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Tag: Iraq

Obama Embraces the Military

In naming retired Gen. Eric K. Shinseki as veterans affairs secretary, President-elect Barack Obama made what may be the most politically and morally significant choice of his transition.

Posted on Dec 9, 2008 READ MORE



commons.wikimedia.org

Blackwater Guards Indicted for Shootings

Five Blackwater guards were indicted on charges of manslaughter on Monday in a case that will test the legal accountability of private contractors in Iraq. A sixth guard pleaded guilty. The Blackwater employees killed 17 unarmed Iraqi civilians without justification at a Baghdad traffic circle, the Justice Department alleges.

Posted on Dec 8, 2008 READ MORE


The Scalpel

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Posted on Dec 8, 2008 READ MORE    


Bush the Infallible

Remember that long-ago news conference when George W. Bush couldn’t think of any mistakes he had made? Unbelievably, he still can’t.

Posted on Dec 5, 2008 READ MORE


Remaking the World in America’s Image

The evidence suggests that American policy under Barack Obama will be a continuation of the neoconservative foreign policy of the Bush administration, given a human face.

Posted on Dec 4, 2008 READ MORE


Not a Team of Rivals at All

When the journalistic pack bites into a tasty cliché, they often refuse to let go, lazily chewing and regurgitating a phrase like “team of rivals” long after the flavor is gone.

Posted on Dec 4, 2008 READ MORE


Was There Any Point to the Bloodshed in Mumbai?

What is the message of a terrorist attack that fails to deliver a message? Threats and warnings are being exchanged by India and Pakistan over the attack on Mumbai, carried out by presumed Muslim extremists. But acting to what purpose, and under whose instructions?

Posted on Dec 2, 2008 READ MORE


Gates

Gates Was ‘Hoping the Question Would Never Be Popped’

Fresh off his official introduction as the current and future secretary of defense, Robert Gates took questions at the Pentagon on Monday about his party affiliation, President-elect Barack Obama and his outlook on the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Posted on Dec 2, 2008 READ MORE


Taking Over Bush’s Endless War

Terrorism (for the umpteenth time) is a tactic, not an enemy. One of the most urgent tasks for President-elect Barack Obama’s “team of rivals” is coming up with a coherent intellectual framework—and a winning battle plan—for George W. Bush’s globe-spanning “war on terror.”

Posted on Dec 1, 2008 READ MORE


Bush
White House / Paul Morse

Bush Admits He Was ‘Unprepared for War’

President Bush reflects on his time in office, airing some regrets and looking to have some say in framing his legacy, during an interview with ABC’s Charlie Gibson airing Monday.

Posted on Dec 1, 2008 READ MORE



AP file photo

Confronting the Terrorist Within

The world is far more complex than our childish vision of good and evil. We as a nation and a culture have no monopoly on virtue. The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, when viewed from the receiving end, are state-sponsored acts of terrorism.

Posted on Dec 1, 2008 READ MORE


bush at podium
AP photo / Pablo Martinez Monsivais

Bush Speaks of Legacy

Still-President Bush has discussed his legacy with his sister Dorothy Bush Koch as part of a national oral-history project, suggesting the future should remember him for his “liberation” of 50 million people and reluctance to ”sell his soul ... to accommodate the political process”—likely referring to that which is outlined in the U.S. Constitution.

Posted on Nov 28, 2008 READ MORE


Our Dear Leader

Judging by the proliferation of capital letters in the e-mail correspondence I receive, many seem worried that Barack Obama may not deliver the promised “change we can believe in.”

Posted on Nov 28, 2008 READ MORE


Obama the Realist

In electing Barack Obama, the country traded the foreign policy of the second President Bush for the foreign policy of the first President Bush.

Posted on Nov 27, 2008 READ MORE



USAF / Airman 1st Class Jason Epley

Iraqi Parliament Approves Occupation Deal

What is George W. Bush thankful for? The Iraqi parliament voted Thursday to approve an agreement outlining the terms of U.S. military operations in the country. Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki described the deal, negotiated over a year, as “an agreement for the withdrawal of foreign forces from Iraq.”

Posted on Nov 27, 2008 READ MORE



USAF / Staff Sgt. Samuel Rogers

Bush’s Follies Will Destroy Obama If He Lets Them

Barack Obama has no choice but to accept responsibility for America’s foreign policy crises. But why should he accept them on the distorted and even hysterical terms by which the Bush administration has defined world affairs since 2001?

Posted on Nov 25, 2008 READ MORE


Mark Halperin Labels Election Coverage ‘Disgusting’

Time’s veteran political reporter calls coverage of the 2008 election, during both the primary and general election, “the most disgusting failure of people in our business since the Iraq war” because of “extreme bias, extreme pro-Obama coverage.”

Posted on Nov 25, 2008 READ MORE


Thanks From Iraq

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Posted on Nov 25, 2008 READ MORE    


Iraq Protest Sadr
AP photo / Hadi Mizban

Thousands Protest U.S. Pact

Nothing says “go home” like 10,000 people yelling at you in a language you don’t quite understand. And nothing says “go home” with more irony than an effigy of your president hanging at the very spot where a statue of Saddam was famously toppled after the fall of Baghdad in 2003.

Posted on Nov 21, 2008 READ MORE


Why Obama Can Keep Gates

If the prospect of appointing Hillary Clinton as secretary of state irritates the Obama base, what will they make of keeping the man who has executed President Bush’s policies at the Pentagon?

Posted on Nov 20, 2008 READ MORE



DoD / Tech. Sgt. Jerry Morrison, USAF

Gates Might Stick Around

The Financial Times is reporting that Barack Obama is keen to have Robert Gates stay on as defense secretary. The paper says the two are currently negotiating their differences, but then that’s the whole point: Obama wants people who disagree with him in his Cabinet.

Posted on Nov 18, 2008 READ MORE


Bracing for a Major Disappointment

The Americans who voted for Barack Obama as president were promised change they could count on, but it rather looks as if they may actually be asked to make do with a mildly refurbished Clinton administration, with many of the same officials and nearly all of the same policies.

Posted on Nov 18, 2008 READ MORE



AP photo / Morry Gash

America’s Wars of Self-Destruction

War is a poison. It is a poison that nations and groups must at times ingest to ensure their survival. But, like any poison, it can kill you just as surely as the disease it is meant to eradicate.

Posted on Nov 17, 2008 READ MORE



U.S. Army / Spc. Richard DelVecchio

Iraq Cabinet OK’s Occupation Deal

To the great relief of U.S. military commanders, Iraq’s cabinet approved an agreement that would provide a legal basis for the occupation beyond Dec. 31. The deal, which still must clear a vote in parliament, maintains partial immunity for U.S. soldiers and calls for the withdrawal of American forces by 2011. Update

Posted on Nov 16, 2008 READ MORE


Blackwater in Alaska
Composite: acc-tv.com/50states.com

What’s Blackwater Doing in Alaska?

Juneau is hardly the top American target for terrorists, so what’s Blackwater doing in Alaska’s capital? Author Stuart Archer Cohen has spotted uniformed guards from the private security contractor, and he has some clues as to why they’re there.

Posted on Nov 14, 2008 READ MORE


How Many Villages Must We Bomb Before We Find bin Laden?

Barack Obama has said that he is not against war, only against stupid wars. One might then reasonably ask if the present war in Afghanistan is not a stupid war?

Posted on Nov 13, 2008 READ MORE



AP photo / Hasan Sarbakhshian

With Iran, Obama Needs More Carrot, Less Stick

Now that the presidential election has liberated Barack Obama from the need to play to the fickle whim of domestic politics, he should put away the saber and take a more enlightened approach to Iran.

Posted on Nov 13, 2008 READ MORE


This Is What He’s Sorry About?

It was nothing Bush did—no decision he made, no policy he pursued, no faith that he placed in ideological dogma—that he finds regrettable. Bush told a cable network, “I regret saying some things I shouldn’t have said” over the course of eight tumultuous years.

Posted on Nov 13, 2008 READ MORE


Afghanistan Girl After Acid Attack
AP photo / Allauddin Khan

How Bloody Can Bush’s Legacy Be?

The legacy of George Bush’s two “wars of liberation” may already be judged as foreign policy blunders, but the real costs of war remain even after the truism of failed empire. In Afghanistan, acid attacks on at least 15 female students mark a worrisome trend in women’s rights there. And in Iraq, an Iraqi soldier opened fire on a patrol of U.S. troops, killing two.

Posted on Nov 12, 2008 READ MORE


Bush
White House

Bush Regrets ‘Mission Accomplished’ and More

George W. Bush has had no shortage of gaffes during his reign of terror. One such miscue may also be the most enduring image of his presidency—that speech in front of a “Mission Accomplished” banner before his war in Iraq turned into an outright catastrophe. He now regrets that moment, among others.

Posted on Nov 11, 2008 READ MORE


The Danger in Timidity

If Reagan had the voters’ permission to move away from strategies associated with liberalism, Obama has sanction to move away from conservative policies. And Reagan offers another lesson: His first moves were bold, and Obama should not fear following his example.

Posted on Nov 11, 2008 READ MORE


Only One Good Path for the Democrats: Go Big

Obama and the rest of the party should retire the Innocent Bystander Fable—the myth about being powerless onlookers.

Posted on Nov 6, 2008 READ MORE


Neocons Plot to Co-Opt Obama

The president-elect is a foreign policy novice and will find himself under great pressure to follow Middle Eastern and China and Russia policies inherited from George Bush, even though these are what Barack Obama was elected to change or terminate.

Posted on Nov 6, 2008 READ MORE


Organizer in Chief

Perhaps the job that qualified Obama most for the presidency was the one most vilified by his opponents: community organizer. Yet community organizing is inherently at crosscurrents with the massive infusion of campaign cash.

Posted on Nov 5, 2008 READ MORE


A New Era of Hope

With Obama’s victory, it’s time to hope that the era of racial backlash and wedge politics is over. Time to imagine that the patriotism of dissenters will no longer be questioned and that the world will no longer be divided between “values voters” and those without a moral compass.

Posted on Nov 4, 2008 READ MORE



AP photo / Jose Luis Magana

Only Nader Is Right on the Issues

Tomorrow I will go to a polling station in Princeton, N.J., and vote for Ralph Nader. I know the tired arguments against a Nader vote. But there is little disagreement among liberals and progressives about the Nader and Obama campaign issues. Nader would win among us in a landslide if this was based on issues.

Posted on Nov 3, 2008 READ MORE



AP photo / LM Otero

The Obama Standard

A good politician triumphs by adapting to the times and taking advantage of opportunities as they come. A great politician anticipates openings others don’t see and creates possibilities that were not there before.

Posted on Nov 3, 2008 READ MORE


Palin

Palin Talks of Wars in ‘Iraq and Iran’

This weekend brought yet another startling installment from the Sarah Palin School of International Relations, in which she talks about “needing to really shore up the strategies that we need over in Iraq and Iran to win these wars” during the first 100 days of her time in the White House with John McCain.

Posted on Nov 1, 2008 READ MORE


The Unlearned Lessons of Vietnam Continue to Haunt The U.S.

Governments, like corporations and modern organizations of all kinds, make much of systematically teaching “lessons learned” to those newly arrived to responsibilities, yet they seem infrequently to succeed.

Posted on Oct 30, 2008 READ MORE



AP photo / Carolyn Kaster

Hell to Pay

Sen. John McCain’s ideological ties to the Bush-Cheney administration have mostly passed beneath the radar of the mainstream media, but if McCain loses the presidential race to Barack Obama, his neoconservative legacy could erupt into the open with a force that should not be underestimated.

Posted on Oct 30, 2008 READ MORE



Reagan Library

Liberals Resurrect Reagan to Endorse Obama

OK, so Ronald Reagan isn’t around to actually endorse anyone. But that doesn’t stop political operatives from invoking his presidency to boost their candidate. A new, liberal Colorado-based group called Progressive Future is bringing back the Gipper to put in a plug for Barack Obama, while the conservative Let Freedom Ring calls Obama the “anti-Reagan.”

Posted on Oct 30, 2008 READ MORE


Obama Is the Superior Decider

The real issues of the American presidential election are the future of the economy and the future of American foreign policy. The one seems already settled. The second seems to unite John McCain and Barack Obama in support of a program doomed to fail.

Posted on Oct 30, 2008 READ MORE



Collage: AP photo / Chip Somodevilla, pool / Wikimedia Commons

Virtual JFK: The 44th President’s Foreign Policy Challenge

The leading issue in the current face-off between Barack Obama and John McCain is the economy. Once elected and inaugurated, however, a U.S. president’s politics become global literally overnight.

Posted on Oct 29, 2008 READ MORE



goarmy.com

U.S. Attack in Syria Kills 8

Syrian authorities have demanded to know why U.S. forces crossed the Iraq-Syria border and killed eight people. A U.S. official said the raid—the first ever on Syrian soil—targeted foreign fighters. Damascus said the dead were Syrian civilians.

Posted on Oct 26, 2008 READ MORE



Flickr / BohPhoto

New York Times Endorses Barack Obama

This news isn’t going to make certain members of the Republican Party like the Gray Lady any more than they already do, which is not at all: The New York Times’ editorial board has officially endorsed Barack Obama for president.

Posted on Oct 23, 2008 READ MORE



npr.org / youtube

Citizen Tim Takes On Obama by Himself

The one form of political advertising that’s completely unregulated and free is the speech of an individual citizen, even when money amplifies that speech by putting it on the airwaves. Tim D’Annunzio, who describes himself as a “concerned North Carolina businessman,” is doing just that.

Posted on Oct 23, 2008 READ MORE



Flickr / James Gordon

Time Is Running Out for Iraq Occupation Deal

Here’s one way to get U.S. troops out of Iraq: The tediously negotiated status-of-forces agreement between the U.S. and Iraq has met yet another snag. The current legal justification for the occupation of Iraq is about to expire, and the U.S. is eager to pass new guidelines, but the Iraqi Cabinet is hitting the brakes.

Posted on Oct 21, 2008 READ MORE


Iraqi police in Ramadi
Flickr/Jim Gordon

Brokering a Fragile Peace in Iraq

A key overlooked fact about the much-ballyhooed “surge is working” argument in Iraq is that the U.S. military actually paid some former insurgents $10 a day to help American troops keep the peace in parts of the country. But what happens when that setup changes in volatile regions like Anbar?

Posted on Oct 21, 2008 READ MORE


Kristol
andrewsullivan.theatlantic.com

Wrong Again, Bill Kristol

The New York Times’ conservative stalwart William Kristol should receive some kind of award for being wrong with such baffling consistency while still retaining his job. Not only has he been credited (if that’s the right word) with steering John McCain toward picking Sarah Palin and waving his proverbial pompoms for the Iraq invasion, but he has just let fly with another doozy in his latest column.

Posted on Oct 20, 2008 READ MORE



AP photo / Henny Ray Abrams

The Idiots Who Rule America

Our oligarchic class is incompetent at governing, managing the economy, coping with natural disasters, educating our young, handling foreign affairs, providing basic services like health care and safeguarding individual rights. They have no concept, thanks to the educations they have received, of the common good.

Posted on Oct 20, 2008 READ MORE


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