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November 29, 2014
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Risk, Ambiguity and Decision

Risk, Ambiguity and Decision

By Daniel Ellsberg
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Tag: War


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



AP/Anja Niedringhaus

Gratitude in a Warring World

As my children’s seventh Thanksgiving rolls around, I want to teach my boys that the holiday is about more than football and stomachaches.

Posted on Nov 27, 2014 READ MORE



DoD photo by Erin A. Kirk-Cuomo

A Soldier Among Chickenhawks

Chuck Hagel’s departure from his post as defense secretary has been attributed to his failure to fit in with the Obama cabinet’s crowd. Among his other reported deficiencies was that he was only a sergeant in Vietnam, twice wounded.

Posted on Nov 25, 2014 READ MORE



U.S. Air Force/Master Sgt. Adrian Cadiz

Does Hagel’s Departure Pave the Way for Combat Troops to Iraq?

It’s a surprise to see President Obama actually fire someone. But I have to worry that Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel’s forced departure may signal further expansion of U.S. military involvement in Iraq and Syria.

Posted on Nov 25, 2014 READ MORE



Malarkey on the Potomac

Unlike my friend M, the well-informed and normally sober Washington Post columnist David Ignatius clings to the fantasy that “Iraq” is or ought to be politically viable, militarily capable, and socially cohesive. But surely this qualifies as wishful thinking.

Posted on Nov 24, 2014 READ MORE


Bird Flu

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Posted on Nov 24, 2014 READ MORE



Ververidis Vasilis / Shutterstock.com

A Big Election With Little Local Journalism

What if you held an election and nobody showed up to cover it? That’s what the 2014 midterms were like in much of the country.

Posted on Nov 21, 2014 READ MORE



White House Seeks Next Generation of High-Tech Weapons

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel announced that the U.S. military will research and develop new weapons systems based on cutting-edge technologies in attempt to maintain its military dominance.

Posted on Nov 16, 2014 READ MORE


The Afghanistan War Turned This Republican Soldier Into a Socialist Peace Activist

This week on Truthdig Radio in association with KPFK: Rory Fanning’s extraordinary journey, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler’s come-apart and California’s rebellious blue streak.

Posted on Nov 14, 2014 READ MORE


The Afghanistan War Turned This Republican Soldier Into a Socialist Peace Activist

This week on Truthdig Radio in association with KPFK: Rory Fanning’s extraordinary journey, FCC Chair Tom Wheeler’s come-apart, and California’s rebellious blue streak.

Posted on Nov 14, 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



Tomas Young, Rest in Peace

There were 8,920,000 military veterans in the United States as of last June, according to the Department of Veterans Affairs. Sometime last Sunday or Monday, hours before Veterans Day began, that number dropped by one, when Tomas Young died at home in Seattle, with his wife by his side.

Posted on Nov 13, 2014 READ MORE


Veterans Day

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Posted on Nov 11, 2014 READ MORE


VA Closed

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Posted on Nov 11, 2014 READ MORE


Observing Veterans Day

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Posted on Nov 11, 2014 READ MORE



Building an Escalation Machine

Sometimes it seemed that only two issues mattered in the midterm election campaigns just ended: ISIS and Ebola. Think of them as the two horsemen of the present American apocalypse. And count on this: Oppositional pressure to escalate will be a significant factor in Washington “debates” in the last years of the Obama administration.

Posted on Nov 6, 2014 READ MORE



Christopher Halloran / Shutterstock.com

What Would Republicans Do?

Republicans still refuse to articulate any vision for governing.

Posted on Oct 31, 2014 READ MORE



‘When Google Met WikiLeaks’: An Exclusive Excerpt

In 2011 WikiLeaks co-founder Julian Assange was visited by Google Chairman Eric Schmidt. Here, from Assange’s new book, is part of the extraordinary conversation that resulted.

Posted on Oct 29, 2014 READ MORE



Shutterstock

Western Masters Now Terrorized by Victims of Imperialism

The threat of terror produced by past victims of American Middle Eastern imperialism is alarming, but not new, and not historically isolated to the Middle East.

Posted on Oct 28, 2014 READ MORE



A Revisionist Take on President Obama

There is no shortage of bad news for President Obama, but history may be kinder to the man.

Posted on Oct 24, 2014 READ MORE



White House/Pete Souza

President Obama’s ‘Dumb’ War

The adventure against the Islamic State increasingly resembles the sort of conflict Barack Obama launched his career opposing.

Posted on Oct 24, 2014 READ MORE



AP Photo/Hadi Mizban

Blackwater Guards Convicted of 2007 Iraq Massacre

Four former employees of the private security firm formerly known as Blackwater were convicted Wednesday of a mass shooting during the Iraq War.

Posted on Oct 22, 2014 READ MORE


WMDs

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Posted on Oct 22, 2014 READ MORE


John Oliver on How America Is Turning Its Back on Middle Eastern Translators Who Risked Their Lives

In a moving (but of course, still funny) episode of “Last Week Tonight,” John Oliver sheds light on the plight of Iraqi and Afghani translators who worked for U.S. forces and contractors, a position that jeopardized the well-being of their families as well as themselves.

Posted on Oct 20, 2014 READ MORE


Chris Hedges Honors Humanists Combating the ‘Culture of War’

Truthdig columnist Chris Hedges channeled his solemn, sermonic style at Stony Point, N.Y., on Saturday at a dinner inaugurating the Anne Barstow and Tom Driver Award for Excellence in Nonviolent Direct Action in Retirement.

Posted on Oct 19, 2014 READ MORE



Fred Branfman Risked His Life for Ordinary People

Fred was one of the bravest and most decent journalists I ever encountered.

Posted on Oct 16, 2014 READ MORE



GoBOb / Shutterstock.com

The NSA Plays Villain to Captain America—Again

You know you’re living in strange times when the most jingoistic superhero goes to war with his own government.

Posted on Oct 15, 2014 READ MORE



Shutterstock

We Need Medical Boots on the Ground Now

The headlines shift hourly between Ebola and Islamic State. The question is often asked, “Should we put boots on the ground?” The answer is yes—but not in the Middle East.

Posted on Oct 15, 2014 READ MORE


Chris Hedges Takes On the ‘Global Culture of Violence’

On Sept. 28, Chris Hedges spoke at the Brooklyn Society for Ethical Culture’s Charley Horwitz Platform on the pervasive violence that characterizes our era and offered possible solutions.

Posted on Oct 15, 2014 READ MORE



U.S. Marine Corps/Cpl. Alex Walters

No Shock and No Awe

It’s not too soon to state the obvious: At this point, the war against the Islamic State can be seen only as failing.

Posted on Oct 15, 2014 READ MORE



White House/Pete Souza

White House Islamic State Strategy Amounts to Wishful Thinking

The notion that Iraq will “destroy” Islamic State at American behest is an illusion, and so is the notion that the coalition just formed can do it.

Posted on Oct 14, 2014 READ MORE



‘An Awfully Expensive Hammer to Hit a Couple of Cheap Nails’

“Last Saturday’s strikes” against Islamic State “are indicative of a key complexity of the U.S.-led campaign in Iraq and Syria,” Foreign Policy’s Justine Drennan writes at Stars and Stripes. “In throwing its hugely expensive 21st-century weaponry at a band of insurgents, the Pentagon is using planes that can cost nearly $200 million apiece against pickup trucks costing virtually pennies in comparison.”

Posted on Oct 10, 2014 READ MORE



U.S. Air Force/Tech. Sgt. Joseph Swafford Jr.

More Questions Than Answers in War With Islamic State

The decision of President Barack Obama to wage air war against the Islamic State still is swimming in a sea of confusion and doubt.

Posted on Oct 7, 2014 READ MORE



Zvonimir Atletic / Shutterstock.com

Seattle Replaces Columbus Day With Indigenous Peoples’ Day

Christopher Columbus was a genocidal maniac who is celebrated annually for “discovering” a land that was already inhabited by a people he would go on to enslave, torture and kill.

Posted on Oct 6, 2014 READ MORE


Bad Chemistry

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Posted on Oct 3, 2014 READ MORE


White House Security Breach: Coming Home

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Posted on Oct 2, 2014 READ MORE



U.S. Navy/MC1 Trevor Welsh

10 Myths About Obama’s Latest War

Reese Erlich was in northern Iraq at the start of the U.S. bombing campaign against Islamic State. He says the reality on the ground is far different from the propaganda coming out of Washington.

Posted on Oct 1, 2014 READ MORE



TonyV3112 / Shutterstock.com

China and Its Challenges

China may be said to confront four current categories of challenge, with a possible return to horrors past.

Posted on Sep 30, 2014 READ MORE



U.S. Air Force/Staff Sgt. Jonathan Snyder

Get the Authorization

President Obama should call Congress back to Washington for a special session to vote on authorizing war against the Islamic State. If he does not, Congress should return on its own to conduct this vital debate.

Posted on Sep 29, 2014 READ MORE



LEE SNIDER PHOTO IMAGES / Shutterstock.com

Learning From History

It is something of a cliche to quote George Santayana one more time, saying, "Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it." But for folks of my age, ignorant repetition has been a constant in our lives. And, of course, it is happening again right now.

Posted on Sep 29, 2014 READ MORE



Truthdigger of the Week: Jacob George

Tragic news of the young veteran received enormous attention over the past week. Friends and fellow veterans remember his warmth, wisdom and commitment to bringing the horrors of war to an end.

Posted on Sep 28, 2014 READ MORE


Chris Hedges Explains Why Bombing and Shooting Everyone Isn’t Working

This week on Truthdig Radio in association with KPFK: The Truthdig columnist says, “People don’t want to be occupied and they’re not going to stop until we leave.” Also: The best banned books, The Intercept’s digital bodyguard and why the war in Syria is probably not legal.

Posted on Sep 26, 2014 READ MORE


Chris Hedges Explains Why Bombing and Shooting Everyone Isn’t Working

This week on Truthdig Radio in association with KPFK: The columnist says, “People don’t want to be occupied and they’re not going to stop until we leave.” Also: The best banned books, The Intercept’s digital bodyguard and why the war in Syria is probably not legal.

Posted on Sep 26, 2014 READ MORE



U.S. Navy/MC1 Chad J. McNeeley

Bookends of a Presidency

President Obama began his presidency with a call for a “new beginning between the United States and Muslims around the world.” He will end it as a reluctant but unapologetic warrior.

Posted on Sep 26, 2014 READ MORE



Global Warming and Global Warring

Hours after 400,000 people joined in the largest climate march in history, the United States began bombing Syria, starting yet another war.

Posted on Sep 24, 2014 READ MORE



DoD photo by Mass Communication Specialist Carmichael Yepez, U.S. Navy

Why Are We Bombing Syria?

The administration’s response to the conjunction of this weekend’s People’s Climate March and the International Day of Peace? Bomb Syria.

Posted on Sep 23, 2014 READ MORE



Shutterstock

The Mideast Horrors Grow

Cutting off the heads of aid workers and journalists is nothing in comparison with the degradation and dehumanization being inflicted on the pathetic people of the Middle East by all sides.

Posted on Sep 23, 2014 READ MORE



U.S. Navy/Photographer's Mate 3rd Class Tyler J. Clements

American Amnesia: Why the GOP Leads on National Security

If the latest polls are accurate, most voters believe that Republican politicians deserve greater trust on matters of national security.

Posted on Sep 22, 2014 READ MORE



U.S. Marine Corps/Cpl. John A. Martinez Jr.

Obama May Have to Send Troops

President Obama is adamant that the war against the Islamic State will not escalate to the use of U.S. ground troops. But the more I see and hear of his strategy, the more I fear that “mission creep”—even if the president resists it—is baked in from the start.

Posted on Sep 19, 2014 READ MORE



U.S. Marine Corps/Lance Cpl. Darien J. Bjorndal

House Votes to Arm Syrian Rebels, but Not to Pay for It

With the help primarily of Republicans, President Obama’s plan to arm Syrian rebels won approval in the House on Wednesday.

Posted on Sep 17, 2014 READ MORE


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