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October 10, 2015
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A River Dies of Thirst: journals

A River Dies of Thirst: journals

By Mahmoud Darwish



By Herman Melville

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Tag: War

War in Afghanistan

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 /

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


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

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 /

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

Posted on Nov 24, 2014 READ MORE

Ververidis Vasilis /

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

Posted on Nov 11, 2014 READ MORE

VA Closed

Posted on Nov 11, 2014 READ MORE

Observing Veterans Day

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 /

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


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


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 /

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


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 /

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

Posted on Oct 3, 2014 READ MORE

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