Mubarak Resigns: YAH-YA MISR – “Long Live Egypt”

H. Scott Prosterman: While various imperial occupiers have held sway in Egypt over the centuries, the culture of corruption has pervaded through all aspect of the economy, military and civil service. Much of the service economy is driven by the system of baksheesh (gratuity); so is the civilian and military economy. This is why Camp David was a qualified failure.

The End of America’s Middle East Empire

middle east empire

As we’ve watched the dramatic events in the Middle East, you would hardly know that we had a thing to do with them.  Oh yes, in the name of its War on Terror, Washington had for years backed most of the thuggish governments now under siege or anxious that they may be next in line [...]

“Ripples of Hope” in Egypt

egypt

Joseph Palermo: It took decades of inaction, repression, and neglect to produce the mass demonstrations we’re seeing in Egypt. The only real surprise is that something on this scale didn’t happen years earlier.

Istanbul: Ancient City, Throbbing Metropolis

istanbul street

Steven Hill: Muslims, Christians, and Jews live in relative harmony here, yet it’s as if its too-jumbled history pulses within the walls, the monuments, the winding streets, indeed within each individual Turk now inhabiting this ground zero zone.

The Company We Keep

karzai and obama

Stanley Kutler: Once again, we have bet the mortgage on one leader, no matter how inept and corrupt he might be. Karzai is playing off various sides, eagerly accepting the largesse and patronage of at least two governments, each with its own interests.

Continued Foibles in Iraq and Afghanistan

hunting taliban

Ivan Eland: In both Iraq and Afghanistan, the United States has been blinded by desired TV images of having the locals sport blue thumbs—emphasizing democratic elections versus an increased appreciation for individual rights.

A Big Fool Says to Push On

pete seeger

Ann Wright: On the eve of the beginning of the tenth year (October 7) of the U.S war in Afghanistan, Bob Woodward’s new book “Obama’s War” about presidential decision making on the war in Afghanistan is pretty scary reading. It sounds to me like folk singer Peter Seeger’s song about the Vietnam war “Waist Deep in the Big Muddy,” describes the U.S. war in Afghanistan.

The Taliban: Forced Into Negotiation While Winning?

taliban fighters

Ivan Eland: Although David Petraeus, the top American commander in Afghanistan, recently peddled the notion that senior Taliban chieftains had made contact with senior Afghan government officials about the possibility of starting reconciliation talks, such talk of peace in our time is likely to be hype.

End Illegal War: Support Bradley Manning

collateral damage

Ann Wright: Just as Daniel Ellsberg blew the whistle on the lies of the US leaders of the Vietnam War, Manning is accused of blowing the whistle on the illegality of today’s wars. What will our response to the information Manning is charged with releasing be? Can we make today’s Pentagon Papers lead to an end to illegal and wasteful wars abroad and the return of our troops home?

Los Angeles Launches Nation’s First Israel Divestment Campaign

Jonathan Ben Artzi

Linda Milazzo: Many Americans, myself included, feel a sense of guilt at being unwitting pawns in Israel’s forty-year occupation and systematic torture, deprivation, and dare I say, ethnic cleansing of Palestinians. Many Americans are further incensed that our legislators have voted annually to award Israel, a wealthy and thriving nation, 3 billion of our tax dollars which go directly into its military.

Assessing the Iraq War

iraq war amputee

Ivan Eland: The Iraq War was not only disastrous, it was one of the worst strategic blunders in the history of U.S. foreign policy. President Obama should not renegotiate the status of forces agreement with any government in Iraq.

Middle East Peace Process – Reality or Charade?

Mustafa Barghouti

In the questionable likelihood that the Jerusalem settlement issue can be finessed, the “negotiations” could continue over the year President Obama has allotted for a settlement but without a firm commitment to end the occupation, no “peace process” is going anywhere.

On the Art of Exit: Iraq and Afghanistan

John Peeler: Obama appears determined that the wars not overwhelm his domestic agenda, even as, pragmatically, he cannot walk away from either without exposing himself to withering political attacks. If Bush saw himself as a war president, Obama wants to be a reformer with two wars to manage.

An Unsanitized Look at the Origins of the Iraq War

chinook

Joseph Palermo: Saddam’s human rights record was not an adequate justification to go to war and the Bush Administration did not seriously try to make it one, until long after the war began and all the other plausible justifications had been proven false.

Main Effect of the WikiLeaks Documents Is Political

Ivan Eland: So the only thing the WikiLeaks documents reveal is how persistent the post-9/11 war and nation-building fever continues to be among the foreign policy elite—even in the face of the dismal results on the ground for almost a decade and a majority opinion in America that the war is not worth fighting.

State of Denial: After the Big Leak, Spinning for War

Greg Jaffe-The Washington Post

Norman Soloman: And if, these days, “U.S. troops in the field” are not as inclined to express “frustration at having to fight a war without sufficient resources,” the latest boosts of Pentagon outlays for war in Afghanistan merely reflect the unhinged escalation of a war effort that should not exist.

Ending Gaza Blockade Might Help Israel as Much as Gaza

israel gaza blockade

Ivan Eland: In the wake of Israel’s botched attack on a Turkish ship bringing relief to Gazans from Israel’s (and Egypt’s) economic blockade of Gaza, the Israelis have responded to intensely negative world opinion by relaxing the blockade. That move may help Israel as much as Gazans. Ending the counterproductive economic embargo and blockade would help both parties even more.

Brad Sherman’s Middle-East Town Hall Rife With Fear and Aggression

brad sherman

Linda Milazzo: Not surprisingly in this election year, Brad Sherman is ginning up his Jewish constituency (who usually vote), and Jews in general (who usually donate), with his unrelenting support for Israel – including Israel’s controversial boarding of the Gaza Freedom Flotilla’s Mavi Mara and its killing of eight Turkish citizens and one Turkish American citizen – an act internationally condemned by all nations except Israel’s steadfast ally, the United States.

Afghanistan Again

Joseph Palermo: After nine years of war the U.S. occupation of Afghanistan lacks support at home and is widely recognized as a drain on the domestic economy in a time of severe economic contraction. The billions of dollars in U.S. economic assistance to the Hamid Karzai government has created an unsustainable class of Afghans who are dependent upon the American largesse and military presence that would be impossible to sustain by local taxes. It is a puppet government that wouldn’t last a day without American arms and money.

The Second Coming of Petraeus

Petraeus

Ivan Eland: With the justified firing of Gen. Stanley McChrystal and his replacement with Iraq water-walker David Petraeus, it’s as if people are hoping for a second coming of Jesus in Afghanistan. Unfortunately, the replacement may be similar to the second coming of the water-walking Joe Gibbs as coach of the Washington Redskins.

Taliban’s Time Horizon Longer Than America’s

http://www.independent.org/newsroom/article.asp?id=2815

Ivan Eland: The only solution is to cut the U.S. losses and leave Afghanistan for good. The good news is that removal of U.S. occupation forces from a Muslim land might actually reduce blowback anti-U.S. terrorism around the world.

Turkey’s Policy Toward Iran Is Worth Emulating

nuclear iran

Ivan Eland: The sad truth is that if Iran wants a nuclear weapon, it will likely eventually get one. So the United States should quit wasting valuable political capital beseeching, threatening, and horse-trading with China, Russia, and other UN Security Council members to incrementally ratchet up likely futile multilateral economic sanctions against I

Top Officer Says Military Takes Brain Injuries ‘Extremely Seriously’

Gen. Peter W. Chiarelli briefs the media on Nov. 17, 2009, at the Pentagon. On Wednesday, he defended the military's care of soldiers suffering from brain injuries. (Paul J. Richards/AFP/Getty Images)

T. Christian Miller: Officially, military figures show that about 115,000 soldiers have suffered mild traumatic brain injury since 2002. But we talked to military doctors and reviewed unpublished studies that suggest far more soldiers could have sustained such wounds. While most recovery quickly, estimates suggest that between 5 percent to 15 percent go on to develop cognitive problems.

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