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NATO to Probe Civilian Casualties in Afghanistan

Afghan President Hamad Karzai is warning foreign troops that more civilian deaths would seriously compromise Afghan citizens’ support (such as it is) for NATO-affiliated forces in their country.

Posted on Jun 22, 2007 READ MORE



gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/

The CIA’s ‘Family Jewels’

The National Security Archive at George Washington University has posted documents on its website that expose ugly activities by the CIA before reforms were made in the 1970s. The secrecy watchdog says the agency violated its charter for 25 years by spying on journalists and political dissidents, in addition to engaging in other nefarious activities.

Posted on Jun 22, 2007 READ MORE


arrest
news.bbc.co.uk

Plot Against Gay Pride March in Israel Alleged

A man has been arrested in Jerusalem on a charge of attempting to bomb a gay pride march through the city. The Israeli supreme court recently overturned a ban on the parade, sparking violent protests from religious groups.

Posted on Jun 22, 2007 READ MORE



motherjones.com

Blowback in Lebanon

Truthdig contributor Reese Erlich connects the blowback from American meddling in the Mideast to the recent violence in Lebanon, where a Palestinian militant group has been fighting with the Lebanese army.

Posted on Jun 22, 2007 READ MORE


A Sad Game

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Posted on Jun 22, 2007 READ MORE    


Saddam on TV
(AP Photo/Hadi Mizban)

The Trial of Saddam Hussein We Never Saw

Saddam Hussein was a ruthless tyrant, but he had help from his friends, including powerful world leaders and wealthy businessmen. Former “60 Minutes” producer and “Web of Deceit” author Barry Lando wonders what embarrassing revelations might have emerged had Saddam’s trial—and those of his associates—been more interested in truth than execution.

Posted on Jun 22, 2007 READ MORE


Respect the Left

On issues as far-ranging as the Iraq war, healthcare and economic disparity, America has moved decidedly to the left. Isn’t it time we stop fretting about words like “liberal”?

Posted on Jun 22, 2007 READ MORE


The Tale of Sir Salman and the Bard of Espionage

Back when the renowned author was in hiding because of a death threat from the Ayatollah Khomeini, he felt that John le Carre was no help to his cause.  “The Satanic Verses” had sparked a spat between two literary lions.

Posted on Jun 22, 2007 READ MORE


White House Considers Shutting Down Guantanamo

Although the White House says no decision is imminent, the Associated Press is reporting that the Bush administration is close to shutting down the island prison and transferring the detainees to military facilities inside the U.S., where they could face trial. The vice president and attorney general have previously shot down any attempt to close Gitmo, but anonymous sources say a consensus for closure is building.

Posted on Jun 21, 2007 READ MORE


House Overturns Abortion Aid Ban

The House has voted to lift a ban on aid, including contraception, to family planning clinics and organizations that perform abortions. The measure would still block the direct funding of abortions, but Republicans opposed to the bill say sending condoms to the clinics would give them more resources to perform abortions.

Posted on Jun 21, 2007 READ MORE


chris matthews

Chris Matthews: Watch Your Mouth!

Unaware that his mike was on, Chris Matthews accidentally let the S-word slip during a live taping of MSNBC’s “Hardball.”  Matthews was caught saying to producers, “We’re all reacting here, putting on s**t.  We have nothing.” 

Posted on Jun 21, 2007 READ MORE


cheney
AP Photo/Eric Gay

Cheney Sidesteps White House Rules

In his typically reassuring style, Dick Cheney has stated that his office is not a part of the executive branch of the U.S. government and is therefore not bound by certain White House rules, reports “The Blotter” on abcnews.com.

Posted on Jun 21, 2007 READ MORE


schoolchildren
AP Photo/Francis Specker

The Education Blame Game

It’s not just kids who get left behind in an educational system that fetishizes data and quantitative measures instead of qualitative progress.  Teachers, particularly in lower-income schools, end up punished and humiliated because they are judged to be “underachievers,” according to educator Sharon Scranage.

Posted on Jun 21, 2007 READ MORE


lott
AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis

LottÂ’s Wisdom: Illegal Immigrants Are Like Goats

When you combine a goat with an electric fence you get the solution ... to illegal immigration? That’s Sen. Trent Lott’s answer to the immigration question.

Posted on Jun 21, 2007 READ MORE


Afghan President Plays Down Taliban Threat

The Taliban, once a powerful and oppressive presence in Afghanistan, does not “have the guts” to face down the government, Afghan President Hamid Karzai told the BBC.  The real problem that needs attention in his country, Karzai said, is the ever-rising civilian death toll.

Posted on Jun 21, 2007 READ MORE


Bloody June in Iraq

The U.S. troop surge is topping out in terms of numbers—and, unfortunately, the death toll for American forces and Iraqis is also climbing this month.  The BBC reports that 14 U.S. soldiers were reported killed Wednesday and Thursday, and suicide bombings continued to claim lives elsewhere in the country.

Posted on Jun 21, 2007 READ MORE


The Bigots Are Coming! The Bigots Are Coming!

Massachusetts is once again leading the nation against the forces of tyranny. The state that radically approved same-sex unions to the apparent horror of the rest of the country now finds itself increasingly in the mainstream of public opinion.

Posted on Jun 21, 2007 READ MORE


On Iraq, the Candidates are Frozen in Time

Most of the presidential candidates from both parties agree that we can’t allow Iraq to become a “failed state.” Unfortunately, that warning is about four years out of date.

Posted on Jun 21, 2007 READ MORE


Political Migration

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Posted on Jun 21, 2007 READ MORE


bush

George W. Bush, the Musical

Relive Bush’s soiled legacy to the tune of Abba’s “Waterloo.” If ever there was a man who could carry off the line “I feel like I win when I lose,” it’s our president.

Posted on Jun 21, 2007 READ MORE


IDF babe
waronline.org

Israel Reaches Out to Horny U.S. Men

After market research revealed that young American men “have no feeling toward Israel one way or another,” the Israeli consulate in New York came up with a foolproof plan to get their attention: pin-up girls. The shande for the goyim will take place in the July issue of Maxim magazine, which will feature Israel Defense Forces veterans taking it off for the homeland.

Posted on Jun 20, 2007 READ MORE


Giuliani Explains Iraq Study Group Absenteeism

Rudy Giuliani is in damage control mode, now that people have noticed that during his two-month tour as a member of the Iraq Study Group he missed two meetings in order to make paid appearances. The candidate called his participation in the group a mistake, both because he intended to run for office and because it “didn’t seem that I would really be able to keep the thing focused on a bipartisan, nonpolitical resolution.”

Posted on Jun 20, 2007 READ MORE


guantanamo program

Guantanamo on (Iranian) TV

Sometimes the best way to tell what other nations think of the U.S. is to see how Americans are depicted in entertainment products.  Judging by this translated excerpt from the Iranian television drama “Guantanamo” (granted, subject matter must also weigh heavily in the equation), our international PR leaves a lot to be desired.

Posted on Jun 20, 2007 READ MORE


jon stewart

‘Daily Show’ on Iraq Whack-a-Mole

Jon Stewart charts the administration’s “been there, done that, be back later” approach to fighting the war in Iraq. Plus a look back on operational nomenclature, the September surprise and Ted Koppel’s giant head.

Posted on Jun 20, 2007 READ MORE


Bush’s Career Plans for Tony Blair

The U.S. and Israel are pressuring Tony Blair to become the “quartet’s” (that would be the U.S., the EU, the U.N. and Russia) Mideast envoy, because he’s already done such a bang-up job soothing tensions in the Arab world.  But Blair might not be interested since President Bush and Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert would want to limit his scope to setting up a functioning Palestinian state.

Posted on Jun 20, 2007 READ MORE


schwarzbloomraigosa

Schwarzenegger, Bloomberg Talk Compromises and Surprises

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Mayors Michael Bloomberg and Antonio Villaraigosa (pictured above with USC Annenberg’s Dean Geoffrey Cowan) convened at Creative Artists Agency’s swank new Beverly Hills HQ Tuesday for a conference on bipartisan politics, and this perhaps scripted meeting of high-wattage minds (and personalities) produced some thought-provoking—and surprising—conversations and announcements.

Posted on Jun 20, 2007 READ MORE


Bush Sinks Stem Cell Bill

President Bush has once again exercised his executive veto privilege, nixing a bill that proposed fewer limits on stem cell research.  This latest move brings the president’s overall veto total to three—two related to stem cell legislation and one shooting down a proposed time line to withdraw U.S. troops from Iraq. 

Posted on Jun 20, 2007 READ MORE



AP Photo / Leslie Mazoch

The Forgotten War on Drugs and Election ‘08

Renowned sociologist Dr. Troy Duster discusses the war on drugs, race, public policy and the 2008 election.

Posted on Jun 20, 2007 READ MORE


Living Up to the Hate

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Posted on Jun 20, 2007 READ MORE


The Ten-Year Plan

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Posted on Jun 20, 2007 READ MORE    



9/11 Model Backs Up Tower Collapse Theory

A two-year study of the World Trade Center Towers’ collapse by Purdue University has reaffirmed the findings of the National Institute of Standards and Technology, which suggested that the buildings crashed under their own weight after crucial support columns and fireproofing were damaged or destroyed. The research team released an animation of the first plane’s collision to show how heat and flame eventually brought the towers down.

Posted on Jun 20, 2007 READ MORE


gaza
AP Photo / Hatem Moussa

Hamas Holds the High Cards

What a difference 40 years makes.  Robert Scheer takes a look at current events in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank from a historical perspective, tracing the dramatic developments among regional and religious factions since the end of the Six-Day War.

Posted on Jun 19, 2007 READ MORE


ENTER_ALT_TEXT
AP Photo / Leslie Mazoch

The Forgotten War on Drugs and Election ‘08

Renowned sociologist Dr. Troy Duster discusses the war on drugs, race, public policy and the 2008 election.

Posted on Jun 19, 2007 READ MORE


‘SiCKO’: Michael Moore’s Prescription for Change

Michael Moore screened his new film, “SiCKO,” on Father’s Day at a special New York event honoring Sept. 11 first responders. Moore spoke of their heroism and recognized their role in the film. “SiCKO” is about the broken U.S. healthcare system. Case in point: the 9/11 rescue workers.

Posted on Jun 19, 2007 READ MORE


Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell:  Immigration and Ignorance

As the immigration issue takes the front-and-center position in Congress, opportunities for real reform—as well as legitimization for millions of undocumented workers—are being squandered in each round of deliberation over the pending legislation.

Posted on Jun 19, 2007 READ MORE


Ali
composite by Peter Scheer / photo from SI.com

Fatherhood, Muhammad Ali and Moral Courage

A retired Air Force colonel explains how he drew moral courage from arguably the greatest boxer ever and from a pilot who refused to bomb civilians.  Antoon says that courage led him to persuade his son not to follow in his footsteps.

Posted on Jun 19, 2007 READ MORE


mosque
news.bbc.co.uk

Mosque Bombing Kills Dozens

A devastating explosion near a Shiite mosque in the center of Baghdad has killed at least 78 people and injured more than 200. The mosque’s imam said the attack was carried out by “sick souls” who targeted worshipers as they left the prayer hall. Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki said that such attacks have “scarred the beautiful face of Baghdad by destroying the religious landmarks it has known over the centuries.”

Posted on Jun 19, 2007 READ MORE


Pope
theponderingamerican.blogspot.com

Thou Shalt Not Exceed the Speed Limit

The Vatican has come up with “Ten Commandments” for drivers, warning that cars can be “an occasion of sin.” The document recommends prayer for surviving the road in good physical and spiritual condition, especially saying the rosary while driving because its “rhythm and gentle repetition does not distract the driver’s attention.”

Posted on Jun 19, 2007 READ MORE


Bill Clinton

Clinton Campaign Parodies ‘Sopranos’

To announce her new campaign song (a Celine Dion tear-jerker), Hillary Clinton spoofed the now infamous “Sopranos” series finale, complete with a disappointed Bill, who has to make do with carrots instead of onion rings, Chelsea struggling to parallel park, and a surprise cameo.

Posted on Jun 19, 2007 READ MORE


Kandahar District Falls Briefly to Taliban

Afghan forces retook a district in Kandahar province that had been captured by the Taliban. The Afghan forces said they had made a tactical decision to withdraw, but the Taliban said it captured the district outright after days of battle. Either way, the former ruling fundamentalists of Afghanistan appear less than beaten.

Posted on Jun 19, 2007 READ MORE


Politics: It Could Get Ugly

Americans are fed up with the president and his war, but the opposition isn’t exciting many voters.

Posted on Jun 19, 2007 READ MORE


Obama’s Father’s Day Sermon

The subject is absent fathers. The implications for black America are dire. The fact is that “there are a lot of men out there who need to stop acting like boys; who need to realize that responsibility does not end at conception; who need to know that what makes you a man is not the ability to have a child but the courage to raise one.”

Posted on Jun 19, 2007 READ MORE


The Pop-Tart Chronicles

Food companies that market obesity-inducing products to young children are taking a lesson from big tobacco and getting ahead of the lawsuit curve.

Posted on Jun 19, 2007 READ MORE


sir salman
AP Photo/Fritz Reiss

Sir Salman’s Knighthood Triggers Backlash

Author Salman Rushdie is once again the subject of controversy—a position the “Satanic Verses” scribe is familiar with, to say the least.  The decision by Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II to knight Rushdie last weekend drew criticism from Muslims who disagreed with the message of his most notorious novel, including members of Pakistan’s parliament.

Posted on Jun 18, 2007 READ MORE


Tragic Mistake in Afghanistan

An airstrike by U.S.-led forces near the eastern border of Afghanistan killed seven children Sunday night—a tragic error that coalition forces attributed to al-Qaida operatives who had used “human shields” as cover, according to The New York Times.

Posted on Jun 18, 2007 READ MORE


child in coffin
AP Photo / Karim Kadim

A Culture of Atrocity

The veteran foreign correspondent writes that while physical courage is common on the battlefield, moral courage is not. When young men and women are sent to occupy a foreign land—whether Vietnam, Gaza or Iraq—and they encounter constant danger, a population hostile to their presence and a faceless but determined enemy, the value of human life inevitably becomes relative and killing all too quickly becomes murder.

Posted on Jun 18, 2007 READ MORE


Crisis in Gaza

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Posted on Jun 18, 2007 READ MORE    


Romney Debates Himself

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Posted on Jun 18, 2007 READ MORE


The Three-State Solution

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has sworn in a new government that excludes Hamas, a move praised by both the U.S. and Israel. But the emergency government is likely to preside only over the West Bank because Hamas—which Israeli officials described as a “terrorist entity”—retains control of Gaza.

Posted on Jun 17, 2007 READ MORE


Anonymous Rockets Land in Israel

Israel has come under rocket fire from Lebanon, but says it will show restraint. Hezbollah has denied responsibility for the attack, the first since the Israel-Lebanon war last year. Israel and Lebanon have blamed the Palestinians, but no group has claimed responsibility yet.

Posted on Jun 17, 2007 READ MORE


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