VOICES FOR CHANGE

The Crucible of Iraq
Chris Hedges
"

“The Corpse Exhibition: And Other Stories of Iraq,” by Hassan Blasim, is the most important book to come out of the Iraq War. Blasim, whom I met with last week in Princeton, N.J., has a faultless eye for revealing detail, a ribald black humor and a psychological brilliance that makes every story in his book a depth charge. In this collection of short stories he explores through fiction the culture of violence unleashed under the bloody dictatorship of ...

" ::
The Week the World Stood Still
Noam Chomsky
"

The world stood still 50 years ago during the last week of October, from the moment when it learned that the Soviet Union had placed nuclear-armed missiles in Cuba until the crisis was officially ended -- though unknown to the public, only officially.

The image of the world standing still is the turn of phrase of Sheldon Stern, former historian at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library, who published the authoritative version of the tapes of the ...

" ::
Missing in Action
Tom Engelhardt
"

There is, it seems, something new under the sun.

Geopolitically speaking, when it comes to war and the imperial principle, we may be in uncharted territory.  Take a look around and you’ll see a world at the boiling point.  From Ukraine to Syria, South Sudan to Thailand, Libya to Bosnia, Turkey to Venezuela, citizen protest (left and right) is sparking not just disorganization, but what looks like, to coin a word, de-organization at a global ...

" ::
Obama Plans for Complete US Withdrawal from Afghanistan in December
Juan Cole
"

This post originally ran on Juan Cole’s Web page.

America’s longest war may be over by the end of this year, and it is making Afghans and neighbors like Pakistan nervous.

On Tuesday President Obama called Afghan president Hamid Karzai for the first time since last summer, saying that since Karzai had declined to sign a Bilateral Security Agreement, he had no choice but to begin a complete US military withdrawal.  Getting 33,000 American troops and ...

" ::
We Don’t Say ‘Slav’ Democracy Troubled in Ukraine, Why Talk of ‘Arab’ Failures
Juan Cole
"

This post originally ran on Juan Cole’s Web page.

The troubles that Ukraine is having (and that Russia and the former Yugoslavia also had) in its post-Soviet politics, with a struggle between authoritarianism and democracy and between a Moscow orientation versus a Brussels one, are very similar to the difficulties that have beset many countries of the Arab world in the past few years. 

It is striking to me that we typically don’t speak of these ...

" ::
The Romance in Your Past
Froma Harrop
"

My family has one member of the Greatest Generation left. Aunt Shirley suffers some frailties of old age, but her mind is totally sharp. Her role of late has been as wise matriarch — to advise the rest of us on our revolving and evolving relationships, messes and issues.

::

Another Non-Terrorist Non-Muslim Plane Hijacker: The Sochi Plot
Juan Cole
"

This post originally ran on Juan Cole’s Web page.

The Associated Press article on the Ukrainian hijacker who tried to divert a plane to Sochi on Friday is interesting for the words it does not use. (I’m not picking on AP– all the other articles on this subject are like this one in this regard.)

This Ukrainian man had political discontents about his own country of Ukraine, which appears to be one of his motivations in trying to grab the ...

" ::
A $9 Trillion War? Top 10 Reasons Americans Will Regret It If GOP Derails Iran Negotiations
Juan Cole
"

Forty Republican senators are making a last-minute push to bring further Iran sanctions up for a vote despite the opposition of senate majority leader Harry Reid. Some 59 senators signed on to a plan to increase sanctions during President Obama’s negotiations with Iran, which Iranian leaders have argued could derail the talks. Among the steps these ...

" ::
The Super Bowl of War: Three Decades of Failure in Afghanistan
Robert Scheer
"

A Budweiser commercial during the Super Bowl, that annual celebration of violence as sport, featured a most joyous homecoming for a U.S. veteran of the Afghan War. It was a fitting tribute to the fact that he survived, but you would have to be drunk on Bud not to notice that the three decades since the United States first meddled in Afghanistan have been an unequivocal disaster and that those who did not survive—NATO combatants and far larger number of Afghan natives—died in ...

" ::
Taking Tailgate Patrol to the Next Level
Jim Hightower
"

In the ever-escalating competition to be the No. 1 big-time college football program in the nation, Ohio State University bulked up last fall with a monster recruit named Maxx.

::

Broken Democracy: Republicans Poised to Take Senate, Americans Reject Their Platform
Juan Cole
"

A lot of political analysts think it is entirely possible that the Republicans will take the senate next November. This development won’t change much, in all likelihood, if it does occur. The Republican majority in the House of Representatives can already block most legislation, and in 2013 it dedicated itself the the proposition that the country must be punished for re-electing Barack Obama, by being denied virtually any new needed legislation at all. The ...

" ::
The Menace of the Military Mind
Chris Hedges
"

I had my first experience with the U.S. military when I was a young reporter covering the civil war in El Salvador. We journalists were briefed at the American Embassy each week by a U.S. Army colonel who at the time headed the military group of U.S. advisers to the Salvadoran army. The reality of the war, which lasted from 1979 to 1992, bore little resemblance to ...

" ::
What Obama Really Meant Was...
Chris Hedges
"

Remarks by the President on Review of Signals Intelligence (if he had told the truth)

Department of Injustice, Washington, D.C., 11:15 a.m. EST

 

THE PRESIDENT: A small, secret surveillance committee of goons and ...

" ::
MRAP, Maxx and the Militarization of Our Local Police Forces
Jim Hightower
"

What a Christmas little Bastrop had! It's still a mystery how Santa Claus got it down the chimney, but Bastrop got a nifty present that most children could only dream about: a big honkin', steel-clad, war toy called MRAP.

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Merry Christmas, Right-Wingers, The Red Pope, and Jesus
Jim Hightower
"

Ah, 'tis the season for family, friends, eggnog, chipmunks singing Christmas carols — and all-out, no-mercy, blow-'em-all-to-hell WAR.

Not war like in Afghanistan. No, no — this is the far-right's God-awful "War on the War on Christmas." In this season of Peace on Earth, a delusional faction of rightist has cooked up a hokey "cultural crisis" to foment hatred of ... well, of whom? Blasphemist-liberal-Democrat-atheist-humanists, they ...

" ::
Holy Words of Mass Destruction
Jim Hightower
"

Here’s a twist on Christmas that would make Jesus weep.

First, a right-wing faction in the United States is wringing its hands over a hokey cultural ...

" ::
Obama’s New Normal: The Drone Strikes Continue
Amy Goodman
"

There has been yet another violent attack with mass casualties. This was not the act of a lone gunman, or of an armed student rampaging through a school. It was a group of families en route to a wedding that was killed. The town was called Radda—not in Colorado, not in Connecticut, but in Yemen. The weapon was not an easy-to-obtain semiautomatic weapon, but missiles fired from U.S. drones. On Thursday, Dec. 12, 17 people were killed, mostly civilians. The London-based Bureau of ...

" ::
The American Way of Manners
Tom Engelhardt
"

[Editor’s Note: Many publications have advice columnists, but none has our old friend Colonel Manners (ret.), whose experience in military and surveillance matters is evident from his impressive CV (unfortunately, a classified document).  His assignment: ...

" ::
Shielding a Flickering Flame
Chris Hedges
"

With the folly of the human race—and perhaps its unconscious lust for self-annihilation—on display at the U.N. Climate Talks in Warsaw, it is easy to succumb to despair. The world’s elite, it is painfully clear, will do little to halt the accelerating destruction of the ecosystem and eventually the human species. We have, through our ingenuity and hubris, unleashed ...

" ::
Scared to Death
Tom Engelhardt
"

From the time I was little, I went to the movies.  They were my escape, with one exception from which I invariably had to escape.  I couldn’t sit through any movie where something or someone threatened to jump out at me with the intent to harm.  In such situations, I was ...

" ::
Killer Drones in a Downward Spiral?
Kate Chandley and Medea Benjamin
Op-Ed
The Russian Godfather
Adam Michnik
Op-Ed
CODEPINK Snow Day at the Department of Homeland Security
Alli McCracken and Medea Benjamin
News Report
VIDEO
Obama’s Drone Wars Made Simple
Acronym TV
Video Feature
Education Without Borders
Gordon Brown
Op-Ed

FROM AROUND THE WEB

Ukraine News

Ukraine Port Base Attacked

At least three assailants killed during attack on Mariupol base as top-level talks begin in Geneva over ongoing crisis.

Ukraine News

NATO’s Military Presence Increased in Response to Russia’s Aggression in Ukraine

The alliance’s chief said that more air policing aircraft will fly above the Baltic region and warships will be deployed to the Baltic Sea.

Nigerian Bombing

Bus Bombing in Nigeria Leaves Many Dead

In what is being considered the deadliest attack in Nigeria’s capital in two years, the bomb went off during rush hour killing 71 people at a bus station outside Abuja.

North and South Korea

North Korea Accuses US Hypocrisy in Pyongyang’s Recent Launches

The North’s National Defense Commission was referring to South Korea’s missile test carried out last month, which is capable of exploding a ton of power to areas of North Korea.

Ukraine News

Ukraine Ready to Use Force to Clear Out Pro-Russian Separatists

Authorities said they are prepared to use force to clear government building of pro-Russian separatists, who seized buildings in the east of the country.

Politics

Rand Paul Says Dick Cheney Pushed for Iraq Invasion for Profit

As the ex-veep blasts Paul for being an isolationist, old video shows the Kentucky senator charging that Cheney used 9/11 as an excuse to invade Iraq and benefit his former company.

George W. Bush

Bush’s Administration has Yet to Pay for Their Sins

Enough with puff pieces about painting and platforms for their self-defense. It only damns us to repeat the past.

Ukraine News

Russian-Controlled Tanks from Crimea Head into Ukraine

It’s not a motion to invade, but rather a trainload of military equipment in poor condition that Moscow has no use for.

CIA

Report: CIA misled US on torture of prisoners

Senate report, obtained by newspaper, says “enhanced interrogations” contributed almost nothing in war against al-Qaeda.

Syria

Clashes Erupt in Syria's Assad Home Province

Fighting erupts between rebels and government loyalists in Assad's home province near Turkish border.

Ukraine News

Ukraine Warns of Russian Intervention

Yurii Klymenko tells fellow diplomats Russia is eyeing full blown military intervention in the east and south.

Ukraine News

Ukraine’s New Authorities Condemned by Putin

Russian president says authorities in Kiev have stolen power in a coup and opened the way for “extremists.”

Ukraine News

Crimea to Join Russia

Region declares independence as Kiev approves partial mobilization of troops to counter “Russian interference.”

Syria

Syria Chemical Weapons ‘Could Go in a Month’

Russian foreign ministry says weapons that should be destroyed outside of the country could be removed by April 13.

Syria

Charity Tells of Healthcare Disaster in Syria

Save the Children says in new report that some patients are “knocked out with metal bars for lack of anaesthesia”.

Ukraine News

President Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping Work on Peaceful Solution to Ukraine Crisis

As Russian military intervention in Ukraine continues, President Obama and Chinese President Jinping focus on ways to lessen the hold Russia has on Crimea.

War

U.S. Military Leaves Missing Behind

The Pentagon spends about $100 million a year to find soldiers that have gone MIA. Few are actually found

Ukraine News

Russia Warns the Untied States

Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov says such a move would “boomerang” during phone call with US counterpart John Kerry.

Ukraine News

Prime Minister of Ukraine Says the Country Will Initiate Talks with Russia

Prime minister said Kremlin should withdraw troops and stop supporting “separatists and terrorists” before talks start.

Syria

In Syria, Government Pursues Local Cease-Fires

Rebels turn their weapons over in exchange for food and medicine.

FROM THE BLOGS

Damascus Under Fire   If you ever doubted the erosion of popular democracy in the U.S., the ...
I was at the light rail train station in my town, handing out leaflets opposing the plan to ...
*Military analysts and Syrian intervention cheerleaders maintain that limited air strikes will ...
Part I - The President Goes to Congress   President Obama has sidestepped the political hole ...
*Found at last! After searching for 10 years, the Iraqi weapons of mass destruction have ...
As Obama punted his decision on going to war with Syria to the Congress, here is a quick list ...
*We now have a huge war machine that dwarfs President Eisenhower’s warning about the undue ...
How culpable is the person who watches a mugger rob someone and does nothing? What is our ...
Abdel Fattah el Sisi announcing the overthrow of the elected government     Part I – ...
You don’t have to search the internet for the truth. Sometimes it is right in front of you… ...
From the Monday November 4th USA Today cover: “/Elite warriors lost without war… For many ...
The Pentagon is lobbying the Congress to provide funds for the “Modernization” of the B-61 ...
Last week, WikiLeaks released a single chapter of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement. ...
Part I - Good News    On 22 May 2013 I wrote an analysis titled “Staying Sober [1].” It ...
A system is a dynamic, self regulating  network of interrelated elements. Our defense system ...
*Santiago, Chile..… September 16:* A CNN news flash…another senseless massacre at a U.S. ...
Part I - The Two-State Solution   Peter Beinart is a “liberal Zionist” who has written a piece ...
  I was searching around the internet for the full video of the recent hearing on the ...
I’ll tell you what really pisses me off: The absolute /indifference /of most Americans to who ...
*Despite the economic burdens of war in Afghanistan and American military ...