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Tom Engelhardt, a fellow at The Nation Institute and creator and editor of TomDispatch.com, takes a close accounting of President Obama's Afghanistan speech delivered in late June, in which Americans were told that this year the U.S. would begin winding down its war in that country. (more)

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Who exactly are the Afghan insurgents? Every suicide attack and kidnapping is usually attributed to "the Taliban." In reality, however, the insurgency is far from monolithic.

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There has been much moaning, air-sucking and outrage about the U.S. government's $700-billion bailout deal, but in fact we dole out similar amounts of money every year in the form of payoffs to the armed services, the military-industrial complex, and powerful senators and representatives allied with the Pentagon.

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Those who haven't seen this summer's biggest blockbuster (so far, at least -- this weekend's "Indiana Jones" sequel may well change that) "Iron Man" and are planning to hit the multiplex might want to take a gander at this review. The article points out how "Iron Man" is the latest in a string of "pro-military" movies served up for youngsters' consumption -- even as two disastrous wars rage on overseas.

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How has the Bush administration changed the world economically, and what it will mean for the next administration? Also, if Bush-style "imperial globalization" is rejected in January, what will American ruling elites try to turn to -- Clinton-style economic globalization?

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Even for Americans, constitutionally convinced that there will always be a second act, and a third, and a do-over after that, and, if necessary, a little public repentance and forgiveness and a Brand New Start -- even for us, the world looks a little Terminal right now.

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If the Bush administration is only now considering the possibility of a South Korea-style military presence in Iraq, then why has it been building permanent bases since the start of the occupation?

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