The Obamas’ Farewell Tour to Eight Years of Neo-Con Foreign Policy

barack-and-michelle

The mainstream commentariat can nitpick all it wants about what President Barack Obama achieved or didn’t achieve from the G-20 summit and NATO meetings in Europe last week but the far bigger story is how the First Couple’s visit marked the total repudiation of the neo-conservative foreign policy project. It wasn’t long ago when Donald [...]

The World According To Newt, And Other Right Wing Lunacies

gingrich-newt

Newt Gingrich was positively apoplectic on Fox News Sunday, bemoaning the shift in US foreign policy to one based on fantasy. No doubt, Gingrich had this specific declaration in mind when he prattled on to Chris Wallace: “We are not just discussing limits on a further increase of nuclear weapons. We seek, instead, to reduce [...]

Mission Accomplished: Bush Gets the Last Laugh

conquest

For years, George W. Bush has been roundly criticized, even lampooned, for declaring “Mission Accomplished” in Iraq while wearing a flight suit and landing on an aircraft carrier. But like so many other catastrophes associated with the Bush administration, in the end, Bush always seems to get the last laugh. Maybe declaring “Mission Accomplished” was [...]

The U.S. Should Fear Its Friends

osama_bin_laden

President Warren Harding once said, “I have no trouble with my enemies,” but noted that his friends “keep me walking the floor nights.” That maxim should have applied to U.S. foreign policy since 9/11 and even before that. It is sometimes puzzling why the U.S. government fears faraway countries that currently pose no direct threat [...]

Space Race Hikes Risk of Nuclear War

space shuttle

An unchecked race to militarize space is underway that is “increasing the risk of an accidental nuclear war while shortening the time for sanity and diplomacy to come into play to halt crises,” an authority on space warfare says. By 2025, the space capabilities of the leading space powers — the U.S., Russia, India and [...]

The Drug Wars: Is Half a Century of Bloody Futility Enough?

drug-wars1

Drug wars in northern Mexico, fed by guns and money from the United States, and spilling over into this country, remind us that the trade in illegal drugs remains a huge problem. We have been engaged since around 1970 in a succession of efforts by successive administrations to wage war on illegal drug trafficking, and [...]

Warning from Bosnia for Iraq

serbian-militia

Bosnian Serb leaders have threatened to withdraw from Bosnia-Herzegovina, the decentralized entity created by the 1995 Dayton Accords, which ended a brutal civil war in the Balkans that killed more than 100,000 people in the early 1990s. Under the accords, Bosnia-Herzegovina were partitioned into a confederation of the Serb Republic and the Muslim-Croat Federation. Critics [...]

Shutting Down the Army Experience Center

pat-elder

Killing is fun — and life is cheap at the Army Experience Center at the Franklin Mills Mall in suburban Philadelphia. “This is so cool!” This is so cool!” The enthralled 13 year-old kept repeating as he squeezed rounds from his M-16, picking off “enemy combatants” while perched on a real Army Humvee. We’re in [...]

Why Doesn’t Obama Make Iraq the 51st State?

oilbarrels

If President Obama plans to keep 50,000 U.S. troops in Iraq indefinitely after 2010, why doesn’t he just annex Iraq as the 51st State now? Iraqis would have our solemn promise we will never again lay their country to waste and we would work out a deal so that their motorists could have any oil [...]

Detainee Rights: Make a Clean Break

chopping-bush

After the shameful, embarrassing performance of the Bush administration in denying the most basic human rights to detainees at Guantánamo, Bagram, Afghanistan, and at CIA black sites elsewhere, the record of the Obama admininstration on this issue has been mixed at best. Initially, Obama canceled Bush executive orders that permitted torture (while denying such a [...]

A 9/11 Reformer’s Final Plea for Justice in Washington

obama-et-beverly-eckert

Beverly Eckert rose very early on February 6 to catch the 8 a.m. Acela train out of Stamford, CT, but she was eager to make the trip to Washington, DC, this time around. On past journeys, the doors of official Washington would too often slam in her face. But now, she and other 9/11 family [...]

One Step Forward, Two Steps Toward Monarchy

bush-torture

It has become almost commonplace, since the release last week of seven “legal” opinions written in 2001 and 2002 by the Justice Department, to remark that unbeknownst to us we came within an inch of dictatorship. And with President Obama announcing an end to torture and a new policy on signing statements, it is extremely [...]

End “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”

soldiers

Shortly after Bill Clinton took office in 1993, he attempted to push the U.S. military to openly accept the reality that it had gays and lesbians in its ranks. Colin Powell, then Clinton’s top general, and Sam Nunn, the powerful Democratic Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, nixed the effort by arguing that coming [...]

Humvees in Tijuana: The US and the Mexican Narco-Wars

drug-wars

How worried should Americans be about the drug wars being fought just across the border? Under the Merida Initiative, the Bush administration committed $1.4 billion in military assistance to Mexico and the Senate is now considering a House move to increase this year’s figure by $410 million. This seems as foolhardy to me as the [...]

Would You Believe 14 Million Emails Were Lost by the Bush White House?

karl-rove

Believe it or not. You don’t believe it? You’re probably right. More likely it’s 28 million e-mails that are lost or missing. How could this happen? All White House communications not regarded as top secret or considered intelligence sensitive, are supposed to be put in the archives. Instead, the RNC computer delete keys must be [...]

Why We Need a “Truth Commission” to Investigate Torture

uncle-sam-torture

The American people’s faith in their government—even with the election of Barack Obama—remains compromised. One reason is obvious. Americans see low-level military operatives being imprisoned for mistreatment, even murder, of prisoners. At the same time, high-level officials go uninvestigated and unpunished. In their case, we’re told to look forward rather than backward, an empty phrase [...]

Memos Provide Blueprint for Police State

censorship

Seven newly released memos from the Bush Justice Department reveal a concerted strategy to cloak the President with power to override the Constitution. The memos provide “legal” rationales for the President to suspend freedom of speech and press; order warrantless searches and seizures, including wiretaps of U.S. citizens; lock up U.S. citizens indefinitely in the [...]

Erasing Red Ink: Slash the Defense Budget

pentagon

A front page article in the New York Times starts out with the sentence: “The budget that President Obama proposed on Thursday is nothing less than an attempt to end a three-decade era of economic policy dominated by the ideas of Ronald Reagan and his supporters.” Not so much. Ronald Reagan, despite his carefully crafted [...]

Afghan War Haunted by Bush’s War Crimes

michael haas

While additional American troops are being deployed to Afghanistan, George W. Bush’s misdeeds continue to handicap combat effectiveness there. Past disrespect to the country must be reversed by an immediate apology to the Afghan people and new orders to field commanders to follow the Geneva Conventions on the battlefield. The U.S. war in Afghanistan began [...]

Bringing Veterans and Military Personnel into the Democratic Party

mays_01

As Democrats, we need to support military families and veterans, and set aside the politics! For too long, we have not done well at separating the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan from the troops who must fight them. As a result, we have been missing in action in outreach and philanthropic endeavors to the troops, [...]

Corruption Touched CIA’s Covert Operations

dusty-foggo

Paramilitary agents for the CIA’s super-secret Special Activities Division, or SAD, perform raids, ambushes, abductions and other difficult chores overseas, including infiltrating countries to “light up” targets from the ground for air-to-ground missile strikes. This week the government acknowledged for the first time that some of SAD’s sensitive air operations were swept up in a [...]

Obama’s Policy on Civil Liberties: Bush Lite?

waterboarding

Barack Obama entered the presidency as one of the most rhetorically pro-civil liberties politicians in recent memory. And shortly after taking office, he drew applause from friends of liberty for promulgating executive orders closing Guantanamo and CIA secret prisons, ending CIA torture, suspending kangaroo proceedings at military tribunals, and pledging more openness than the secretive [...]

War Criminals, Including Their Lawyers, Must Be Prosecuted

world-torture

Since he took office, President Obama has instituted many changes that break with the policies of the Bush administration. The new president has ordered that no government agency will be allowed to torture, that the U.S. prison at Guantánamo will be shuttered, and that the CIA’s secret black sites will be closed down. But Obama [...]

Xe – The Great Pointed Archer

rebranding-300x188

Buried in the news about the Stimulus, private military security firm Blackwater Worldwide announced it was re-branding and changing its name to XE (Zee). Xe President Gary Jackson in a memo to employees said, “the new name reflects the change in company focus away from the business of providing private security.” Spokeswoman Anne Tyrrell added [...]

Misreading the Iraqi Election Results

iraq_election

Now that their nemesis, George W. Bush, has left office, the mainstream media can be unbridled in their optimism about the future of Iraq. After 9/11, they chose to allow themselves to be duped by the Bush administration’s fairly lame reasons for the clearly unrelated U.S. invasion of Iraq and have been bitter about the [...]

Abandoning Torture But What About War?

warfare-trench

If we can move beyond torture, do we not have a responsibility also to think for a moment about the obvious fact that torture is not the cruelest thing we do? Torture offends us, in part, because the torturer is not at risk, but neither are most pilots dropping bombs. And how exactly does the [...]

Film: “The Prosecution of George W. Bush for Murder”

Anyone following attempts to hold George W. Bush and gang accountable knows about Vince Bugliosi’s best-selling book, which has finally just been mailed to all district prosecutors. Everything you can do to make a prosecution of Bush for murder happen is posted here. I just watched a still incomplete version of the forthcoming film of [...]

Guns and Butter (Again)

sinking-uncle-sam

When you stop to think about it, people measure how well their lives are going not by their absolute state of being but by their situation relative to their expectations. For example, a poor person in a developing country may be ecstatic about getting a pair of shoes for the first time; in contrast, a [...]

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