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.

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.

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?

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.

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.

“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).

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.

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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