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Tag: Military


Flickr / Rennet Stowe

Guantanamo 2

President Obama has ordered the prison at Guantanamo Bay closed by January 2010. To meet that deadline, the administration may push for a new detention facility on U.S. soil. Such a compound, sources tell AP, would include space for the indefinite detention of prisoners deemed too dangerous to face trial.

Posted on Aug 3, 2009 READ MORE


Afghan Funeral
guim.co.uk

Afghan Civilian Toll Rises

As President Obama continues to push more U.S. troops into Afghanistan, the U.N. is reporting that civilian casualties in the war-torn country have spiked, increasing almost 25 percent above 2008 figures. In the first six months of this year, 1,013 civilians were killed.

Posted on Jul 31, 2009 READ MORE



Frederic Raphael on Socrates

Was Socrates an atheist, a guru to a strange sect and an elitist corrupting the youth of a democratic Athens defeated in the Peloponnesian War, as his accusers successfully charged? A new book by Robin Waterfield seeks to dispel the myths about “Why Socrates Died.”

Posted on Jul 31, 2009 READ MORE



U.S. Navy

It’s Time for the U.S. to Declare Victory and Go Home

As the old saying goes, “guests, like fish, begin to smell after three days.” Since the signing of the 2009 Security Agreement, we are guests in Iraq, and after six years in Iraq, we now smell bad to the Iraqi nose.

Posted on Jul 30, 2009 READ MORE


America’s Homeland Security Surplus

Since 2001, there has been no actual terrorist attack reported inside the United States, much less one involving al-Qaida. Plenty of people have been killed by fellow Americans, ordinarily in old-fashioned ways, during that period.

Posted on Jul 30, 2009 READ MORE


The Marvel That Is Medicare

Medicare is where political posturing runs headlong into historical truth: It is, along with Social Security, the most successful government program that the United States has ever created.

Posted on Jul 29, 2009 READ MORE



U.S. Navy / Shane T. McCoy

U.S. to Set Gitmo Inmate Free in a Case Called an ‘Outrage’

Although a judge had called the case “an outrage” that was “riddled with holes,” just last week the government said it would continue to try to prosecute Mohammed Jawad, a Guantanamo detainee whose “confession” was reportedly obtained through torture. Now the administration plans to free Jawad and return him to Afghanistan.

Posted on Jul 29, 2009 READ MORE


Obama’s Military Is Spying on U.S. Peace Groups

Anti-war activists in Olympia, Wash., have exposed Army spying and infiltration of their groups, as well as intelligence gathering by the Air Force, the federal Capitol Police and the Coast Guard.

Posted on Jul 28, 2009 READ MORE



USMC / Lance Cpl. James Purschwitz

Talking With the Taliban

After eight years of getting nowhere in Afghanistan, U.S. and British forces have decided to open negotiations with “second-tier” Taliban leaders. Those would be local bigwigs, as opposed to Mullah Omar and friends.

Posted on Jul 27, 2009 READ MORE


Georgia
rferl.org

Russia: No Rebuilding of Georgia’s Military

Russia has announced it will take “concrete steps” to hinder any attempt by Georgia to rebuild its military capability, claiming it is “deeply worried” that its small neighbor might be preparing for yet another conflict. The stern words come as Vice President Joe Biden pays a visit to Georgia just ahead of the first anniversary of its war with Russia over South Ossetia.

Posted on Jul 24, 2009 READ MORE


U.S. Foreign Wars Not Going According to Plan

For all America’s trouble, Iraq has turned out to be a sectarian, authoritarian ally of Iran with no interest in working with the U.S. The “new Vietnam” of Afghanistan, meanwhile, is turning out to be worse than Vietnam.

Posted on Jul 23, 2009 READ MORE



DoD / Cherie A. Thurlby

Blue Dogs: The Special Interest Pets

Fiscal conservative is one of those terms used by politicians of all sorts to describe themselves, without any real justification. That phrase is often used to mislead the public about the priorities and policies favored by those who claim to embody budgetary prudence.

Posted on Jul 23, 2009 READ MORE


Obama Means Business About Two-State Solution

There is new evidence that the Obama government is serious about halting Israel’s colonization of the Palestinian territories—and about imposing, rather than merely inviting, a two-state Middle East solution.

Posted on Jul 21, 2009 READ MORE



U.S. Air Force / Master Sgt. Shane A. Cuomo

Senate Votes Down Military Boondoggle

One politician’s jobs program is another’s “inexcusable waste of money.” Luckily for the taxpayer, that’s how Barack Obama feels about the F-22 strike fighter, a plane Congress has been pushing over the military’s objections. After Obama threatened a veto, the Senate voted not to fund the jet, which was designed to fight the Soviets.

Posted on Jul 21, 2009 READ MORE


Robert Gates
DoD / R. D. Ward

Army to Add 22,000 Soldiers

Those wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are taking their toll. To cope with rising demand, Defense Secretary Robert Gates says he will increase the size of the Army by 22,000 troops for a period of three years. That means there will be 569,000 active-duty soldiers, bringing America’s active-duty armed forces close to 1.5 million.

Posted on Jul 20, 2009 READ MORE



U.S. Army / Sgt. 1st Class Benjamin R. Bond

Extreme Makeover: Bagram Prison Edition

The New York Times reports that a U.S. military review calls for “overhauling the troubled American-run prison [at Bagram Air Base] as well as the entire Afghan jail and judicial systems, a reaction to worries that abuses and militant recruiting within the prisons are helping to strengthen the Taliban.”

Posted on Jul 20, 2009 READ MORE


Taliban Releases Video of U.S. Captive

The Pentagon is condemning the Taliban for releasing a video of a U.S. soldier captured in Afghanistan, identified as 23-year-old Bowe Bergdahl.

Posted on Jul 20, 2009 READ MORE



U.S. Army / Staff Sgt. Andrew Smith

War Without Purpose

Al-Qaida could not care less what we do in Afghanistan. We are fighting with the wrong tools. We are fighting the wrong people. We are on the wrong side of history. And we will be defeated in Afghanistan as we will be in Iraq.

Posted on Jul 20, 2009 READ MORE



Flickr / ISM Palestine

Israeli Soldiers Blame Loose Rules for Gaza Deaths

A number of anonymous Israeli soldiers speaking through a human rights organization have made serious allegations about Israel’s winter assault on Gaza. The soldiers say unclear rules and reckless conduct led to unnecessary civilian casualties and wanton destruction.

Posted on Jul 15, 2009 READ MORE



AP photo / Hadi Mizban

So This Is What Victory Looks Like?

It is wishful thinking to believe that the Iraqi military will be able to hold the ruins of Iraqi society together without major U.S. intervention. The United States has assumed the role of Saddam’s Special Republican Guard, waiting to be called in to crush any sign of rebellion or insurrection. It’s a lose-lose situation with only one way out.

Posted on Jul 7, 2009 READ MORE



White House / Sharon Farmer

Friends Don’t Let Friends Bomb Iran

Whatever their private discussions, the governing administrations of the United States and Israel are engaged in a public back and forth that ought to give one pause. It all started when Vice President Biden said “Israel can determine for itself” whether to bomb Iran.

Posted on Jul 6, 2009 READ MORE


King

Rep. Peter King Slams Media’s MJ Mania, Intensifies Mania in So Doing

Any salient points that hard-boiled Long Island Congressman Peter King made about the media’s Michael Jackson fixation were, for one, overshadowed by his descriptions of Jackson as a “low-life” and a “pedophile,” and also apparently lost on certain mainstream media outlets.

Posted on Jul 6, 2009 READ MORE


John McCain
AP photo / Charles Dharapak

Suddenly, a Trillion Dollars Is Too Expensive?

The senators who now claim we cannot afford to spend a trillion dollars to make long overdue changes in health care know exactly what that amount can buy. They know because they have spent it, year after year, on military misadventures and subsidies to big banks and corporations.

Posted on Jul 1, 2009 READ MORE


It’s Obama’s War Now

The U.S. military has launched the first major offensive of Barack Obama’s new Afghanistan strategy, sending thousands of troops to Helmand province under the moniker Operation Strike of the Sword.

Posted on Jul 1, 2009 READ MORE


Undo the Coup

The first coup d’etat in Central America in more than a quarter-century occurred last Sunday in Honduras. It was led by a graduate of the U.S. Army’s School of the Americas, a military facility that has trained some of Latin America’s worst torturers, murderers and human rights abusers.

Posted on Jun 30, 2009 READ MORE


Iraq Has Another One of Its Famous Turning Points

As the media trumpets sound for the pullback of American troops from urban areas in Iraq, the essential lesson of our involvement must be recalled: Nothing about our entanglement in Iraq has ever been as it seemed.

Posted on Jun 29, 2009 READ MORE



AP photo / Kent Gilbert

Honduran President Shall Return

A day after he was forcibly removed from office, Manuel Zelaya said he will return to Honduras on Thursday to reclaim his presidency. Zelaya enjoys the support of many of his fellow Latin American leaders as well as the president of the United States. However, he still has to deal with his military and political rivals.

Posted on Jun 29, 2009 READ MORE



U.S. Army / Sgt. 1st Class Alex Licea

We’ll Always Have Baghdad

The Iraqi capital threw a party Monday as U.S. troops began pulling out of Iraqi cities. It’s the first step in the military’s withdrawal plan, which promises to bring U.S. forces home by 2011. But it will be some time before many of the 131,000 troops return to the U.S., and there’s virtually no accounting of the thousands of private contractors and mercenaries.

Posted on Jun 29, 2009 READ MORE



AP photo / Kent Gilbert

Honduras’ Leftist President Gets the Boot

President Manuel Zelaya won a free trip to Costa Rica on Sunday, courtesy of his nation’s military. The Honduran president was ousted after attempting to hold an unofficial referendum on extending presidential term limits, over the objections of the Honduran Supreme Court and Congress.

Posted on Jun 28, 2009 READ MORE


Turning Soldiers Into Crusaders

“Fault Lines” has this disturbing look at efforts to transform American soldiers into “government-paid missionaries,” as one Christian fundamentalist group put it. Featuring Truthdig’s Chris Hedges.

Posted on Jun 26, 2009 READ MORE



AP photo / Dan Balilty

A Settlement Stalemate With No End in Sight

The Obama administration’s confrontation with Israel over its colonies inside the Palestine territories began as a test of Prime Minister Netanyahu, who was elected in order to defy the U.S. How it will end is a mystery.

Posted on Jun 25, 2009 READ MORE



U.S. Navy / Lt. j.g. James Dietle

Order to U.S. Troops: No Firefights Near Afghan Villagers

Gen. Stanley McChrystal is rolling out a new order to U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan with the hope of reducing rampant civilian casualties. If soldiers find themselves in a fight near Afghan homes, they are to “remove themselves from the area” as long as they can do so “safely, without any undue danger to the forces,” a military spokesman explained.

Posted on Jun 22, 2009 READ MORE



U.S. Air Force / Senior Airman Erica J. Knight

Congress Funds Wars With Billions to Spare

After the president signs a $106 billion emergency supplemental, the U.S. will have shelled out about $1 trillion in “emergency” funding for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan—not including the Pentagon’s obscene annual budget, exponentially expanding health care costs for wounded troops, and the interest on all that debt. True to form, lawmakers threw in $2.7 billion worth of cargo planes no one asked for.

Posted on Jun 18, 2009 READ MORE



Flickr / SFBart

Obama OKs Some Benefits for Gay Federal Workers’ Partners

It would take new legislation to extend full health coverage to the same-sex partners of federal employees, but President Obama, via presidential memorandum, will grant some benefits to them. Update: Progress or pandering?

Posted on Jun 16, 2009 READ MORE



Wikimedia Commons

The American Empire Is Bankrupt

This week marks the end of the dollar’s reign as the world’s reserve currency. It marks the start of a terrible period of economic and political decline in the United States. And it signals the last gasp of the American imperium. That’s over. It is not coming back. And what is to come will be very, very painful.

Posted on Jun 14, 2009 READ MORE



Flickr / ivanx

An Army of Fun

Here we go again. The Center for Public Integrity crunched the numbers and found that between 1998 and 2007, Defense Department personnel enjoyed “more than 22,000 trips worth at least $26 million, sponsored by an array of foreign governments, private companies and other groups which have business with the Pentagon.”

Posted on Jun 10, 2009 READ MORE


‘Colbert Report’ Invades Iraq

Stephen Colbert, in a hilarious outfit, has taken his show to one of Saddam Hussein’s old palaces in Baghdad to entertain the men and women of the U.S military. Watch President Obama order Gen. Ray Odierno to give Colbert’s coif a military makeover. Update: Full videos added.

Posted on Jun 9, 2009 READ MORE



Mr. Fish

Hold Your Applause

We may thrill to Obama’s rhetoric, but very few of the 1.3 billion Muslims in the world are as deluded. They grasp that nothing so far has changed for Muslims in the Middle East under the Obama administration.

Posted on Jun 8, 2009 READ MORE


book cover

Susie Linfield on How to Think About the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

A provocative new book, “One State, Two States,” by revisionist Israeli historian Benny Morris breaks a taboo by asking whether anti-Zionism has become the anti-imperialism of fools. Can his polemic act as the ax that helps break up the frozen and brittle nature of a debate over the seemingly intractable war between Palestinians and Jews?

Posted on Jun 5, 2009 READ MORE


Obama’s Cairo Speech: Significant, Eloquent—and Perhaps Just the Beginning

Obama’s speech was distinguished by the quality of his previous major speeches, that of speaking as an adult to adults. He promised to say what he thought, and did so on all of the topics he addressed. Correction

Posted on Jun 4, 2009 READ MORE


Rush and Newt Are Winning

A media environment that tilts to the right is obscuring what President Obama stands for and closing off political options that should be part of the public discussion.

Posted on Jun 4, 2009 READ MORE



USMC / Lance Cpl. Chad J. Pulliam

Airstrike Rules Broken, Pentagon Finds

U.S. forces in Afghanistan have developed a reputation for bombing first and asking questions later. According to The New York Times, an internal Pentagon investigation confirms that the rules of engagement were not followed properly during airstrikes on May 4, resulting in the deaths of 20 to 140 civilians (depending on whether you take the U.S. or Afghan estimate).

Posted on Jun 3, 2009 READ MORE


Petraeus
USAF / Staff Sgt. Bradley A. Lail

Replace Petraeus

Gen. David Petraeus has proven the rule that past military victories do not guarantee future success. The general has made a mess of Afghanistan and Pakistan, yet he remains dangerously popular.

Posted on Jun 2, 2009 READ MORE



AP photo / Khalid Mohammed

War Is Sin

Those who return from war have learned something which is often incomprehensible to those who have stayed home. We are not a virtuous nation. War is neither glorious nor noble. And we carry within us the capacity for evil we ascribe to those we fight.

Posted on Jun 1, 2009 READ MORE


The Horror

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Posted on May 31, 2009 READ MORE


What Will Obama Say in Cairo?

Next week President Barack Obama travels to Cairo to deliver what is expected to be a major statement on relations between the United States and the Islamic world, but informed skeptics predict his new approach to the region will resemble the late months of the Bush administration.

Posted on May 29, 2009 READ MORE


Choi

Lt. Dan Choi Leads Gay Rights Rally Outside Obama Fundraiser

The anti-Proposition 8 protests were one form of gay rights activism taking place recently around Los Angeles, but a related issue was the subject of a rally led by former Lt. Dan Choi, a West Point graduate and Arab linguist who was discharged from the Army National Guard earlier this month for coming out publicly: Choi wanted to remind the visiting president about his pledge to end “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”

Posted on May 28, 2009 READ MORE


Chevron, Shell and the True Cost of Oil

The economy is a shambles, unemployment is soaring, the auto industry is collapsing. But profits are higher than ever at oil companies Chevron and Shell.

Posted on May 26, 2009 READ MORE



interactive.usc.edu

U.S. Joins the Digital Arms Race

Jealous of Russia and China’s hacking prowess, the Pentagon is trying to beef up its cyberwarfare capabilities by developing a gadget that would enable a run-of-the-mill soldier to hop on your wireless network, take over a power plant and everything between.

Posted on May 26, 2009 READ MORE


Fresh Air Versus a Bunker

Which reality do you inhabit, Obama World or Cheney World? If it’s the latter, remember that storm clouds are always gathering. Don’t forget your umbrella.

Posted on May 26, 2009 READ MORE


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