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Tag: History

Learning to Speak Anew in a Tribal World

The international conversation since the Second World War tended to be something of an American monologue, but that’s changing now that the United States is widely perceived as a large part of the current world problem.

Posted on Nov 5, 2009 READ MORE


The GOP’s Toxic Tea Party

The more that Glenn Beck, Sarah Palin and kindred spirits appear to represent the Republican brand, the less appeal that brand possesses.

Posted on Nov 5, 2009 READ MORE



Truthdig

McGovern: Get Out of Afghanistan

George McGovern has some advice for President Barack Obama: Get U.S. troops out of Afghanistan. “I’m convinced that war is going to turn sour. I’m convinced we’re not going to prevail there,” he said.

Posted on Nov 4, 2009 READ MORE


2009 Elections Don’t Foretell a Thing

Advice to readers about the coming orgy of analysis about the New Jersey and Virginia gubernatorial elections: Ignore it.

Posted on Nov 3, 2009 READ MORE



U.S. Marine Corps / Cpl. Artur Shvartsberg

Today’s U.S. Army and Its Ambitions

It is possible that the creation of an all-professional U.S. Army has been Congress’ most dangerous decision.

Posted on Nov 3, 2009 READ MORE



White House / Archive / 2004

Bill Clinton vs. George W. Bush

Bubba will battle the Decider in a debate at Radio City Music Hall. MSG Entertainment is billing its salty showdown as “the hottest ticket in political history.” How hot? It’s $60 to $1,250, depending on how close you want to get. Don’t expect fireworks—ex-presidents tend to be chummy and WJC is practically BFFs with W’s daddy. Update

Posted on Nov 3, 2009 READ MORE



White House / Pete Souza

A Record You Can Believe In

It’s been a year since a healthy majority of American voters elected Barack Obama to change the world. Which is precisely what he’s doing.

Posted on Nov 3, 2009 READ MORE



Angel City Press

Inventing L.A.: The Chandlers and Their Times

The Chandler family’s L.A. Times practically invented one of the great American cities. This is the story of the paper’s fall toward mediocrity.

Posted on Nov 3, 2009 READ MORE



AP / David Guttenfelder

McChrystal Doesn’t Get It—Does Obama?

President Obama may have won the Nobel Peace Prize, but if he allows himself to be bullied into supporting Gen. Stanley McChrystal’s foray into Afghanistan, he will reveal himself as the worst kind of warmonger.

Posted on Oct 29, 2009 READ MORE


Afghan Poppy Trade Blurs All the Lines

The opium poppy was introduced to Afghanistan more than 2,300 years ago by the armies of Alexander the Great. His forces were eventually driven out, like those of every would-be conqueror since. The poppy has proved more tenacious.

Posted on Oct 29, 2009 READ MORE


In Pursuit of Happiness

Women are now less likely than men to report that they are “very happy,” despite the achievements of the women’s movement. Let the predictable debates begin.

Posted on Oct 29, 2009 READ MORE



Department of Defense / MC1 Chad J. McNeeley

Can’t Split the Difference in Afghanistan

Afghanistan doesn’t present the kind of “false choices” that President Barack Obama, by nature, habitually rejects. The choices are real and awful, and no amount of reframing and rephrasing will make them go away.

Posted on Oct 27, 2009 READ MORE



AP / Rich Pedroncelli

Blinded by Reform

The Obama administration has committed serious money to education reform, but many of the Department of Education’s big ideas are flawed.

Posted on Oct 21, 2009 READ MORE


Racism Down Under and Beyond

One country’s taking the piss is another’s bigotry. A blackface sketch on an Australian variety show has exposed what the Global Post calls “an ugly side of the Australian character.”

Posted on Oct 21, 2009 READ MORE



Flickr / Lord Jim

A Down-and-Out Route for Rush

Rush Limbaugh, are you ready for some football? Um, I guess not.

Posted on Oct 15, 2009 READ MORE



Flickr / maocirpdsp

Russia Arrests Historian for Studying Russian History

A Russian historian faces four years in prison for having the nerve to research Stalin’s gulags, which Russian revisionists would have you believe either didn’t exist or were a form of forced vacation.

Posted on Oct 15, 2009 READ MORE



Wikimedia Commons / Subsven

A Campus Is Born on Spot Where RFK Was Shot

If things had worked out a little differently, the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles, where Robert Kennedy was gunned down in 1968, might have become a Wal-Mart or one of Donald Trump’s gaudy creations. Instead, it is now a center of education, home to two elementary schools and, next year, the new Robert F. Kennedy High School.

Posted on Oct 14, 2009 READ MORE



White House / Pete Souza

In Search of Great Men

The world hungers for great men to liberate it from grief. They rarely arrive, and even more rarely are they appreciated at the time for what they are.

Posted on Oct 13, 2009 READ MORE


Kissinger
National Archives / White House

A People’s History of Ironic Prizes

Speaking of Howard Zinn, did you see his devastating attack on the Nobel Committee for awarding President Barack Obama the Peace Prize? Zinn says the committee “should retire, and turn over its huge funds to some international peace organization which is not awed by stardom and rhetoric, and which has some understanding of history.” Ouch.

Posted on Oct 12, 2009 READ MORE



Library of Congress / Currier and Ives

Happy Indigenous Peoples Day

Read historian Howard Zinn’s account of that genocidal, gold-crazed maniac Christopher Columbus, and it’s impossible to think this man deserves a holiday. Upon meeting the Indians, for example, his first thought was “They would make fine servants. ... With fifty men we could subjugate them all and make them do whatever we want.”

Posted on Oct 11, 2009 READ MORE



White House / Samantha Appleton

Prizing Peace on the Home Front

President Obama should make peace with the “angry white men” who see his Nobel Prize as a token of elitism by enacting policies that address their economic grievances.

Posted on Oct 11, 2009 READ MORE



AP / Emilio Morenatti

Unintended Consequences in Nuclear Pakistan

The Obama administration has already begun to escalate the fighting in Pakistan, a policy that could make even the Nixon-Kissinger destruction of Cambodia seem like a pleasant memory.

Posted on Oct 9, 2009 READ MORE


Gen. McChrystal’s Celebrity Weekend

It is not for McChrystal to leak his staff’s strategic plans to The Washington Post, do the celebrity circuit and tell the public in so many words that if he doesn’t have his way the United States can expect defeat and humiliation in Asia.

Posted on Oct 6, 2009 READ MORE


A Slippery Slope on Guns

If it wins an upcoming battle in the Supreme Court, the gun lobby is prepared to challenge every gun control law enacted at any level of government.

Posted on Oct 5, 2009 READ MORE



White House / Pete Souza

Put a Sock in it, Stan

How to proceed in Afghanistan will be among the most difficult and fateful decisions that President Obama ever makes. But he’s the one who has to decide, not his generals.

Posted on Oct 5, 2009 READ MORE



AP / Caleb Jones

Celebrating Slaughter: War and Collective Amnesia

War memorials and museums are temples to the god of war. They sanitize the savage instruments of death that turn young soldiers and Marines into killers, and small villages in Vietnam or Afghanistan or Iraq into hellish bonfires.

Posted on Oct 5, 2009 READ MORE



White House / Pete Souza

War Kills Off Great Reform Movements

The hawks urging President Obama to escalate the war in Afghanistan have no interest in his domestic policy. The 20th century is a graveyard of good ideas that lost out to war.

Posted on Oct 4, 2009 READ MORE



pagetutor.com

Pox Americana: The Real Cost of Bailing Out Wall Street

In the 20th century, smallpox killed more people than all of that bloody century’s wars combined. It cost $300 million to eradicate the disease. What might have been achieved with the $4 trillion we gave Wall Street?

Posted on Oct 4, 2009 READ MORE


Polanski Brings Out the Worst in Hollywood

Could it be that the conservative culture warriors who portray Hollywood as a cesspool of moral bankruptcy have been right all along? Not really. But in the case of Roman Polanski, the Puritan scolds definitely have a point.

Posted on Oct 1, 2009 READ MORE


Communist China Turns 60—and Reveals Its Insecurities

What could and should have been celebrated this week in Beijing is the resumption of effective power in the People’s Republic by the modernizer Deng Xiaoping.

Posted on Oct 1, 2009 READ MORE



DoD / MC1 Chad J. McNeeley

Obama’s Afghanistan Dilemma

During his presidential campaign, Barack Obama repeatedly called for expanding the war in Afghanistan. Be careful what you wish for.

Posted on Oct 1, 2009 READ MORE


Massachusetts Looks for Life After Teddy

All the Democrats running to replace the late senator are on a Be-Like-Ted ticket, but there are degrees of Ted-ness. Who will win the heart of this state that loves liberals, tradition and Kennedys?

Posted on Sep 27, 2009 READ MORE


Michael Vick
AP / Matt Rourke

Michael Vick’s Long, Strange Detour

After doing prison time for dog fighting, he played Sunday in his first regular-season game in almost three years. But his re-emergence in the NFL has revived questions that arose when the scandal broke. And for one journalist, the issue was personal.

Posted on Sep 27, 2009 READ MORE


Irving Kristol
AP / The Weekly Standard

Reflections on the ‘Godfather’ of Neoconservatism

It is puzzling that obituary notices of Irving Kristol obviously intended to be positive designate him the “Godfather” of neoconservatism. Likening this group of thinkers and writers to a gang of Mafiosi may or may not be accurate; it is certainly not flattering.

Posted on Sep 25, 2009 READ MORE


Palestinian-Israeli Conflict Could Get Much Worse if Tolerated

God’s specific instruction to the Jewish people to reoccupy Jerusalem and the Palestinian West Bank stands in the way of peace, but President Obama must get results—and fast—before the situation deteriorates.

Posted on Sep 25, 2009 READ MORE



White House / Pete Souza

Let Blue Dogs Face the Music

The president is protecting the very Democrats who are tanking his agenda by saving them from having to face tough primaries.

Posted on Sep 25, 2009 READ MORE


Sen. Robert Byrd
senate.gov

Is Byrd’s Health a Factor for Health Reform?

Not to be morbid or insensitive, but the succession of Ted Kennedy’s Senate seat got us thinking about another Democrat among the 60 probably needed to push through health care reform.

Posted on Sep 24, 2009 READ MORE


A Puzzling, Dangerous U.S. Policy Comes to an End

President Barack Obama’s cancellation of his predecessor’s missile-defense scheme for Poland and the Czech Republic presumably brings to a close one of the least explicable and most dangerous American policy initiatives since the Cold War officially ended.

Posted on Sep 23, 2009 READ MORE



U.S. Marine Corps / Sgt. Pete Thibodeau

It Came From Afghanistan

It’s hard to read Gen. Stanley McChrystal’s assessment of the Afghanistan war without hearing one of those horror-movie voices that seems to come from everywhere and nowhere, a voice that grows louder and more insistent with every page: “Get out. Get out. Get out.”

Posted on Sep 21, 2009 READ MORE


Following in Your Tank Tracks [A Cartoon From China]

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Posted on Sep 21, 2009 READ MORE


Jimmy Carter Is Right

President Obama has to give even his most vocal critics the benefit of the doubt. But I don’t. There’s a particularly nasty edge to some of Obama’s detractors that is difficult to explain in terms other than racism.

Posted on Sep 17, 2009 READ MORE


Testing the Obama Effect

President Obama was the first Democrat to win Virginia’s electoral votes since 1964, and his drop in the polls has already had a powerful influence on the direction of this year’s contest for governor.

Posted on Sep 16, 2009 READ MORE



Flickr / agitprop

Meet Josef Stalin, ‘Competent Manager’

Is Vladimir Putin’s dictator chic to blame for Josef Stalin’s makeover? The Soviet tyrant who presided over the suffering of millions and helped launch World War II has been rebranded as a “competent manager” and, if Moscow’s deserted Gulag Museum is any indication, Russians appear to be lapping it up.

Posted on Sep 16, 2009 READ MORE



US Army / Sgt. Teddy Wade

Let Us Not Become the Evil We Deplore

On Oct. 7, the U.S. enters its ninth year of occupation of Afghanistan—equal to the time the United States was involved in World War I, World War II and the Korean War combined.

Posted on Sep 15, 2009 READ MORE



AP / Charles Dharapak

Stop Begging Obama and Get Mad

The right-wing accusations against Barack Obama are true. He is a socialist, although he practices socialism for corporations.

Posted on Sep 14, 2009 READ MORE



Flickr / Carrie Hasselback

Afghan Indiana Jones Hunts Giant Buddha

Somewhere in Afghanistan there’s a statue of Buddha more than 1,000 feet long, according to the ancient journal of 7th century Chinese pilgrim Xuan Zang. Dr. Zemaryalai Tarzi, an Afghan archeologist with a sense of adventure, believes the legend.

Posted on Sep 10, 2009 READ MORE


We’ve Seen This Trigger Before

The “trigger mechanism” is gaining momentum after President Obama’s speech to Congress. Once again, lawmakers turn to legislative subterfuge to kill popular common-sense reform.

Posted on Sep 10, 2009 READ MORE



AP / Joseph Kaczmarek

A Hundred Holocausts: An Insider’s Window Into U.S. Nuclear Policy

The document in his hand was almost unthinkable: It projected roughly 600 million deaths in a U.S.-Soviet war. Here’s the first installment of a memoir of the nuclear era by Daniel Ellsberg, the man who revealed the Pentagon Papers.

Posted on Sep 10, 2009 READ MORE


The United States of Plutocracy

Since the 1970s, the nation has been in a dizzying downward spin in the effective purchase of public office by corporations.

Posted on Sep 8, 2009 READ MORE



AP / Rick Rycroft

Food Is Power and the Powerful Are Poisoning Us

Our most potent political weapon is food. If we take back our agriculture, if we buy and raise produce locally, we can begin to break the grip of corporations that control a food system as fragile, unsafe and destined for collapse as our financial system.

Posted on Sep 6, 2009 READ MORE


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