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Tag: History

Backstage at the Democratic National Convention

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Posted on Aug 28, 2008 READ MORE


Clinton on Obama and Race

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Posted on Aug 28, 2008 READ MORE    


The Mountaintop

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Posted on Aug 28, 2008 READ MORE


Hillary Made History Enough

Democrats have provided nearly all the drama of this campaign season, an 18-month run, a narrative with two compelling leads, a race between two people to open the door of history. A door that could only admit one at a time.

Posted on Aug 27, 2008 READ MORE



AP photo / Rafiq Maqbool

Pouring Gas on the Afghanistan Bonfire

Mounting bombing raids and widespread detentions of Afghans are rapidly turning Afghanistan into the mirror image of Iraq. But these very real events, which will have devastating consequences over the next few months and years, are largely ignored by us.

Posted on Aug 25, 2008 READ MORE


The Happy Warrior

In selecting Joe Biden, Barack Obama has signaled clearly what this week’s Democratic National Convention will be about: He intends to move aggressively to ease the problems that have worried so many Democrats in recent weeks—problems, it turns out, that Obama is worried about, too.

Posted on Aug 25, 2008 READ MORE


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James Blight on the Cuban Missile Crisis

In “One Minute to Midnight,” Michael Dobbs’ definitive book on the 1962 crisis that brought the world to the brink of nuclear annihilation, the question of lessons learned and unlearned remains as acute as ever.

Posted on Aug 21, 2008 READ MORE



commons.wikimedia.org

McCain: ‘We Are All Georgians’

If there is any doubt that John McCain is gulping down the neocon Kool-Aid on Georgia, one need only read his new manifesto in The Wall Street Journal, where he once again flaunts his Wikipedia-sourced foreign policy expertise.

Posted on Aug 14, 2008 READ MORE


Cold War Spin Only Compounds Georgian Crisis

History—not democracy—provides the explanation for the crisis in Georgia, in which the United States is recklessly involving itself.

Posted on Aug 14, 2008 READ MORE


When Minorities Are in the Majority

Census data project that in just 34 years, today’s minority groups together will make up the majority of the U.S. population, outnumbering “non-Hispanic whites.” Contrary to what Lou Dobbs and the Minuteman Civil Defense Corps would have you believe, the change in demographics has more to do with procreation than immigration.

Posted on Aug 14, 2008 READ MORE



AP photo / Musa Sadulayev

Georgia Conflict Primer

For those who never heard of South Ossetia before fighting between Russians and Georgians erupted there, the BBC’s Paul Reynolds provides some needed background and analysis, including this pearl of wisdom: “Do not punch a bear on the nose unless it is tied down.”

Posted on Aug 11, 2008 READ MORE


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Zachary Karabell on the Middle East

What is it about the region that provokes intense sectarian passions, prompting seemingly endless vendettas? “Kingmakers,” by Karl Meyer and Shareen Blair Brysac, tells the story of British and American entanglement and how the modern Middle East was invented. It also offers an exemplary history of hubris.

Posted on Aug 8, 2008 READ MORE


China’s Sins in the Spotlight

World attention, in addition to fixing on the spectacle of the Olympics and the Chinese economic miracle, will be cast on a record of human rights abuse and environmental degradation.

Posted on Aug 7, 2008 READ MORE


China’s Quest for Olympic Glory

The Chinese authorities’ anxiety that the Olympic Games will be a success reflects their need to find international confirmation of their general political and economic policies of the past 20 years.

Posted on Aug 6, 2008 READ MORE


McCain’s Race-Baiting Scoundrels

I’m confident that Sen. Lindsey Graham and the rest of John McCain’s front-line surrogates know full well what messages they’re sending about Barack Obama and race. On the off chance that they—or, more likely, some of the white voters they’re trying to reach—don’t know text from subtext from context, here’s a deconstruction.

Posted on Aug 4, 2008 READ MORE


Getting Past the ‘Race Card’

Will the race issue go back into the closet for the rest of the presidential campaign? Of course not, so where do we go from here?

Posted on Aug 4, 2008 READ MORE


Putin and Castro
commons.wikimedia.org

Russia and Cuba, Together Again

Forty-six years after the Cuban Missile Crisis, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said he wants “to rebuild our positions in Cuba” by strengthening economic cooperation with the island nation. The push could be a retort to America’s resolve to build a missile shield on Russia’s doorstep.

Posted on Aug 4, 2008 READ MORE



AP photo / Hasan Sarbakhshian

A War of Self-Destruction

An attack on Iran, which Israeli and Bush administration officials appear set to carry out if Iranian uranium enrichment is not halted, would ignite a regional war in the Middle East and lead to economic collapse and political upheaval in the United States.

Posted on Aug 4, 2008 READ MORE


McCain’s Evil Twin

It’s awfully early for John McCain to be running such a desperate, ugly campaign against Barack Obama. But I guess it’s useful for Democrats to get a reminder that the Republican Party plays presidential politics by the same moral code that guided the bad-boy Oakland Raiders in their heyday: “Just win, baby.”

Posted on Jul 31, 2008 READ MORE



AP photo / Brennan Linsley

Acts of War

The war between the United States and Iran is on. American taxpayer dollars are being used, with the permission of Congress, to fund activities that result in Iranians being killed and wounded, and Iranian property destroyed. This wanton violation of a nation’s sovereignty would not be tolerated if the tables were turned.

Posted on Jul 29, 2008 READ MORE



Mr. Fish

Ray Bradbury on Literature and Love

The renowned author sits down with Truthdig literary editor Steve Wasserman to tell stories about his books, the many loves of his life—including dinosaurs and Halloween—and his own starring role in Arnold Schwarzenegger’s rise to fame.

Posted on Jul 28, 2008 READ MORE


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Nikki Keddie on Iran

In “Bitter Friends, Bosom Enemies,” Barbara Slavin, a leading Middle East reporter for USA Today, offers a refreshingly nuanced and revelatory taxonomy of power within theocratic Iran that sheds light on its leaders and their ambitions.

Posted on Jul 25, 2008 READ MORE


Six Little Words

History books teem with six-word phrases, from the comforting (“Nothing to fear but fear itself”) to the inspiring (“Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall”) to the embarrassing (“Read my lips, no new taxes”). But the six words “on the basis of union membership” could be more momentous than any of those.

Posted on Jul 24, 2008 READ MORE


Julius and Ethel Rosenberg
commons.wikimedia.org

Still Secret After All These Years

A federal judge has ruled that the testimony of David Greenglass, who helped convict his sister in one of the most famous trials in American history, shall remain secret. Julius and Ethel Rosenberg were executed 55 years ago for conspiracy to commit espionage. Greenglass has since recanted parts of his testimony.

Posted on Jul 22, 2008 READ MORE


Obama’s Audition

To win the presidency, Barack Obama needs only to battle John McCain to a tie on foreign policy and national security. That means Obama has no need for a great triumph during his trip this week to the Middle East and Europe. His goal is to look safe, sound and competent, and that’s how he’s playing things.

Posted on Jul 21, 2008 READ MORE



AP photo / Mark Lennihan

Bad Days for Newsrooms—and Democracy

The decline of newspapers is not about the replacement of the antiquated technology of news print with the lightning speed of the Internet. It does not signal an inevitable and salutary change. It is not a form of progress.

Posted on Jul 21, 2008 READ MORE


‘Kafka Comes to America’

Steven Wax’s new book provides an insider’s view of some of the most hideous practices our country has allowed since the 9/11 attacks. And that’s without giving accounts of torture and abuse of detainees.

Posted on Jul 16, 2008 READ MORE


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Ellen Garrison on ‘All the Sad Young Literary Men’

Are Keith Gessen and his posse really the voice of the Zeitgeist, the intellectual heirs to Norman Mailer and George Plimpton? Or just the highbrow version of Judd Apatow?

Posted on Jul 10, 2008 READ MORE



AP photo / Kevin Sanders, file

Surviving the Fourth of July

I survive the degradation that has become America—a land that exalts itself as a bastion of freedom and liberty while it tortures human beings, stripped of their rights, in offshore penal colonies, a land that wages wars defined under international law as criminal wars of aggression, a land that turns its back on its poor, its weak, its mentally ill, in a relentless drive to embrace totalitarian capitalism—because I read books.

Posted on Jul 7, 2008 READ MORE


On Black Patriotism

The fact that African-American patriotism is never simple doesn’t mean it’s in any way halfhearted; to the contrary, complicated relationships tend to be the deepest and strongest.

Posted on Jul 3, 2008 READ MORE


Obama’s Leap of Faith

Barack Obama keeps trying to end the wars over culture and religion, and good for him. The 1960s are so 40 years ago. But Obama’s opponents, as well as some of his friends, won’t let him do it.

Posted on Jul 3, 2008 READ MORE


Bush’s Loose Ends

George W. Bush’s presidency seems exhausted and irrelevant, but that’s a dangerous illusion.

Posted on Jun 30, 2008 READ MORE


Battle for the Bench

If the long conservative era that began with Ronald Reagan’s election is over, will the judges appointed during the right’s ascendancy be able to block, frustrate and undermine the efforts of a new progressive majority?

Posted on Jun 30, 2008 READ MORE


This Summer’s Trilogy of Truth

Books have survived radio and television for the same reason they will survive the Internet. Human life is simply too complex to be represented by a news spot or a blog post.

Posted on Jun 26, 2008 READ MORE



AP photo / Henry Arvidsson / United Nations

The Nuclear Expert Who Never Was

As a former U.N. weapons inspector, Scott Ritter knows a thing or two about nuclear threats around the world. So when so-called experts go on television or appear in print to help make the case for war with Iran, it gets his attention.

Posted on Jun 26, 2008 READ MORE


‘Did I Mention He’s Black?’

The question isn’t whether race will be an issue in the general election campaign between Obama and McCain. Race is already an issue, even if largely confined to the shadow world of implication and coded language.

Posted on Jun 23, 2008 READ MORE


A Revolutionary Campaign

Republican presidential nominee John McCain officially kicked off his general election campaign today, promising to bring his race for the White House to “all 13 colonies.”

Posted on Jun 22, 2008 READ MORE


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Tony Platt on American Eugenics

Here’s a story, both chilling and inspiring: how prisoners at an Oklahoma prison in the aftermath of the Depression led a struggle to limit the practice of compulsory sterilization.

Posted on Jun 20, 2008 READ MORE



AP photo / Brennan Linsley

A Government of Law, Not Fear

John McCain and Barack Obama’s differences over the Supreme Court’s recent Guantanamo decision speak volumes about the two candidates and their competing visions for America.

Posted on Jun 19, 2008 READ MORE


McCain and Obama
AP photo / Dennis Cook

The Vice Presidency: Hype and Flourishes

For two centuries, selecting vice presidential candidates was at best a mere afterthought. Hardly anyone knew of the process, if indeed one existed aside from a brief huddle by the presidential candidate with a few advisers and friends. The presidential nominees usually settled on lesser-known figures, deserved obscurities in American history.

Posted on Jun 15, 2008 READ MORE


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Richard Flacks on Tom Hayden

For 50 years, Tom Hayden has been an indefatigable organizer on behalf of the disenfranchised, and now, with the publication of his “Writings for a Democratic Society,” we have a chance to trace the arc of activism of an American original who continues to make history.

Posted on Jun 12, 2008 READ MORE


Barack Obama
AP photo / Alex Brandon

The Iran Trap

The failure by Barack Obama to chart another course in the Middle East, to defy the Israel lobby and to denounce the Bush administration’s inexorable march toward a conflict with Iran is a failure to challenge the collective insanity that has gripped the political leadership in the United States and Israel.

Posted on Jun 8, 2008 READ MORE


book cover

Nicholas von Hoffman on ‘The Big Squeeze’

A new book by New York Times reporter Steven Greenhouse argues that the plight of American workers, both white-collar and blue-collar, is growing worse, putting the American dream out of the reach of tens of millions of citizens.

Posted on Jun 6, 2008 READ MORE


From Slavery to Obama

There will be plenty of time to chart Barack Obama’s attempt to navigate a course between the exigencies of the old politics and the promise of the new, between yesterday and tomorrow, youth and experience, black and white. For now, take a moment to consider the mind-bending improbability of what just happened.

Posted on Jun 5, 2008 READ MORE


The Populist Uprising

American history is the history of populist uprisings. From the Revolutionary War to the coalfield wars, from labor organizers to anti-tax crusaders, from the New Deal to the current conservative era, backlashes to the status quo have defined every major political era.

Posted on Jun 5, 2008 READ MORE


Economist cover
The Economist

I’m The Economist and I Approve This Election

The storied British mag is making no bones about it: America’s long primary battle, judging by the candidates it produced, was a major success. According to a new cover story, ” ... On the face of it, this is the most impressive choice America has had for a very long time.”

Posted on Jun 5, 2008 READ MORE


The More Things Change, the More They Smell the Same

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Posted on Jun 5, 2008 READ MORE    


Campaign Soundtrack

Crank up your iPods, everyone. Herewith, a musical guide to the endgame of the epic contest for the Democratic nomination.

Posted on Jun 2, 2008 READ MORE


fighter plane
AP photo / LM Otero

Indefensible Spending

What should be the most important issue in this election is one that is rarely, if ever, addressed: Why is U.S. military spending at the highest point, in inflation-adjusted dollars, than at any time since the end of World War II?

Posted on Jun 1, 2008 READ MORE


The Corporate State and the Subversion of Democracy

Chris Hedges gave this keynote address on Wednesday, May 28, in Furman University’s Younts Conference Center. The address was part of protests by faculty and students over the South Carolina college’s decision to invite George W. Bush to give the May 31 commencement address.

Posted on May 31, 2008 READ MORE


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