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January 31, 2015
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Classics for Pleasure

By Michael Dirda

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Tag: War


Why the Israeli-Hezbollah Tit for Tat Probably Won’t Turn Into a War

Last week an Israeli helicopter gunship targeted Hezbollah outposts in Syria southwest of Damascus, near the front with the rebel Support Front (Syria al-Qaeda), which controls the Golan Heights on the Syrian side.

Posted on Jan 31, 2015 READ MORE



Pentagon Finally Identifies the Remains of a POW Lost Since 1942

Long buried alongside hundreds of other U.S. soldiers in the Philippines, Pvt. Arthur “Bud” Kelder is on his way home after a lawsuit by his family and an investigation by ProPublica and NPR.

Posted on Jan 28, 2015 READ MORE



AP/Adel Hana

Cutting Through the Hysteria Over Court’s Gaza War Probe

Here are the facts about the International Criminal Court’s examination of crimes committed in the 2014 fighting.

Posted on Jan 28, 2015 READ MORE



‘More’ and ‘War’: The Tao of Washington

In a sense, there are only two operative words in twenty-first-century Washington: more and war. In this context, there really is just one well-policed party of thought in town.

Posted on Jan 22, 2015 READ MORE



White House/Pete Souza

Obama: Damn the Torpedoes

“This is good news, people.” With those five words, President Obama made clear that he thinks it’s far more important to win a long-term argument with his partisan and ideological opponents than to pretend that they are eager to seize opportunities to work with him.

Posted on Jan 21, 2015 READ MORE



A Breakdown of the Top Foreign Policy Points in Obama’s Speech

President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address slighted foreign policy in favor of touting domestic progress and proposing new domestic initiatives. But there were some foreign policy highlights worth underlining.

Posted on Jan 21, 2015 READ MORE



Airstrike in Syria: Is Israel Trying to Help al-Qaida Fight Against Hezbollah and Iran?

There are several questions around the Israeli helicopter gunship strike on Mazari` al-Amal in Syria’s Quneitra Province, which killed Hezbollah personnel and an Iranian general.

Posted on Jan 21, 2015 READ MORE



AP/Mandel Ngan

State of the Union: Bright Ideas, Dim Future

Obama fans loyally hailed the speech as a triumph. But in the real world if you don’t have the votes you’re a loser.

Posted on Jan 20, 2015 READ MORE



DoD photo by Senior Airman Peter Reft, U.S. Air Force

War Mania Will Only Fan Muslim Cultural Crisis in Europe

The upheaval in non-Muslim attitudes towards Muslims presents a bigger and more urgent problem than what the Muslims think about us, even when they kill us.

Posted on Jan 20, 2015 READ MORE


A Well Explicated Militia

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Posted on Jan 19, 2015 READ MORE    



Shutterstock

Why Violent Extremists Welcome Attacks on Islam

Whenever an act of horrific terror enrages the West, a predictable second act ensues.

Posted on Jan 16, 2015 READ MORE



AP/Marco Garcia

Letter to a Young Army Ranger (From an Old One)

Rory Fanning, an Army Ranger who served with Pat Tillman and became a conscientious objector, writes this letter to young Americans targeted by Army recruiters. (At right, a recruiter.)

Posted on Jan 13, 2015 READ MORE



Frederic Legrand - COMEO / Shutterstock.com

Paris’ Place in the Middle Eastern Wars

The recent excitement in Paris produced an occasion of great surprise to an American observer, certainly to one who witnessed the transformational fear exacted from America’s governing elite by the 9/11 attacks in 2001.

Posted on Jan 13, 2015 READ MORE



NATO/ISAF

Why Isn’t David Petraeus on Trial?

The U.S. government has treated principled whistle-blowers like treasonous spies, yet Attorney General Eric Holder has reportedly ignored recommendations from his own FBI and Justice Department to prosecute former CIA chief David Petraeus.

Posted on Jan 9, 2015 READ MORE



A Self-Perpetuating Machine for American Insecurity

Imagine yourself in January 1963, alive and chastened by a world in which you could be obliterated at any moment. Imagine as well that someone from our time suddenly invited you into the American future some 52 Januaries hence.

Posted on Jan 8, 2015 READ MORE


Afghanistan War

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Posted on Jan 2, 2015 READ MORE


War in Afghanistan

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Posted on Dec 31, 2014 READ MORE



AP/Carolyn Kaster

The Devil You Know

It’s not often that name recognition is a bad thing. But from a marketing standpoint, Hillary Clinton is stuck in a rut.

Posted on Dec 30, 2014 READ MORE



Feds Bar Companies’ Long-Distance Lawsuits Against Soldiers

In the latest move against companies targeting military customers, federal regulators prohibit two Virginia-based lenders from suing out-of-state debtors in Virginia courts.

Posted on Dec 27, 2014 READ MORE



Long Live the Christmas Truce

One hundred years ago today, German and Allied soldiers “defied their superiors to declare a truce … providing a glimpse of the power that people without rank or privilege have to determine their own destinies.”

Posted on Dec 25, 2014 READ MORE



ChameleonsEye / Shutterstock.com

A Brief Military History of Israel and a Prediction for the Future

The armies of Israel once fought brilliantly and to the benefit of the state, but more recent conflicts targeting civilians only serve to isolate the country and alienate its most important allies.

Posted on Dec 23, 2014 READ MORE



American Torture—Past, Present, and… Future?

Mainstream coverage of U.S. torture in general and of the new Senate report in particular rests on three false assumptions: 1. The most important question is whether torture “worked.” 2. U.S. torture ended when George W. Bush left office. 3. The only kind of torture that really “counts” happens in foreign war zones. Let’s look at each of these in order.

Posted on Dec 15, 2014 READ MORE



The Top 5 Planks of a 2016 GOP Platform: Torture, War, Bank Corruption and Paid-For Elections

This week, the release by the Senate of a report on torture as practiced in the zeroes by the CIA, along with Thursday night’s dramatic vote on an omnibus spending bill, laid bare the shape of the GOP platform in 2016.

Posted on Dec 13, 2014 READ MORE



Truthdig’s Books of the Year: Part One

Whether on climate change, soaring wealth inequality, or the surveillance state, this has been a year of calls to action.

Posted on Dec 12, 2014 READ MORE



Shutterstock

Answering Evil With Evil

The “debate” over torture is almost as grotesque as torture itself. There can be no legitimate debate about the intentional infliction of pain upon captive and defenseless human beings.

Posted on Dec 12, 2014 READ MORE



Why No One Remembers the Peacemakers

Go to war and every politician will thank you, and they’ll continue to do so—with monuments and statues, war museums and military cemeteries—long after you’re dead. But who thanks those who refused to fight, even in wars that most people later realized were tragic mistakes?

Posted on Dec 11, 2014 READ MORE


No Peace On Earth

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Posted on Dec 7, 2014 READ MORE



The Unsubstantial Air

This “terrific book,” by Sam Hynes who spent WWII as a marine pilot, is written with personal knowledge of what it was to be young and learning to fly, and of the gains and losses that combat flying brings to those who engage in it.

Posted on Dec 5, 2014 READ MORE



Party On!

Unbelievably enough, a bankrupt 13-year-old policy of war to the horizon remains ascendant in Washington, and “war fever” seems to be breaking out yet again. In this context, it’s curious that four crucial aspects of war, American-style, were missing from the blitz of Hagel reportage.

Posted on Dec 4, 2014 READ MORE



plavevski / Shutterstock.com

No to War, Hot or Cold, With Russia

U.S.-Russia relations have deteriorated severely in the past decade and they are about to get worse, if the House passes H. Res. 758.

Posted on Dec 1, 2014 READ MORE



The Bush Administration Spent Billions on an Iraqi Army With 50,000 ‘Ghost’ Soldiers

Iraqi Prime Minister Haydar al-Abadi announced to his parliament Sunday that inspectors had uncovered 50,000 nonexistent soldiers in four divisions of the Iraqi army.

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



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


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