Remembering 9-11

9/11

Sid went on, beaming with pride as he spoke, his grandson had landed a job at Cantor Fitzgerald – a brokerage firm in Manhattan. And to top it all off, he was in love with a very nice young lady. He and his fiancé Angie, who also worked at the firm, were living together and making plans to marry.

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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Debunking the Iran “Terror Plot”

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Gareth Porter: A close analysis of the FBI deposition reveals, however, that independent evidence for the charge that Arbabsiar was sent by the Qods Force on a mission to arrange for the assassination of Jubeir is lacking.

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.

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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Racism and the Norweigian Madman

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Jessie Daniels: Racism seems to be implicated in this story in two, very telling, ways: Breivik’s views and the initial news reports about the terror strikes.

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 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.”

U.S. Uses Peace Talks to Divide Taliban from Pakistan

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Gareth Porter: Senior Obama administration officials hope to use the talks to sow suspicion between the Taliban and their main ally, thus weakening the Taliban resolve to negotiate on a peace settlement only if the United States offers a timetable for troop withdrawal.

Ass-Backwards in the Middle East

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Ira Chernus: Obama shows no inclination to back his words with the power the U.S. government could wield. Until he does, those words won’t provoke any change in Israel’s domination of the Palestinians.

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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.

The Ghost of Geronimo

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Marcus Daniel: What’s most immediately stunning about the decision to call the mission to hunt down Bin Laden “Geronimo,” is its sheer stupidity and insensitivity. How could this happen? What fool suggested this code word?

Brown-Skinned False Debate

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Let’s allow those already in the country to stay and contribute without fear. Give them citizenship and collect taxes vs forcing them to hide. Then put in place a policy that treats the future arrivals the same as the laureates.

After bin Laden, a Reflection

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Lydia Howell: Now is the time for Americans to re-set our moral compass and demand an end to and accountability for torture of prisoners in the “war on terrorism” — at Guantanamo or at the remaining “black sites” in allied countries.

Let’s Call It ‘VO Day’ and Get Out

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Ivan Eland: Although the Obama administration has said that the killing of Osama bin Laden is not a VE or VJ day—which brought a return to normal times after World War II ended—perhaps it should be.

Afghanistan: A Moment of Opportunity for Obama

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Tom Hayden: The targeted killing of Osama bin Laden is powerful evidence that terrorist threats, both real and hypothetical, can be more effectively suppressed by special forces operations than by deploying hundreds of thousands of American soldiers on the ground.

Bigger than bin Laden

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Dick Price: The issue is much bigger than the killing — in your name and my name — of Osama bin Laden. The bigger issue is our endless warmaking, the callous assumption that the United States has the right to bomb or strafe or attack anyplace it pleases.

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