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Tag: Democracy

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


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A Tale of Two Nobel Nations

While the Nobel prizes recognize lifetime achievements in medicine, chemistry, physics, literature, economics and peace, and Sweden is a paragon among progressive, social democracies, there is another side to Sweden and the Nobels that warrants a closer look.

Posted on Dec 9, 2008 READ MORE


Those Other Elections

A month after Barack Obama’s triumphant victory, we are still celebrating America’s only authentic national religion, and it isn’t Christianity—it’s presidentialism.

Posted on Dec 5, 2008 READ MORE


Bush the Infallible

Remember that long-ago news conference when George W. Bush couldn’t think of any mistakes he had made? Unbelievably, he still can’t.

Posted on Dec 5, 2008 READ MORE


Chevron in the White House

President-elect Barack Obama introduced his principal national security Cabinet selections to the world Monday and left no doubt that he intends to start his administration on a war footing. It is revealing that his choice for national security adviser is a director of Boeing, a weapons manufacturer, and Chevron, an oil giant.

Posted on Dec 2, 2008 READ MORE


Jaruzelski
AP photo

Poles Take Another Look at Jaruzelski

As Poland’s last communist-era head of state, Gen. Wojciech Jaruzelski faced off with the country’s growing pro-democracy Solidarity movement and drew widespread criticism and outrage for his 1981 crackdown on the organization. Now some former detractors are reconsidering his legacy.

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


Obama the Realist

In electing Barack Obama, the country traded the foreign policy of the second President Bush for the foreign policy of the first President Bush.

Posted on Nov 27, 2008 READ MORE


Tutu, Obama and the Middle East

As President-elect Barack Obama focuses on the meltdown of the U.S. economy, another fire is burning: the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Posted on Nov 25, 2008 READ MORE


Should Obama’s Army Lay Down Its Arms?

While the nation’s capital obsesses over who will be the next pick for Barack Obama’s Cabinet, the president-elect’s lieutenants are engaged with what may be a more important long-term issue: What will become of Obama’s vast grass-roots network?

Posted on Nov 20, 2008 READ MORE


A View From the South

Evo Morales knows about “change you can believe in.” He also knows what happens when a powerful elite is forced to make changes it doesn’t want.

Posted on Nov 19, 2008 READ MORE



AP photo / Hasan Sarbakhshian

With Iran, Obama Needs More Carrot, Less Stick

Now that the presidential election has liberated Barack Obama from the need to play to the fickle whim of domestic politics, he should put away the saber and take a more enlightened approach to Iran.

Posted on Nov 13, 2008 READ MORE


President Obama Can Redeem the White House

The first African-American elected president of the United States recently visited his soon-to-be residence, a house built by slaves. Alice Walker told me: “Even when they were building it, you know, in chains or in desperation and in sadness, they were building it for him.”

Posted on Nov 12, 2008 READ MORE


A Part of the Election









Posted on Nov 6, 2008 ENLARGE


Organizer in Chief

Perhaps the job that qualified Obama most for the presidency was the one most vilified by his opponents: community organizer. Yet community organizing is inherently at crosscurrents with the massive infusion of campaign cash.

Posted on Nov 5, 2008 READ MORE


A New Era of Hope

With Obama’s victory, it’s time to hope that the era of racial backlash and wedge politics is over. Time to imagine that the patriotism of dissenters will no longer be questioned and that the world will no longer be divided between “values voters” and those without a moral compass.

Posted on Nov 4, 2008 READ MORE



AP photo / Kevork Djansezian

To This Minister, Prop. 8 Is Repugnant

The thousands of same-gender couples who have married in the few months since the California Supreme Court cleared the way are in fact married. The notion that a majority vote by people who are not party to these marriages of love, commitment, care and family will have the power to impose a divorce on these couples is flatly repugnant.

Posted on Nov 3, 2008 READ MORE



AP photo / Ted S. Warren

Election Shenanigans Preview

From long lines to vote-flipping, the race to disenfranchise America’s voters is off to a depressing start. With that in mind, we spoke with leading election integrity journalist Brad Friedman of the BradBlog to get the lay of the land heading into Tuesday’s big showdown.

Posted on Nov 3, 2008 READ MORE



nytimes.com

How Much Voting Clout Do You Have?

As you head to the polls Tuesday, keep this thought in mind: A voter in Wyoming is three and a half times more influential than a voter in Florida. Thanks to the Electoral College, it’s possible to become president with only 16 percent of the population’s support. Yay, Democracy!

Posted on Nov 3, 2008 READ MORE



DoD / Sgt. Freddy G. Cantu, USMC

Troops Have to Fight for Their Right to Vote

Active-duty military members arguably have more to lose than anyone else in Tuesday’s election, but voting can be an obstacle course for servicemen and -women overseas. The Dallas Morning News reports that in 2006 only one-third of the absentee ballots requested by U.S. armed forces personnel abroad were counted.

Posted on Nov 2, 2008 READ MORE



AP photo / Carolyn Kaster

Hell to Pay

Sen. John McCain’s ideological ties to the Bush-Cheney administration have mostly passed beneath the radar of the mainstream media, but if McCain loses the presidential race to Barack Obama, his neoconservative legacy could erupt into the open with a force that should not be underestimated.

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


Murder, Spies & Voting Lies

Patty Sharaf’s new documentary “Murder, Spies & Voting Lies,” featuring election integrity journalist Brad Friedman, tells the story of Clint Curtis, a computer programmer who says a prominent Florida Republican asked him in 2000 to create software that could be used to rig the vote. Al-Jazeera’s Riz Khan takes a closer look.

Posted on Oct 29, 2008 WATCH & LISTEN



Flickr / Llima

Obama Is Ready to Be Tested

The Democratic nominee embraced his running mate’s gaffe on Wednesday, saying that the next president, regardless of who wins, will be tested after the election.

Posted on Oct 23, 2008 READ MORE


Change Big Donors Can Believe In

The candidates’ coffers are swelling with larger and larger bundles of cash, but don’t hold your breath waiting for the extended television discussions of this, because it’s the broadcasters who profit the most.

Posted on Oct 22, 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



AP photo / Henny Ray Abrams

The Idiots Who Rule America

Our oligarchic class is incompetent at governing, managing the economy, coping with natural disasters, educating our young, handling foreign affairs, providing basic services like health care and safeguarding individual rights. They have no concept, thanks to the educations they have received, of the common good.

Posted on Oct 20, 2008 READ MORE


Stuck in the Primary

John McCain’s debate performance almost certainly did him good among those whose votes he already has: very conservative Republicans who share Joe the Plumber’s view that Obama is some kind of socialist.

Posted on Oct 17, 2008 READ MORE


Who Gets to Vote?

The 2008 presidential election may see the highest participation in U.S. history. Voter-registration organizations and local election boards have been overwhelmed by enthusiastic people eager to vote. But not everyone is happy about this blossoming of democracy.

Posted on Oct 16, 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



AP photo / Gerald Herbert

America’s Political Cannibalism

It is no longer our economy but our democracy that is in peril. Financial collapses lead to political extremism. The rage bubbling up from our impoverished and disenfranchised working class, glimpsed at John McCain rallies, presages a looming and dangerous right-wing backlash.

Posted on Oct 13, 2008 READ MORE



AP photo / Susan Walsh

Palin vs. Palin

Would the Republican VP nominee vote for herself? During her debate with Joe Biden, Sarah Palin said “we have to fight for” and “protect” our freedom, but her party and the policies she seems to support have crippled American liberty.

Posted on Oct 9, 2008 READ MORE


Open the Debates

The reviews are in, and the latest U.S. presidential debate, the “town hall” from Nashville, Tenn., was a snore. One problem is that in a debate it is important for the debaters to actually disagree.

Posted on Oct 8, 2008 READ MORE


book cover

John Holmes on ‘The Lost Spy’

Former Time correspondent Andrew Meier presents a riveting exhumation of the previously unknown story of Cy Oggins, an early American-Jewish communist who spied for the Soviets and was killed by them in 1947.

Posted on Oct 3, 2008 READ MORE


Saying ‘No Deal’ to This New Deal

The marriage of American capitalism and democracy has always been a Pamela Anderson and Tommy Lee affair—stormy and erratic since its hasty wedding. But during the debate over a Wall Street bailout this week, we watched that matrimonial knot unwind into a tangled tale of terror.

Posted on Oct 2, 2008 READ MORE


Invasion of the Sea-Smurfs

If the economy does collapse, if people can’t go down to the bank to withdraw their savings, or get cash from an ATM, there may be serious “civil unrest,” and the 3rd Infantry Division’s 1st Brigade Combat Team may be called upon sooner than we imagine to assist with “crowd control.”

Posted on Oct 1, 2008 READ MORE



montage: White House / Wikimedia Commons

Robert Scheer on the Bailout Bomb

The Dow dropped more than 777 points on the news that the House had voted down the $700-billion bailout proposal, so why does our editor think it’s “a great moment for American democracy”?

Posted on Sep 29, 2008 READ MORE


foreclosure
AP photo / Reed Saxon

Lose Your Home, Lose Your Vote

The tanking economy is screwing over citizens both as homeowners and voters. The past two years have seen more than 1 million people lose their homes through foreclosure, and November’s election may see the same people also disqualified from voting due to election laws requiring official notification of voters’ new addresses.

Posted on Sep 25, 2008 READ MORE


The Debate Camera’s Deep Vision

The candidates heading into Friday’s scheduled debate should heed the politician who first conquered the format, John F. Kennedy, who believed that the images portrayed via TV were “likely to be uncannily correct.”

Posted on Sep 24, 2008 READ MORE



commons.wikimedia.org / Manfred Brückels

Reality Catches Up to the Free Market

Karl Marx, were he still about, would surely be interested in the report that unregulated free-market capitalism has died in a flash, by its own hand; whereas it took 70 years and a Cold War to bring down the Marxist economy established in the Soviet Union following the Bolshevik Revolution.

Posted on Sep 18, 2008 READ MORE


Wall Street Socialists

With financial institutions begging for bailouts, taxpayers should be in the driver’s seat. Instead, decisions that will cost people for decades are being made behind closed doors, by the wealthy, by the regulators and by those they have failed to regulate.

Posted on Sep 17, 2008 READ MORE


Remembering 9/11 and Moving Forward

America must move from the errant, retributive justice of 9/11 to a healing, restorative process of truth and reconciliation.

Posted on Sep 11, 2008 READ MORE


The Party Police

The Democratic and Republican national conventions have passed, but controversy surrounds how they were funded and how they were run.

Posted on Sep 10, 2008 READ MORE



AP photo / Matt Rourke

Tyranny on Display at the Republican Convention

St. Paul is a window into our future. It is a future where constitutional rights mean nothing and where lawful dissent is branded a form of terrorism.

Posted on Sep 8, 2008 READ MORE


Zardari
AP photo / Shakil Adil

Bhutto’s Husband Wins Pakistan Presidency

Pakistan will have a new president, Asif Ali Zardari. The widower of slain Pakistani politician Benazir Bhutto has successfully continued along his wife’s path, drawing upon the support of her allies to emerge the victor by a wide margin in the election held to replace Pervez Musharraf, who stepped down as president in mid-August.

Posted on Sep 6, 2008 READ MORE


book cover

Robert Christgau on America’s Secret Fundamentalists

Just how dangerous are evangelical zealots? A new book by Jeff Sharlet takes a close and disturbing look at the group known as The Family and its disturbing and apparently widespread influence on mainstream political culture.

Posted on Sep 5, 2008 READ MORE


Why We Were Falsely Arrested

Government crackdowns on journalists are a true threat to democracy. As the Republican National Convention meets in St. Paul, Minn., this week, police are systematically targeting journalists.

Posted on Sep 3, 2008 READ MORE


The Conquest by Presidentialism

McCain’s ads are (inadvertently) incisive commentary on the death of Jeffersonian democracy. They aim to mock Obama, but they really lampoon “presidentialism”: our paternalistic view that presidents are godlike saviors—and therefore democracy’s only important figures.

Posted on Aug 21, 2008 READ MORE


Was Musharraf Helped Out the Door?

A British official has been accused of meddling in the affairs of the subcontinent by engineering the exit of Gen. Pervez Musharraf from Pakistan’s political scene. Aitzaz Ahsan, a significant figure in Pakistan’s pro-democracy scene, says Sir Mark Lyall Grant of the Foreign Office helped secure immunity from charges in exchange for Musharraf’s resignation.

Posted on Aug 20, 2008 READ MORE


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