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December 29, 2014
Truthdig: Drilling Beneath the Headlines
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Tag: United States


Vladimir Putin Invites Kim Jong Un to Moscow

Amid U.S. and European sanctions that are driving Russia into the arms of its Asian neighbors, President Vladimir Putin has invited the North Korean leader to Moscow next year to mark the 70th anniversary of the Soviet defeat of Nazi Germany in World War II.

Posted on Dec 19, 2014 READ MORE



Jobless U.S. Males Are Deprived and Discouraged—Not Lazy

The share of unemployed American men age 25 to 54 has more than tripled since the 1960s. Many want to work, but the wages paid by what few jobs are available don’t support a desirable quality of life.

Posted on Dec 12, 2014 READ MORE



The West Is Responsible for Unraveling Ukraine

Nation magazine editor Katrina vanden Heuvel writes in The Washington Post that the U.S. government and mainstream media have arrogantly and self-servingly portrayed the calamity Western powers wrought in Ukraine as a false “morality tale” about democracy-loving protesters and alleged Russian aggression.

Posted on Dec 1, 2014 READ MORE



Russians Invade Afghanistan (Again!), Chinese Fight Iraq War (Again!)

After 13 years of doing its damnedest, the U.S. has overseen the rise of the dominant narco-state on the planet with monopoly control over up to 90 percent of the global opium supply and 75 percent of the heroin. It’s also been complicit in the creation of the first terrorist mini-oil state in history, a post-al-Qaeda triumph of extreme jihadism.

Posted on Nov 27, 2014 READ MORE



For the World’s Sake: Revolution in the United States

As a result of the United States’ disproportionate political, economic and military power, 121 million American voters hold the fate of billions in their hands every four years.

Posted on Nov 13, 2014 READ MORE



Shrinking the Empire: A Session on the Imperial Couch

What follows is a transcript of a therapy session between the American Empire and a psychiatrist whose name we at TomDispatch have agreed not to disclose. Normally we wouldn’t consider publishing such a private encounter, but the probative news value of the exchange is so obvious that we decided to make an exception.

Posted on Nov 13, 2014 READ MORE



China and U.S. Deliver Radical Climate Surprise

It’s been called a historic agreement—a game changer in the battle to combat climate change. But can China and the U.S. fulfill the promises in their announcement of plans to cut carbon emissions?

Posted on Nov 13, 2014 READ MORE



Against Netanyahu, Majority of American Jews Favor Iran Nuclear Deal

A poll determined 84 percent of American Jews would favor—either strongly or somewhat—a deal with Iran that would relax tough sanctions on the Iranian economy in exchange for the country’s agreement to limit its nuclear program to civilian purposes and accept inspectors at its nuclear facilities.

Posted on Nov 8, 2014 READ MORE



U.S. Will Train Ukrainian Military, May Supply Weapons

In a move that will rankle Russian authorities, the U.S. government announced plans to give the Ukrainian military training, technology and weapons.

Posted on Oct 31, 2014 READ MORE


Can Capitalism and Democracy Coexist? (Parts 1, 2 and 3)

Truthdig columnist Chris Hedges embarks on a long, ranging discussion with political philosopher and former professor of politics at Princeton University Sheldon Wolin on the state of American democracy and the rise of corporate capitalism.

Posted on Oct 25, 2014 READ MORE



Why American Efforts to Create Foreign Armies Fail

When confronting IS and its band of lightly armed irregulars, a reputedly professional military melted back into the populace. What this behavior made clear was that U.S. efforts to create a new Iraqi army to the tune of $25 billion over 10 years had failed miserably.

Posted on Oct 16, 2014 READ MORE


Contagion

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Posted on Oct 14, 2014 READ MORE



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China Replaces U.S. as World’s Largest Economy, IMF Reports

Has the era of American economic hegemony finally come to an end?

Posted on Oct 8, 2014 READ MORE



Hong Kong, the Hard Part: Kick Out U.S., Build National Consensus

What does U.S. involvement mean for the credibility of the protest movement and the future of Hong Kong? How should Hong Kong activists respond?

Posted on Oct 5, 2014 READ MORE



Entering the Intelligence Labyrinth

In a capital riven by fierce political disagreements, just about everyone agrees on the absolute, total and ultimate importance of the “U.S. Intelligence Community” and whatever its top officials might decide in order to keep this country safe and secure.

Posted on Oct 3, 2014 READ MORE



The Great Concentration or the Great Fragmentation?

For most of the last several hundred years the story in view focused on an imperial struggle for power on planet Earth. But another story was developing in the shadows, and has accelerated in seemingly disastrous ways in our own time under some disintegrative pressure.

Posted on Sep 18, 2014 READ MORE



NATO Approves Eastern European Force

NATO approved plans for a 4,000 person rapid response force based in Eastern Europe and aimed at reassuring members near the Russian border that any military action against member countries would be regarded as a threat to all of the organization’s constituents.

Posted on Sep 5, 2014 READ MORE



Mykhaylo Palinchak / Shutterstock.com

Shades of Gaza in Ukraine?

At the risk of grossly oversimplifying two very different conflicts, read this New York Times summary of a U.N. human rights report on the fighting in Ukraine and tell us it doesn’t sound familiar.

Posted on Aug 29, 2014 READ MORE



Study: American Democracy ‘Seriously Threatened’

A pair of researchers have a handy tip for those Americans still attached to the notion that we live in a representative democracy: Get ready to kiss that notion goodbye.

Posted on Aug 27, 2014 READ MORE



Has Surplus Military Gear Wound Up in Your City?

An interactive map of American counties lets readers see how many aircraft, armored vehicles, body armor, grenade launchers, vision accessories and assault rifles left over from the military-industrial complex’s bloody adventures in the Middle East have ended up in their hometown.

Posted on Aug 22, 2014 READ MORE



One in 4 Europeans Fighting With ISIS Are British

Reports that an estimated 2,000 Europeans have joined jihadists fighting for territory in Syria and Iraq are a reminder that feelings of loyalty are not givens and can be diverted away from one’s place of origin.

Posted on Aug 22, 2014 READ MORE



Denis Kornilov / Shutterstock.com

Why Isn’t the United States Releasing Its July 17 Satellite Images of MH17?

The following is a letter from a concerned reader who prefers to remain anonymous, but raises some interesting questions about the crash of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17.

Posted on Aug 5, 2014 READ MORE



China, America and a New Cold War in Africa?

For the last decade China has used aid, trade and infrastructure projects to set itself up as the dominant foreign player in Africa, while the U.S. has increasingly confronted the continent as a “battlefield.” These approaches have produced starkly contrasting results for the powers involved and the rising nations of the continent. The differences are perhaps nowhere as stark as in South Sudan, the world’s newest nation.

Posted on Aug 1, 2014 READ MORE



U.S. Says Gaza School Attack ‘Totally Unacceptable’ but Restocks Ammo

The White House condemned the deadly shelling by Israel of a U.N.-designated girls’ elementary school in Gaza as the Pentagon confirmed it recently restocked Israel’s ammunition supplies.

Posted on Jul 31, 2014 READ MORE



U.S. Government Doesn’t Need Evidence to Call You a Terrorist

A key government document obtained by The Intercept confirms that the Obama administration does not require “concrete facts” or “irrefutable evidence” to brand Americans or foreigners as suspected terrorists.

Posted on Jul 24, 2014 READ MORE



The Future Is Not Ours (and Neither Is the Past)

The famed fog of war is nothing compared to the fog of the future or, as I’ve often said, I’d be regularly riding my jetpack in traffic through the spired city of New York, as I was promised in my childhood. Our urge to predict the future is unsurpassed. Our ability to see it as it will be: next to nil.

Posted on Jul 21, 2014 READ MORE



Incinerating Iraq: How America’s Policies Sealed the Country’s Fate

The disintegration of Iraq is the result of U.S. policies that, since 2003, have been strikingly devoid of coherence or any real comprehension when it comes to the forces at play in the country or the region.

Posted on Jul 18, 2014 READ MORE



Crowdsourcing Our Way Out of the Democracy Crisis

An increasing number of Americans are getting fed up with the phony democracy that exists in the United States. Across the nation people are engaging in democracy rebellions as they re-examine the nation’s roots, especially with the 4th of July weekend recently passing.

Posted on Jul 14, 2014 READ MORE


Gaza: Doctors Plead End to Attack, Netanyahu’s Impunity Denounced

After a week of relentless bombing by Israel’s Netanyahu government, foreign and local doctors on the scene in Gaza and a Palestinian attorney plead with the international community to make the assault on civilians there stop, “Democracy Now!” reports.

Posted on Jul 14, 2014 READ MORE


Julian Assange on WikiLeaks, Snowden and His New Bid for Freedom

“Democracy Now!” speaks to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange inside the Ecuadorean Embassy in London, where he has lived as a political prisoner for more than two years, in what the show says is the first time a U.S. news program has entered his place of refuge.

Posted on Jul 7, 2014 READ MORE



How Washington Protects Itself and the Corporate Sector

The question of how foreign policy is determined is a crucial one in world affairs. I can only provide a few hints as to how I think the subject can be productively explored.

Posted on Jul 3, 2014 READ MORE



Bee-Killing Pesticides in 51 Percent of ‘Bee-Friendly’ Plants Sold in U.S. and Canada

Garden plants advertised at Home Depot, Lowe’s and Walmart as harmless to bees have been shown to kill them, a study released by the environmental advocacy group Friends of the Earth and allies reports.

Posted on Jun 26, 2014 READ MORE


Iraq That Was and Could Have Been

The British Pathé archive gives us an opportunity to resist historical forgetting and know a modernizing Iraq that was prouder and more self-determined than the hothouse of anxiety and ruin that latter-20th century U.S. aggression made it today.

Posted on Jun 26, 2014 READ MORE



It’s the Oil, Stupid!

Sunni insurgents are not only in a struggle against what they see as oppression by a largely Shiite government in Baghdad and its security forces, but also over who will control and benefit from what Nouri al-Maliki—speaking for most of his constituents—told The Wall Street Journal is Iraq’s “national patrimony.”

Posted on Jun 26, 2014 READ MORE



How to Forgive Your Torturer

When I read the statistics on Americans and Britons that approve of torture, a scene comes back to me. I remember a man I met 20 years ago, not in my native Latin America or in faraway lands where torture is endemic, but in the extremely English town of Berwick-upon-Tweed.

Posted on Jun 17, 2014 READ MORE



Nuclear Weapons Remain Embedded in Defense Strategies

The five nuclear-legal countries—China, France, Russia, Britain and the U.S.—are deploying new nuclear weapon delivery systems or have indicated the existence of programs that would, an authoritative study says.

Posted on Jun 16, 2014 READ MORE



How Egypt’s Generals Sidelined Uncle Sam

What has been the input of the planet’s last superpower in shaping the history of the most populous country in the strategic Middle East? Zilch. Its “generosity” toward Cairo notwithstanding, Washington has been reduced to the role of a helpless bystander.

Posted on Jun 5, 2014 READ MORE



U.S. One Quarter Away From Recession but Economists Are Optimistic

The U.S. economy contracted for the first time in three years in early 2014, shrinking at an annual rate of 1 percent due in part to an unusually harsh winter in some of the country’s more populous states.

Posted on May 29, 2014 READ MORE


‘Let Markets Rule Us’

An old, creepy recording shows the Milton Friedman Choir singing that corporations are society’s saviors, that rule and decision making are best left to the so-called free market, and that other moral considerations for the business class should be absolutely gotten rid of.

Posted on May 26, 2014 READ MORE



Shortly After Mother’s Day, U.N. Says U.S. ‘Losing Out’ Over Paid Maternity Leave

The United States is one of just three countries not to guarantee any paid maternity leave, a policy that costs the nation dearly.

Posted on May 13, 2014 READ MORE



plavevski / Shutterstock.com

A Real Risk of War

Vladimir Putin’s annexation of Crimea and threat to Ukraine are causing damage he perhaps did not anticipate: disorientation of the United States and profound division in Europe, especially in Germany, and in NATO. A real risk of war.

Posted on May 6, 2014 READ MORE



Lewis Lapham and Thomas Frank Forecast the Next American Revolution

The Harper’s Magazine associates have had their eyes on America and its moneyed rulers for a combined nine decades. In a bookstore conversation about the latest issue of Lapham’s Quarterly, they name the forces conspiring to drive the nation into another age of upheaval.

Posted on May 4, 2014 READ MORE



German Chancellor ‘Humiliated’ at Frosty News Conference With Obama (Video)

Angela Merkel and President Obama put on a thin display of unity against an assertive Russia during the chancellor’s “awkward” visit to the White House on Friday, much delayed on account of revelations that Obama’s NSA had bugged her communications.

Posted on May 3, 2014 READ MORE



How the U.S. Created the Afghan War—and Then Lost It

To understand how America’s battle in Afghanistan went so wrong for so long, a hidden history lesson is in order. The story of Jalaluddin Haqqani, who turned from America’s potential ally into its greatest foe, is the paradigmatic case of how the war on terror created the very enemies it sought to eradicate.

Posted on May 1, 2014 READ MORE



The Road From Abu Ghraib

As the White House, the CIA, and various senators still battle over the release of a summary of a 6,300-page report by the Senate Intelligence Committee on Bush-era torture policies, it’s worth considering, on the 10th anniversary of Abu Ghraib, the strange journey we’ve taken, and wondering just where we as a nation mired in the legacy of torture might be headed.

Posted on Apr 28, 2014 READ MORE



Rusty Stewart (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Israel, U.S. Complain About Not Being Able to Divide and Rule the Palestinians

This week the Fatah Party (secular Arab nationalist) of Palestine President Mahmoud Abbas met in Gaza with members of the Hamas Party (fundamentalist Muslim), seeking a reconciliation and a government of national unity.

Posted on Apr 24, 2014 READ MORE


Heed the Warnings of the Butter Battle

This Easter Sunday, as Cold War drums beat softly but surely, we look for sanity and wisdom in the humane literature of Dr. Seuss.

Posted on Apr 20, 2014 READ MORE


The Divide

Posted on Apr 18, 2014 READ MORE



The Divide

Matt Taibbi’s new book is more Lincoln Steffens than Hunter Thompson, dropping most of the histrionics to explore why Wall Street bankers are seemingly exempt from criminal prosecution.

Posted on Apr 18, 2014 READ MORE



Time for a Populist Revival!

This old American democratic tradition already has deep support at the grass roots.

Posted on Apr 12, 2014 READ MORE


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