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The Fire Next Time

The Fire Next Time

By James Baldwin

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Tag: Security

U.S. Militarism Makes Us Less Secure

The more wars you undertake abroad, the more places you intervene and the more bases you build around the world, the less secure you are.

Posted on Aug 4, 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


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


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


Two Standards of Detention

Nonviolent activists and Muslims are held in draconian conditions, while the man charged with killing Dr. George Tiller trumpets from jail the extreme anti-abortion movement’s campaign of intimidation, vandalism, arson and murder.

Posted on Jul 8, 2009 READ MORE



Flickr / TheeErin

Homeland Insecurity: Bombs in Government Buildings

In the last year, government investigators were able to take explosives into federal buildings, build bombs there and then waltz around unmolested.
The Departments of Homeland Security, Justice and State were all infiltrated, as well as the offices of two members of Congress.

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


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 / Khampha Bouaphanh

America’s ICE Backwards Approach to Immigration

While the nation’s understaffed immigration courts strain under a backlog that has grown to more than 200,000 cases, thousands of new border agents have been hired and the number of government attorneys who argue for deportation has increased by 35 percent, pushing more cases onto an already overburdened system.

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 / 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


Guns and the Link We Won’t Admit

There are without a doubt links among the extremists who have opened fire in this spring of slaughter, but we tend to ignore the most obvious point: We have decided to let just about anyone have a gun.

Posted on Jun 15, 2009 READ MORE



White House / David Bohrer / Archive

CIA Chief Wonders Whether Cheney Wishes for Terrorist Attack

Leon Panetta responds to the former vice president’s constant sniping in the latest New Yorker: “I think he smells some blood in the water on the national-security issue. ... It’s almost, a little bit, gallows politics. When you read behind it, it’s almost as if he’s wishing that this country would be attacked again, in order to make his point. I think that’s dangerous politics.”

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



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



Flickr / steve9567

Domestic Terrorism by Any Standard

If right-wing broadcasters don’t want to be blamed when someone murders a person they have demonized repeatedly—as in the case of George Tiller, the doctor shot dead in his Wichita, Kan., church last Sunday—then they ought to moderate their rhetoric.

Posted on Jun 4, 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


Israel US
aljazeera.net

U.S.-Israel on the Rocks

Tensions have been mounting between the U.S. and its usual BFF, Israel. President Obama’s demand for an end to the construction of settlements in the West Bank was rejected by Israel earlier this week. Obama has responded by suggesting that Israel’s intransigence endangers U.S. security.

Posted on May 29, 2009 READ MORE


The West’s Reckless Approach to Relations With Russia

The basic question is whether the United States wishes to treat Russia as a permanent enemy, even if it is not. The result of treating states as enemies is that sooner or later they become them.

Posted on May 26, 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


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


Obama and the Limits of Mastery

President Obama wants to build a new liberal majority and to do it he’s trying to charm everyone left of Rush Limbaugh. That strategy has led to some awkward moments.

Posted on May 24, 2009 READ MORE


Look to the Law—Not to Whether Torture ‘Works’

The calls for an independent commission to investigate torture usually argue that a congressional investigation, or a Justice Department criminal investigation, would become so politicized as to be hopelessly compromised. I am not sure this is true.

Posted on Apr 28, 2009 READ MORE



White House / David Bohrer

Joe Wilson Wants Dick Cheney to Let It All Hang Out

Ever the fan of cherry-picking, former Vice President Dick Cheney has called for the declassification of select intelligence he claims would polish his torture legacy. Whistle-blower extraordinaire Joe Wilson says the “most secretive individual in American politics” shouldn’t stop there—why not air all of the Bush administration’s dirty laundry once and for all?

Posted on Apr 27, 2009 READ MORE



Harald Dettenborn

Report: Rep. Harman Mixed Up With AIPAC, Espionage and Alberto Gonzales

Rep. Jane Harman agreed to go to bat for two AIPAC officials accused of espionage, in exchange for which an Israeli spy would try to get her appointed to chair the House Intelligence Committee, according to Congressional Quarterly. The NSA reportedly captured an exchange between Harman and the spy, during which the congresswoman allegedly said, “This conversation doesn’t exist.”

Posted on Apr 20, 2009 READ MORE



AP photo / Ahn Young-joon

Up, Up and Away: The West’s Hysterical Reaction to North Korea

North Korea has come under strong international criticism and sanctions for its missile launch, but as a signatory to the 1966 Outer Space Treaty, it is legally permitted to pursue space launch activity. Besides, where is the pandemonium when Japan, Pakistan, Israel, India, Russia and the U.S. refine, test and launch their own ballistic missiles?

Posted on Apr 17, 2009 READ MORE


Delusions of Omnipotence

American foreign policy is based not on what we can do, but what Washington wants to do, hence the blunders of Korea, Vietnam and even the Cold War, which the Soviets were kind enough to lose. Even now, the new president is extending the “Long War” on a still more ambitious scale.

Posted on Apr 16, 2009 READ MORE


Getting to Zero Starts With One Man

If Obama is successful in reducing our nuclear stockpile, it could make a monumental difference to the world’s security. Nuclear arms proliferation will never be stopped so long as the U.S. insists on maintaining a privileged position of global nuclear domination.

Posted on Apr 10, 2009 READ MORE



White House / Pete Souza

The Father of Guantanamo

Indefinite and secret detention at the U.S. air base in Bagram, Afghanistan, was a fundamental breach of justice and morality when the Bush administration did it. It is made worse by the stench of hypocrisy when the Obama administration does it.

Posted on Apr 8, 2009 READ MORE



Flickr / saragoldsmith

Die Hard 5: Real Life

Hollywood has given us many a laptop-wielding hacker who causes explosions, blackouts and mayhem with a few malicious keystrokes, but such scenarios may not be confined to preposterous action flicks anymore. The Wall Street Journal reports that cyberspies from China and Russia have infiltrated the U.S. electrical grid, mapped it and left a little something behind.

Posted on Apr 8, 2009 READ MORE



Flickr / freezelight

Spam Rules the Inbox

The BBC reports on some alarming numbers coming out of Redmond: “More than 97% of all e-mails sent over the net are unwanted, according to a Microsoft security report. The e-mails are dominated by spam adverts for drugs, and general product pitches and often have malicious attachments.”

Posted on Apr 8, 2009 READ MORE


It’s Now a ‘Soft War’ in Afghanistan, but It’s Still a Disaster

President Obama appears to have fallen for the oldest false dichotomy in the Pentagon repertoire, and the easiest one to sell to the American public. It goes like this: The world is divided between the Evil Folks and the Good. The Good Folks, being what they are, are naturally pro-American, once they get to know us.

Posted on Apr 7, 2009 READ MORE



AP photo / Lee Jin-man

World Reacts to North Korean Launch

The U.N. Security Council held an emergency meeting following what North Korea described as a satellite launch but what the U.S. and South Korea said was actually a long-range missile test. The U.S., the European Union, Japan and South Korea have all weighed in with varying degrees of concern, while China and Russia have urged calm and restraint.

Posted on Apr 5, 2009 READ MORE


This Is the Truth on Drugs ... Any Questions?

Finally, after America has frittered away billions of taxpayer dollars arming Latin American death squads and incarcerating more of its own citizens on nonviolent drug charges than any other industrialized nation, the government is starting to re-evaluate federal narcotics policy.

Posted on Apr 2, 2009 READ MORE



What You Dig

Here are the five most-read stories of the last seven days, including Chris Hedges on America’s moral meltdown and Robert Scheer on the economic incompetents who find easy employment in the Obama administration. Full list after the jump.

Posted on Mar 27, 2009 READ MORE



AP photo / Elizabeth Dalziel

Obama’s Plan to Save the World

Forget about terrorism for a moment. The potential catastrophe that climate change could unleash on America makes every other national security crisis pale in comparison. President Obama cannot secure the homeland without addressing this global emergency.

Posted on Mar 24, 2009 READ MORE


Sarkozy’s Courtship of NATO Defies Rationality

France’s president has lived up to the stereotype that his people, fond as they are of home vacationing and generally convinced of their own superiority, not infrequently fail to know what they are talking about when dealing with foreign countries.

Posted on Mar 17, 2009 READ MORE


book cover

Tony Platt on Wall Street Terror Attack

Beverly Gage’s new book exhumes a nearly forgotten tale of class warfare—call it 9/16.

Posted on Mar 13, 2009 READ MORE



U.S. Army / Staff Sgt. Adam Mancini

Obama’s Troop Shuffle Leaves Us Dizzy

The president will withdraw 12,000 troops from Iraq over the next six months, but where will he send them? Back to America? Ski trip to Aspen? Or perhaps he’ll just airlift the veterans to Afghanistan, where a similar number of reinforcements has been promised over a similar period.

Posted on Mar 8, 2009 READ MORE


Redacted memo
aclu.org

Nine Secret Bush-Era Documents Released

The Justice Department has released nine secret memos and opinions written by the Office of Legal Counsel that authorized some of the Bush administration’s unlawful national security policies.

Posted on Mar 4, 2009 READ MORE


Erik Prince
eyeball-series.org

Blackwater CEO Steps Down

Saying that he’s “taking on new challenges,” Blackwater Worldwide founder and CEO Erik Prince announced Monday that he’s resigning from his long-held position at the top of the security company, which has now changed its name to the spooky and sci-fi-tinged Xe.

Posted on Mar 2, 2009 READ MORE



Marine Corps / Lance Cpl. Michael J. Ayotte

It’s Obama’s War Now

Combat troops are to be pulled out of Iraq by August 2010, President Obama said, but some 50,000 occupation troops will remain behind. Someone should let the Iraqis know the distinction.

Posted on Mar 2, 2009 READ MORE



White House

The President’s Address to Congress

In his first speech to a joint session of Congress, President Obama acknowledged the dire state of the economy, but struck a hopeful tone as he expanded on his vision for recovery. Investments in energy, education and health care will be key, he said, as will an expanded bailout of the financial sector. (Summary, video and full text after the jump)

Posted on Feb 24, 2009 READ MORE



AP photo / Hasan Sarbakhshian

A Choice Between Peace and Peril

Bibi Netanyahu’s assumption of power in Israel sets the stage for a huge campaign by the Israeli government, and its well-oiled lobby groups in Washington, to push us into a war with Iran, but a stable relationship with Iran would do more to protect Israel and our interests in the Middle East.

Posted on Feb 23, 2009 READ MORE


Good News for the Taliban

We seem to have spent our way—to the tune of $864 billion—into allowing our friends the Pakistanis to enter into a peace treaty, or something that looks like it, with the Taliban.

Posted on Feb 18, 2009 READ MORE


Putin
AP pool photo / Alexei Druzhinin

Avoiding Another Cold War

Relations with Russia haven’t been this frosty since there was an East Berlin. President Obama may be distracted by other priorities, but getting reacquainted with Vladimir Putin and his nuclear arsenal should be at the top of the list.

Posted on Feb 17, 2009 READ MORE



U.S. Army / Staff Sgt. Jon Soucy

Rebutting the False Choice Between Security and Freedom

A three-year review of more than 40 countries has found that justice systems prior to 9/11 were perfectly capable of combating terrorism. The U.S. and Britain were especially opportunistic in their violations of human rights and international law and gave comfort by example to other abusive regimes, the International Commission of Jurists found.

Posted on Feb 16, 2009 READ MORE



POTUS Executive Office

Cheney Claims ‘High Probability’ of WMD Attack

The former vice president tells Politico that there is a “high probability” of a terrorist attack involving “a nuclear weapon or a biological agent of some kind” and that the current administration is “more concerned about reading the rights to an Al Qaeda terrorist than they are with protecting the United States. ...”

Posted on Feb 4, 2009 READ MORE



obamaicon.me

No They Can’t

Three Iraqi candidates and two campaign workers were killed Thursday as the country prepared for local elections in 14 out of 18 provinces. That’s something to keep in mind with all the talk of improved security. Relative to the hell-on-Earth of recent years, “improvement” amounts to only five people murdered for showing an interest in politics.

Posted on Jan 29, 2009 READ MORE


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