Is GOP Al-Qaida’s Best Friend?

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Jerry Drucker: The Tea Party’s reckless government shutdown game is causing their al-Qaida brethren terrorists to jump with joy, rubbing their hands together in anticipation of the huge damage the GOP is inflicting.

Will Congress Take on Drones in 2013?

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Rebecca Griffin: Thus far, Congress has not engaged on an in-depth level on important questions surrounding the reliance on this technology and the overarching policy governing its use.

A Rice Worth Fighting For

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Karen Finney: Such a fight would galvanize support for Obama among progressives, creating goodwill he might need heading in to the “fiscal cliff” and budget discussions, which could require unpopular concessions from the president.

Kill List

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he New York Times recently published an extensive story about the Obama administration’s secret “Kill List” that is used for selecting targets for strikes by unmanned drones. It has been clear for some time now that President Obama is making far more use of such drones that President Bush did, even as Obama systematically winds down [...]

License to Kill

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John Peeler: It is distressing that a president who came to office as a bitter critic of abuses of presidential authority by his predecessor now takes essentially the same position as George W. Bush. Power that is unchecked and operates in secret is always dangerous to democracy.

How Presidential War Power Is Made

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Mary Dudziak: “Liberals” and “conservatives” are often talking past each other on questions of national security, and there is a need to reshift the conversation, and get beyond partisan and left/right divides.

What’s the War in Afghanistan About Again?

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William Blum: It appears that no one seems to remember, if they ever knew, that Afghanistan was not really about 9-11 or fighting terrorists (except the many the US has created by its invasion and occupation), but was about pipelines.

Democratization: Indigenous Beats Imported

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Ivan Eland: Despite George W. Bush’s and Barack Obama’s efforts to topple foreign dictators and use military power to forcefully impose democracy from without, democracy usually works better if it bubbles up from below by popular desire.

Crackpot Anti-Islam Activists, “Serial Fabricators” and the Tale of Iran and 9/11

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Gareth Porter: In the world of the right-wing Islam-hating extremists and others pushing for confrontation with Iran, reality is no obstacle to spinning tales of secret Iranian assistance to al Qaeda.

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All I Want for Christmas Is My Civil Liberties!

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Coleen Rowley: Obama’s expected signature will not only de-link the “war on terror” from its original justification, the 9-11 attacks of more than a decade ago, to ensure the “long war” does not end.

Rejecting Apology, U.S. May Hasten End of Pakistan as Client

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Gareth Porter: President Barack Obama has sided with U.S. military and Defence Department officials in rejecting a proposal by the U.S. ambassador to Pakistan for a U.S. apology for last weekend’s attack,

A Higher Truth in Libya

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William Blum: In fact, it appears rather likely that a majority of Libyans supported Gaddafi. How else could the government have held off the most powerful military forces in the world for more than seven months?

U.S. Debate on Haqqani: Military or Political Solution?

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Gareth Porter: The military, the Pentagon and the CIA have been pushing aggressively since late 2010 to get the administration to force the Pakistani military leadership to carry out a major offensive against the Haqqani leadership.

The Government’s Illusory Terrorist Threat

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Ivan Eland: The way government works, every agency—whether fighting poverty, obesity, childhood acne, or terrorism—needs a threat to hype to keep the cash flowing in from scared taxpayers.

Assassination of Al Qaeda Leaders Keep Americans in the Dark

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Sherwood Ross: It is hardly surprising that President Obama ordered the assassinations of Osama bin Laden and Anwar al-Awlaki since the last thing he wants is to bring any leader of al-Qaeda to trial.

The Terrorism Issue That Wasn’t Discussed

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Gareth Porter: Absent from the torrent of opinion and analysis was any mention of how the U.S. military occupation of Muslim lands and wars that continue to kill Muslim civilians fuel jihadist sentiment that will keep the threat of terrorism high for many years to come.

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Did 9/11 Really Change Everything?

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Mary L. Dudziak: Even if 9/11 changed the way Americans thought about the world, it could not determine the actions we would take in its aftermath. It did not deprive American leaders of choices.

CIA’s Push for Drone War Driven by Internal Needs

Gareth Porter: When David Petraeus walks into the Central Intelligence Agency Tuesday, he will be taking over an organisation whose mission has changed in recent years from gathering and analysing intelligence to waging military campaigns through drone strikes in Pakistan, as well as in Yemen and Somalia.

Tribunal Concealed Evidence Al-Qaeda Cell Killed Hariri

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Gareth Porter: In focusing entirely on the alleged links between four Hezbollah activists and the 2005 bombing that killed Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, the indictment issued by the Special Tribunal for Lebanon earlier this month has continued the practice of the U.N investigation before it of refusing to acknowledge the much stronger evidence that an Al-Qaeda cell was responsible for the assassination.

Why Pakistani Military Demands a Veto on Drone Strikes

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Gareth Porter: The new Pakistani demand for equal say over drone strikes marks the culmination of a long evolution in the Pakistani military’s attitude toward the drone war. Initially supportive of strikes that were targeting Al-Qaeda leaders, senior Pakistani military leaders soon came to realize that the drone war carried serious risks for Pakistan’s war against the Pakistani Taliban.

US Terror Lists Should Be Downsized

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Ivan Eland: Should we take this violent, cult-like group off the U.S. terrorism list because all these Washington celebrities seem to be at least tacitly advocating such a move? No, the group, no matter how bad, should be taken off the U.S. terrorism list because it no longer attacks U.S. targets.

The West Has a Double Standard in Terrorism Cases

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Ivan Eland: In the case of al-Qaeda, focusing on Islam is just a way of avoiding a much-needed introspective examination of U.S. foreign policy to see if unneeded, and often counterproductive, U.S. interventions in the Muslim world could be eliminated.

Ex-PM Says Taliban Offer Talks For Pullout Date

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Gareth Porter: The Taliban leadership is ready to negotiate peace with the United States right now if Washington indicates its willingness to provide a timetable for complete withdrawal, according to a former Afghan prime minister

How Not to Make Friends in the Greater Middle East

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Tom Englehart: the U.S. military has gathered biometric data—“digital scans of eyes, photographs of the face, and fingerprints”—on 2.2 million Iraqis and 1.5 million Afghans, with an emphasis on men of an age to become insurgents.

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The Lies That Sold Obama’s Escalation in Afghanistan

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Gareth Porter: The Obama administration has relied heavily, of course, on the widespread impression that the Taliban regime was somehow mixed up with Osama bin Laden’s plotting the 9/11 attacks.

“Victory” Is the Verbal Equivalent of a Yeti

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Tom Engelhardt: If you haven’t joined the all-volunteer military, any of our seventeen intelligence outfits, the Pentagon, the weapons companies and hire-a-gun corporations associated with it, or some other part of the National Security Complex, America’s distant wars go on largely without you (at least until the bills come due).

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Obama’s Disappointing Peace Plan

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Rebecca Griffin: Unfortunately, the president’s plan allows the war to last indefinitely and leaves in place almost twice as many troops as when he came in office. The American and Afghan people will pay the price for prolonging this disastrous policy.

Progressive Caucus Urges Significant Afghan Troop Withdrawal

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On behalf of one of the largest and most active caucuses in the California State Democratic Party, we are writing to thank those of you who have worked to end the war in Afghanistan and urge you all to take advantage of every opportunity to push for a significant military withdrawal in July and a clear end date for the war.

Obama Should Follow FDR in Dealing with Generals, Not Lincoln

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Ivan Eland: Obama needs to follow Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s example of not being bullied by his generals and avoid Abraham Lincoln’s bad example of being so intimidated by “experts.”

Ding Dong, but Which is Dead?

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James Livingston: The man was waiting and wanting to be captured, assuming the American legal tradition would protect him, even in a time of war.

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