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Tag: Iraq

The Pencil

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Posted on Feb 19, 2009 READ MORE    


Good News for the Taliban

We seem to have spent our way—to the tune of $864 billion—into allowing our friends the Pakistanis to enter into a peace treaty, or something that looks like it, with the Taliban.

Posted on Feb 18, 2009 READ MORE



White House / Paul Morse / Pete Souza

Good Money After Bad

Congressional Republicans, with the exception of that embarrassingly shrunken contingent of three moderates, will rue their legacy of deep indifference at a time of true national emergency, one that makes George W. Bush’s far more costly war on terror now seem an absurdly irrelevant exercise.

Posted on Feb 18, 2009 READ MORE


America’s Confused Cause in Central Asia

Exactly what do we think we are doing in Afghanistan and Pakistan? Are we there to liberalize their forms of religious observance, or conduct a war over theology, or establish permanent NATO bases there, or are we searching for Osama bin Laden? It seems that we are doing all of these things at the same time. But why?

Posted on Feb 18, 2009 READ MORE



DoD / Sgt. Zach Otto, U.S. Army

Obama Throws 17,000 Troops at Afghanistan Mess

President Obama’s desire to escalate the war in Afghanistan, a sore spot for the progressives and anti-war folk who helped elect him, took a major step forward Tuesday when the White House announced plans to raise troop levels in Afghanistan by 50 percent over the next few months.

Posted on Feb 17, 2009 READ MORE


Putin
AP pool photo / Alexei Druzhinin

Avoiding Another Cold War

Relations with Russia haven’t been this frosty since there was an East Berlin. President Obama may be distracted by other priorities, but getting reacquainted with Vladimir Putin and his nuclear arsenal should be at the top of the list.

Posted on Feb 17, 2009 READ MORE


Obama’s Afghan Trap

Have we learned nothing from the Iraq war? The Obama regime is gunning for more fighting in Afghanistan at a time when the U.S. should be seeking more talk.

Posted on Feb 11, 2009 READ MORE


A Team of Zombies

Only weeks ago, the political world was buzzing about a “team of rivals,” but instead President Obama has populated his administration with Bush yes-men and Wall Street kleptocrats whose discredited theologies cannot be killed.

Posted on Feb 6, 2009 READ MORE



USAF / Tech. Sgt. Charlein Sheets

Pentagon Propaganda Is Booming

The military’s spin budget—covering recruitment, advertising and public relations—has jumped 63 percent over the last five years, to $4.7 billion, according to a yearlong investigation by the Associated Press. The Pentagon pays nearly as many people to influence public opinion as the State Department has in its entire work force.

Posted on Feb 5, 2009 READ MORE


America’s ‘Strong Commitment to Error’

John Kenneth Galbraith once warned that U.S. foreign policy suffers from institutional rigidity with a “strong commitment to error.” What better proof than the planned surge in Afghanistan?

Posted on Feb 3, 2009 READ MORE



U.S. Navy / Mark H. Overstreet

Iraq Watchdog Looks Back on Years of Reconstruction Waste

He’s back: Stuart Bowen, the special inspector general for Iraq reconstruction, has released a new volume in his series of blood-boiling reports. Looking back on his five years as a watchdog, Bowen laments the widespread waste of taxpayer funds in Iraq, and warns that the same mistakes are being made in Afghanistan.

Posted on Feb 2, 2009 READ MORE



AP photo / Nikolas Giakoumidis

It’s Not Going to Be OK

The daily bleeding of thousands of jobs will soon turn our economic crisis into a political crisis. Our empire is dying. How will we cope with our decline? Will we cling to the absurd dreams of a superpower and a glorious tomorrow or will we responsibly face our stark new limitations?

Posted on Feb 2, 2009 READ MORE


Barack Obama

Obama Says He’ll Bring Many Troops Home for Next Super Bowl

Speaking before the big game, the president pledged to bring a substantial number of troops home in time for the next Super Bowl. On the economic front, he warned that “It’s going to take a number of months before we stop falling ... .” He also managed to predict the outcome of the game.

Posted on Feb 2, 2009 READ MORE


America Faces the Music in Davos

The American participants in this year’s World Economic Forum have been the first to confront the full international blowback to the U.S.-created world economic crisis, which has devastated the nation’s reputation for competence, along with the justification for its six-decade role as world leader.

Posted on Feb 1, 2009 READ MORE


Soldiers
news.sky.com

Army Suicide Rate Highest in Decades

Adding to the solemn string of record-breaking statistics, new figures show that the suicide rate among U.S. Army members has hit its highest level in three decades. Last year, over 128 soldiers took their own lives, a telling sign of our military and political climate.

Posted on Jan 30, 2009 READ MORE



obamaicon.me

No They Can’t

Three Iraqi candidates and two campaign workers were killed Thursday as the country prepared for local elections in 14 out of 18 provinces. That’s something to keep in mind with all the talk of improved security. Relative to the hell-on-Earth of recent years, “improvement” amounts to only five people murdered for showing an interest in politics.

Posted on Jan 29, 2009 READ MORE



AP photo / Sebastian Scheiner

With Gaza, Journalists Fail Again

The assault on Gaza exposed not only Israel’s callous disregard for international law but the gutlessness of the American press. Nearly all reporters were, as during the buildup to the Iraq war, pliant stenographers and echo chambers.

Posted on Jan 26, 2009 READ MORE


Obama and the Middle East

‘Mosaic’: The Inauguration, as Seen From the Middle East

How did the changing of the U.S. presidential guard register throughout the Middle East? Will Barack Obama deliver on his inaugural promise to usher in a new era of respect and consideration for mutual interests of the U.S. and the Mideast? This week’s “Mosaic Intelligence Report” offers some answers.

Posted on Jan 23, 2009 READ MORE


The Bush Years

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Posted on Jan 22, 2009 READ MORE


It’s Over—and Not a Moment Too Soon

George W. Bush promised to restore “honor and dignity” to the White House, but he leaves with less honor and with lower public approval than any other president since Richard Nixon.

Posted on Jan 20, 2009 READ MORE


What Can Obama Learn From Bush?

The Bush administration’s specific failures—in foreign and domestic policy and on matters related to civil liberties—are clear enough. Yet the deeper cause of the public’s disaffection goes beyond these specifics.

Posted on Jan 20, 2009 READ MORE



AP photo / Hatem Moussa

Peace Is in the Eye of the Beholder

I do not like Hamas. I detest religious fundamentalism and the use of suicide bombers. I find the group’s anti-Semitism and ruthless silencing of internal Palestinian opponents repugnant. The rocket attacks on Israeli civilians are a war crime. But this does not negate the legitimacy of Palestinian resistance to the long Israeli siege and occupation of Gaza.

Posted on Jan 19, 2009 READ MORE


moore
johnmurneysblog.blogspot.com

Moore May Face Lawsuit Over Iraq Photo

A photograph of an American soldier cradling a mortally wounded Iraqi girl in his arms has become the source of potential trouble for Michael Moore. Apparently without photographer Michael Yon’s permission to use the picture, the filmmaker featured the image on his Web site in a way that Yon found objectionable.

Posted on Jan 15, 2009 READ MORE


Bush farewell address

President Bush Signs Off

George W. Bush gave his last presidential speech to the American public in a farewell address Thursday night that offered him a platform to have the (first) last word on his time in office. True to form, Bush stayed the course, giving little if any ground when it came to defending even the most contested aspects of his legacy.

Posted on Jan 15, 2009 READ MORE


Who’s in Charge—Obama, the Pentagon or Israel?

The military is far too accustomed to getting its way, so it was refreshing to see Barack Obama reject the Pentagon’s sluggish withdrawal plan. But will he stand up to Israel, whose Prime Minister Olmert recently bragged about pulling the American president’s puppet strings?

Posted on Jan 15, 2009 READ MORE


Guantanamo protest
AP photo / Mary Altaffer

U.S. Fails in Human Rights Role

It is unsurprising that a group like Human Rights Watch has condemned the Bush government for jettisoning the U.S. role as a defender of global human rights: Numerous examples—Guantanamo, gay marriage, Iraq, etc.—accentuate this failure.

Posted on Jan 14, 2009 READ MORE


Afghan lookout
army.mil

The Afghan Scam

The vision of a reconstructed, peaceful, stable, democratically governed Afghanistan faded fast after the U.S.-led invasion. Most Afghans now believe that it was nothing but a cover story for the Bush administration’s real goal—to set up permanent bases in Afghanistan and occupy the country forever.

Posted on Jan 13, 2009 READ MORE


Bush’s Short View of History

In his eyes, there’s “no such thing as short-term history.” It’s true that some presidencies look different after a few decades. But it’s also true that presidential acts can have immediate consequences—and Bush’s eight years are seen as a nadir that will take years to recover from.

Posted on Jan 12, 2009 READ MORE


One for the Workers

Hilda Solis does not have star power. What the nominee for labor secretary does have is a record of loyalty to those who work and want to work, and who wish to receive in exchange a decent wage and a measure of dignity.

Posted on Jan 12, 2009 READ MORE



AP photo / Abdel Kareem Hana

The Language of Death

Israel will, from now on, speak to the Palestinians in the language of death. And the language of death is all the Palestinians will be able to speak back. The slaughter—let’s stop pretending this is a war—is empowering an array of radical Islamists inside and outside of Gaza.

Posted on Jan 12, 2009 READ MORE


Yukking It Up at the Blago Show

I am supposed to be typing out words that articulate a highly audible and terribly alarmed tsk tsk. Instead, I am laughing with unrestrained amusement at the farce that Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich has engineered. Honestly, I haven’t had this much fun since New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer’s implosion.

Posted on Jan 6, 2009 READ MORE


Believe It or Not, 2008 Was Relatively Nonviolent

Peace is not at hand, at least not as Americans define it. Yet peace has been breaking out all over.

Posted on Jan 1, 2009 READ MORE


Voices of Resistance Sing On

Strong voices for peace have left us this year, people who used their art for social change, often at a high personal price.

Posted on Dec 31, 2008 READ MORE


Obama with soldiers

The Middle East in 2009

It may seem misguidedly America-centric to link the immediate future of many parts of the Middle East to President-elect Barack Obama, but because the U.S. has inserted itself so strongly into the region, a good deal undoubtedly rides on the choices of the next American administration.

Posted on Dec 26, 2008 READ MORE


Don’t Be Fooled by Bush’s Farewell Tour

The 43rd president is going home with less remorse and fewer regrets than my grandchildren express for spilling their cereal.

Posted on Dec 24, 2008 READ MORE



USAF / Michael B. Keller

The Road Out of Iraq Begins in Vietnam

Iraq is not Vietnam, yet there are parallels between the two wars. The American military dominated the battlefield in both conflicts, and yet America the nation emerged the loser in each. A “decent interval” is now needed for American troops to withdraw.

Posted on Dec 24, 2008 READ MORE



mexicanpictures.com

Back to the Future: U.S. to Arm Afghan Militias

Because it worked out so well the last time, the U.S. plans to arm Afghan militias in an effort to police the country. The Pentagon is presenting this plan—and the media are reporting it—as a spinoff of a successful strategy in Iraq, not a revival of the secret war that gave rise to Osama bin Laden and the Taliban.

Posted on Dec 23, 2008 READ MORE


Cheney and Bush
AP photo / Ron Edmonds

Cheney’s Legacy of Deception

In the end, the shame of Vice President Dick Cheney was total: unmitigated by any notion of a graceful departure, let alone the slightest obligation of honest accounting.

Posted on Dec 23, 2008 READ MORE



White House / Eric Draper

From ‘Mission Accomplished’ to ‘So What?’

The history-be-my-judge interviews that President Bush and Vice President Cheney have been giving recently help me understand their choices—but also reinforce my confident belief, and my fervent hope, that history will throw the book at them.

Posted on Dec 23, 2008 READ MORE



AP photo / Khalil Hamra

Man Is a Cruel Animal

We fool ourselves into believing we are immune to the savagery and chaos of failed states. Take away the rigid social structure, let society continue to break down, and we become, like anyone else, brutes.

Posted on Dec 22, 2008 READ MORE


Bush Guarded
nytimes.com

Judge: Iraqi Shoeman Beaten

Although allegations of physical abuse against reporter Muntazer al-Zaidi, better known as the guy who chucked his shoes at the head of the guy who invaded his country, were widely reported in recent days, it took until today for an Iraqi judge to officially rule that al-Zaidi was beaten while in custody. The system works!

Posted on Dec 19, 2008 READ MORE


book cover

James Blight on McGeorge Bundy

One of JFK’s “best and brightest” died wondering how the Vietnam War could have gone so wrong. Now, in an important new book, we have some answers.

Posted on Dec 19, 2008 READ MORE


Bill Clinton
Flickr / Photo Mojo

Pondering the Inner Meanings of Bill’s Big List

It’s far-fetched to think Hillary Clinton’s performance as secretary of state would be influenced by foreign donations to her husband’s charitable foundation. But it is naive to think that the newly revealed list of donors won’t provoke suspicion and give rise to conspiracy theories.

Posted on Dec 19, 2008 READ MORE


Rove

Shoe Play With Karl Rove

On Thursday, “Fox & Friends” regular Karl Rove goofed on President Bush’s fateful encounter with footwear in Iraq by shaking his own at Fox News host Steve Doocy. What a card!

Posted on Dec 18, 2008 READ MORE


Sadr City protest
AP photo / Karim Kadim

President Bush and the Flying Shoes: A Cautionary Tale

The shoe-throwing Iraqi journalist is now a venerated celebrity throughout the Mideast, and his words to the president—“this is the farewell kiss, you dog”—will stand as the enduring epitaph in the region on Bush’s folly, which is the reality of his claimed legacy of success in the war on terror.

Posted on Dec 16, 2008 READ MORE


Blundering U.S. Should Spare the World Any More Nation Building

According to a new report, the U.S. has accomplished little more in Iraq than restoration of the basic services destroyed by the American invasion and the looting that followed. This is after killing or wounding—how many, a half million?—Iraqi civilians in order to liberate them. No wonder the Iraqi journalist threw his shoes at George W. Bush.

Posted on Dec 16, 2008 READ MORE



news.bbc.co.uk

Shoe Thrower Allegedly Beaten

Muntadar al-Zaidi’s shoe-throwing made him a hero in the Arab world, but his fate is uncertain. The reporter remains in custody, where, his brother says, he has been beaten and suffers from broken bones and internal bleeding. A Saudi man, meanwhile, has reportedly offered $10 million for the shoes that nearly struck President Bush.

Posted on Dec 16, 2008 READ MORE


Bush
AP photo / Charles Dharapa

Shoes and Boos for Outgoing Bush

It’s hard to remember the time when George W. Bush winked and swaggered his way into the White House, while rival Al Gore’s team fretted that the vice president didn’t show enough folksy warmth or wear the right earth tones to win the day. My, how times have changed.

Posted on Dec 15, 2008 READ MORE


bush

Bush Survives Shoe Attack

George W. Bush has always had a rocky relationship with the press, but he probably never saw this coming. During a news conference in Baghdad on Sunday, a reporter took off his shoes and hurled them at the president, who showed off his cat-like reflexes.

Posted on Dec 14, 2008 READ MORE


Report Reveals Major Problems With Iraq Reconstruction

Remember when we were told that the Iraq invasion would be a quick and straightforward venture, and that the resulting reconstruction effort would pay for itself? Those notions, like so many others that held sway in recent years, have been belied by the actual outcomes, as evidenced by a new report about the highly problematic rebuilding process in Iraq.

Posted on Dec 13, 2008 READ MORE


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