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Islam, South Asia, and the West

Islam, South Asia, and the West

By Francis Robinson

The Nuclear Jihadist

The Nuclear Jihadist

By Douglas Frantz and Catherine Collins

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Tag: Security

USMC / Cpl. Brandon Rodriguez

A Far From Happy New Year

The paradox that is seldom discussed in politics or the press is that the United States, with total military resources equal to those of all the rest of the world combined, wages wars that consistently turn out badly, leaving American enemies in power.

Posted on Dec 28, 2010 READ MORE

Flickr / Ludovic Bertron (CC-BY)

2011: A Brave New Dystopia

The two greatest visions of a future dystopia were George Orwell’s “1984” and Aldous Huxley’s “Brave New World.” It turns out they were both right.

Posted on Dec 27, 2010 READ MORE

Flickr / nolifebeforecoffee (CC-BY)

Are You in the FBI’s Suspicious Activities Database?

The Washington Post’s Dana Priest has another phone book’s worth of terrifying revelations about our national security/police/prison state. One that really chills given the FBI’s track record is the “vast repository” the Bureau is building that ... (more)

Posted on Dec 22, 2010 READ MORE

intelligence agents

CIA Launches W.T.F.

What will those clever minds at the CIA think of next? The agency has assembled a task force to gauge the effects of WikiLeaks’ recent intelligence exposés on its operations, dubbed the WikiLeaks Task Force—or W.T.F. for short.

Posted on Dec 22, 2010 READ MORE

Foreign Policy Review Suggests a Losing Effort

The great campaign to create a new Middle East and Central Asia, slay Islam’s violent extremists and build a radiant new world of democracy and capitalism is moving backward.

Posted on Dec 21, 2010 READ MORE

AP / Susan Walsh

Bitter Memories of War on the Way to Jail

One hundred and thirty-one men and women, many of them military veterans wearing old fatigues, formed a single, silent line. Under a heavy snowfall and to the slow beat of a drum, they walked to the White House fence. They stood there until they were arrested.

Posted on Dec 20, 2010 READ MORE

Afghan Suicide Attacks Kill 13

Attacks on two Afghan military bases killed at least 13 members of the country’s security forces. One of the attacks, blamed on the Taliban, was against a training center on the outskirts of the capital, Kabul.

Posted on Dec 19, 2010 READ MORE

‘Assangination’: From Character Assassination to the Real Thing

Despite being granted bail, WikiLeaks founder and editor Julian Assange remains imprisoned in London. Politicians and commentators, meanwhile, have been repeatedly calling for Assange to be killed.

Posted on Dec 15, 2010 READ MORE

A Wiki Hornet’s Nest

Do we want the people who run Amazon, PayPal, Facebook, Twitter or perhaps even—shudder—Microsoft, Apple or Google making political decisions on our behalf?

Posted on Dec 14, 2010 READ MORE

Flickr / dkwonsh (CC-BY-ND)

Indian Diplomat’s Turban + Airport Security = International Incident

As India’s top U.N. diplomat, Hardeep Puri is not supposed to have a hard time getting through the airport, but a trip through Houston found the Sikh in a polite showdown with security officials who wanted to search his turban. Puri is the third ... (more)

Posted on Dec 13, 2010 READ MORE

U.S. Army / Staff Sgt. Michael Bracken

Afghan Police Force on Shaky Ground

New statistics show that the Afghan police force, upon whose shoulders eventual U.S. and British military withdrawal is based, is experiencing an unsustainable rate of attrition that sees one in five recruits bailing every year.

Posted on Dec 12, 2010 READ MORE

Leaks Disclose Complicated U.S. Strategy

The WikiLeaks documents reveal the irrelevance in much of what was being reported by American diplomats. There was no recognizable pattern or purpose.

Posted on Dec 8, 2010 READ MORE

AP / Vahid Salemi

Leaks Suggest Iran Is Now Winning in the Middle East

Iran is winning and Israel is losing. That is the startling conclusion we reach if we consider how things have changed in the Middle East in the two years since most of the WikiLeaks State Department cables about Iran’s regional difficulties were written.

Posted on Dec 7, 2010 READ MORE

AP / Jacob Silberberg

Happy as a Hangman

What is frightening in collapsing societies is not only the killers, sadists, murderers and psychopaths who rise up out of the moral swamp to take power, but the huge numbers of ordinary people who become complicit in state crimes.

Posted on Dec 6, 2010 READ MORE

U.S. Orders Diplomats to Stop Telling Truth

In the first major policy fallout from the WikiLeaks disclosures, the State Department has ordered all U.S. diplomats to “cease and desist telling the truth until further notice.”

Posted on Dec 6, 2010 READ MORE

wikileaks icon

WikiLeaks: Not for Government Eyes

Acting as if we live in some sort of fantasy world, the Obama administration and the Pentagon have both forbid their hundreds of thousands of federal workers to view the WikiLeaks secret cables—unless those employees have the requisite security clearance.

Posted on Dec 5, 2010 READ MORE

Where Is Obama Going?

Is President Obama’s strategy of offering pre-emptive concessions destined to make enemies of his potential friends in the electorate without winning over any of his adversaries?

Posted on Dec 2, 2010 READ MORE

Flickr / David Shankbone (CC-BY)

Just the Fibs, Ma’am

It’s a sad day when working journalists condemn those who would pry loose a few secrets from the national security state. Glenn Greenwald has done an excellent job tracking the hypocrites, hacks and access addicts. His latest target is Joe Klein (above), who describes WikiLeaks’ work as a “human disaster.” ... (more)

Posted on Dec 1, 2010 READ MORE

AP / Evan Vucci

Wiki-Damage Control Time for Clinton

Being the U.S. secretary of state must have its perks, what with the power and guaranteed attention of various world leaders and all, but Monday, Hillary Clinton’s was not a job to envy.

Posted on Nov 29, 2010 READ MORE

U.S. Air Force / Staff Sgt. Andy M. Kin

The Pentagon Gets What It Wants

“If the Pentagon wants something, the logic goes, then it must be necessary,” writes Gregg Easterbrook in a recent examination of military waste. As a result, military spending has jumped 119 percent since 2001, 68 percent if you exclude the two wars fought in that time.

Posted on Nov 29, 2010 READ MORE

AP / Pablo Martinez Monsivais

Real Hope Is About Doing Something

Many of us will, after our rally in Lafayette Park, attempt to chain ourselves to the fence outside the White House. It is a pretty good bet we will all spend a night in jail. Hope, from now on, will look like this.

Posted on Nov 29, 2010 READ MORE

Blaming Obama’s America First

We are about to enter a two-year period in which the Beltway Republicans will always blame Obama’s America first—you know, the America that happens to disagree with much of the conservative agenda, the America from which they want to “take back” the country, as if the rest of us represent an alien force.

Posted on Nov 29, 2010 READ MORE

Iran’s Best Friends on Capitol Hill

By stalling or killing President Obama’s new START treaty, Republicans would provide moral support to Iran, North Korea and any other rogue regime seeking to arm itself with nukes.

Posted on Nov 28, 2010 READ MORE

Flickr / Chris Davis (CC-BY-SA)

Much Ado About Touching

It’s D-Day for pat-down protests and so far it looks like most people just want to get where they’re going. AP reports that waits at major airports Wednesday morning were surprisingly short—the TSA estimates 20 minutes or less. ...

Posted on Nov 24, 2010 READ MORE

A Childish Tantrum Over TSA Rules

Some of the loudest howls of outrage over the new airport security rules emanate from those who would be quickest to blame the Obama administration for not doing enough to protect us if a bomber did slip through.

Posted on Nov 24, 2010 READ MORE

Why Granny Gets Searched

It’s hard to love the Transportation Security Administration, especially now that airport personnel seem so intent on touching people’s junk. But the TSA’s job isn’t to be adorable, it’s to be infallible—and also, apparently, to suffer being unfairly maligned.

Posted on Nov 23, 2010 READ MORE

Flickr / Michael Eyal Sharon (CC-BY-NC-SA)

Dear Abusive Travelers, TSA Workers Are People, Too

Seriously, people, it’s not like John Q. TSA Worker woke up this morning jonesing to goose you. The union that represents the unfortunate patters-down says its members have been subjected to verbal abuse and even acts of physical violence since the new travel rules took effect.

Posted on Nov 22, 2010 READ MORE

AP / Jeff Widener

Power and the Tiny Acts of Rebellion

There is no hope left for achieving significant reform or restoring our democracy through established mechanisms of power. We must take to the streets, armed with the tiny acts of truth and kindness that throughout history have exposed the oppressor’s cruelty.

Posted on Nov 22, 2010 READ MORE

TSA Grandparents

Posted on Nov 19, 2010 READ MORE

Full-Body Scanners

Posted on Nov 19, 2010 READ MORE


New York Doesn’t Heart Body Scanners

The backlash against the new mandatory screening regime at airports continues. At least one New York City Council member is trying to have body scanners banned from local airports. But does the city have the authority? Says Councilman David Greenfield, “... If the TSA disagrees with us, they can sue us.”

Posted on Nov 19, 2010 READ MORE

NATO Summit Unlikely to Answer the Most Important Questions

To adapt to secular use a phrase from medieval mysticism, “the cloud of unknowing” deepens as the war-waging countries of North America and Western Europe approach their NATO “summit.”

Posted on Nov 16, 2010 READ MORE

AP / Rodrigo Abd

Kandahar: The Latest Casualty of an Invisible War

The military’s major campaign in Kandahar has been largely ignored. The American public cannot have a debate on the war if it is not even mentioned in public.

Posted on Nov 16, 2010 READ MORE

U.S. Air Force / Tech. Sgt. Francisco V. Govea II

The Cowardice of America at War

I had to pull over to the side of La Cienega Boulevard last Tuesday evening as I drove home from work. I was crying.

Posted on Nov 15, 2010 READ MORE

Flickr / webtreats (CC-BY)

Big Brother Is Watching, Friending, Following You Online

Everyone from employers to the Department of Homeland Security is monitoring social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter, raising questions about how standards enforcing privacy online can withstand the rush of data about you and everyone else that courses through the Internet.

Posted on Nov 11, 2010 READ MORE

White House / Pete Souza

Obama’s Royal Passage to Asia

Like his royal British forerunners, the president, through his advisers and their policies, brings imperial ambitions to the largest and most populous continent.

Posted on Nov 10, 2010 READ MORE

AP / Matt York

A Recipe for Fascism

American politics, as the midterm elections demonstrated, have descended into the irrational.

Posted on Nov 8, 2010 READ MORE

U.S. Army / Spc. Brandon Bolick

Explosions Bring Fresh Devastation to Baghdad

Baghdad was shaken by at least 15 explosions Tuesday, with an estimated death toll ranging from 76 to more than 100. The bombers appeared to favor Shiite targets and were unhindered by Iraqi security.

Posted on Nov 2, 2010 READ MORE

AP / Rodrigo Abd

The World Is Safer Without a Republican House

A Republican victory has the potential to keep the U.S. in Iraq and Afghanistan, derail the beleaguered peace process and worsen U.S. security.

Posted on Nov 1, 2010 READ MORE

No Final Victories

It was just four years ago that the Democratic Party began its comeback in what now seems like another country.

Posted on Nov 1, 2010 READ MORE

AP / Dario Lopez-Mills

The World Liberal Opportunists Made

The lunatic fringe of the Republican Party, which looks set to make sweeping gains in the midterm elections, is the direct result of a collapse of liberalism.

Posted on Oct 25, 2010 READ MORE

Bush’s Brain’s Brain?

Today on the list: Meet Karl Rove’s Karl Rove, what happens when you Facebook friend request yourself, and the third-party candidates who still can’t catch a break.

Posted on Oct 19, 2010 READ MORE

U.S. Marine Corps / Lance Cpl. Jamean R. Berry

The Imperial Defense of Pentagon Bloat

Beware the sophistry of budget talking points—especially those seeking to deter any criticism of defense spending.

Posted on Oct 14, 2010 READ MORE

Looney, and That’s No Debate

Sorry, but I just can’t do it anymore. When has there been an election with so many looney tunes running under the banner of one of our major parties?

Posted on Oct 14, 2010 READ MORE

Nuclear Armament Still Our Central Issue

Of all of the sources of strategic delusion and political illusion today, nuclear weapons undoubtedly make the most prodigious contribution to hypocrisy and useless expense.

Posted on Oct 5, 2010 READ MORE

Flickr / Marty Portier (CC-BY-SA)

State Department Issues Europe Alert

The State Department has warned Americans traveling to and living in Europe that the entire continent faces a heightened risk of terrorist attack. Authorities fear that al-Qaida is planning something like the 2008 Mumbai shooting spree that killed 166 people.

Posted on Oct 3, 2010 READ MORE

Wikimedia Commons

Karzai Shows Security Contractors the Door

In your face, foreign community! Afghan President Hamid Karzai has begun dissolving foreign private security companies, including the firm formerly known as Blackwater, as he moves to make good on a promise to ban the private contractors by year’s end.

Posted on Oct 3, 2010 READ MORE

Who Really Thinks We’ll Win in Afghanistan?

Could somebody please remind me just what it is that we’re achieving in Afghanistan? Don’t all speak at once. No, I mean what good things we’re accomplishing. Anybody? Hello?

Posted on Sep 30, 2010 READ MORE

Hillary Clinton Celebrates Kissinger While White House Repeats His Mistakes

Future historians will marvel at how U.S. leaders failed to learn from their horrific crimes in Indochina, and are instead repeating many of them today.

Posted on Sep 28, 2010 READ MORE

FBI Raids and the Criminalization of Dissent

Early in the morning on Friday, Sept. 24, FBI agents in Chicago and Minnesota’s Twin Cities kicked in the doors of anti-war activists, brandishing guns, spending hours rifling through their homes.

Posted on Sep 28, 2010 READ MORE

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