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Tag: Afghanistan

Bush
AP photo / Charles Dharapa

Shoes and Boos for Outgoing Bush

It’s hard to remember the time when George W. Bush winked and swaggered his way into the White House, while rival Al Gore’s team fretted that the vice president didn’t show enough folksy warmth or wear the right earth tones to win the day. My, how times have changed.

Posted on Dec 15, 2008 READ MORE



U.S. Army / Staff Sgt. Michael Bracken

America’s Afghan Thugs

An American living in Kandahar writes in The Washington Post that the “corrupt gunslingers” the U.S. put in charge of Afghanistan are as much to blame for the resurgence of the Taliban as anyone. “Why,” after all, “would anyone defend officials who pillage them?”

Posted on Dec 15, 2008 READ MORE


Let's Get Ready to Rumsfeld
AP photo / Rick Browmer

Senate Panel’s Report on U.S. Torture Abuse

Read the devastating bipartisan report from the Senate Armed Services Committee that indicts high-level Bush administration officials—including former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld—as bearing major responsibility for the torture at Abu Gharib, Guantanamo, and other detention facilities.

Posted on Dec 12, 2008 READ MORE


Olberman

Bush’s Legacy Untangled

Keith Olbermann, in this comma-laden “Countdown” diatribe, really lets loose on the idea of George Bush’s legacy being anything but a dishonorable, terror-filled and disastrous eight years.

Posted on Dec 10, 2008 READ MORE


West’s Role in Afghanistan Needs Re-Examining

Why are the allies waging war against the largest of the native ethnic groups in Afghanistan? The NATO answer is that the allies didn’t set out to fight a war against the Pashtuns. It just happened that way.

Posted on Dec 9, 2008 READ MORE


The Scalpel

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Posted on Dec 8, 2008 READ MORE    


Clinton and Obama
AP photo / Charles Dharapak

Keeping Track of Change

For anyone seeking real reform of America’s foreign and defense policies in the years ahead, the introduction of Barack Obama’s national security team last Monday was a mixed bag. Yet what these and other appointments really suggest about Obama’s broader prospects for reform requires vigilant public attention.

Posted on Dec 5, 2008 READ MORE


Remaking the World in America’s Image

The evidence suggests that American policy under Barack Obama will be a continuation of the neoconservative foreign policy of the Bush administration, given a human face.

Posted on Dec 4, 2008 READ MORE


Afghan prisoner
AP photo / Xinhua, Xie Xiudong

Who Are the Afghan Insurgents?

Who exactly are the Afghan insurgents? Every suicide attack and kidnapping is usually attributed to “the Taliban.” In reality, however, the insurgency is far from monolithic.

Posted on Dec 4, 2008 READ MORE


Not a Team of Rivals at All

When the journalistic pack bites into a tasty cliché, they often refuse to let go, lazily chewing and regurgitating a phrase like “team of rivals” long after the flavor is gone.

Posted on Dec 4, 2008 READ MORE


Obama's defense team
AP photo / Pablo Martinez Monsivais

Will Obama Stay the Course?

I do so want to believe that Barack Obama is on the right track. His brain is big, his style fresh, his pronouncements both logical and compelling, and it does feel good to have a president-elect elicit universal respect rather than make the world cringe.

Posted on Dec 2, 2008 READ MORE


Was There Any Point to the Bloodshed in Mumbai?

What is the message of a terrorist attack that fails to deliver a message? Threats and warnings are being exchanged by India and Pakistan over the attack on Mumbai, carried out by presumed Muslim extremists. But acting to what purpose, and under whose instructions?

Posted on Dec 2, 2008 READ MORE


Gates

Gates Was ‘Hoping the Question Would Never Be Popped’

Fresh off his official introduction as the current and future secretary of defense, Robert Gates took questions at the Pentagon on Monday about his party affiliation, President-elect Barack Obama and his outlook on the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Posted on Dec 2, 2008 READ MORE


Taking Over Bush’s Endless War

Terrorism (for the umpteenth time) is a tactic, not an enemy. One of the most urgent tasks for President-elect Barack Obama’s “team of rivals” is coming up with a coherent intellectual framework—and a winning battle plan—for George W. Bush’s globe-spanning “war on terror.”

Posted on Dec 1, 2008 READ MORE



AP file photo

Confronting the Terrorist Within

The world is far more complex than our childish vision of good and evil. We as a nation and a culture have no monopoly on virtue. The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, when viewed from the receiving end, are state-sponsored acts of terrorism.

Posted on Dec 1, 2008 READ MORE


Afghan ministry attack
AP photo / Rahmat Gul

Afghanistan in Crisis

The collapse of Afghanistan is closer than the world believes. Kandahar is in Taliban hands—all but a square mile at the centre of the city—and the first Taliban checkpoints are scarcely 15 miles from Kabul.

Posted on Nov 29, 2008 READ MORE


bush at podium
AP photo / Pablo Martinez Monsivais

Bush Speaks of Legacy

Still-President Bush has discussed his legacy with his sister Dorothy Bush Koch as part of a national oral-history project, suggesting the future should remember him for his “liberation” of 50 million people and reluctance to ”sell his soul ... to accommodate the political process”—likely referring to that which is outlined in the U.S. Constitution.

Posted on Nov 28, 2008 READ MORE



USAF / Staff Sgt. Samuel Rogers

Bush’s Follies Will Destroy Obama If He Lets Them

Barack Obama has no choice but to accept responsibility for America’s foreign policy crises. But why should he accept them on the distorted and even hysterical terms by which the Bush administration has defined world affairs since 2001?

Posted on Nov 25, 2008 READ MORE


White Rock set
independent.co.uk

Making Movies the Afghan Way

Incredibly, as Afghanistan sinks back into the anarchy which became its natural state these past 29 years, Afghan film-makers are producing movies of international quality, turning out pictures which prove—even amid war—that a country’s tragedy can be imaginatively recreated for its people.

Posted on Nov 23, 2008 READ MORE


Gitmo Flag
AP photo / Brennan Linsley

5 Guantanamo Detainees Ordered Freed

In yet another decision that chips away at the Bush administration’s withering theory of executive dominance, a federal judge ruled Thursday that the evidence presented against five Algerians—who have been in U.S. custody since 2001—was insufficient, freeing the detainees from the bowels of the prison at Guantanamo.

Posted on Nov 21, 2008 READ MORE


Why Obama Can Keep Gates

If the prospect of appointing Hillary Clinton as secretary of state irritates the Obama base, what will they make of keeping the man who has executed President Bush’s policies at the Pentagon?

Posted on Nov 20, 2008 READ MORE


To Each His Own Nuke

The cynical view of national sovereignty holds that it belongs only to those who can defend it. This was said recently at the Pentagon concerning American manned and unmanned attacks inside Pakistan.

Posted on Nov 20, 2008 READ MORE


Bracing for a Major Disappointment

The Americans who voted for Barack Obama as president were promised change they could count on, but it rather looks as if they may actually be asked to make do with a mildly refurbished Clinton administration, with many of the same officials and nearly all of the same policies.

Posted on Nov 18, 2008 READ MORE



AP photo

No More Torture

We will look back on the Bush years and find it incredible, and disgraceful, that individuals were “purchased” from tribal warlords, tortured at Abu Ghraib, abducted to secret CIA prisons, whisked to Guantanamo and held for years without charges.

Posted on Nov 18, 2008 READ MORE



AP photo / Morry Gash

America’s Wars of Self-Destruction

War is a poison. It is a poison that nations and groups must at times ingest to ensure their survival. But, like any poison, it can kill you just as surely as the disease it is meant to eradicate.

Posted on Nov 17, 2008 READ MORE


Afghan boy and soldiers
AP photo / Rafiq Maqbool

No End to the Savagery in Afghanistan

Back in Afghanistan, the mind turns to the small matter of savagery. Not the routine cruelty of war, but the deliberate inhumanity with which we behave.

Posted on Nov 15, 2008 READ MORE


How Many Villages Must We Bomb Before We Find bin Laden?

Barack Obama has said that he is not against war, only against stupid wars. One might then reasonably ask if the present war in Afghanistan is not a stupid war?

Posted on Nov 13, 2008 READ MORE


This Is What He’s Sorry About?

It was nothing Bush did—no decision he made, no policy he pursued, no faith that he placed in ideological dogma—that he finds regrettable. Bush told a cable network, “I regret saying some things I shouldn’t have said” over the course of eight tumultuous years.

Posted on Nov 13, 2008 READ MORE


Afghanistan Girl After Acid Attack
AP photo / Allauddin Khan

How Bloody Can Bush’s Legacy Be?

The legacy of George Bush’s two “wars of liberation” may already be judged as foreign policy blunders, but the real costs of war remain even after the truism of failed empire. In Afghanistan, acid attacks on at least 15 female students mark a worrisome trend in women’s rights there. And in Iraq, an Iraqi soldier opened fire on a patrol of U.S. troops, killing two.

Posted on Nov 12, 2008 READ MORE



AP photo / Jose Luis Magana

Only Nader Is Right on the Issues

Tomorrow I will go to a polling station in Princeton, N.J., and vote for Ralph Nader. I know the tired arguments against a Nader vote. But there is little disagreement among liberals and progressives about the Nader and Obama campaign issues. Nader would win among us in a landslide if this was based on issues.

Posted on Nov 3, 2008 READ MORE


The Unlearned Lessons of Vietnam Continue to Haunt The U.S.

Governments, like corporations and modern organizations of all kinds, make much of systematically teaching “lessons learned” to those newly arrived to responsibilities, yet they seem infrequently to succeed.

Posted on Oct 30, 2008 READ MORE


Obama Is the Superior Decider

The real issues of the American presidential election are the future of the economy and the future of American foreign policy. The one seems already settled. The second seems to unite John McCain and Barack Obama in support of a program doomed to fail.

Posted on Oct 30, 2008 READ MORE



Collage: AP photo / Chip Somodevilla, pool / Wikimedia Commons

Virtual JFK: The 44th President’s Foreign Policy Challenge

The leading issue in the current face-off between Barack Obama and John McCain is the economy. Once elected and inaugurated, however, a U.S. president’s politics become global literally overnight.

Posted on Oct 29, 2008 READ MORE


No End in Sight

‘No End in Sight’ Released in Full Online

If you haven’t seen Charles Ferguson’s buzzed-about 2007 documentary, “No End in Sight,” and you wanted to, you’re in luck: You can now watch the film on YouTube in its entirety. Thanks, Mr. Ferguson!

Posted on Oct 23, 2008 READ MORE


Parwez Kambakhsh
syracuse.com

Afghan Court Resentences Activist

Want proof that the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan has brought the democracy it promised? You won’t find it in this case. An appeals court resentenced Parwez Kambakhsh, a student arrested for distributing an article on women’s rights, to a mere 20 years in prison, overturning the controversial death sentence he was given last year.

Posted on Oct 22, 2008 READ MORE


Russia’s Resentment of the West Began With a Broken Promise

It did not take the clash between Russia and Georgia to reveal that relations between Russia and the West have taken a bad turn. They have been deteriorating since the mid-1990s, when the decision was taken to expand NATO to include the former Warsaw Pact states.

Posted on Oct 21, 2008 READ MORE


Colin Powell Endorses Obama

The former secretary of state and Joint Chiefs chairman revealed on Sunday whom he is voting for and why. Powell explained that it was not easy to disappoint his friend, John McCain, but that Barack Obama is the “transformational figure” America needs at this moment.

Posted on Oct 19, 2008 READ MORE



Simon Lewis on Traumatic Brain Injuries

A devastating and growing problem is explored in Michael Paul Mason’s riveting new book, “Head Cases.”

Posted on Oct 17, 2008 READ MORE



U.S. Navy / Petty Officer 3rd Class Joshua Scott

Bush Doctrine Becomes DoD Dogma

The Pentagon’s new National Defense Strategy statement says nothing directly about American national defense. It is a strategy for intervening in other countries, and preventing others from blocking or resisting American interventions.

Posted on Oct 14, 2008 READ MORE


Hitchens Calls Palin a ‘National Disgrace’

Christopher Hitchens has reached an endorsement by process of elimination. John McCain, he writes, isn’t up to the job, while “the only public events that have so far featured his absurd choice of running mate have shown her to be a deceiving and unscrupulous woman utterly unversed in any of the needful political discourses but easily trained to utter preposterous lies and to appeal to the basest element of her audience.”

Posted on Oct 13, 2008 READ MORE


Afghan woman mourning
AP photo / Fraidoon Pooyaa

‘Collateral Damage’ Not Much Different From Targeted Killing

When U.S. troops massacre Iraqi civilians in Haditha because their buddy has been murdered, what is the difference between their revenge and that of Saddam?

Posted on Oct 11, 2008 READ MORE


The ‘New Multilateralism’

The issues that have fueled Russian-American tensions in Europe in recent months, and European tensions with both Russia and the United States, have suggested a willingness on all sides to reignite tensions that on the face of it serve no one’s real interests. Recent developments could change all that.

Posted on Oct 9, 2008 READ MORE



AP photo / Jim Bourg, pool

Third-Party Blues

Ralph Nader is right: The two-party system is failing America. There isn’t time between now and Election Day to create a viable third-party candidate, and so the sad reality is one of two deeply flawed men, the byproduct of a deeply flawed political system, will serve as president for the next four or eight years.

Posted on Oct 9, 2008 READ MORE


Obama and McCain debate
AP photo / Charles Dharapak

Obama Wins in Nashville

As was the case in the first presidential debate, Barack Obama emerged from Tuesday night’s confrontation with John McCain in Nashville, Tenn., in command of the situation. The Democratic nominee looked calm, confident and presidential as he won their second contest.

Posted on Oct 7, 2008 READ MORE


What McCain and Obama Just Don’t Get About Central Asia

There are only two real issues left in the foreign policy debate between John McCain and Barack Obama. Yet neither the Iraq nor the Afghanistan issue is within the power of any American president to resolve.

Posted on Oct 7, 2008 READ MORE


Weapons of Mass Distraction

John McCain and Sarah Palin are going to try their best to make us talk about anything but the big issues facing our country, because most Americans think Barack Obama’s solutions are better.

Posted on Oct 6, 2008 READ MORE



DoD / Michael L. Casteel

British Commander Calls Taliban Unbeatable

Victory in Afghanistan? That’s “neither feasible nor supportable,” according to the outgoing commander of British forces there, who tells The Times of London that the Taliban “seems relatively impervious to losses.” The Afghan government must instead reach some political settlement with more moderate insurgents, concluded Brigadier Mark Carleton-Smith.

Posted on Oct 5, 2008 READ MORE


Will the Pentagon Be the Next U.S. Institution to Crash?

Less apparent to most people than the economic crisis, but just as real, are the signs of an impending crash of an American military system in which, since the end of the Cold War, Pentagon dysfunction has metastasized so uncontrollably as to scandalize the men who have overseen it.

Posted on Oct 2, 2008 READ MORE


Bush Favors Bankers Over Soldiers

By grotesque mischance, $700 billion—the cost of George Bush’s Wall Street rescue plan—is about the same figure the president has squandered on his preposterous war in Iraq, the war we have now apparently “won” thanks to the “surge.”

Posted on Sep 29, 2008 READ MORE


Petraeus Speaks
boston.com

Petraeus: Pakistan Facing ‘Existential Threat’

According to Gen. David Petraeus, Pakistan could be heading for a crisis that would shake the already volatile nation to its foundations if its leaders, including newly installed President Asif Ali Zardari, do not find a way to deal with the growing issue of militant violence.

Posted on Sep 29, 2008 READ MORE


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