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AP photo / Brennan Linsley

Acts of War

The war between the United States and Iran is on. American taxpayer dollars are being used, with the permission of Congress, to fund activities that result in Iranians being killed and wounded, and Iranian property destroyed. This wanton violation of a nation’s sovereignty would not be tolerated if the tables were turned.

Posted on Jul 29, 2008 READ MORE


Bush Approves Execution of Military Convict

President Bush signed off Monday on the execution of Army Pvt. Ronald Gray, who has been on the U.S. military’s death row since 1988 for rape and murder convictions. Gray’s legal team is expected to appeal, and no date is set for his execution.

Posted on Jul 28, 2008 READ MORE


book cover

Nikki Keddie on Iran

In “Bitter Friends, Bosom Enemies,” Barbara Slavin, a leading Middle East reporter for USA Today, offers a refreshingly nuanced and revelatory taxonomy of power within theocratic Iran that sheds light on its leaders and their ambitions.

Posted on Jul 25, 2008 READ MORE



hotflick.net

‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ Don’t Work

Congress is investigating the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy for the first time in the rule’s 15-year life. Critics of the famously troubled compromise would like to take advantage of a troop-starved military to scrap the policy, but the opposition argues that openly gay soldiers would frighten away new recruits.

Posted on Jul 24, 2008 READ MORE


Washington’s Overrated ‘Old Hands’

The strongest argument for Obama is the weak performance of the Republican regime’s vaunted “grown-ups,” including McCain and his advisers. They have gone far in proving that experience can be overrated.

Posted on Jul 23, 2008 READ MORE


Bush’s Semantic Withdrawal

It’s not a “timetable” for extricating U.S troops from Iraq that George W. Bush is suddenly talking about, and heaven help anyone who accuses him of proposing a “timeline.” No, the Decider says he is now amenable to a “time horizon,” which apparently is a whole different kind of time thing.

Posted on Jul 21, 2008 READ MORE


Iraqi army patrol
AP photo / Hadi Mizban

Bush Considering ‘General’ Withdrawal Timetable

In what The New York Times is calling a “significant concession,” President Bush allowed the topic of U.S. troop withdrawal from Iraq to enter a discussion about America’s long-term strategy in the region. This occurred Thursday during a video conference with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.

Posted on Jul 18, 2008 READ MORE


Obama’s Disaster in the Making

Barack Obama is right to want to get out of Iraq, but his eagerness to do battle in the tribal hinterlands of Afghanistan and Pakistan will only lead to a quagmire of his own.

Posted on Jul 16, 2008 READ MORE


Kunar Province attack

U.S. Generals in Afghanistan Ask for More Armored Vehicles

Following this weekend’s attack in Afghanistan’s Kunar province, in which nine American soldiers were killed by Afghan insurgents, U.S. commanders have asked the Pentagon for more heavily armored MRAP vehicles—as many as 600 to 1,000 more—according to this CNN report from Monday morning.

Posted on Jul 14, 2008 READ MORE


The New Dominion

If the 2008 election is destined to break up a frozen electoral map, Virginia is one of the most likely venues for the great political thaw.

Posted on Jul 14, 2008 READ MORE



AP photo / Hasan Sarbakhshian

Iran Shows Its Cards

Iran’s recent missile tests should remove all doubt that an attack by either the United States or Israel would be a terrible mistake.

Posted on Jul 14, 2008 READ MORE


Obama
Flickr / Allison Harger

Obama’s Plan for Iraq

Barack Obama has an Op-Ed article in Monday’s New York Times outlining his vision for Iraq. It’s mostly a rehashing of positions he has stated over and over again, but it’s interesting to read the quilt work of stump speeches, debate sound bites and policy papers assembled into one document.

Posted on Jul 13, 2008 READ MORE


Occupation Negotiations Hit Snags

President Bush had hoped to shape America’s military presence in Iraq for years after his departure from the White House by negotiating a long-term status-of-forces agreement, but a number of sticking points indicate there will be a much shorter time frame. U.S. negotiators have agreed to a kind of timetable for withdrawal, as demanded by the Iraqis, but are holding out over legal immunity for American forces.

Posted on Jul 13, 2008 READ MORE



commons.wikimedia.org

U.S. Loses 9 to Taliban Strike

Nine American soldiers are dead after a Taliban raid on a small combat outpost in the Afghan province of Kunar, near Pakistan. Coalition forces rarely experience such losses. The attack took place close to where the U.S. allegedly killed 47 civilians, a charge the military denies.

Posted on Jul 13, 2008 READ MORE


Inquiry Finds U.S. Strike Killed Wedding Party

Imagine this happening in the U.S.: Forty-seven people, including the bride, are killed on their way to a wedding after an airstrike on “militants” goes off course. Of course, this happened not in the U.S. but in Afghanistan, and, of course, the attack’s civilian toll was initially denied by the U.S. military.

Posted on Jul 11, 2008 READ MORE



AP photo / Petros Giannakouris

Disorderly or Not, America Should Withdraw

The endless debate about the U.S. withdrawing its army from Iraq and what will happen to the country once it does tends to ignore much of what we know about how the world works.

Posted on Jul 9, 2008 READ MORE


Colombia: Celebrate the Release, Not the Regime

It is fantastic to see Ingrid Betancourt free, but the celebration of her release should not be confused with celebration of the Colombian government.

Posted on Jul 9, 2008 READ MORE


Obama
Flickr / throwthedamnthing

Tehran Shoots, Obama Scorns

Taking a move from the McCain playbook and latching on to the bogeyman that is Iran, Barack Obama responded to Tehran’s long-range weapons tests Wednesday with calls for tougher economic sanctions against the country, whose missiles are now deemed capable of hitting American bases in the region.

Posted on Jul 9, 2008 READ MORE


Gorby doll
Flickr / h-angele

Gorbachev Scolds Obama and McCain

According to Mikhail Gorbachev, John McCain and Barack Obama have more in common than they’d like to admit. Both have refused to address their country’s unprecedented military spending, which the former Soviet leader blames for America’s economic woes. Writing in a Russian newspaper, Gorbachev argued that the U.S. behaves “as if the Cold War were not a thing of the past, and the country were surrounded by enemies.”

Posted on Jul 8, 2008 READ MORE


missile shield
michaelfowlkes.com

U.S.-Russian Tensions Rise Over Missile Shield Plan

Forging an agreement with the Czech Republic to host the radar for the United States’ planned missile shield project represents, according to Condoleezza Rice, a way of making the missile defense system “transparent to the Russians.” Officials in Moscow, however, are inclined to take this latest move as a hostile gesture that could provoke military retaliation.

Posted on Jul 8, 2008 READ MORE


Elah
thecia.com.au

Pentagon Looking to Help Shape War Films

The recent spate of war movies about Iraq and Afghanistan has proved to be a hard sell with American audiences—even more so with the U.S. military. Now, the Pentagon is combating a certain lack of nuance, as military officials see it, in flicks like “Redacted” and “In the Valley of Elah” by offering script consultation services to Hollywood types looking to make movies about the current conflicts in the Middle East.

Posted on Jul 7, 2008 READ MORE



Flickr / soldiersmediacenter

Maliki Mulls Troop Pullout

Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, eager to sell his colleagues on a status-of-forces agreement with the U.S., has suggested the possibility of a built-in troop withdrawal timetable. The Pentagon isn’t impressed. “Timelines tend to be artificial in nature,” cautioned a U.S. military spokesman.

Posted on Jul 7, 2008 READ MORE



AP photo / Kevin Sanders, file

Surviving the Fourth of July

I survive the degradation that has become America—a land that exalts itself as a bastion of freedom and liberty while it tortures human beings, stripped of their rights, in offshore penal colonies, a land that wages wars defined under international law as criminal wars of aggression, a land that turns its back on its poor, its weak, its mentally ill, in a relentless drive to embrace totalitarian capitalism—because I read books.

Posted on Jul 7, 2008 READ MORE


Wee the People

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Posted on Jul 6, 2008 READ MORE    


A Loss of Transatlantic Harmony

The relationship among the three principal centers of world power of the past half-century is now at the edge of fundamental change.

Posted on Jul 6, 2008 READ MORE



U.S. Navy / Petty Officer 1st Class Shane T. McCoy

U.S. Borrowed Interrogation Methods From an Old Enemy

One man’s torture, it seems, is another’s “coercive management technique.” For decades the United States has maintained that American prisoners were tortured by the Chinese during the Korean War. Now it turns out that at least some of the interrogation methods used at Guantanamo Bay were lifted directly from an American study of China’s Korean War era practices.

Posted on Jul 3, 2008 READ MORE


Fake Outrage Over Clark Comments

Despite all the feigned outrage fanned by the mainstream media and the right-wing noisemakers, Wesley Clark—retired four-star general, former supreme commander of NATO, wounded and highly decorated veteran of ground combat in Vietnam and a military man to his core—assuredly did not denigrate the war record of John McCain when he talked about the Republican candidate on television last Sunday.

Posted on Jul 2, 2008 READ MORE


Blackwater guard
Salon.com

Private Contractors in Iraq to Lose Immunity

The folks at Blackwater and other private security outfits in Iraq encountered a dramatic setback Wednesday after an Iraqi minister announced that private guards will no longer be given immunity from U.S military and Iraqi law, ending more than five years of unregulated mercenary violence in the country.

Posted on Jul 2, 2008 READ MORE


Bush’s Loose Ends

George W. Bush’s presidency seems exhausted and irrelevant, but that’s a dangerous illusion.

Posted on Jun 30, 2008 READ MORE


Clark
AP photo / Danny Johnston

McCain, Obama Rebuke Clark

Monday brought yet another round of political Mad Libs, which proceeds as follows: 1. (Insert surrogate name here), adviser to (candidate)‘s presidential campaign, slams (rival candidate) for lack/excess of (personal quality) on (major media outlet); 2. (Rival candidate) blasts (surrogate), hints that such antics reveal opposition’s true character; 3. (Candidate) distances self from (surrogate), who goes on to apologize and perhaps step down; 4. Repeat as necessary.

Posted on Jun 30, 2008 READ MORE


The Illusion of Saving Nations From Themselves

The Bush government was elected in 2000 on a platform including vigorous opposition to the United States Army’s doing “nation-building.” What a difference a five-year-long military disaster can make!

Posted on Jun 30, 2008 READ MORE


Congress' Backbone
jumpcut.com / anselpixel2

Congress’ Missing Backbone

After doing everything but follow the overwhelming anti-war mandate given by voters in the 2006 congressional elections, the Democratic-controlled Congress accepted a war bill late Thursday that will keep U.S. troops in Iraq until at least Jan. 20.

Posted on Jun 27, 2008 READ MORE


An Unexamined Threat

Someday, but apparently not a day that will come before November’s election, we might at last have a sober public discussion about terrorism, the attacks of 9/11 and the so-called war on terrorism that has been waged since 2001.

Posted on Jun 25, 2008 READ MORE



Army.mil / Mike A. Glas

Women Bear the Brunt of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’

Although women make up a small percentage of Army and Air Force personnel, nearly half of all discharges last year related to “don’t ask, don’t tell” were of women. The Pentagon could not explain to The New York Times why the numbers were so much higher for women, but it continues to stand by the policy.

Posted on Jun 22, 2008 READ MORE



AP photo / Brennan Linsley

A Government of Law, Not Fear

John McCain and Barack Obama’s differences over the Supreme Court’s recent Guantanamo decision speak volumes about the two candidates and their competing visions for America.

Posted on Jun 19, 2008 READ MORE


Time for the Iraq Debate to Move On

It is inevitable that at some point in the presidential campaign the Iraq debate will turn from recriminations over how did we manage to get in to the question of how do we reasonably manage to get out.

Posted on Jun 18, 2008 READ MORE



DoD / Sgt. Luis R. Agostini

Iraq Negotiations Hinge on Sovereignty

President Bush is trying to wrap up a new status-of-forces agreement with the Iraqi government before the U.N. resolution under which the U.S. operates its occupation runs out. Team Bush has made some concessions to the Maliki government, but there’s one sticking point that threatens an agreement: veto power over military operations.

Posted on Jun 18, 2008 READ MORE


KC-45/30
Northrop Grumman

Boeing Gains Ally in Tanker Battle

Boeing has friends in high places, as evidenced by the congressional Government Accountability Office siding Wednesday with the U.S. aviation giant in a protest against a multibillion-dollar refueling tanker contract that was awarded earlier this year to a U.S.-Europe team.

Posted on Jun 18, 2008 READ MORE



commons.wikimedia.org

Senators Fume Over Torture Revelations

With statements such as “if the detainee dies, you’re doing it wrong” guiding our government’s thinking during the formation and implementation of interrogation techniques, it’s no wonder Carl Levin and others were outraged in the Senate on Tuesday.

Posted on Jun 17, 2008 READ MORE


Impatient Justice

The forceful language of Justice Anthony M. Kennedy’s decision in the case granting detainees at the Guantanamo Bay prison camp the right to contest their confinement in federal court is the voice of a Supreme Court majority that is fed up.

Posted on Jun 16, 2008 READ MORE


John McCain
AP photo / LM Otero

John McCain’s Chilling Project for America

John McCain has long been a major player in a radical militaristic group driven by an ideology of global expansionism and dominance attained through perpetual, pre-emptive, unilateral, multiple wars. Over its two terms, the George W. Bush administration has planted the seeds for this geopolitical master plan, and now appears to be counting on the McCain administration, if one comes to power, to nurture it.

Posted on Jun 12, 2008 READ MORE


Victims of Military Chemical Tests Demand Answers

According to the Pentagon, the U.S. military carried out tests of chemical and biological agents on 6,440 of its own personnel between 1962 and 1973. One Navy veteran who participated in some of those tests is now pushing for recognition and benefits, having learned that more than half of his fellow seamen are either dead or stricken with cancer or other illnesses.

Posted on Jun 12, 2008 READ MORE



DoD / R.D. Ward

Investigate This

As a critic of U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East, especially when unsubstantiated allegations of weapons of mass destruction are used to sell a war, I am no stranger to the concept of questioning authority. It’s too bad more journalists can’t say the same thing.

Posted on Jun 9, 2008 READ MORE



Flickr / soldiersmediacenter

Counter-Recruiters Push for School Access

The No Child Left Behind Act forces high schools to allow military recruiters access to students. Counter-recruitment groups that pitch alternatives to military service are working around the country to try to limit the impact of the Pentagon’s $3.5-billion effort. One organization in the Los Angeles area is pushing, with some success, for equal access.

Posted on Jun 9, 2008 READ MORE



AP photo / Brennan Llinsley

Gitmo Lawyer Alleges Torture Evidence Destruction

A military lawyer for a Guantanamo detainee says it was standard operating procedure to destroy evidence of torture (or harsh interrogation techniques, as some call it) in order to “minimize certain legal issues.” Lt. Cmdr. William Kuebler is concerned that, because of the policy, he will not be able to challenge the alleged confessions of his client, who was detained at the age of 15.

Posted on Jun 9, 2008 READ MORE


Barack Obama
AP photo / Alex Brandon

The Iran Trap

The failure by Barack Obama to chart another course in the Middle East, to defy the Israel lobby and to denounce the Bush administration’s inexorable march toward a conflict with Iran is a failure to challenge the collective insanity that has gripped the political leadership in the United States and Israel.

Posted on Jun 8, 2008 READ MORE


Iraq Has Iran’s Back

Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has a bit of a problem on his hands. While he’s dependent on U.S. forces to protect his regime, his friends in Iran are concerned about the presence of so many American troops on their doorstep. The U.S. and Iraq are trying to bang out the details of America’s military mission, but just so there are no surprises, Maliki let his Iranian allies know, “We will not allow Iraq to become a platform for harming the security of Iran and neighbors.” Updated.

Posted on Jun 8, 2008 READ MORE


The Pretty Good Generation

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Posted on Jun 8, 2008 READ MORE


fighter plane
AP photo / LM Otero

Indefensible Spending

What should be the most important issue in this election is one that is rarely, if ever, addressed: Why is U.S. military spending at the highest point, in inflation-adjusted dollars, than at any time since the end of World War II?

Posted on Jun 1, 2008 READ MORE


The Corporate State and the Subversion of Democracy

Chris Hedges gave this keynote address on Wednesday, May 28, in Furman University’s Younts Conference Center. The address was part of protests by faculty and students over the South Carolina college’s decision to invite George W. Bush to give the May 31 commencement address.

Posted on May 31, 2008 READ MORE


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