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Tag: War

Obama Africa

Obama to Seek to End Africa’s Conflicts

It seems that President Obama has finally taken Africa seriously—and in a way that doesn’t look like Bush-era health funding that reeks of an infomercial for Christian charity. In a speech on Saturday, Obama is expected to focus on the importance of democratic governance on the continent and will make the ending of conflicts a key diplomatic initiative.

Posted on Jul 10, 2009 READ MORE

Kabul blast
AP photo

Explosives-Laden Truck Detonates, Kills 25 in Afghanistan

An overturned truck filled with timber and, it turned out, explosives blew up early Thursday morning in Logar province, Afghanistan, killing 25 people. Thirteen of the victims were children on their way to school, according to the Associated Press.

Posted on Jul 9, 2009 READ MORE

Time for a Second Revolution?

Hold on to your latte, there are some seriously pissed-off white Americans out there who are not happy with the way things are going—and they’re armed. Truthdig’s Chris Hedges leads this tour of “Americana: The 2nd Revolutionary War.”

Posted on Jul 8, 2009 READ MORE

AP photo / Hadi Mizban

So This Is What Victory Looks Like?

It is wishful thinking to believe that the Iraqi military will be able to hold the ruins of Iraqi society together without major U.S. intervention. The United States has assumed the role of Saddam’s Special Republican Guard, waiting to be called in to crush any sign of rebellion or insurrection. It’s a lose-lose situation with only one way out.

Posted on Jul 7, 2009 READ MORE

Robert McNamara

Posted on Jul 6, 2009 READ MORE

Thomas Paine
Portrait by Auguste Millière

The Age of Paine

“That filthy little atheist,” as Thomas Paine was called by Theodore Roosevelt, has few monuments dedicated to his memory. Building a bronze and marble monument to Paine will never revive the republic, but his words still carry an electric current of freedom. His intellectual and political energy is always available for rediscovery.

Posted on Jul 3, 2009 READ MORE

John McCain
AP photo / Charles Dharapak

Suddenly, a Trillion Dollars Is Too Expensive?

The senators who now claim we cannot afford to spend a trillion dollars to make long overdue changes in health care know exactly what that amount can buy. They know because they have spent it, year after year, on military misadventures and subsidies to big banks and corporations.

Posted on Jul 1, 2009 READ MORE

It’s Obama’s War Now

The U.S. military has launched the first major offensive of Barack Obama’s new Afghanistan strategy, sending thousands of troops to Helmand province under the moniker Operation Strike of the Sword.

Posted on Jul 1, 2009 READ MORE

U.S. Troops Leave Iraqi Cities, but Unsettled Issues Remain

Now that American troops are withdrawing from the cities of Iraq, the calculation must begin as to whether the loss of some half-million to million lives and the ruin of the infrastructure and social structure of Baghdad and much of the rest of the Iraqi nation have served some good purpose.

Posted on Jun 30, 2009 READ MORE

AP photo / Emad Matti

20 Killed in Kirkuk Suicide Bombing

A car bomb killed at least 20 people and wounded 40 in the northern Iraqi city of Kirkuk on Tuesday. The bombing comes on the heels of national celebrations marking U.S. troops’ pullback from Iraq’s cities and towns, and just a week after another suicide attack left 80 people dead in Taza Khurmatu, just south of Kirkuk.

Posted on Jun 30, 2009 READ MORE

The Long Goodbye

Posted on Jun 30, 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 / Bebeto Matthews

The Truth Alone Will Not Set You Free

The modern world, as Kafka predicted, has become a world where lies become true. And facts alone will be powerless to thwart the mendacity spun out through billions of dollars in corporate advertising, lobbying and control of traditional sources of information. The lines between artists, social activists and journalists have to be erased.

Posted on Jun 29, 2009 READ MORE

ENTER_ALT_TEXT - Ahmad al-Rubaye

GIs Aren’t Leaving Iraq Just Yet

As U.S. security forces prepare to pull back from Iraqi cities, violence has surged: In the past two weeks alone, some 200 people have died in suicide bombings. As a result of the heightened violence, some American troops are being repositioned in the areas surrounding the most volatile cities in an effort to ensure a more peaceful transition to Iraqi security forces.

Posted on Jun 26, 2009 READ MORE

Turning Soldiers Into Crusaders

“Fault Lines” has this disturbing look at efforts to transform American soldiers into “government-paid missionaries,” as one Christian fundamentalist group put it. Featuring Truthdig’s Chris Hedges.

Posted on Jun 26, 2009 READ MORE


Posted on Jun 25, 2009 READ MORE    

AP photo / Karim Kadim

Bomb Rips Baghdad Market Ahead of U.S. Pullback

At least 76 people were killed and more than 150 wounded in Baghdad by a bomb detonated in a busy marketplace Wednesday night. The bombing, just six days before U.S. security forces are set to pull back from Iraq’s cities and towns, was the third such incident to inflict double-digit civilian casualties in the last two weeks.

Posted on Jun 25, 2009 READ MORE

Iran’s Regime Reveals Its Brutality

The truly significant result of the suppressed Iranian revolt is that the most important Islamist radical movement in the contemporary world has demonstrated that it has become a brutally repressive dictatorship whose leaders rig elections and beat down clear popular demands.

Posted on Jun 23, 2009 READ MORE

Promises, Promises

Posted on Jun 23, 2009 READ MORE    

U.S. Navy / Lt. j.g. James Dietle

Order to U.S. Troops: No Firefights Near Afghan Villagers

Gen. Stanley McChrystal is rolling out a new order to U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan with the hope of reducing rampant civilian casualties. If soldiers find themselves in a fight near Afghan homes, they are to “remove themselves from the area” as long as they can do so “safely, without any undue danger to the forces,” a military spokesman explained.

Posted on Jun 22, 2009 READ MORE

Uncle Sam

Posted on Jun 21, 2009 READ MORE    

Obama’s Iran Dilemma

The president’s initial caution served the interests of freedom by making clear that the revolt against Iran’s flawed election is homegrown. As the struggle continues, we cannot pretend that we are indifferent to its outcome.

Posted on Jun 21, 2009 READ MORE

Bill Maher

Bill Maher: ‘Democrats Are the New Republicans’

Last week Bill Maher took on the president. This week, the “Real Time” host accuses the Democrats of selling out their principles to hedge funds and polluters: ” ... over the last 30-odd years, Democrats have moved to the right and the right has moved into a mental hospital.”

Posted on Jun 21, 2009 READ MORE


Rise in GI Alcohol Abuse Indicated

The number of U.S. soldiers enrolled in alcohol dependency or abuse programs has doubled since 2003, which isn’t surprising considering GIs are deploying on more and longer tours with less down time between. And these stats are probably hiding a bigger problem in consumption, considering that commanders have to be notified if someone is in treatment. So what of those that aren’t seeking help?

Posted on Jun 19, 2009 READ MORE

Daring to Dream

Most of the great American advances, from the airplane to the Constitution, were born from reinvention, not tinkering. For all the positive, even admirable steps Obama’s America seems poised to take, the aspirations still seem too small, too unimaginative, too confined by old conceptions of how things must work.

Posted on Jun 18, 2009 READ MORE

The War Between Civilizations That Never Was

The West was wrong about this being a war of civilizations, and so were the Muslims. Islamic civilization is experiencing a double crisis, of modernity and of religion. Nothing could be clearer today in Tehran.

Posted on Jun 18, 2009 READ MORE

U.S. Air Force / Senior Airman Erica J. Knight

Congress Funds Wars With Billions to Spare

After the president signs a $106 billion emergency supplemental, the U.S. will have shelled out about $1 trillion in “emergency” funding for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan—not including the Pentagon’s obscene annual budget, exponentially expanding health care costs for wounded troops, and the interest on all that debt. True to form, lawmakers threw in $2.7 billion worth of cargo planes no one asked for.

Posted on Jun 18, 2009 READ MORE

The Islamic Republic Is Not in Danger

Few think that the demonstrations in Tehran, and now in other Iranian cities, can produce a change in regime. What is being challenged is the reactionary social and political form the Iranian system has assumed under Ahmadinejad and the most conservative clerics.

Posted on Jun 16, 2009 READ MORE

Wikimedia Commons

The American Empire Is Bankrupt

This week marks the end of the dollar’s reign as the world’s reserve currency. It marks the start of a terrible period of economic and political decline in the United States. And it signals the last gasp of the American imperium. That’s over. It is not coming back. And what is to come will be very, very painful.

Posted on Jun 14, 2009 READ MORE

ENTER_ALT_TEXT / Staff Sgt. William Greeson

Violence Up—Way Up—in Afghanistan

Gen. David Petraeus announced Thursday that violence in Afghanistan has spiked 59 percent in recent months, hitting its highest level since the fall of the Taliban in 2001. American troops in the country now number 56,000 and will increase to 68,000 in the second half of this year. Petraeus said a coming increase in U.S. military activity signals that the trend of rising violence and casualties will continue.

Posted on Jun 12, 2009 READ MORE


Hearts and Minds Redux

“Decapitation strategies don’t work.” Those words, uttered by the newly named U.S. commander in Afghanistan, Gen. Stanley McChrystal, mark a shift in the military strategy in Afghanistan. Yes, indeed—it seems to have taken the Pentagon eight years to realize that “you’re going to have to convince people, not kill them.”

Posted on Jun 12, 2009 READ MORE

AP photo / Ben Curtis

America’s Foreign Policy Phobias Are Overblown

Recent developments in the Middle East and Central Asia, from Iran’s raucous election to Pakistan’s tribal revolt against the Taliban, cast doubt once again on Washington’s basic assumptions and anxieties.

Posted on Jun 10, 2009 READ MORE


Posted on Jun 10, 2009 READ MORE

America’s Bombs Are Still Exploding in Laos

When the United States finished bombing Laos back in the early 1970s, it left behind an estimated 80 million unexploded bombs. They are still exploding, maiming an average of 300 people a year in the sparsely populated country. What horrors will our current adventures bring decades from now?

Posted on Jun 10, 2009 READ MORE

Two Men Who Stood Under the Plunderers’ Knives

Ken Saro-Wiwa and Alberto Pizango never met, but they are united by a passion for the preservation of their people and their land, and by the fervor with which they were targeted by their respective governments.

Posted on Jun 9, 2009 READ MORE

‘Colbert Report’ Invades Iraq

Stephen Colbert, in a hilarious outfit, has taken his show to one of Saddam Hussein’s old palaces in Baghdad to entertain the men and women of the U.S military. Watch President Obama order Gen. Ray Odierno to give Colbert’s coif a military makeover. Update: Full videos added.

Posted on Jun 9, 2009 READ MORE

Being Obama Matters

I used to fear that the president was overestimating the power of his personal history as an instrument of foreign policy. Now I wonder if he might have been underestimating.

Posted on Jun 8, 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

book cover

Susie Linfield on How to Think About the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

A provocative new book, “One State, Two States,” by revisionist Israeli historian Benny Morris breaks a taboo by asking whether anti-Zionism has become the anti-imperialism of fools. Can his polemic act as the ax that helps break up the frozen and brittle nature of a debate over the seemingly intractable war between Palestinians and Jews?

Posted on Jun 5, 2009 READ MORE

Whither the Sacred Campaign Promise?

Historically, Americans generally held campaign promises sacred. Just ask the first President Bush. But now behavior by President Obama suggests a systemic assault on the campaign promise is under way.

Posted on Jun 4, 2009 READ MORE

Obama’s Cairo Speech: Significant, Eloquent—and Perhaps Just the Beginning

Obama’s speech was distinguished by the quality of his previous major speeches, that of speaking as an adult to adults. He promised to say what he thought, and did so on all of the topics he addressed. Correction

Posted on Jun 4, 2009 READ MORE


U.N. Official Seeks More Clarity on Civilian Deaths

U.N. rapporteur Philip Alston called for greater disclosure and accountability for the number of civilian deaths caused by the U.S. in its overseas conflicts. He expressed “strong concern at the continuing problem of preventable civilian casualties” and demanded “real accountability based on credible independent investigations.”

Posted on Jun 4, 2009 READ MORE

USMC / Lance Cpl. Chad J. Pulliam

Airstrike Rules Broken, Pentagon Finds

U.S. forces in Afghanistan have developed a reputation for bombing first and asking questions later. According to The New York Times, an internal Pentagon investigation confirms that the rules of engagement were not followed properly during airstrikes on May 4, resulting in the deaths of 20 to 140 civilians (depending on whether you take the U.S. or Afghan estimate).

Posted on Jun 3, 2009 READ MORE

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

laughing dick cheney
White House photo by David Bohrer

Cheney Disavows 9/11-Iraq Link

On Monday, former Veep Dick Cheney admitted at long last that there was no link between the Sept. 11 attacks and Iraq, contrary to what the Bush administration had led the nation to believe in 2003 in order to justify waging a war on a country rich in history, culture ... and oil. Tens of thousands of Iraqi and American casualties later, we thank you, Dick.

Posted on Jun 1, 2009 READ MORE

AP photo / Khalid Mohammed

War Is Sin

Those who return from war have learned something which is often incomprehensible to those who have stayed home. We are not a virtuous nation. War is neither glorious nor noble. And we carry within us the capacity for evil we ascribe to those we fight.

Posted on Jun 1, 2009 READ MORE

America’s Changing Moral Universe

Way back in 2004, pollsters and pundits just knew that cultural and moral issues were the wave of the future. But a funny thing happened on the road to the revival tent. Updated

Posted on May 31, 2009 READ MORE

The Horror

Posted on May 31, 2009 READ MORE

Bill Maher: America Is Greedy, Not Good

The “Real Time” host takes exception to American exceptionalism, the idea that Americans are unique and superior despite a penchant for poisoning, imprisoning and killing each other just to make a buck.

Posted on May 31, 2009 READ MORE

What Will Obama Say in Cairo?

Next week President Barack Obama travels to Cairo to deliver what is expected to be a major statement on relations between the United States and the Islamic world, but informed skeptics predict his new approach to the region will resemble the late months of the Bush administration.

Posted on May 29, 2009 READ MORE

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