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Tag: War

Flickr / trokilinochchi

20,000 Killed While No One Was Watching

The London Times reports that the final weeks of fighting in Sri Lanka’s civil war claimed more than 20,000 civilian lives, mostly at the hands of government forces. A U.N. official tells the paper the actual figure is “Higher. ... Keep going.” The government kept aid workers and reporters away during a three-week bombardment that ultimately ended the 26-year war.

Posted on May 28, 2009 READ MORE

flag at half mast

Escalating Suicides Shut Down Routine Duties at Base

Fort Campbell, a military base in Kentucky that had the most suicides of any Army base this year, has halted routine duties for three days in order to seek out and aid distressed soldiers who may be thinking of taking their own lives. In January through March alone, the base saw an average of one suicide per week.

Posted on May 28, 2009 READ MORE

Flickr / Foreign and Commonwealth Office

U.N. Official Calls for Probe of Sri Lanka War Crimes

U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay said both sides in Sri Lanka’s civil war “grossly disregarded the fundamental principle of the inviolability of civilians.” She has called for an “independent and credible international investigation,” although she’s up against the notoriously impotent U.N. Human Rights Council and a bristling Sri Lankan government.

Posted on May 26, 2009 READ MORE

The West’s Reckless Approach to Relations With Russia

The basic question is whether the United States wishes to treat Russia as a permanent enemy, even if it is not. The result of treating states as enemies is that sooner or later they become them.

Posted on May 26, 2009 READ MORE

U.S. Joins the Digital Arms Race

Jealous of Russia and China’s hacking prowess, the Pentagon is trying to beef up its cyberwarfare capabilities by developing a gadget that would enable a run-of-the-mill soldier to hop on your wireless network, take over a power plant and everything between.

Posted on May 26, 2009 READ MORE

White House / Lawrence Jackson

Obama Sends Rebs a Wreath

President Obama decided not to break with White House custom this Memorial Day and sent a wreath to honor the fallen Confederate soldiers who wanted nothing to do with the Union. But he also started a new and long-overdue tradition by honoring the hundreds of thousands of black Americans who fought against the South.

Posted on May 25, 2009 READ MORE


Posted on May 25, 2009 READ MORE    

Daisy Gun

Posted on May 25, 2009 READ MORE    

Shooting Shit

Posted on May 25, 2009 READ MORE    

Real One

Posted on May 25, 2009 READ MORE    

Memorial Day

Posted on May 25, 2009 READ MORE    

Obama and the Limits of Mastery

President Obama wants to build a new liberal majority and to do it he’s trying to charm everyone left of Rush Limbaugh. That strategy has led to some awkward moments.

Posted on May 24, 2009 READ MORE

ENTER_ALT_TEXT / Sgt. Edwin Bridges

U.S. Soldier Guns Down 5 Comrades

An American soldier was taken into custody after shooting five fellow military personnel to death and wounding three others in Baghdad on Monday. The incident, which occurred at a combat stress center, marks the highest single-incident death toll for the U.S. military since April.

Posted on May 11, 2009 READ MORE

Gates Orders a Change of Command in Afghanistan

The Pentagon will be replacing the current top American commander in Afghanistan, Gen. David McKiernan, who has served in the position a mere 11 months. The decision comes on the heels of President Obama’s new plan for Afghanistan and Pakistan and marks a clear change in strategy in an increasingly complex war.

Posted on May 11, 2009 READ MORE

book cover

Lou Cannon on Ronald Reagan

The debate over our 40th president’s role in ending the Cold War continues with the publication of James Mann’s “The Rebellion of Ronald Reagan.”

Posted on May 1, 2009 READ MORE

Combating Epidemic Ignorance

Some on the right are blaming immigrants for swine flu in the U.S. Actually, the outbreak had nothing to do with immigrants and everything to do with ordinary travel and commerce.

Posted on Apr 29, 2009 READ MORE

Disclosure of ‘Secrets’ in the ’70s Didn’t Destroy the Nation

Back in the Watergate era, the Senate’s Church Committee exposed government abuses. Of course some people tried to block its work. You may have heard of a couple of them—Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld.

Posted on Apr 29, 2009 READ MORE

Look to the Law—Not to Whether Torture ‘Works’

The calls for an independent commission to investigate torture usually argue that a congressional investigation, or a Justice Department criminal investigation, would become so politicized as to be hopelessly compromised. I am not sure this is true.

Posted on Apr 28, 2009 READ MORE

White House / Pete Souza

Enough With This ‘100 Days’ Nonsense

On what basis have the cable channels decided that President Obama’s first hundred days are the most important thing to happen in the history of the world? As in the case of FDR before him, much has happened in the beginning of the president’s first term—and there is much more to come.

Posted on Apr 28, 2009 READ MORE

Too Old

Posted on Apr 27, 2009 READ MORE    

What to Make of the Ironic Mr. Obama

How many ironies can a single presidency engender? A cool man who has aroused both warm feelings of affection and a fiery opposition, Obama is seen as too moderate by parts of the left, but the right thinks he has a radical statist agenda.

Posted on Apr 26, 2009 READ MORE

book cover

Eve Pell on America’s Culture of Punishment

“Cruel and Unusual” by Anne-Marie Cusac reveals a startling reality: Since 1973, America’s imprisonment rate has jumped more than five times and is now the highest in the world. Why?

Posted on Apr 24, 2009 READ MORE

Torture Is a Crime, and Crimes Demand Prosecution

Obama wants to avoid a long, wrenching legal drama that almost certainly would be partisan and divisive. But I’m not sure it’s possible to skirt the criminal implications of what we already know.

Posted on Apr 23, 2009 READ MORE

News Flash: Populism Is Popular

Both parties are suddenly listening to “the people” instead of the Establishment. They know the political class, however offended, can no longer stop a voter backlash.

Posted on Apr 23, 2009 READ MORE

Europe Needs No Part in Doomed Afghan War

If Obama had wanted to give the NATO allies prudent advice about how to avoid terrorist attacks, he should have told them to have nothing to do with the American war on terror, even if it is now under Obama management.

Posted on Apr 23, 2009 READ MORE

White House / National Archives

Reagan and Nixon Greeted Despots, Too

Few aspects of American politics are as ridiculous and dangerous as the right-wing urge to substitute macho posturing for foreign policy.

Posted on Apr 23, 2009 READ MORE

When Fascism Came to America

In 1935, Sinclair Lewis, the first American writer to be awarded the Nobel Prize, wrote a novel entitled “It Can’t Happen Here” to influence the 1936 presidential election. He was off by about 66 years.

Posted on Apr 21, 2009 READ MORE

Bybee Must Go

It is astonishing that someone who has proved in his memos to be so lacking in judgment and so ideologically twisted in his reasoning that he laid a blanket of legal immunity over those who wanted to torture now holds one of the most powerful and prestigious seats a lawyer can attain.

Posted on Apr 20, 2009 READ MORE

White House / Pete Souza

When Slapped, Slap Back

(Editor’s note: Eugene Robinson is the 2009 Pulitzer Prize winner for commentary.) It’s hard to argue with the results thus far from President Obama’s “no drama” approach to governing, but I think he should learn to chew a little scenery when the occasion demands.

Posted on Apr 20, 2009 READ MORE

Apple Goes to War

The military has been deploying Apple’s iPod Touch and iPhone, loaded with software that aids in translation, intelligence gathering and shooting people. Military iPods will “display aerial video from drones and have teleconferences with intelligence agents halfway across the globe.” We civilians are still waiting for copy and paste.

Posted on Apr 20, 2009 READ MORE

AP photo / Nam Y. Huh

Where’s Rev. Wright When You Need Him?

Israel and the United States will together boycott the United Nations World Conference Against Racism in Geneva. Racism, an endemic feature of Israeli and American society, is not, we have decided, open for international inspection. It’s times like this President Obama would do well to heed the sermons of his former pastor.

Posted on Apr 20, 2009 READ MORE

Who Will Face Down the Gun Lobby?

Ten years after the Columbine massacre, our president stood in Mexico, where assault rifles from the U.S. are used to murder police officers, and said the American gun lobby is just too strong for him push a rational gun regulation through Congress. How sad.

Posted on Apr 19, 2009 READ MORE

Chesa Boudin on Growing Up Radical

What’s it like when your father is an Iranian Marxist and your mother is a Jewish-American renegade and both are devoted organizers for the Socialist Workers Party?

Posted on Apr 17, 2009 READ MORE

Don’t Underestimate the Tea-Baggers

The cool, cerebral White House might logically conclude that Wednesday’s decidedly uncool, uncerebral “tea bag” protests were intellectually and politically incoherent, and therefore not worth a second thought. That would be a dangerous mistake.

Posted on Apr 17, 2009 READ MORE

Columbine Questions We Still Don’t Ponder

As Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold’s posthumous infamy turns 10 on April 20, I wish I were surprised that Columbine-like shootings are still happening, or even that our national discussion about violence hasn’t yet matured past gun control and video games.

Posted on Apr 17, 2009 READ MORE

AIG’s War Business Draws Criticism

At least 30,000 private contractors have been injured in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the vast majority are insured by AIG. According to an investigation by ABC News, ProPublica and the Los Angeles Times, the insurance giant does about as good a job helping wounded contractors as gaming the derivatives market.

Posted on Apr 16, 2009 READ MORE

Delusions of Omnipotence

American foreign policy is based not on what we can do, but what Washington wants to do, hence the blunders of Korea, Vietnam and even the Cold War, which the Soviets were kind enough to lose. Even now, the new president is extending the “Long War” on a still more ambitious scale.

Posted on Apr 16, 2009 READ MORE

Armey’s Tea Party Army

At the apex of the tea party movement is FreedomWorks, headed by former Rep. Dick Armey. His past career should be instructive to any starry-eyed citizens who believe that they have at last found the true right-wing revolutionary path.

Posted on Apr 16, 2009 READ MORE

Tea and Ignorance

There is little anyone can do about the tax-protest rants except worry they will be believed by a wider public. So, on the theory that the truth will set us free, it is worth examining exactly what we’re all paying, and what for.

Posted on Apr 16, 2009 READ MORE

The Obama Doctrine

The president insists that the U.S. can’t achieve great objectives on its own. This may break with George W. Bush’s style, but it is in keeping with the traditions of Roosevelt, Truman and George H.W. Bush.

Posted on Apr 16, 2009 READ MORE

The War at Home

Posted on Apr 15, 2009 READ MORE

Pacifica Radio at 60: A Sanctuary of Dissent

The oldest independent media network in the United States turns 60 years old this week as a deepening crisis engulfs mainstream media.

Posted on Apr 14, 2009 READ MORE

Library of Congress

Castro Hails Obama Actions, Wants More

Barack Obama is so good at making friends. First Iran, of axis-of-evil fame, embraced the president’s flirtations, and now Cuba’s revolutionary in chief has warmed to El Diablo del Norte. Fidel Castro on Tuesday praised Obama’s recent overtures, but said many other U.S. policy changes are needed. His brother and president, Raul, is open to negotiations.

Posted on Apr 14, 2009 READ MORE

Tony Blair

Tony Blair Goes Gaga for God

As Britain’s prime minister, Tony Blair played down his religious passions, but he confesses to the BBC, “I’m really and always have been in a way more interested in religion than politics.”  Now that he’s a free man, Blair is launching something called the Tony Blair Faith Foundation, which hopes to bring people of different religions together. You could always start by not bombing them.

Posted on Apr 14, 2009 READ MORE

What You Dig

What do you get when you mix drugs, greed, God and a splash of Bristol Palin’s baby-daddy? The five most popular Truthdig stories from the last seven days.

Posted on Apr 10, 2009 READ MORE

Getting to Zero Starts With One Man

If Obama is successful in reducing our nuclear stockpile, it could make a monumental difference to the world’s security. Nuclear arms proliferation will never be stopped so long as the U.S. insists on maintaining a privileged position of global nuclear domination.

Posted on Apr 10, 2009 READ MORE

Torture Is a Crime That Must Be Punished

I realize that many Americans, given the scope of the economic crisis and the ambitions of the new administration, would rather look forward than revisit the past. The business of torture, however, is too unspeakable to be left unfinished.

Posted on Apr 10, 2009 READ MORE

book cover

Susan Jacoby on William Goetzmann’s ‘Beyond the Revolution’

The great divide between religion that accommodates itself to secular knowledge and biblically literal religion that rejects any such knowledge that contradicts the Bible is the insufficiently explored story at the center of this Pulitzer Prize-winning historian’s most recent and otherwise compelling book.

Posted on Apr 10, 2009 READ MORE

Tax for the Memories

Posted on Apr 9, 2009 READ MORE    

Taliban, the Sequel

Ever since the Afghan war began, we assured ourselves that whatever else, we had one moral victory. We’d freed the women from Taliban rule. Now we know something very different to be true.

Posted on Apr 8, 2009 READ MORE

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