Nicaragua’s Revenge, Cuba, The OAS, and Iraq

reagan-statue

It was three o’clock this morning when I was awakened from a beautiful dream by police knocking on the door of my apartment to come down to the parking garage and identify my vandalized car. Downstairs, they had the suspect handcuffed in the back seat of a squad car, one of four parked in the [...]

China Holds the Key to the North Korea Problem

korea

As the international community struggles to respond effectively to the missile tests recently launched by the North Korean government, critics have blamed the Security Council of the United Nations for failing to deter aggression and preserve world peace. That blame is misplaced. In this case, responsibility for controlling North Korea, and the ability to do [...]

The March of Folly, Continued

tuchman

To understand what’s up with President Obama as he escalates the war in Afghanistan, there may be no better place to look than a book published 25 years ago. The March of Folly, by historian Barbara Tuchman, is a chilling assessment of how very smart people in power can do very stupid things – how [...]

Hiding Behind the Skirts of Women

Afghan women lining up for food during the Taliban regime. (UNHCR Photo)

For eight years, many Americans have justified the war in Afghanistan as a moral battle to “protect” Afghan women. But Afghan women tell another story: more U.S. war will bear them more suffering. Three decades of foreign occupation — with little sign of ending — have led to the complete collapse of more than a [...]

Nazis Were Terrorists, Too

fear-itself

Happy  Memorial Day! It is a great time to be an American once again. We have a U.S. President who operates his government not based in fear-mongering. We have a country that will create a generation of the children of a Republican economic depression. This means we will create a nation of people who once [...]

Obama Expands America’s Warfare State

dollar-soldier

Although the U.S. is not in imminent danger of attack from any country, President Obama’s first budget further expands the Pentagon’s already dominant global operations. Not even the prospect of a $3.1 trillion combined budget deficit for this year and next deters him. Let them chop the budget for black colleges and police officer death [...]

Veterans Reactivated Again and Again

veteran

Iraq Vets Against the War (IVAW) has begun planning for the IRR direct action project. Many of us know that involuntary activation from the Individual Ready Reserve (IRR) has had a significant impact on the veterans’ community. Some vets may go two to three years without beginning to process their post-traumatic stress as they expect [...]

Anti-War Hero

pat-tillman-red

In the 1960s, most of America reviled Malcolm X as a villain. America now celebrates the May 19 birthday of this “shining prince.” History repeats itself. On April 22, 2004, an American football star named Pat Tillman was killed in action in Afghanistan. After September 11, Tillman had eschewed a $3.6 million sports contract to [...]

Tortured Reasoning and Tortured Results

cheney

Each day the evidence piles up – highlighted by the unconvincing rants of Dick Cheney. Lawrence Wilkerson, former Chief of Staff to Colin Powell, said, “the administration authorized harsh interrogation in April and May of 2002 — well before the Justice Department had rendered any legal opinion — its principal priority for intelligence was not [...]

Iraq: Ticking Away

charlie

Iraq is not high on the list of destinations most Americans will include in their summer travel plans, I’m sure. It wouldn’t have been high on my list, either, except that I feel a kinship with the country by now. Stands to reason, since this is my fourth trip there, each journey to a different [...]

Nancy Pelosi, Torture, and Bush’s Warmongering

pelosi_01

Rightwingers splayed across the corporate media, including Condi Rice and Dick Cheney, constantly remind us that in the immediate aftermath of 9/11 members of the Bush administration were doing their darnedest to keep the nation safe. Bending the law a little to coerce information out of known terrorists must be seen in its context. They [...]

American Torture: No Knowledge of History, No Sense of Tragedy

"Judgement at Nuremberg" Spencer Tracy, Marlene Dietrich 1961 U/A Photo by Al St. Hilaire - Image courtesy mptvimages.com

Recently in the New York Times, Scott Shane and Mark Mazzetti showed that the Bush Administration, the CIA, and the Senate and House Intelligence Committees failed to ask for any historical context before approving so-called “harsh interrogation techniques,” including waterboarding, in 2002. No one apparently knew, or wanted to know, that the U.S. had defined [...]

Military Fails to Collect from AIG for Care to Injured Contractors

medivac

by T. Christian Miller, ProPublica The Pentagon has failed to bill American Insurance Group and other major insurance carriers for millions of dollars in medical care provided to private contractors injured in Iraq and Afghanistan, according to a new federal report. The United States has hired hundreds of thousands of civilians to work in the [...]

Geneva Convention Requirements About Prisoners

mccain-graham

Muddled thinking characterizes a May 6 Wall Street Journal column by Senators Lindsey Graham and John McCain about those confined in American-run prisons abroad. They reject Geneva Convention trial requirements and even military courts-martial, preferring to have Congress write new guidelines for their imprisonment and trials beyond those in the untested and possibly unconstitutional Military [...]

America’s Christian Soldiers Fight for Jesus in Afghanistan

Source: Alternet

Why does the military attract so many religious nuts, total loonies who think their real mission is to convert Moslems – and everyone else – to Jesus? Born-again officers at the Air Force Academy were so busy proselytizing to Jews, Catholics, agnostics and atheists, they didn’t have time to worry about minor irritants like numerous [...]

Is Oil Worth More Than Blood In Nigeria?

Photo credit: Ed Kashi

On May 26, 2009, a potentially historic human rights trial will take place in a federal court in New York. At issue: What did Royal Dutch/Shell, the multinational oil giant, do in Nigeria? The case is over a decade in the making. The suit, filed by the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) and EarthRights International, [...]

Torture? What About the Crime of Waging Aggressive War?

mission-accomplished

Right after the climactic finish of World War Two, the International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg, while picking through the aftermath of the world’s biggest bloodbath to date, famously called the waging of aggressive war “essentially an evil thing.” “[T]o initiate war of aggression,” the tribunal concluded, “is not only an international crime; it is the [...]

Occidental Petroleum and Death in Arauca

oxy

Who doesn’t love a story of reform and redemption? And what a story it would be if LA-based Occidental Petroleum — after causing so much death and destruction in Colombia — could have really changed enough to merit the nomination the company received a year ago. The US Embassy in Bogotá recommended Oxy for the [...]

The Hush-Hush Story: Why They Tortured

torture2

It’s like a can of worms from which a few are slithering out. Most of the major media have avoided even approaching it. But if it is as is being suggested the implications are enormous, touching not only on the real reason prisoners were tortured but, as well, into the real origin of the war [...]

Why Do So Many School of the Americas Grads Become Latin Death Squad Killers?

murder

If the Pentagon’s instructors didn’t teach assassination at the School of the Americas (SOA) in Fort Benning, Georgia, is it just coincidental that so many of its star pupils graduate to become mass murderers? Take the strange case of Francisco del Cid Diaz, an SOA-educated second lieutenant in the El Salvadoran army who ordered his [...]

Torture: It’s Perfectly Legal — But We Don’t Do It

cheney bush

Liz and Dick Cheney, Bill Bennett, Ari Fleischer, and countless other commentators have saturated the public airwaves of late ever since the Obama Administration decided to make public the Bush torture memos. These apologists for war crimes have been jawboning the issue from every conceivable angle. Why are these barbarians who defend torturing other human [...]

Saddam Made Them Do It

saddam-dick-condi

So now we know: Saddam made them do it. The Levin report into Pentagon torture released yesterday tore down the last false flag flying on the devil ship SS Torture, revealing that waterboarding and all the rest of the barbaric acts performed in our name on prisoners resulted from Cheney’s frustration at not getting what [...]

Mary McCarthy in Vietnam, Barack Obama in Afghanistan

marymccarthy460

In 1967, outraged by the course of the Vietnam War, as well as her country’s role in prolonging and worsening it, Mary McCarthy, novelist, memoirist, and author of the bestseller The Group, went to Saigon, then the capital of South Vietnam, to judge the situation for herself. The next year, she went to the North [...]

Obama Love Letter to CIA Distorts History

torture

One can only wonder what prompted the incredible absurdities written by President Obama in his April 16th love letter to the employees of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). It not only absolves CIA torturers from prosecution on the grounds that they were only following orders, (the same defense employed by Nazi hoodlums at the Nuremburg [...]

Injured War Zone Contractors Fight to Get Care From AIG and Other Insurers

Contractor Tim Newman, left; contractor Kevin Smith-Idol, middle; widow Rita Richardson, whose husband was killed by a roadside blast in Iraq. (Photos courtesy of Tim Newman, ABC News, Francine Orr/Los Angeles Times)

by T. Christian Miller, ProPublica and Doug Smith, the Los Angeles Times Civilian workers who suffered devastating injuries while supporting the U.S. war effort in Iraq and Afghanistan have come home to a grinding battle for basic medical care, artificial limbs, psychological counseling and other services. The insurance companies responsible for their treatment under taxpayer-funded [...]

The Pirates Are Not Just in Pittsburgh Anymore

long-john-silver

Johnny Depp and Disney’s blustery Long John Silver, or the erudite Captain Hook have defined “pirates” for us. Romanticized through the fog of time, pirates of 200 years ago – who became famous, Capone-style (Blackbeard and Captain Kidd come to mind) – were free spirits who had big old swords, eye patches, a limb or [...]

Military Recruiters? Afghanistan?

shirlee-smith

Is the military, with so many career paths open to graduating seniors, an option families really want their sons or daughters to grab on to? Families need to know the real story and not just what the all too friendly recruiters tell our kids. Military recruiters, like college recruiters, have access to students on the [...]

The War Is Not Over: Letter from a Soldier’s Mother

ranadi

I was standing in line at the bank when I heard a customer ask the teller if her son was home from Iraq. The teller responded that he was not home in her house, but he was back and stationed in Texas. The customer said she was glad to hear that. I thought to myself: [...]

China’s Threat to the U.S. Is Exaggerated

chinese-army

The Pentagon’s annual publication, Military Power of the People’s Republic of China 2009, accused China of stocking its military with weapons that can be used to intimidate or attack Taiwan and mitigate U.S. air and naval superiority near its territory. Even if the Department of Defense’s report has not exaggerated the threat from China—unlikely since [...]

Requiem for the War on Terror: Goodbye GWOT, Hello OCOs

muerteguerra

This is the way the Global War on Terror (also known, in Bush-era jargon, as GWOT) ends, not with a bang, not with parades and speeches, but with an obscure memo, a few news reports, vague denials, and a seemingly off-handed comment (or was it a carefully calculated declaration?) from Secretary of State Hillary Clinton: [...]

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