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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


Should the Torturers Go on Trial?

The impending end of the Bush administration and the inauguration of Barack Obama pose the enormous and explosive question of what to do about those responsible for what are regarded by a significant part of the world as war crimes.

Posted on Jan 8, 2009 READ MORE


Israeli Voices for Peace

While the Israeli government, dominated by hawks in the midst of a political campaign, has escalated its assault on Gaza, there are many Israelis who are outraged by what’s happening.

Posted on Jan 6, 2009 READ MORE



CIA

Obama Picks Top Spies

The president-elect has reportedly chosen Leon Panetta to head the CIA and retired Adm. Dennis Blair as director of national intelligence. Both men bring a mixed bag. Panetta is an experienced bureaucrat, but he’s no James Bond. Blair has been praised for his terrorist-fighting skills, but he was criticized for a supposed conflict of interest that benefited defense contractors.

Posted on Jan 5, 2009 READ MORE



amazon.com

Andrew Nagorski on the Bolsheviks’ Crimes

There was a time when Russia was an economic power on the rise. Sean McMeekin’s new book, “History’s Greatest Heist: The Looting of Russia by the Bolsheviks,” explains what nipped that growth in the bud.

Posted on Jan 2, 2009 READ MORE


Our Cuba Policy: A Failure at 50

President-elect Obama will have more urgent matters to deal with after he takes the oath of office. But somewhere on his long to-do list, he should make a note to finally bring five decades of counterproductive American policy toward Cuba to a definitive end.

Posted on Jan 1, 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



AP photo / Craig Ruttle

Why I Am a Socialist

The free market and globalization, promised as the route to worldwide prosperity, have been exposed as a con game. We will either find our way out of this mess by embracing an uncompromising democratic socialism or we will continue to be fleeced and impoverished by our bankrupt elite.

Posted on Dec 29, 2008 READ MORE


pakistan border
AP photo / Musa Khan

Amid Tensions, Pakistan Moves Troops

In a rebuke to U.S. interests in the region and amid growing tensions between two nuclear powers, Pakistan is moving its forces from its border with Afghanistan—where Pakistani troops are fighting against the Taliban—and restricting soldiers from going on leave, as fears of conflict with India continue to grow.

Posted on Dec 26, 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


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


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



AP photo / Hatem Moussa

Israel’s ‘Crime Against Humanity’

Israel’s siege of Gaza, largely unseen by the outside world because of Jerusalem’s refusal to allow humanitarian aid workers, reporters and photographers access to Gaza, rivals the most egregious crimes carried out at the height of apartheid by the South African regime. It is meant to break Hamas, but will only breed future generations of militants.

Posted on Dec 15, 2008 READ MORE


Settlement Extremists Threaten Israel’s Moral Substance

The steady expansion of nominally illegal colonies into the Palestinian territories has gone on to the point where the political parties are now incapable of disengaging from the settlement enterprise.

Posted on Dec 11, 2008 READ MORE



Wikimedia Commons

Brazilian Indians Win Land Battle

The native people of the state of Roraima have won an important legal victory before Brazil’s Supreme Court. With 100 similar cases hanging in the balance, the court decided to keep an Indian reservation intact, to the chagrin of farmers, loggers and even some military leaders.

Posted on Dec 10, 2008 READ MORE


Sweeping Blackwater Under the Rug

The federal manslaughter indictment of five Blackwater Worldwide security guards for the horrific massacre of more than a dozen Iraqi civilians in Baghdad may look like an exercise in accountability, but it’s probably the exact opposite.

Posted on Dec 9, 2008 READ MORE


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


military jet crash

Navy Plane Crashes in San Diego Neighborhood

Just before noon Monday, a U.S. Navy F-18 jet crashed into a San Diego neighborhood as it was approaching Miramar Naval Air Station, hitting at least one home. Updated

Posted on Dec 8, 2008 READ MORE


The Scalpel

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Posted on Dec 8, 2008 READ MORE    



AP photo / Douglas Healey

The Best and the Brightest Led America Off a Cliff

The multiple failures that beset the country can be laid at the feet of our elite universities. Harvard, Yale, Princeton and Stanford, along with most other elite schools, do a poor job educating students to think. They focus instead on creating hordes of competent systems managers.

Posted on Dec 8, 2008 READ MORE



U.S. Air Force

‘Why We Fight’ Director on the American Way of War

Filmmaker Eugene Jarecki speaks with Truthdig’s Kasia Anderson about his new book, whether Obama can deliver, and why the U.S. is like Elvis.

Posted on Dec 4, 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


Chevron in the White House

President-elect Barack Obama introduced his principal national security Cabinet selections to the world Monday and left no doubt that he intends to start his administration on a war footing. It is revealing that his choice for national security adviser is a director of Boeing, a weapons manufacturer, and Chevron, an oil giant.

Posted on Dec 2, 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


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


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



Flickr

Political Crisis Puts Thailand on Hold

The Thai army is debating whether or not to intervene in a political standoff it helped launch some two years ago when it ousted then-Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra. Opponents of both Thaksin and the current PM have seized and shut down Bangkok’s two airports, a devastating blow to a country dependent on tourism.

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


Tutu, Obama and the Middle East

As President-elect Barack Obama focuses on the meltdown of the U.S. economy, another fire is burning: the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Posted on Nov 25, 2008 READ MORE



AP photo / Kiichiro Sato, file

Starving for Change

The swelling numbers waiting outside homeless shelters and food pantries around the country have grown by at least 30 percent since the summer. If Barack Obama continues to turn to the elites who created the mess, if he does not radically redirect the nation’s resources to assist the working class and the poor, we will become a third-world country.

Posted on Nov 24, 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


To Each His Own Nuke

The cynical view of national sovereignty holds that it belongs only to those who can defend it. This was said recently at the Pentagon concerning American manned and unmanned attacks inside Pakistan.

Posted on Nov 20, 2008 READ MORE



U.S. Air Force / Tech. Sgt. Erik Gudmundson

Pakistan PM: U.S. Airstrikes ‘Intolerable’

American airstrikes in Pakistan aren’t sitting so well with the locals. Pakistan PM Yousuf Raza Gilani summoned the U.S. ambassador for a refresher course in “sovereignty and territorial integrity” on Thursday. But according to The Washington Post, the two countries have a tacit agreement that the U.S. can keep bombing Pakistan if Pakistan can keep complaining about it.

Posted on Nov 20, 2008 READ MORE


A View From the South

Evo Morales knows about “change you can believe in.” He also knows what happens when a powerful elite is forced to make changes it doesn’t want.

Posted on Nov 19, 2008 READ MORE


Retired Military Leaders Denounce ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’

One-hundred-and-four retired admirals and generals have signed a statement calling on the military to allow gay soldiers to serve openly. “Don’t ask, don’t tell” has lost support since the Clinton administration originally negotiated the compromise, but Barack Obama will likely avoid resurrecting one of his predecessor’s biggest headaches.

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



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



U.S. Air Force / Staff Sgt. Aaron Allmon

Secret Rumsfeld Order OK’d Raids in All Nations

Since 2004, U.S. operatives have been crossing the borders of friends and foes alike in a secret global hunt for al-Qaida. According to a bombshell report in The New York Times, a dozen or so raids have been conducted in Syria, Pakistan and elsewhere since Donald Rumsfeld issued a secret order with the backing of the president.

Posted on Nov 10, 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


The Red Is Fading in a Virginia Bellwether

The line for early voting wound up one side of a corridor in the Loudoun County voter registration office and down the other. Those in line were, collectively, the face of change in Virginia that could tip the state into the Democratic column for the first time since the LBJ landslide of 1964.

Posted on Nov 3, 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



DoD / Sgt. Freddy G. Cantu, USMC

Troops Have to Fight for Their Right to Vote

Active-duty military members arguably have more to lose than anyone else in Tuesday’s election, but voting can be an obstacle course for servicemen and -women overseas. The Dallas Morning News reports that in 2006 only one-third of the absentee ballots requested by U.S. armed forces personnel abroad were counted.

Posted on Nov 2, 2008 READ MORE


‘What Happens in Syria Stays in Syria’

The Mosaic Intelligence Report investigates whether the recent U.S. attack in Syria was motivated by John McCain’s sagging polls.

Posted on Nov 2, 2008 READ MORE


Guantanamo
AP photo / Brennan Linsley, pool

Closing Guantanamo

The U.S. government’s failure to close the Guantanamo Bay detention center for alleged terrorists continues to haunt and color our standing in the world.

Posted on Oct 31, 2008 READ MORE



AP photo / Al Grillo

Homeland Security Pays Dividends for Alaska

When Sarah Palin brags about the self-reliance of her state, she doesn’t mention the mobile command communications vehicle, bought with federal dollars to help keep her home town of 7,028 safe from terrorism. Thanks in part to an anti-terrorism bonanza, Alaska is one of the greatest per-capita beneficiaries of federal funding among the 50 states.

Posted on Oct 31, 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


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