORE


Afghan War Vet Matthew Farwell on ‘America’s Last POW’

As the controversy over the prisoner swap grows, new information has emerged about Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl’s time in Afghanistan. A journalist and veteran of the Afghan war who has been following the Bergdahl story for years discusses the developments with “Democracy Now!” on Friday.

Posted on Jun 6, 2014 READ MORE



Bergdahl, Afghanistan, and the Darkening of the American Soul

Far removed from the din of professional Beltway hecklers, Bob Bergdahl, father of former Taliban prisoner Bowe Bergdahl, has been struggling for his son’s release. The ordeal of the son, and the disciplined, contemplative activism of the father, projects the U.S. war in Afghanistan through a different lens.

Posted on Jun 5, 2014 READ MORE


Signs for Any Occasion

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Posted on Jun 5, 2014 READ MORE


Bridge Out

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Posted on Jun 5, 2014 READ MORE


Bowe Bergdahl: Army of Wha’?!

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Posted on Jun 5, 2014 READ MORE


Taliban Releases Video of Bowe Bergdahl’s Delivery

The Taliban on Wednesday released a video showing the handover of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl to U.S. forces in eastern Afghanistan.

Posted on Jun 4, 2014 READ MORE



Is the Prisoner Swap Hysteria a Sign of GOP War Withdrawal Symptoms?

The problem for the happy warriors among the conservatives is that they can’t stop Obama from winding down America’s decade of war.

Posted on Jun 4, 2014 READ MORE



Obama Defends Deal With Taliban to Free U.S. Soldier

President Obama on Tuesday defended a prisoner swap with the Taliban to free an American soldier, saying his “sacred” trust as commander-in-chief outweighed claims he broke the law and set a dangerous precedent.

Posted on Jun 3, 2014 READ MORE



Dear GOP: The U.S. Has Negotiated With Terrorists and Amnestied Them All Through History

The GOP talking points in response to the release of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl in a trade for five former officials of the 1990s Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (Taliban) focused on a few basic premises.

Posted on Jun 3, 2014 READ MORE



White House/Pete Souza

Sending Drones Not Divisions

In the post-Cold War era, it was possible to hold grand illusions and chase utopian dreams. As President Obama understands, and his foreign policy critics fail to grasp, that time is past.

Posted on Jun 2, 2014 READ MORE



U.S. Navy/Chief Hospital Corpsman Josh Ives

Will Congress Be as Brave as Shinseki?

If you want a prime example of what’s wrong with our politics, study the response to the veterans’ health care scandal. You would think from the coverage that the only issue that mattered to politicians was whether Gen. Eric Shinseki should be fired.

Posted on Jun 2, 2014 READ MORE



What Does Sgt. Bergdahl’s Release Tell Us About Afghanistan, Pakistan and the Taliban Today?

The surprise announcement by President Obama on Saturday of the negotiated release of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, captured in 2009, is wonderful news for him, his family and America. But what does it tell us about the Taliban, Afghanistan and Pakistan?

Posted on Jun 2, 2014 READ MORE



‘We Needed to Get Him Out’: Hagel Defends Bergdahl Operation

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said Sunday that an operation to free soldier Bowe Bergdahl in exchange for Taliban prisoners was undertaken to save his life, as the insurgents’ leader hailed the swap as a “big victory.”

Posted on Jun 1, 2014 READ MORE


‘Left, Right & Center’: Deadly Shooting, Foreign Policy and Ed Snowden

Truthdig Editor-in-Chief Robert Scheer and the other “Left, Right & Center” panelists discuss what led to Elliot Rodger’s deadly attacks in Santa Barbara, President Obama’s announcement that he will reduce the U.S. military presence in Afghanistan from 30,000 troops to 10,000, and NSA whistle-blower Edward Snowden’s big interview.

Posted on May 30, 2014 READ MORE



U.S. Marine Corps/Sgt. Gabriela Garcia

Thousands of American Soldiers Could Remain in Afghanistan After 2014 Deadline

Posted on May 27, 2014 READ MORE



Everett Collection / Shutterstock.com

Did a Karzai No-Show Spoil Obama’s Announcement of End of Afghanistan War?

President Obama made a surprise trip to Afghanistan on Monday for Memorial Day.

Posted on May 27, 2014 READ MORE



DoD

In VA Scandal, Accountability for All—Including Congress

Unlike most of Congress, especially on the Republican side, Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki opposed the incompetent war plans of the George W. Bush administration that left so many American service men and women grievously wounded.

Posted on May 23, 2014 READ MORE


Voting

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Posted on May 22, 2014 READ MORE



S'J / Shutterstock.com

What Ukraine Really Needs

The United States has a recent history of going to war for dubious reasons promoted by interested groups, for which afterward Americans are sorry.

Posted on May 13, 2014 READ MORE



Solitary Confinement Is Not the Answer

There has been much attention, and rightly so, on the CIA’s extensive use of torture, which the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence is said to have documented in its still-classified 6,000-page report. The use of torture is not limited to the CIA, however.

Posted on May 7, 2014 READ MORE



Remembering Pat Tillman—and the Questions Left Unanswered

Ten years ago Pat Tillman was killed in Afghanistan, and the circumstances of his death continue to raise questions a decade later.

Posted on Apr 21, 2014 READ MORE



Abdullah Strengthens Lead in Afghan Presidential Race to 11 Points, Officials Say

Former Foreign Minister Abdullah Abdullah is leading Ashraf Ghani in Afghanistan’s presidential election by 11 percentage points after half of the ballots were counted.

Posted on Apr 20, 2014 READ MORE



Karzai Condemns Airstrike Over ‘Civilian Casualties’

Afghan President Hamid Karzai on Tuesday condemned a U.S. airstrike in an eastern border province that allegedly killed a woman and two of her children.

Posted on Apr 15, 2014 READ MORE



From Kabul to Cairo, the Killing and Jailing of Journalists Continues

Journalism is not a crime. Neither death nor imprisonment should be the punishment for reporting the news.

Posted on Apr 9, 2014 READ MORE



Alexander Ishchenko / Shutterstock.com

Ukraine and Russia Have Created an International Disorder

An international disorder unmatched since the interwar 1930s has been created by the drama of Ukraine and the Russians, combined with the inherent self-destructive forces of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the developing civil war over theological as well as political issues inside the Islamic states, and the serious risk of collapse in the European Union.

Posted on Apr 8, 2014 READ MORE



Canada in Afghanistan / Canada en Afghanistan (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Top 7 Surprising Pieces of Good News in Afghanistan Presidential Election

Afghanistan went to the polls on Saturday, despite threats by the Taliban to disrupt the elections and calls by the extremists for Afghans to boycott the vote.

Posted on Apr 7, 2014 READ MORE


Triggering Ft. Hood

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Posted on Apr 5, 2014 READ MORE



AP Photo/Peter Dejong

This Brave Woman Gave Her Life to Bring You the News

Associated Press photojournalist Anja Niedringhaus was shot to death by an Afghan policeman Friday.

Posted on Apr 4, 2014 READ MORE


Ft. Hood

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Posted on Apr 4, 2014 READ MORE



The U.S. Army (CC BY 2.0)

Fort Hood and the True Cost of Iraq, Afghanistan Wars: Nearly 1 Million Traumatized by PTSD

The Fort Hood shooter who left three victims dead Wednesday had been being assessed for post-traumatic stress disorder. He had served for four months at the tail end of the Iraq War in 2011 and suffered from anxiety and depression.

Posted on Apr 3, 2014 READ MORE



AP/Sean Gallup

What Do the U.S. and Europe Now Want?

Washington says, “punishment” of Vladimir Putin and his Russian government. I presume that it is not by way of war, although that risk exists as both sides demonstrate their determination and self-righteousness.

Posted on Mar 26, 2014 READ MORE



plavevski / Shutterstock.com

Will Putin Bring Us Together?

Vladimir Putin’s grab of Crimea has exposed the paradoxes in American attitudes toward foreign policy.

Posted on Mar 19, 2014 READ MORE



U.S. Army/Spc. Steven Hitchcock

War as a Spectator Sport

The dirtiest trick Richard Nixon pulled on the nation was ending the draft and a civilian army to tamp down protests by young people during the Vietnam War. He disengaged politicians and the rest of us from our young countrymen in uniform, leaving other presidents and super patriots to charge or creep into unwinnable wars.

Posted on Mar 14, 2014 READ MORE



CIA Spies and Tortured Lies

This week’s public spat between CIA-loyalist Sen. Dianne Feinstein and the CIA might briefly upset the status quo, but they will make up.

Posted on Mar 12, 2014 READ MORE



Gage Skidmore (CC-BY-SA)

Rand Paul Slams He Who Must Not Be Named (Ted Cruz)

Fresh off a big straw poll win at the Conservative Political Action Conference, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul has a new op-ed taking aim without mentioning names at second-place finisher and fellow conservative heartthrob Sen. Ted Cruz.

Posted on Mar 10, 2014 READ MORE


Vulnerable Foreign Laborers Toil on U.S. Bases in Afghanistan

Al-Jazeera America looks at the human trafficking system that brings tens of thousands of foreign laborers to work on U.S. military bases in Afghanistan.

Posted on Mar 10, 2014 READ MORE


McCain War Chant Revised

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Posted on Mar 9, 2014 READ MORE



(AP/Dmitry Lovetsky)

Russia Can’t Take the West Seriously Anymore, but Why Should It?

Let’s face it, the West has been sold to the highest bidder and Putin has no reason to fear us.

Posted on Mar 5, 2014 READ MORE



ID1974 / Shutterstock.com

Before Crimea There Was Iraq, Afghanistan, Panama, Grenada and So On

Even as Washington condemns Moscow for its outrageous aggression, we reserve the right to fire deadly missiles into Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia and who knows where else.

Posted on Mar 3, 2014 READ MORE


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