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Tag: Iraq

Columbine Questions We Still Don’t Ponder

As Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold’s posthumous infamy turns 10 on April 20, I wish I were surprised that Columbine-like shootings are still happening, or even that our national discussion about violence hasn’t yet matured past gun control and video games.

Posted on Apr 17, 2009 READ MORE



abcnews.com

AIG’s War Business Draws Criticism

At least 30,000 private contractors have been injured in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the vast majority are insured by AIG. According to an investigation by ABC News, ProPublica and the Los Angeles Times, the insurance giant does about as good a job helping wounded contractors as gaming the derivatives market.

Posted on Apr 16, 2009 READ MORE


Delusions of Omnipotence

American foreign policy is based not on what we can do, but what Washington wants to do, hence the blunders of Korea, Vietnam and even the Cold War, which the Soviets were kind enough to lose. Even now, the new president is extending the “Long War” on a still more ambitious scale.

Posted on Apr 16, 2009 READ MORE


Tea and Ignorance

There is little anyone can do about the tax-protest rants except worry they will be believed by a wider public. So, on the theory that the truth will set us free, it is worth examining exactly what we’re all paying, and what for.

Posted on Apr 16, 2009 READ MORE


The Obama Doctrine

The president insists that the U.S. can’t achieve great objectives on its own. This may break with George W. Bush’s style, but it is in keeping with the traditions of Roosevelt, Truman and George H.W. Bush.
 

Posted on Apr 16, 2009 READ MORE


The War at Home

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Posted on Apr 15, 2009 READ MORE



U.S. Army / Sgt. Kani Ronningen

They Don’t Build Democracies Like They Used To

America promised to bring democracy to Iraq, but more than two months after provisional elections, things have gone from photo-op to fiasco. The New York Times reports on the “threats, intrigue, back-room deal-making, protests, political paralysis and, increasingly, popular discontent” that have come to characterize the Iraqi political process.

Posted on Apr 15, 2009 READ MORE


Pacifica Radio at 60: A Sanctuary of Dissent

The oldest independent media network in the United States turns 60 years old this week as a deepening crisis engulfs mainstream media.

Posted on Apr 14, 2009 READ MORE


Vidal

Gore Vidal: ‘The Most Interesting Man in the World’

The whip-smart and ever-sly Gore Vidal visited “Real Time” on Friday, giving his historical and sometimes hysterically funny take on the state of the United States. He also revisited a few key moments from his personal history, illustrated by some priceless archival footage found by Bill Maher’s crack research team. Is it too soon to make an Amelia Earhart joke?

Posted on Apr 11, 2009 READ MORE


Tax for the Memories

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Posted on Apr 9, 2009 READ MORE    


Obama: The Extremists’ Nightmare

In the struggle against the extremists and terrorists, the new president understands how to divide the enemy and neutralize their base—and is uniquely suited to accomplish the mission. He got elected in the United States of America, after all.

Posted on Apr 8, 2009 READ MORE



Flickr / keeponilluminating9_11

Shoe-Thrower Catches a Break

Muntadhar al-Zaidi became an instant hero to many when he flung his shoes at George W. Bush, but he was soon sentenced to three years in prison. That penalty has now been commuted to one year, including time served. It still seems a bit steep, considering that he didn’t even make contact and Bush himself dismissed the incident as democracy in action.

Posted on Apr 8, 2009 READ MORE



DoD / Lee Craker

Obama Shows the Troops Some Love

The president on Tuesday made a surprise visit to Baghdad, where he expressed his gratitude to a raucous group of troops: “We have not forgotten what you have already done, we are grateful for what you will do, and as long as I am in the White House, you are going to get the support that you need and the thanks that you deserve from a grateful nation.”

Posted on Apr 7, 2009 READ MORE


It’s Now a ‘Soft War’ in Afghanistan, but It’s Still a Disaster

President Obama appears to have fallen for the oldest false dichotomy in the Pentagon repertoire, and the easiest one to sell to the American public. It goes like this: The world is divided between the Evil Folks and the Good. The Good Folks, being what they are, are naturally pro-American, once they get to know us.

Posted on Apr 7, 2009 READ MORE



U.S. Marine Corps / Lance Cpl. Albert F. Hunt

The Business of War

Pentagon whistle-blower Karen Kwiatowski returns to the Truthdig podcast to take stock of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, which she says are effectively “a government jobs program for the military and military contractors.”

Posted on Apr 6, 2009 READ MORE



U.S. Marine Corps / Lance Cpl. Albert F. Hunt

The Business of War

Pentagon whistle-blower Karen Kwiatowski returns to the Truthdig podcast to take stock of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, which she says are effectively “a government jobs program for the military and military contractors.”

Posted on Apr 6, 2009 READ MORE



Troy Jollimore on the God Debate

Is it really true, as John Micklethwait and Adrian Wooldridge argue in their new book, “God Is Back,” that religion and modernity cannot only coexist but actually flourish together?

Posted on Apr 2, 2009 READ MORE


America’s ‘Long War’ Will Be as Bloody and Pointless as Europe’s

The Thirty Years’ War occupies little space in the school texts of the English-speaking world, but its futility comes to mind when Richard Holbrooke speaks of the war he is supposed to manage, now the Af-Pak war.

Posted on Apr 2, 2009 READ MORE



U.S. Marine Corps / Lance Cpl. Sarah Furrer

Awakening on the Wrong Side of the Bed

The Awakening movement isn’t very happy these days. The U.S. has been paying Sunni militants to turn their guns from American soldiers to al-Qaida foreign fighters, a program that has been celebrated for reducing violence in Iraq and is now falling apart. In the words of one Sunni leader who spoke to NPR, “The Americans completely abandoned us.”

Posted on Mar 30, 2009 READ MORE


‘How Did This Country Get Stuck With an Empire?’

With military personnel deployed in 150 countries, Bill Maher says bringing the troops home from Iraq is only the tip of the iceberg. “Can you imagine if there were 20,000 armed Guatemalans on a base in San Bernardino right now? Lou Dobbs would become a suicide bomber.”

Posted on Mar 30, 2009 READ MORE



AP photo / Kevin Wolf

Obstruction of Justice

The facts surrounding the trial and imprisonment of Dr. Sami Al-Arian have severely tarnished the integrity of the American judicial system and made the government’s vaunted campaign against terrorism look capricious, inept and overtly racist.

Posted on Mar 30, 2009 READ MORE


Newspapers’ Self-Inflicted Wounds

Most newspaper postmortems insist that decreased ad revenues brought on by the Internet and the recession caused journalism’s problems, but a look at the vapid celebrity-obsessed pages of the nation’s ever-thinner rags tells a different story.

Posted on Mar 26, 2009 READ MORE



AP photo / Elizabeth Dalziel

Obama’s Plan to Save the World

Forget about terrorism for a moment. The potential catastrophe that climate change could unleash on America makes every other national security crisis pale in comparison. President Obama cannot secure the homeland without addressing this global emergency.

Posted on Mar 24, 2009 READ MORE



Flickr / danesparza

Death Penalty Keeps U.S. in Bad Company

Here’s a list of countries where you don’t want to find yourself when it comes to human rights: Saudi Arabia, Iran, China, Iraq, Pakistan and the good ol’ U.S. of A. Those six states execute more of their citizens than any others, according to Amnesty International’s latest tally. The U.S. is the fourth-worst offender.

Posted on Mar 23, 2009 READ MORE



AP photo / M. Spencer Green

America Is in Need of a Moral Bailout

The methods used to attain what we want, we are told by reality television programs, business schools and self-help gurus, are irrelevant. Success, always defined in terms of money and power, is its own justification. Our moral collapse is as terrifying, and as dangerous, as our economic collapse.

Posted on Mar 23, 2009 READ MORE


What Is the Point of NATO?

NATO today, approaching its 60th birthday, faces the prospect of sending home all of its units not willing to fight in Afghanistan under the American flag. They will go home to “defend” Europe. From whom?

Posted on Mar 20, 2009 READ MORE



U.S. Air Force / Tech. Sgt. Cohen A. Young

Military Rapes Jump 9 Percent

“Military women are more likely to be raped by a fellow soldier than killed by enemy fire in Iraq,” said Rep. Jane Harman in response to the news that the number of sexual assault reports in the military last year increased by about 9 percent to 2,923. The Pentagon believes the actual number of assaults is five to 10 times higher, because most go unreported.

Posted on Mar 17, 2009 READ MORE



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


Zaidi
AP photo / Evan Vucci

Shoe-Thrower Gets 3 Years in Prison

Muntadar al-Zaidi became an instant hero to many when he lobbed his shoes at then-President Bush, but he’ll spend the next three years in an Iraqi prison. The sentence could have been five times longer, but still seems a harsh punishment for a crime that Bush himself praised as an example of free expression.

Posted on Mar 12, 2009 READ MORE


marine one
White House / Eric Draper

Was Helicopter Deal a Tool in Bush’s War Scam?

You may have heard about the scandalously overpriced presidential helicopters the U.S. had ordered from Italy, but did you know they may have been a payoff for forged intelligence used to sell the war in Iraq? It’s all a part of “a web of conspiracy and deceit,” says journalist Paolo Pontoniere.

Posted on Mar 10, 2009 READ MORE


marine one
White House / Eric Draper

Was Helicopter Deal a Tool in Bush’s War Scam?

You may have heard about the scandalously overpriced presidential helicopters the U.S. had ordered from Italy, but did you know they may have been a payoff for forged intelligence used to sell the war in Iraq? It’s all a part of “a web of conspiracy and deceit,” says journalist Paolo Pontoniere.

Posted on Mar 10, 2009 READ MORE



U.S. Army / Staff Sgt. Curt Cashour

Top U.S. General in Iraq Says U.S. Won’t Be Invited to Stick Around

Gen. Ray Odierno, the top U.S. commander in Iraq, said he doesn’t expect the Iraqi government to ask U.S. troops to remain beyond the 2011 deadline. “I think that the Iraq leadership is focused on that this ends in 2011,” Odierno told the Associated Press. If security allows, the number of U.S. troops to be withdrawn this year will increase 3,500 (one brigade) over the number of 12,000 previously announced, the general said.

Posted on Mar 10, 2009 READ MORE



AP photo / Andy Wong

We Are Breeding Ourselves to Extinction

All efforts to save the planet will be useless if we do not cut population growth. By 2050, the planet will have between 8 billion and 10 billion people, according to a recent U.N. forecast. And yet studies, books and documentaries that deal with various crises fail to discuss the danger of all those billions of hungry people looking for a better life.

Posted on Mar 8, 2009 READ MORE



U.S. Army / Staff Sgt. Adam Mancini

Obama’s Troop Shuffle Leaves Us Dizzy

The president will withdraw 12,000 troops from Iraq over the next six months, but where will he send them? Back to America? Ski trip to Aspen? Or perhaps he’ll just airlift the veterans to Afghanistan, where a similar number of reinforcements has been promised over a similar period.

Posted on Mar 8, 2009 READ MORE



State Dept. / WikiMedia Commons

Clinton Scores a Hit With Talk-Show Diplomacy

Hillary Clinton’s media savvy was on full display Saturday during an appearance on the Turkish equivalent of “The View.” Dishing on family and fashion, Clinton was by all accounts a hit in a country where only 9 percent view the U.S. favorably. Update: Video

Posted on Mar 8, 2009 READ MORE


The A Word

Recently, I’ve been groping for the precise word to characterize the zeitgeist of this (unfortunately) historic moment—a word I finally found during a visit last week to central Mexico.

Posted on Mar 5, 2009 READ MORE


Obama’s Coalition of the Unwilling

President Barack Obama met recently with the prime ministers of Canada and Britain, two NATO allies looking for a way out of Afghanistan even as the U.S. is talking escalation.

Posted on Mar 3, 2009 READ MORE


Withdrawal 101

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Posted on Mar 3, 2009 READ MORE    


Erik Prince
eyeball-series.org

Blackwater CEO Steps Down

Saying that he’s “taking on new challenges,” Blackwater Worldwide founder and CEO Erik Prince announced Monday that he’s resigning from his long-held position at the top of the security company, which has now changed its name to the spooky and sci-fi-tinged Xe.

Posted on Mar 2, 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


Redistributionist, and That’s Just Fine

The well-off will pay more in taxes. And before the howling on the right gets too loud, consider that we have just gone through a long era involving a far less frank form of redistribution—upward.

 

Posted on Mar 2, 2009 READ MORE


The Sports Nut

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Posted on Mar 1, 2009 READ MORE    


Obama on the phone
enscriber.com

Obama Calls Bush About Iraq

Before he made his announcement Friday about withdrawing U.S. troops from Iraq, President Barack Obama called Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki as well as his predecessor in the White House, George W. Bush. The White House described the call to Bush as a courtesy.

Posted on Feb 27, 2009 READ MORE


Obama

Iraq Withdrawal Lite

Since he was elected president, Barack Obama has said he plans to withdraw most of the U.S. troops stationed in Iraq by August 2010. That’s a little more time than he said he’d take to do the job before he was voted into office. Does this constitute a major violation of his pre-election pledge?

Posted on Feb 27, 2009 READ MORE


Combat vs. Support
nytimes.com

War in Iraq: 2003-2010

Updated: Well, not exactly a real pullout, but a plan to be announced by the Obama administration on Friday is expected to withdraw “combat” troops from Iraq by Aug. 31, 2010, officially ending U.S. combat operations in the war-torn country while keeping 50,000 ambiguously labeled “support troops” there.

Posted on Feb 27, 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


Under New Management

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Posted on Feb 24, 2009 READ MORE



AP photo / Hasan Sarbakhshian

A Choice Between Peace and Peril

Bibi Netanyahu’s assumption of power in Israel sets the stage for a huge campaign by the Israeli government, and its well-oiled lobby groups in Washington, to push us into a war with Iran, but a stable relationship with Iran would do more to protect Israel and our interests in the Middle East.

Posted on Feb 23, 2009 READ MORE


U.S. Soldier Found Guilty of Murder in Iraq Killings

Sgt. Michael Leahy Jr. was convicted of murder Friday for his part in the shooting deaths of four Iraqis in 2007. The 28-year-old Army medic, one of a group of soldiers to face charges in the case, admitted that he shot one of the victims in the back of the head, but Leahy’s lawyer argued that combat stress had destroyed his client’s capacity to reason properly.

Posted on Feb 20, 2009 READ MORE


U.S. Fear, U.S. Folly in Afghanistan

Except for the brief NATO intervention in Kosovo and Serbia, all of the significant U.S. military expeditions since the Cold War have been fought against Asians, and we have lost nearly all of them.

Posted on Feb 19, 2009 READ MORE


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