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War of the Whales


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Tag: War

The Bush Years

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Posted on Jan 22, 2009 READ MORE


In Box

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Posted on Jan 22, 2009 READ MORE


Gaza Rubble
Maan Images / Mohamed Al-Zanon

Israeli Troops Finally Out?

About 1,300 Palestinians dead, $2 billion in damage and thousands of devastated families later, Israel claims it has officially pulled its troops from the Gaza Strip after its three-week assault—with no formal deal between Israel and Hamas and thus no real change in relations between the two sides.

Posted on Jan 21, 2009 READ MORE



U.S. Army / Staff Sgt. Jon Soucy

Obama Puts Gitmo Trials on Hold

President Obama has asked for a stay in all military tribunals at Guantanamo Bay while his administration figures out how to handle the legal cases of the detainees still held in the island prison. The move was welcomed by Human Rights Watch and the ACLU as a positive first step.

Posted on Jan 20, 2009 READ MORE


A Long Train Ride

Barack Obama rode to Washington, D.C., for his presidential inauguration on a whistle-stop tour, which was compared to the train ride taken by Abraham Lincoln in 1861. The train holds a deeper symbolism, though, that undergirds Obama’s historic ascension to the White House.

Posted on Jan 20, 2009 READ MORE


What Can Obama Learn From Bush?

The Bush administration’s specific failures—in foreign and domestic policy and on matters related to civil liberties—are clear enough. Yet the deeper cause of the public’s disaffection goes beyond these specifics.

Posted on Jan 20, 2009 READ MORE



AP photo / Hatem Moussa

Peace Is in the Eye of the Beholder

I do not like Hamas. I detest religious fundamentalism and the use of suicide bombers. I find the group’s anti-Semitism and ruthless silencing of internal Palestinian opponents repugnant. The rocket attacks on Israeli civilians are a war crime. But this does not negate the legitimacy of Palestinian resistance to the long Israeli siege and occupation of Gaza.

Posted on Jan 19, 2009 READ MORE



AP photo / Eyad Baba

To Each His Own Cease-Fire

Shortly after Israel declared a unilateral cease-fire in Gaza, Hamas followed suit with its own separate announcement. Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said Israel would withdraw troops “as soon as possible,” and Hamas said it would give Israel a week to do just that.

Posted on Jan 18, 2009 READ MORE


book cover

Christian Appy on ‘Mekong Diaries’

Sherry Buchanan, previously the author of “Vietnam Zippos,”  gathers together drawings, poems, letters and oral histories by 10 Viet Cong artists and offers a radically different view of the fighters whom Americans branded as Reds, gooks and fanatical killers.

Posted on Jan 16, 2009 READ MORE


Mekong Diaries

Posted on Jan 15, 2009 READ MORE


British Foreign Secretary Criticizes ‘War on Terror’

David Miliband has written a sour review of the “war on terror,” challenging the worldview pushed by George W. Bush and Miliband’s former boss, Tony Blair. War is not the answer, Miliband warns. Instead, “We must respond to terrorism by championing the rule of law, not subordinating it. ... We must uphold our commitments to human rights and civil liberties at home and abroad.”

Posted on Jan 15, 2009 READ MORE


Guantanamo protest
AP photo / Mary Altaffer

U.S. Fails in Human Rights Role

It is unsurprising that a group like Human Rights Watch has condemned the Bush government for jettisoning the U.S. role as a defender of global human rights: Numerous examples—Guantanamo, gay marriage, Iraq, etc.—accentuate this failure.

Posted on Jan 14, 2009 READ MORE


Buildings Destroyed in Gaza
Maan Images / Wissam Nassar

Next Stop: Tensiontown, Israel

As the death toll of Israel’s bombardment of the Gaza Strip moves past 1,000, tensions between Arab Israelis and Jewish Israelis are growing. Some of the country’s Arab population is increasingly vocal in denouncing the bombings, while some Israeli politicians are trying to ban the re-election of Arabs to parliament on the grounds of alleged national disloyalty.

Posted on Jan 14, 2009 READ MORE


The Drama of Reciprocal Self-Destruction

The people of Gaza and Israel suffer at the hands of leaders whose bewildering and savage decisions have no rationally achievable purpose.

Posted on Jan 13, 2009 READ MORE



AP photo / Abdel Kareem Hana

The Language of Death

Israel will, from now on, speak to the Palestinians in the language of death. And the language of death is all the Palestinians will be able to speak back. The slaughter—let’s stop pretending this is a war—is empowering an array of radical Islamists inside and outside of Gaza.

Posted on Jan 12, 2009 READ MORE


Targeting Hamas

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Posted on Jan 12, 2009 READ MORE


Gaza Casualties
Theatrum Belli

Why Do They Hate the West So Much, We Will Ask

So once again, Israel has opened the gates of hell to the Palestinians. Forty civilian refugees dead in a United Nations school, three more in another. Not bad for a night’s work in Gaza by the army that believes in “purity of arms”. But why should we be surprised?

Posted on Jan 9, 2009 READ MORE


book cover
amazon.com

Jay Feldman on ‘Concentration Camps on the Home Front’

A revelatory account of a hidden chapter of the treatment of Japanese-Americans during World War II deepens our understanding of American prejudice and the abuse of power.

Posted on Jan 9, 2009 READ MORE



abc.go.com

‘Homeland Security USA’: The Outtakes

The inaugural episode of ABC’s newest reality television series did exactly as producer Arnold Shapiro told viewers it would: unabashedly celebrated the Department of Homeland Security. It also failed in every conceivable way to critically examine the largest reorganization of the federal government since World War II.

Posted on Jan 9, 2009 READ MORE


The Politician in Chief Works for a Stimulus

The substantive issues surrounding an economic stimulus are clearer than the politics of getting it passed fast. Here’s how Obama is trying to weave the politics and the substance together.

Posted on Jan 8, 2009 READ MORE


Should the Torturers Go on Trial?

The impending end of the Bush administration and the inauguration of Barack Obama pose the enormous and explosive question of what to do about those responsible for what are regarded by a significant part of the world as war crimes.

Posted on Jan 8, 2009 READ MORE



un.org / unrwa

U.N. Suspends Gaza Aid, Blames Israel

The United Nations is suspending relief activity in the Gaza Strip following multiple attacks by Israeli forces. “Our installations have been hit, our workers have been killed in spite of the fact that the Israeli authorities have the co-ordinates of our facilities and that all our movements are co-ordinated with the Israeli army,” said a U.N. Relief and Works Agency spokesman quoted by the BBC.

Posted on Jan 8, 2009 READ MORE


Obama
AP photo / Rina Castelnuovo, pool

Obama Will Back Israel

The president-elect has struggled to stay out of the Gaza fight, but based on everything he said during the campaign, he appears determined to stand up for Israel.

Posted on Jan 8, 2009 READ MORE


Joe the Plumber
Flickr / ronnie44052

Joe the Plumber to Report on Gaza—Seriously

The Paris Hilton of conservative politics is back and more preposterous than ever. Joe “the Plumber” Wurzelbacher is headed to the Middle East to report on the war in Gaza for Pajamas Media. But isn’t that dangerous? Not to worry, says Joe: “Being a Christian I’m pretty well protected by God, I believe.”

Posted on Jan 7, 2009 READ MORE


Success

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Posted on Jan 7, 2009 READ MORE    


The Last Israeli and the Last Palestinian Meet

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Posted on Jan 7, 2009 READ MORE


Israeli Voices for Peace

While the Israeli government, dominated by hawks in the midst of a political campaign, has escalated its assault on Gaza, there are many Israelis who are outraged by what’s happening.

Posted on Jan 6, 2009 READ MORE


Middle Eastern Vultures

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Posted on Jan 6, 2009 READ MORE


Yukking It Up at the Blago Show

I am supposed to be typing out words that articulate a highly audible and terribly alarmed tsk tsk. Instead, I am laughing with unrestrained amusement at the farce that Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich has engineered. Honestly, I haven’t had this much fun since New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer’s implosion.

Posted on Jan 6, 2009 READ MORE


Cheney

Dick Cheney on Iraq ‘Success’

After operating largely out of the spotlight for the last eight years, Vice President Dick Cheney continued his Sudden Visibility Press Tour on Sunday as he prepared to leave office. Here, he talks to CBS’ Bob Schieffer on “Face the Nation” about how he thinks his administration fared in the Iraq war.

Posted on Jan 5, 2009 READ MORE



Flickr / Amir Farshad Ebrahimi

The ‘Blood Pipeline’ Test

Haaretz’s Gideon Levy recalls the mathematician whose dutiful students drew up plans for a “blood pipeline” without questioning why it should be built. With Gaza, he warns, Israel faces such a test and “when the time comes for reckoning, we will need to remember the damage this war did to Israel.”

Posted on Jan 4, 2009 READ MORE


Gaza Protest In West Bank
Ma'an Images

Gaza’s ‘Critical Emergency’

The United Nations marked Israel’s seventh day of aerial attacks by warning of a “critical emergency” in the Gaza Strip, as Palestinians endure food and medical supply shortages and distribution problems even as estimates of dead and wounded Palestinians continue to rise.

Posted on Jan 2, 2009 READ MORE



amazon.com

Andrew Nagorski on the Bolsheviks’ Crimes

There was a time when Russia was an economic power on the rise. Sean McMeekin’s new book, “History’s Greatest Heist: The Looting of Russia by the Bolsheviks,” explains what nipped that growth in the bud.

Posted on Jan 2, 2009 READ MORE


Our Cuba Policy: A Failure at 50

President-elect Obama will have more urgent matters to deal with after he takes the oath of office. But somewhere on his long to-do list, he should make a note to finally bring five decades of counterproductive American policy toward Cuba to a definitive end.

Posted on Jan 1, 2009 READ MORE


FDR Prolonged the Depression? Really?

If you’re like me, you sometimes find yourself speechless when confronted with abject insanity, such as conservatives’ newest talking point—the one designed to stop Congress from passing an economic stimulus package.

Posted on Jan 1, 2009 READ MORE


Believe It or Not, 2008 Was Relatively Nonviolent

Peace is not at hand, at least not as Americans define it. Yet peace has been breaking out all over.

Posted on Jan 1, 2009 READ MORE


The 21st Century Is Finally Here, a Bit Behind Schedule

Social and political epochs rarely end precisely on schedules provided by calendars. The outcome of this year’s election means that 2009 will, finally, mark the beginning of the 21st century.

Posted on Dec 31, 2008 READ MORE


Message From Hamas

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Posted on Dec 29, 2008 READ MORE


Happy Hanukkah

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Posted on Dec 29, 2008 READ MORE    


Gaza Morgue Runs Out of Room

Shifa hospital in Gaza has struggled to keep pace with Israel’s punishing airstrikes. Bloomberg reports that the hospital’s morgue has three bodies crammed in each drawer, with dozens more lying on stretchers.

Posted on Dec 29, 2008 READ MORE



AP photo / Hatem Moussa

Leaders Lie, Civilians Die, and Lessons of History Are Ignored

We’ve got so used to the carnage of the Middle East that we don’t care anymore—providing we don’t offend the Israelis.

Posted on Dec 29, 2008 READ MORE


Freedom Christmas

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Posted on Dec 28, 2008 READ MORE    


pakistan border
AP photo / Musa Khan

Amid Tensions, Pakistan Moves Troops

In a rebuke to U.S. interests in the region and amid growing tensions between two nuclear powers, Pakistan is moving its forces from its border with Afghanistan—where Pakistani troops are fighting against the Taliban—and restricting soldiers from going on leave, as fears of conflict with India continue to grow.

Posted on Dec 26, 2008 READ MORE


Economic Death and Millionaire Taxes

For most of us, Benjamin Franklin’s words in 1789 still apply: “Nothing is certain but death and taxes.” However, millionaires, by definition, are not most of us.

Posted on Dec 26, 2008 READ MORE


Don’t Be Fooled by Bush’s Farewell Tour

The 43rd president is going home with less remorse and fewer regrets than my grandchildren express for spilling their cereal.

Posted on Dec 24, 2008 READ MORE


Gifts Worthy of Christmas

On this consumer holiday, let us recognize those whose satisfaction comes not from accumulating material goods or political power: The relief workers and community builders lending their energy to the poorest people in villages and urban slums scattered around the globe.

Posted on Dec 24, 2008 READ MORE


What Nixon Admitted (and Cheney Won’t)

To understand the philosophy of government that Dick Cheney brought to Washington over the past seven years, it is most instructive to see “Frost/Nixon,” with Frank Langella’s remarkable reanimation of Tricky Dick for a generation that never knew him.

Posted on Dec 24, 2008 READ MORE



USAF / Michael B. Keller

The Road Out of Iraq Begins in Vietnam

Iraq is not Vietnam, yet there are parallels between the two wars. The American military dominated the battlefield in both conflicts, and yet America the nation emerged the loser in each. A “decent interval” is now needed for American troops to withdraw.

Posted on Dec 24, 2008 READ MORE



mexicanpictures.com

Back to the Future: U.S. to Arm Afghan Militias

Because it worked out so well the last time, the U.S. plans to arm Afghan militias in an effort to police the country. The Pentagon is presenting this plan—and the media are reporting it—as a spinoff of a successful strategy in Iraq, not a revival of the secret war that gave rise to Osama bin Laden and the Taliban.

Posted on Dec 23, 2008 READ MORE



White House / Eric Draper

From ‘Mission Accomplished’ to ‘So What?’

The history-be-my-judge interviews that President Bush and Vice President Cheney have been giving recently help me understand their choices—but also reinforce my confident belief, and my fervent hope, that history will throw the book at them.

Posted on Dec 23, 2008 READ MORE


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