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Tag: History

Only One U.S. Official Has Taken an Honorable Stand on Torture

Thus far in the torture debate that has gone on in the United States since 2001, I can think of only one high American government figure currently in office taking a stand on torture in terms of justice, honor and national integrity.

Posted on Aug 25, 2009 READ MORE


There Are More Slaves Today Than at Any Time in History

One writer spent four years inside the world of modern-day slavery, an industry that produces huge profits and countless wasted lives.

Posted on Aug 25, 2009 READ MORE



Wikimedia Commons

We Need to Know What Was Done in Our Name

History’s demands can seem inconvenient, unfair or unreasonable. But they can’t be ignored. Especially when it comes to torture.

Posted on Aug 24, 2009 READ MORE



AP / Bob Child

This Isn’t Reform, It’s Robbery

The proposed health reform plans rattling around Congress all ensure that the profits for corporations will increase and the misery for ordinary Americans will be compounded.

Posted on Aug 24, 2009 READ MORE



Wikimedia Commons / Einarsson Kvaran

Remembering Sacco and Vanzetti

Eighty-two years ago Sunday two Italian immigrants were executed after a dubious trial for murders someone else later confessed to. Whatever really happened, Ferdinando Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti have come to stand for the greater inequities of American justice. (Howard Zinn explains, after the jump.)

Posted on Aug 23, 2009 READ MORE



A Bomb in Every Issue

Peter Richardson’s fascinating new book explores the short, unruly life of Ramparts Magazine and its extraordinary effect on American politics and media.

Posted on Aug 21, 2009 READ MORE


Freedom From Fear—and the Second Amendment

The gun nuts showing up at rallies and town hall meetings should check the order of their amendments: The First guarantees people—whatever their politics—a fundamental right to participate in their democracy without concern for physical retribution.

Posted on Aug 21, 2009 READ MORE


The Politics of the Jackboot

We are re-featuring this E.J. Dionne column from August of 2009 in light of this weekend’s deadly shooting in Arizona.

Posted on Aug 20, 2009 READ MORE



AP / Yonhap

North Korea Bows to the South’s Fallen Pioneer

Did Bill Clinton shake something loose during his recent visit to Pyongyang? No, Kim Jong Il’s overtures to his southern neighbors this week are the legacy of Kim Dae-jung, the former president and first modern South Korean leader to visit the North. Kim died Tuesday. He survived political persecution and attempted assassination to cross the neutral zone and step into history.

Posted on Aug 19, 2009 READ MORE



AP / LM Otero

The Right’s Trouble With Violence

With angry white men bringing their guns too close to the president, Josh Marshall writes: “Let’s be honest with ourselves: the American right has a deep-seated problem with political violence. It’s deep-seated; it’s recurrent and it’s real.”

Posted on Aug 18, 2009 READ MORE


Woodstock

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Posted on Aug 16, 2009 READ MORE    


How Bad Things Might Have Been

The summer has become a bummer, but almost every day there’s some reminder of how far we’ve come since President Obama’s inauguration—and how much worse things could be.

Posted on Aug 13, 2009 READ MORE



White House / Chuck Kennedy

What Do Billie Jean King and Bob Dole’s Running Mate Have in Common?

The president on Wednesday honored 16 do-gooders, big shots and champions, including Stephen Hawking (still alive despite Britain’s socialized medicine), Billie Jean King (G.O.A.T.?) and, oddly enough, the late former U.S. Rep. Jack Kemp, who was Bob Dole’s ’96 VP choice. Full list after the jump.

Posted on Aug 12, 2009 READ MORE


Saint Sebastian
Follower of Pietro Perugino

The Bible Is Not Safe for Children

If public schools are to teach the “literature and history” of the Bible, as some Texans desire, will they leave out the parts that say it’s OK to kill your slaves and disobedient children?

Posted on Aug 10, 2009 READ MORE


Ralph Nader
AP / Carolyn Kaster

Nader Was Right: Liberals Are Going Nowhere With Obama

“Something is broken,” Ralph Nader said when I reached him at his family home in Connecticut. “We are not at the Bangladesh level in terms of passivity, but we are getting there.”

Posted on Aug 10, 2009 READ MORE


40-Year Hangover

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Posted on Aug 9, 2009 READ MORE    



White House archive / Oliver F. Atkins

35 Years After Nixon

President Richard Nixon resigned on Aug. 9, 1974, in the wake of the Watergate scandal and the revelations of his “abuses of power” and obstruction of justice. For his involvement in criminal activities, Nixon earned his unique epitaph: an unindicted co-conspirator.

Posted on Aug 9, 2009 READ MORE



AP / Markus Schreiber

Playing Politics With a Ghost

Now that the remains of Navy Lt. Cmdr. Scott Speicher have been recovered from Iraq, Sen. Pat Roberts and other politicians will have to stop shamelessly exploiting his disappearance to sell their war agenda. Update from the author

Posted on Aug 6, 2009 READ MORE


hiroshima
AP / Shizuo Kambayashi

Truthdig Classic: The Terror America Wrought

This week marks the anniversary of a U.S. attack that deliberately took the lives of thousands of children on their way to school.

Posted on Aug 5, 2009 READ MORE


Willow Run factory
U.S. Army Signal Corps

Hiroshima Day: America Has Been Asleep at the Wheel for 64 Years

Daniel Ellsberg of Pentagon Papers fame writes that “official secrecy and deceptions about our nuclear weapons posture and policies and their possible consequences have threatened the survival of the human species.”

Posted on Aug 5, 2009 READ MORE



AP / LM Otero

So Much for the Promised Land

The most prominent faces of color, such as President Obama or Harvard’s Henry Louis Gates Jr., mask an insidious new racism that, in essence, tells blacks they have enough, that progress has been made and that it is up to them to take advantage of what society offers them.

Posted on Aug 3, 2009 READ MORE



Frederic Raphael on Socrates

Was Socrates an atheist, a guru to a strange sect and an elitist corrupting the youth of a democratic Athens defeated in the Peloponnesian War, as his accusers successfully charged? A new book by Robin Waterfield seeks to dispel the myths about “Why Socrates Died.”

Posted on Jul 31, 2009 READ MORE



U.S. Navy

It’s Time for the U.S. to Declare Victory and Go Home

As the old saying goes, “guests, like fish, begin to smell after three days.” Since the signing of the 2009 Security Agreement, we are guests in Iraq, and after six years in Iraq, we now smell bad to the Iraqi nose.

Posted on Jul 30, 2009 READ MORE


A Time, Again, for Bill Clinton

Perhaps the time has come, if it isn’t already too late, for President Obama to ask for help from President Clinton.

Posted on Jul 29, 2009 READ MORE


The Marvel That Is Medicare

Medicare is where political posturing runs headlong into historical truth: It is, along with Social Security, the most successful government program that the United States has ever created.

Posted on Jul 29, 2009 READ MORE


Israel Palestine Land
wordpress.com

Whitewashing Israeli History

Because if it’s not in the history books, it didn’t happen. Today’s Orwell Award goes to the Israeli government, whose education minister has decided to remove references to what Palestinians call the “catastrophe”—when Israel defeated five Arab nations in a 1948 war and expelled 700,000 Palestinians—from textbooks given to Arab schoolchildren.

Posted on Jul 22, 2009 READ MORE


Moon Landing [A Cartoon From United Arab Emirates]

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Posted on Jul 21, 2009 READ MORE


The 21st Century Color Line

As it moves into its second century, the NAACP is, unfortunately, as relevant as ever.

Posted on Jul 21, 2009 READ MORE


When Trust and Media Were One

The greatest sorrow in marking Walter Cronkite’s death is the necessity of acknowledging that we have replaced his work ethic and wisdom with puffery and ideological pontification.

Posted on Jul 21, 2009 READ MORE



U.S. Army / Staff Sgt. Andrew Smith

War Without Purpose

Al-Qaida could not care less what we do in Afghanistan. We are fighting with the wrong tools. We are fighting the wrong people. We are on the wrong side of history. And we will be defeated in Afghanistan as we will be in Iraq.

Posted on Jul 20, 2009 READ MORE


Black America’s New Reality

A century ago, when the NAACP was founded, black America was under siege. Some critics have wondered whether there is still a role for an organization like the NAACP. President Obama says there is.

Posted on Jul 20, 2009 READ MORE


Pedophiles, Witches and Kids

If we have reached the point in society where basic adult concern for children is mistaken for evil, we’re back in Salem, 1692.

Posted on Jul 16, 2009 READ MORE



AP / Susan Walsh

Pelosi’s Toothless ‘Commission’

Congressional leaders are expected to announce a new commission to investigate the causes of America’s financial disaster. But unless the speaker and her colleagues summon much greater courage than they have displayed to date, it will only highlight the failure of the Democrats to live up to their heritage.

Posted on Jul 15, 2009 READ MORE


Sheldon Whitehouse
senate.gov

Confirmation Remarks Worth Revisiting

Supreme Court confirmation hearings are as much about politicians grabbing a little face time as they are about probing a nominee’s legal philosophy. Amid all the posturing and finger-wagging Monday, Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse spoke rather eloquently about what the court has become, and what it should be: “ ... A place ... where the comfortable can be afflicted and the afflicted find some comfort. ... ”

Posted on Jul 14, 2009 READ MORE



AP photo / Win McNamee, pool

White Men Can’t Trump

For the Republicans outraged at “wise Latina” Sonia Sotomayor, being white and male is seen as a neutral condition, the natural order of things. Any “identity”—black, brown, female, gay, whatever—has to be judged against this supposedly “objective” standard.

Posted on Jul 13, 2009 READ MORE



USAF / Staff Sgt. Samuel Bendet

Netherlands to Return Artifacts to Iraq

Dutch art dealers have surrendered 69 artifacts that were stolen from Iraq following the U.S. invasion. The ancient objects will remain in the Netherlands until they can be returned to Iraq. In addition to losing 15,000 treasures stolen from Iraq’s national museum, the country has had to contend with rampant looting since the 2003 invasion.

Posted on Jul 9, 2009 READ MORE



AP photo / Hadi Mizban

So This Is What Victory Looks Like?

It is wishful thinking to believe that the Iraqi military will be able to hold the ruins of Iraqi society together without major U.S. intervention. The United States has assumed the role of Saddam’s Special Republican Guard, waiting to be called in to crush any sign of rebellion or insurrection. It’s a lose-lose situation with only one way out.

Posted on Jul 7, 2009 READ MORE


Robert McNamara

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Posted on Jul 6, 2009 READ MORE


I Am Robama, and I Come in Peace

Number 44 has been spotted in Orlando, in the form of an animatronic addition to Walt Disney World’s Hall of Presidents. And it speaks with the president’s actual voice. It’s as creepy as it is amazing, and easily worth a quick look.

Posted on Jul 3, 2009 READ MORE


Thomas Paine
Portrait by Auguste Millière

The Age of Paine

“That filthy little atheist,” as Thomas Paine was called by Theodore Roosevelt, has few monuments dedicated to his memory. Building a bronze and marble monument to Paine will never revive the republic, but his words still carry an electric current of freedom. His intellectual and political energy is always available for rediscovery.

Posted on Jul 3, 2009 READ MORE


Undo the Coup

The first coup d’etat in Central America in more than a quarter-century occurred last Sunday in Honduras. It was led by a graduate of the U.S. Army’s School of the Americas, a military facility that has trained some of Latin America’s worst torturers, murderers and human rights abusers.

Posted on Jun 30, 2009 READ MORE



AP photo / Bebeto Matthews

The Truth Alone Will Not Set You Free

The modern world, as Kafka predicted, has become a world where lies become true. And facts alone will be powerless to thwart the mendacity spun out through billions of dollars in corporate advertising, lobbying and control of traditional sources of information. The lines between artists, social activists and journalists have to be erased.

Posted on Jun 29, 2009 READ MORE


Courtly Politics

The United States Supreme Court claims to be above politics, and it sometimes even achieves that aspiration.

Posted on Jun 24, 2009 READ MORE


Journalism in the Twitter Era

Journalism is famously described as “the first rough draft of history.” But the history of this Iranian moment is a first, rough hailstorm of bits and bytes, tweets and texts. In the tweet of Mousavil388: “One Person=One Broadcaster.”

Posted on Jun 24, 2009 READ MORE


Iran’s Regime Reveals Its Brutality

The truly significant result of the suppressed Iranian revolt is that the most important Islamist radical movement in the contemporary world has demonstrated that it has become a brutally repressive dictatorship whose leaders rig elections and beat down clear popular demands.

Posted on Jun 23, 2009 READ MORE


Ed McMahon and Johnny Carson
AP photo / Douglas C. Pizac

Ed McMahon Was an Everyman Till the End

Despite his fame, money and extraordinary résumé—he had been a Marine, pitchman, newsboy, ditch digger, talent show host and, of course, the most famous sidekick in the history of television—Ed McMahon came off as a likable everyday guy. Before his death Tuesday at the age of 86, McMahon even experienced the wrong end of the mortgage crisis, albeit with a Beverly Hills mansion.

Posted on Jun 23, 2009 READ MORE


Obama ‘Strongly Condemns’ Iran Crackdown

The president opened his Tuesday press conference by saying, “The United States and the international community have been appalled and outraged by the threats, the beatings, and imprisonments of the last few days. I strongly condemn these unjust actions… .”

Posted on Jun 23, 2009 READ MORE


Baracks Obama
White House / Lawrence Jackson

Obama Comes Closer to Meddling

The president reiterated Tuesday that he has no intention of “interfering with Iran’s affairs,” but he also dialed up his criticism of the regime’s crackdown from “it is of concern to me” to “I strongly condemn these unjust actions.”

Posted on Jun 23, 2009 READ MORE


America’s History, Now on YouTube

Amid the Web site’s trashy home videos and other uneven chronicles of pop culture is a memorable new look at America’s past that whets the appetite for more free fun. The National Archives, in celebration of its 75th anniversary, has posted 17 videos to YouTube.

Posted on Jun 22, 2009 READ MORE



AP photo / Ali Zare

Iran Had a Democracy Before We Took It Away

Iranians do not need or want us to teach them about liberty and representative government. We gave to the Iranian people the corrupt regime of the shah and his savage secret police and the primitive clerics that rose out of the swamp of the dictator’s Iran.

Posted on Jun 22, 2009 READ MORE


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