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.

What Ron Paul, Occupy Wall Street, Lech Walesa, Tahrir Square, Tiananmen Square and Many Tea Partiers Have in Common

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Brent Budowsky: One reason Ron Paul has been on an upward and steady curve is that he speaks, with integrity and honor, for one segment (though far from all) of this unrest in an age of protest and demand for change.

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.

We Are All the 99%

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Denis Campbell: As the Occupy Wall Street movement enters its fourth week, on Saturday the New York and Washington base camp plazas were so overfilled they resembled Tahrir Square, Cairo.

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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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

Automated Biometric Information System

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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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.

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.

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.

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.

Bin Laden Capture; Right Wing Nightmare

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Paul Hogarth: One of the Navy Seals who carried out the mission was a so-called “anchor baby” – the son of undocumented Mexican immigrants, who the American Taliban wants to strip of U.S. citizenship rights.

U.S. Refusal of 2001 Taliban Offer Gave bin Laden a Free Pass

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Gareth Porter: When George W. Bush rejected a Taliban offer to have Osama bin Laden tried by a moderate group of Islamic states in mid- October 2001, he gave up the only opportunity the United States would have to end bin Laden’s terrorist career for the next nine years.

If Cairo Came to Kabul

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David Swanson: It will come as a surprise to most Americans, and indeed to most Afghans, that a dedicated group of Afghan youth has begun building a principled and disciplined nonviolent movement for peace, independence, and unity in Afghanistan.

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Muslim Hater Explains ‘Muslim Messenger’ Strategy

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Lee Fang: Despite his media savvy “Muslim messenger” approach, King cannot hide his ties to bigoted figures like Gabriel or their toxic ideas.

The Arab World’s Leadership Deficit

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Ibrahim Al-Marashi: President Hosni Mubarak was not a leader with the inherent charisma to galvanise the population. It is a problem that faces the entire region.

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Leaked Cables: Egyptian Government Stokes Fears of Muslim Brotherhood

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Marian Wang: The Muslim Brotherhood, a key opposition group in Egypt’s anti-Mubarak protests, has long argued that the Egyptian government exaggerates the Muslim Brotherhood’s positions and its likelihood of attaining power in democratic elections. As it turns out, American diplomats agree.

Arab Unrest Hopping from Country to Country

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Jim Fuller: It’s a tossup at this moment as to whether the Jordanian and Saudi governments will be thrown out, I think. But what about Yemen and Algeria? No one can say at this point.

The Jasmine Revolution: Testing Time for the White House

Carl Bloice: To do something meaningful the Obama Administration must go beyond lecturing the local establishment leaders about human rights and political plurality. It must be to move to respond positively to the aspiration of the kids with the rocks in the streets. It should not involve telling the Pakistanis how to price gas.

A Radical Solution for the War in Afghanistan

Ivan Eland: The problem is that the U.S. goal in Afghanistan—although President Obama has reduced it from George W. Bush’s instituting democracy to merely stabilizing the country—is still too ambitious.

The Taliban: Forced Into Negotiation While Winning?

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Ivan Eland: Although David Petraeus, the top American commander in Afghanistan, recently peddled the notion that senior Taliban chieftains had made contact with senior Afghan government officials about the possibility of starting reconciliation talks, such talk of peace in our time is likely to be hype.

Tea Party America’s Al-Qaeda?

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Steve Ybarra: The Tea Party, like Al-Qeada, has no head but rather is run by many small groups (cells). It, like Al-Qeada, is ultra-conservative with each group deciding what essential documents (like the Qur’an) mean.

Histrionics Over the Mosque: Symbolism Crowds Out Reality

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Ivan Eland: The American media, and to a lesser extent the world media, focus on symbolism at the expense of underlying reality. And sometimes they can’t even make sense of the symbolism. The artificially generated controversy over a proposed mosque within about two blocks of the site of the 9/11 attacks is illustrative of this ignorance.

What to Do About the Wars

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Ivan Eland: Most analysts believe that the U.S. government will renegotiate the status of forces agreement with any new Iraqi government—making the heroic assumption that there is a new Iraqi government by next year—to leave some forces permanently in that country.

Soccer Bombing Should Not Prompt More U.S. Meddling

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Ivan Eland: The synchronized and unconscionable bombings by the Somali group al-Shabab—of people doing nothing more than watching soccer games in Kampala, Uganda—counterintuitively illustrates why the United States should not be fighting Islamic militancy worldwide. Many of America’s editorial writers are screaming for stepped-up U.S. counterterrorism strikes in Somalia against the group. This option would be the worst possible course of action.

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