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Tag: History


AP pool photo / Aleksey Nikolskyi

Barack Obama, Meet Team B

The president must be getting bad advice. Why else would he offer not to build a missile defense system he doesn’t want in exchange for Russia’s help with an Iranian nuclear weapons program that doesn’t exist?

Posted on Mar 12, 2009 READ MORE



White House / Pete Souza

America’s New Trajectory

Just six weeks into his term, Obama has opened his bid to redraw the boundaries of our politics and expand the realm of the possible.

Posted on Mar 3, 2009 READ MORE



Marine Corps / Lance Cpl. Michael J. Ayotte

It’s Obama’s War Now

Combat troops are to be pulled out of Iraq by August 2010, President Obama said, but some 50,000 occupation troops will remain behind. Someone should let the Iraqis know the distinction.

Posted on Mar 2, 2009 READ MORE


book cover

Donald Fanger on Seamus Heaney

A new book gives us one of the most indispensable poets in the English language whose work mines the terrain between hope and history.

Posted on Feb 26, 2009 READ MORE



cctv.com

China Protests Artifact Auction

China’s cultural heritage agency has strongly condemned the auction of two bronze pieces it says were looted from the Summer Palace near Beijing some 150 years ago. Christie’s sold the bronzes, part of the late Yves Saint Laurent’s estate, for 31 million euros.

Posted on Feb 26, 2009 READ MORE


Government’s Long Night May Be Ending

Obama’s message was plain: The era of bashing government is over. So, too, is the folklore of a marketplace capable of producing abundance without regulation, oversight or public intervention.

Posted on Feb 25, 2009 READ MORE



White House

The President’s Address to Congress

In his first speech to a joint session of Congress, President Obama acknowledged the dire state of the economy, but struck a hopeful tone as he expanded on his vision for recovery. Investments in energy, education and health care will be key, he said, as will an expanded bailout of the financial sector. (Summary, video and full text after the jump)

Posted on Feb 24, 2009 READ MORE


book cover

Zachary Karabell on ‘The Case for Big Government’

Jeff Madrick’s new book insists that the anti-government ethos that is a treasured American prejudice is not grounded in the new economic reality. But is he fighting the last war?

Posted on Feb 20, 2009 READ MORE


Eric Holder
change.gov

Attorney General: On Race, America Is ‘a Nation of Cowards’

Speaking at a Justice Department event in honor of Black History Month, the first black attorney general, appointed by the first black president, acknowledged that America has made progress but warned that “in things racial we have always been and continue to be, in too many ways, essentially a nation of cowards.” His full remarks, after the jump.

Posted on Feb 18, 2009 READ MORE


A Hand on History

President Obama senses that fate has handed him opportunities few presidents ever get, and that his test will be whether he makes good use of his chance to bend history at one of its “inflection points.”

Posted on Feb 15, 2009 READ MORE



Allen Barra on the Myth of Ronald Reagan

At last, a revisionist takedown of our 40th president, portrayed as an empty suit too often lauded by the common people he betrayed.

Posted on Feb 13, 2009 READ MORE


Obama’s Afghan Trap

Have we learned nothing from the Iraq war? The Obama regime is gunning for more fighting in Afghanistan at a time when the U.S. should be seeking more talk.

Posted on Feb 11, 2009 READ MORE



Composite of images from Wikimedia Commons

Australia PM Calls Fires ‘Mass Murder’

Wildfires sweeping across southern Australia have killed more than 170 people, a number that is expected to rise. With news that arson could be to blame for some of the fires, Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd said, “There are no words to describe it other than mass murder.”

Posted on Feb 8, 2009 READ MORE


book cover

David Rieff on ‘Africa’s World War’

Why does the Darfur violence arouse outrage but the slaughter of millions more in Congo does not? An indispensable new book by Gerard Prunier attempts an answer by combining cool analysis and scholarly dispassion without losing sight of the horror of its subject.

Posted on Feb 6, 2009 READ MORE


Barack Obama and Howard Dean
AP photo / Alex Brandon

Howard Dean Should Have Been Obama’s Pick All Along

Now that Tom Daschle has withdrawn his name from the running to be health and human services secretary, President Obama should revisit the idea of nominating former Democratic National Chairman Howard Dean for the position, an idea he abandoned last November for all the wrong reasons.

Posted on Feb 5, 2009 READ MORE


Stimulus Skeptics Wrong (Again)

Mythology is overshadowing history in the debate over Obama’s plan to stimulate the depressed economy. Excessive airtime is devoted to the prejudices of cable hosts and radio personalities who regurgitate ideas they barely understand.

Posted on Feb 5, 2009 READ MORE



White House / Ollie Atkins

Still Trying to Clear Nixon’s Name

Two Truthdig contributors are under siege by an “independent historian” and The New York Times. If that sounds preposterous, just wait until you see what made it onto the front page. Last Sunday, the paper of record cited an unpublished article contending that historian Stanley Kutler deliberately altered transcripts of Nixon’s secret tapes in order to protect John Dean.

Posted on Feb 4, 2009 READ MORE


America’s ‘Strong Commitment to Error’

John Kenneth Galbraith once warned that U.S. foreign policy suffers from institutional rigidity with a “strong commitment to error.” What better proof than the planned surge in Afghanistan?

Posted on Feb 3, 2009 READ MORE



AP photo / Nikolas Giakoumidis

It’s Not Going to Be OK

The daily bleeding of thousands of jobs will soon turn our economic crisis into a political crisis. Our empire is dying. How will we cope with our decline? Will we cling to the absurd dreams of a superpower and a glorious tomorrow or will we responsibly face our stark new limitations?

Posted on Feb 2, 2009 READ MORE



And the Winner Is ... Iceland

Hats off to the Scandinavians, who continue to make the world’s progressives green with envy. Even as Iceland faces economic catastrophe, the volcanic island nation has made history by naming the world’s first (for the most part) openly gay national leader. Johanna Sigurdardottir will become prime minister. (The New York Daily News says Norway briefly had an openly gay man as prime minister.)

Posted on Feb 1, 2009 READ MORE


America Faces the Music in Davos

The American participants in this year’s World Economic Forum have been the first to confront the full international blowback to the U.S.-created world economic crisis, which has devastated the nation’s reputation for competence, along with the justification for its six-decade role as world leader.

Posted on Feb 1, 2009 READ MORE


Too Big to Fail, Too Big to Jail

Millions have served time in U.S. prisons for crimes that fall far short of those attributed to the Bush administration. Some criminals, it seems, are like banks judged too big to fail: too big to jail, too powerful to prosecute.

Posted on Jan 27, 2009 READ MORE



AP photo / Sebastian Scheiner

With Gaza, Journalists Fail Again

The assault on Gaza exposed not only Israel’s callous disregard for international law but the gutlessness of the American press. Nearly all reporters were, as during the buildup to the Iraq war, pliant stenographers and echo chambers.

Posted on Jan 26, 2009 READ MORE


book covers

Brenda Wineapple on Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass

Two recent books show how a man of reason and conservative temperament and a man of passion and radical disposition joined together, even before either knew it, to end slavery.

Posted on Jan 23, 2009 READ MORE


The Gulf Between Hope and Change

Though presidential festivities and media superlatives tried to numb any feeling other than happiness, it’s only natural to experience a twinge of anxiety while celebrating at the edge of an abyss.

Posted on Jan 23, 2009 READ MORE


The Bush Years

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Posted on Jan 22, 2009 READ MORE


The Downside of Bipartisanship

Remember this, President Obama: There are few Washington traditions as annoying as the cultish worship of bipartisanship, for it ignores the simple fact that sometimes one party gets things disastrously wrong.

Posted on Jan 22, 2009 READ MORE


To Each His Own Obama

President Barack Obama intends to use conservative values for progressive ends, and in doing so he will confuse a lot of people.

Posted on Jan 22, 2009 READ MORE



White House / Eric Draper

Worth a Thousand Words

The Boston Globe has assembled a stunning array of photos from Inauguration Day. Images from Washington, D.C., and from viewing parties around the world capture the excitement and wonder of that historic day. The subjects include Kenyans in Obama’s father’s home town, former Olympians Tommie Smith and John Carlos embracing, and crowds at the capital’s Mall as photographed from a satellite.

Posted on Jan 21, 2009 READ MORE


A Long Train Ride

Barack Obama rode to Washington, D.C., for his presidential inauguration on a whistle-stop tour, which was compared to the train ride taken by Abraham Lincoln in 1861. The train holds a deeper symbolism, though, that undergirds Obama’s historic ascension to the White House.

Posted on Jan 20, 2009 READ MORE



AP photo / Saul Loeb, pool

Good Riddance

Say it with us: former President Bush. After eight crazy years, George W. Bush is escaping to Texas, where he plans to work on his memoirs and, one imagines, clear some brush. He leaves a nation in despair. Perhaps his greatest achievement was scaring America into the arms of Barack Obama. Heckuva job, Bushie.

Posted on Jan 20, 2009 READ MORE



AP photo / Charles Dharapak

The President of the United States

At noon Eastern Time, Barack Obama became the 44th president of the United States. His inauguration speech celebrated America’s history of progress, called for a new era of responsibility and rebuked the Bush administration’s abuse of the Constitution.

Posted on Jan 20, 2009 READ MORE


Front-Row Seat

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Posted on Jan 20, 2009 READ MORE


Giving Obama the Benefit of the Doubt

Rarely has a new presidency been greeted with such a consensus of good will—and rarely has a new president so needed it.

Posted on Jan 20, 2009 READ MORE



AP photo

Still Dreaming After All These Years

Truthdig normally celebrates Martin Luther King Day by remembering the more complex, more subversive King—the man who railed against America as “the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today” and “a society gone mad on war.” But a day before America inaugurates its first black president, we have other things on our mind.

Posted on Jan 19, 2009 READ MORE



AP photo / Hatem Moussa

Peace Is in the Eye of the Beholder

I do not like Hamas. I detest religious fundamentalism and the use of suicide bombers. I find the group’s anti-Semitism and ruthless silencing of internal Palestinian opponents repugnant. The rocket attacks on Israeli civilians are a war crime. But this does not negate the legitimacy of Palestinian resistance to the long Israeli siege and occupation of Gaza.

Posted on Jan 19, 2009 READ MORE


‘Anything Is Possible’

The president-elect has so much speech in him he doesn’t even have to wait for his inauguration to Barack the house. A crowd at the Lincoln Memorial got treated to a little pre-inauguration magic on Sunday, after a star-studded concert celebrating “American renewal.”

Posted on Jan 18, 2009 READ MORE


book cover

Christian Appy on ‘Mekong Diaries’

Sherry Buchanan, previously the author of “Vietnam Zippos,”  gathers together drawings, poems, letters and oral histories by 10 Viet Cong artists and offers a radically different view of the fighters whom Americans branded as Reds, gooks and fanatical killers.

Posted on Jan 16, 2009 READ MORE


Mekong Diaries

Posted on Jan 15, 2009 READ MORE



Flickr / exfordy

The Party of No Ideas

Would it be rude to ask whether the Republicans have any new proposals to save the country from this worsening recession? If not, they should halt their reactionary opposition to Barack Obama’s stimulus plan.

Posted on Jan 14, 2009 READ MORE


The Shame Beneath Inaugural Hoopla

Sorry to rain on the inaugural parade, but we need to find a better way to pay for these things. The financing of President-elect Barack Obama’s big day is just as much of an embarrassment to the country as the financing of inaugurations past.

Posted on Jan 14, 2009 READ MORE


Bush’s Short View of History

In his eyes, there’s “no such thing as short-term history.” It’s true that some presidencies look different after a few decades. But it’s also true that presidential acts can have immediate consequences—and Bush’s eight years are seen as a nadir that will take years to recover from.

Posted on Jan 12, 2009 READ MORE


Gaza Casualties
Theatrum Belli

Why Do They Hate the West So Much, We Will Ask

So once again, Israel has opened the gates of hell to the Palestinians. Forty civilian refugees dead in a United Nations school, three more in another. Not bad for a night’s work in Gaza by the army that believes in “purity of arms”. But why should we be surprised?

Posted on Jan 9, 2009 READ MORE


book cover
amazon.com

Jay Feldman on ‘Concentration Camps on the Home Front’

A revelatory account of a hidden chapter of the treatment of Japanese-Americans during World War II deepens our understanding of American prejudice and the abuse of power.

Posted on Jan 9, 2009 READ MORE


Should the Torturers Go on Trial?

The impending end of the Bush administration and the inauguration of Barack Obama pose the enormous and explosive question of what to do about those responsible for what are regarded by a significant part of the world as war crimes.

Posted on Jan 8, 2009 READ MORE


Obama
AP photo / Rina Castelnuovo, pool

Obama Will Back Israel

The president-elect has struggled to stay out of the Gaza fight, but based on everything he said during the campaign, he appears determined to stand up for Israel.

Posted on Jan 8, 2009 READ MORE


Now Is No Time for Phony Thrift

As the government contemplates spending very large sums of money, it is reassuring to know that somebody still worries about waste. Or it would be reassuring, if only that somebody were not Mitch McConnell, the Senate minority leader.

Posted on Jan 8, 2009 READ MORE



AP photo / M. Spencer Green

Blagojevich vs. the Senate

Some have argued that the Senate does not have the right to reject embattled Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s pick to replace Barack Obama. However, history clearly disagrees.

Posted on Jan 5, 2009 READ MORE


Believe It or Not, 2008 Was Relatively Nonviolent

Peace is not at hand, at least not as Americans define it. Yet peace has been breaking out all over.

Posted on Jan 1, 2009 READ MORE


Let’s Pledge to Stop Being Stupid About Teen Sex

“Virginity pledges” are one of the ways that government officials measure whether abstinence-only education is “working.” They count the pledges as proof that teens will abstain. It turns out that this is like counting New Year’s resolutions as proof that you lost 10 pounds.

Posted on Jan 1, 2009 READ MORE


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