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October 10, 2015
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Tag: Democracy

Kerry, Kissinger and the Other Sept. 11

As President Barack Obama’s attack on Syria appears to have been delayed for the moment, it is remarkable that Secretary of State John Kerry was meeting, on Sept. 11, with one of his predecessors, Henry Kissinger, reportedly to discuss strategy on forthcoming negotiations on Syria with Russian officials.

Posted on Sep 11, 2013 READ MORE

AP/Bebeto Matthews

Cornel West and the Fight to Save the Black Prophetic Tradition

Verbal attacks largely by black supporters of President Obama are attempts not only to silence the activist but destroy a historical movement that exposes the president as an ideological heir of the “accommodationist” Booker T. Washington.

Posted on Sep 9, 2013 READ MORE

Obama and Putin: Time for Diplomacy on Syria

“Never has the use of violence brought peace in its wake. War begets war, violence begets violence.” So said Pope Francis, addressing the crowd on Sunday in the Vatican City’s St. Peter’s Square.

Posted on Sep 4, 2013 READ MORE

DoD/Erin A. Kirk-Cuomo

Syria and the Return of Dissent

The mood of the public and of many in Congress is summarized easily: “No more Iraqs.”

Posted on Sep 4, 2013 READ MORE

What Is the Goal of School Reform?

As we consider what reform initiatives might achieve, we should also ask the old, defining question: What is the purpose of education in a democracy?

Posted on Sep 4, 2013 READ MORE

The American Dilemma: Slavery to Race to Class

The power of historians and of the press is that they get to choose which events will be remembered and which fade into obscurity.

Posted on Aug 29, 2013 READ MORE

Obama’s Syrian Agony

President Obama surely didn’t want to offer his commemoration of the 1963 March on Washington and Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech on a day dominated by rumors of war.

Posted on Aug 29, 2013 READ MORE

AP/Hassan Ammar

The Prince: Meet the Man Who Co-Opted Democracy in the Middle East

Now that the Arab Spring has been turned into a totally owned subsidiary of the Saudi royal family, it is time to honor Prince Bandar bin Sultan as the most effective Machiavellian politician of the modern era.

Posted on Aug 27, 2013 READ MORE

The Armageddon Caucus

Congress is supposed to be the venue in which we Americans work our way past divisions that are inevitable in a large and diverse democracy. Yet for some time, Republican congressional leaders have given the most right-wing members of the House and Senate a veto power that impedes compromise, and thus governing itself.

Posted on Aug 26, 2013 READ MORE

NASA/WikiMedia Commons

The Moment the U.S. Ended Iran’s Brief Experiment in Democracy

Sixty years ago this week, the United States, in collaboration with Britain, staged a coup in Iran to preserve the control of Western companies over Iran’s rich oil fields.

Posted on Aug 20, 2013 READ MORE

AP/Mustafa Quraishi

Pink Sari Revolution

This is the story of India’s Pink Gang, a grass-roots movement that confronts Indian officialdom over the rights of the poor and the marginalized, especially women.

Posted on Aug 16, 2013 READ MORE

Stop-and-Frisk: The World According to Questlove

Hip-hop hit a milestone this week, turning 40 years old. The same week, Federal District Court Judge Shira Scheindlin, in a 195-page ruling, declared the New York Police Department’s practice of stop-and-frisk unconstitutional.

Posted on Aug 16, 2013 READ MORE

A Lack of Spine on Egypt

There may be little the United States can do to end the savage bloodletting in Egypt, but at least our nation can be loyal to its ideals by bearing witness and telling the truth. In this, President Obama has failed.

Posted on Aug 15, 2013 READ MORE

Jonathan Kos-Read (CC-BY-ND)

The News on China

People are fascinated by China, but there’s something being lost in all the hubbub—what everyday life is like there.

Posted on Aug 15, 2013 READ MORE

Egypt’s Transition Has Failed: New Age of Military Dictatorship in Wake of Massacre

The horrible bloodshed in Egypt on Wednesday marked a turning point in the country’s modern history, locking it in to years of authoritarian paternalism and possibly violent faction fighting.

Posted on Aug 15, 2013 READ MORE

Egypt Military

Posted on Aug 15, 2013 READ MORE

AP/Steve Miller

America’s Disappeared

The poor routinely vanish from city streets after encounters with police. They are swallowed up by jails and prisons for weeks, months or years for offenses often trivial or invented. These disruptions of lives have destroyed cohesion in urban communities, which live in heightened states of fear and troubling unrest.

Posted on Aug 12, 2013 READ MORE

To Repair the Damage Done in NSA Blowup, Start With Clapper

With the conviction of Bradley Manning and asylum granted to Edward Snowden in Russia, it may be time to turn attention away from the controversy over their actions and toward the government—specifically, the intelligence community.

Posted on Aug 9, 2013 READ MORE

State Department

The New Al-Qaida Menace

If the new, decentralized al-Qaeda is such a threat that 19 American embassies, consulates and other diplomatic posts have to be shuttered for a week, we have a decade of wrongheaded U.S. policy to blame.

Posted on Aug 6, 2013 READ MORE

Bradley Manning’s Convictions

“What a dangerous edifice War is, how easily it may fall to pieces and bury us in its ruins,” wrote Carl von Clausewitz, the 19th-century Prussian general and military theorist, in his seminal text “On War,” close to 200 years ago.

Posted on Aug 2, 2013 READ MORE


Measuring GOP Extremism: What Carville and Greenberg’s Latest Polling Reveals

It is becoming increasingly plain that the most formidable obstacle to national progress and global security is the Republican Party—and specifically the extremist factions that currently dominate the GOP.

Posted on Aug 1, 2013 READ MORE

Yes We Could. So Why Don’t We?

That hoary fable has it wrong. Frogs have the sense to hop out of heating pots. We Americans don’t. Degree by degree over decades, we’ve been scalded senseless. It is time to snap out of our stupor.

Posted on Jul 30, 2013 READ MORE

U.S. Navy/MC2 Matthew D. Leistikow

Conflicts Within Islam Complicate U.S. Foreign Policy

The unforeseen consequences of American Middle Eastern policy since the Second World War are now making themselves apparent.

Posted on Jul 30, 2013 READ MORE


Posted on Jul 30, 2013 READ MORE

The Debate

Posted on Jul 30, 2013 READ MORE

Term Limits

Posted on Jul 29, 2013 READ MORE

The Guardian

At Least 65 Mohamed Morsi Supporters Killed in Cairo

Corrected: Egyptian security forces opened fire on a Muslim Brotherhood protest early Saturday morning, killing roughly 65 supporters of deposed President Mohamed Morsi.

Posted on Jul 27, 2013 READ MORE

Mariela De Marchi Moyano (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Eduardo Galeano: ‘This World Is Not Democratic at All’  (Video)

The “poet laureate of the anti-globalization movement,” who has been published here at Truthdig, says “the world is organized by the war economy and the war culture.”

Posted on Jul 25, 2013 READ MORE

Signs of the Apocalypse in Red Square

The Russian Orthodox Church warns that the legalization of gay marriage spells impending doom; former President Carter proclaims “America does not have a functioning democracy”; meanwhile, Booz Allen Hamilton took over Washington, and nobody noticed until Edward Snowden blew the whistle. These discoveries and more after the jump.

Posted on Jul 24, 2013 READ MORE

Let the Light of Mandela Shine on U.S. Injustice

As the world celebrates Nelson Mandela’s 95th birthday, it is timely to reflect on his life, spent fighting for equality for people of color who long suffered under South Africa’s apartheid regime.

Posted on Jul 17, 2013 READ MORE

Secret Intelligence Court a Precursor to Tyranny

The justification for this secret court—as is usual in the development of 20th century secret police states—is national security.

Posted on Jul 10, 2013 READ MORE

AP/Hassan Ammar

A Gift From the United States to Mideast Zealots

The coup in Egypt is on our hands, and lots of luck ever convincing Islamists anywhere of the value of free elections as opposed to violence as an enabler of change.

Posted on Jul 9, 2013 READ MORE

AP/Khalil Hamra

Egypt’s Dark Future

What’s happening in Egypt is not a second revolution or a “correction” to the first. It is a coup d’etat that puts the military as firmly in command as it was during the autocratic reign of Hosni Mubarak.

Posted on Jul 8, 2013 READ MORE

Remembering Why the Right Doesn’t Own the Stars and Stripes

Like many men who volunteered for the U.S. Army in World War II, my late father never boasted about his years in uniform. A patriot to his core, he nevertheless despised what he called the “jelly-bellied flag flappers.”

Posted on Jul 5, 2013 READ MORE

Photo by Guian Bolisay (CC-BY-SA)

We Can Handle the Truth

I don’t believe government officials when they say the National Security Agency’s surveillance programs do not invade our privacy. The record suggests that you shouldn’t believe them, either.

Posted on Jul 5, 2013 READ MORE

AP/Hassan Ammar

‘When Is a Military Coup Not a Military Coup?’

“For the first time in the history of the world, a coup is not a coup,” Robert Fisk writes in The Independent. “The army take over, depose and imprison the democratically elected president, suspend the constitution, arrest the usual suspects, close down television stations and mass their armour in the streets of the capital.” But the American president does not name it as so.

Posted on Jul 5, 2013 READ MORE

This Independence Day, Thank a Protester

More than 160 years ago, the greatest abolitionist in U.S. history, the escaped slave Frederick Douglass, addressed the Rochester Ladies’ Anti-Slavery Society.

Posted on Jul 3, 2013 READ MORE

AP/Jacquelyn Martin

The Good Germans in Government

Why are we chasing after Edward Snowden and not the many others with access to such damning data of government malfeasance who remain silent?

Posted on Jun 25, 2013 READ MORE

Chris Hedges Talks With Ronnie Kasrils (Full Transcript and Audio)

Truthdig columnist Chris Hedges interviewed Ronnie Kasrils in New York during a visit there by the author, former South African government official and onetime warrior against apartheid. Among other things, they talked about what it means to be a rebel.

Posted on Jun 24, 2013 READ MORE

AP/Marcio Jose Sanchez

Up to Their Eyeballs

One of the most disturbing aspects of the National Security Agency surveillance scandal is the way government has reportedly worked with private companies such as Yahoo, Facebook and Google.

Posted on Jun 20, 2013 READ MORE

Elections in Islamic Countries

Posted on Jun 16, 2013 READ MORE

s.schmitz (CC BY-ND 2.0)

An Education Declaration to Rebuild America

Good schools are essential to democracy and prosperity—and it is our collective responsibility to educate all children, not just a fortunate few, according to a manifesto on the Education Opportunity Network. To rebuild America, we need a vision for 21st-century education based on seven principles, it urges.

Posted on Jun 13, 2013 READ MORE

Terror Bytes: Edward Snowden and the Architecture of Oppression

Edward Snowden revealed himself this week as the whistle-blower responsible for perhaps the most significant release of secret government documents in U.S. history.

Posted on Jun 12, 2013 READ MORE

Shutterstock photo of surveillance cameras

We Still Need This Debate

The important thing right now isn’t whether Edward Snowden should be labeled hero or villain. First, let’s have the debate he sparked over surveillance and privacy.

Posted on Jun 10, 2013 READ MORE


Congress Still Puts Out for Wall Street

The big banks’ influence in Washington has only grown in direct proportion to the harm they have caused to the nation’s economy.

Posted on May 27, 2013 READ MORE

Make Love

Posted on May 23, 2013 READ MORE

Bob Jagendorf (CC-BY)

Is Democracy in Trouble?

We know American politics are dysfunctional. But after a week of scandal obsession during which the nation’s capital and the media virtually ignored the problems most voters care about—jobs, incomes, growth, opportunity, education—it’s worth asking if there is something especially flawed about our democracy.

Posted on May 20, 2013 READ MORE

The Three Heroines of Guatemala: The Judge, the Attorney General and the Nobel Peace Laureate

Former Guatemalan President Efrain Rios Montt was hauled off to prison last Friday. It was a historic moment, the first time in history that a former leader of a country was tried for genocide in a national court.

Posted on May 15, 2013 READ MORE

Shutterstock photo of EU roundtable.

Can the EU Be Saved?

It is not simply the euro zone that is threatened by the dramatic economic discrepancies that now exist among its members. Now it is the European Union itself that is in danger.

Posted on May 14, 2013 READ MORE

U.S. Navy/MC2 Edwin L. Wriston

U.S. Weighs Syrian Intervention, Despite the Consequences

The present debate in the United States over making policy for a Middle East that has been profoundly changed by the events of the past three years unhappily echoes past policies that failed.

Posted on May 7, 2013 READ MORE

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