Joseph Palermo: We need to put the pressure on the Obama administration to reel in the drone program and put the United States on the side of common decency in calling for a United Nations-brokered ban on these pernicious weapons.
Gareth Porter: Data on attacks by armed opposition forces and U.S. combat casualties since the U.S. troop surge in Afghanistan was completed last summer provide clear evidence that the surge and the increase in targeted killings by Special Operations Forces have failed to break the momentum of the Taliban.
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).
Gareth Porter: Obama’s speech announcing that the 33,000 “surge” troops in Afghanistan will be withdrawn by “summer” 2012 indicates that he has given priority to the interests of the military and the Pentagon over concerns by key officials in his administration over the impact of the war’s costs on domestic socioeconomic needs.
President Obama’s announcement that C.I.A. director and longtime Washington insider Leon Panetta will become Secretary of Defense, replacing Robert Gates, and that General David Petraeus will take Mr. Panetta’s job at the C.I.A. reflects the type of appointments that could have been made had John McCain won the 2008 election. Obama’s commitment to business as [...]
Ivan Eland: If it weren’t for the latest salacious bureau-gossip, the book would be rather boring—and tragic. Boring, not because the issues are uninteresting or because Woodward is a bad writer, but because the author records a dysfunctional White House internal decision-making process in which meeting after meeting features the same reasonable questions about the U.S. war in Afghanistan but in which nobody ever has very good answers to them.
Lawrence Wittner: When it comes to military appropriations, the U.S. government already spends about seven times as much as China, thirteen times as much as Russia, and seventy-three times as much as Iran.
Tracy Emblem: Compare President Truman’s proclamation of equal opportunity and treatment in the military to today’s efforts to repeal the 1993 “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy imposed by Congress. This discriminatory practice is tantamount to silent segregation of gay and lesbian personnel and puts them at continued risk to lose their jobs and all of their benefits.
Robert Reich: Having a giant undercover military jobs program is an insane way to keep Americans employed. It creates jobs we don’t need but we keep anyway because there’s no honest alternative.
Randy Shaw: The Republican Party and Democratic so-called “deficit hawks” attack any proposed defense cuts as “job killers.” Yet this alliance refused to save the jobs of hundreds of thousands of teachers, and have backed tax and spending policies that have cost the nation millions of jobs in recent years.
Patrick Henningsen: Just as every cracking wooden fence requires a white wash, so every unsavoury event needs a good cover-up. After the massacre, it’s reported that the Coalition Soldiers removed the bullets from the walls, plastered over the bullet holes, and then tied the hands of the dead victims behind their backs and gagged them.
Tina Dupuy: Going largely underreported, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates spoke at the Eisenhower Library (name for the president who coined the term “military-industrial complex”), last week calling for cuts in the Pentagon’s budget. Gates asked, “Does the number of warships we have and are building really put America at risk when the U.S. battle fleet is larger than the next 13 navies combined, 11 of which belong to allies and partners? “
Rev. Irene Monroe: In February, when the nation’s top two Defense officials — Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Admiral Mike Mullen, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff — advocated for a repeal of the 1993 “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell (DADT)” policy, universities like Brown, Columbia, and Harvard, to name a few, allowed ROTC to march its way back on campus.
Sherwood Ross: If an imperial Presidency is defined as one in which an autocratic president can pretty much do as he pleases waging wars around the world, all that a more intensive media environment does is to provide him with heightened supporting coverage. Fox News may attack Obama for his management style but it does not dispute his basic imperialist direction, which is a continuation of the Bush-Cheney wars of aggression. Media dissent these days flickers only on the Internet. Thus the White House succeeds in controlling the news—especially as it derives so much help from the mainstream media.
Although the U.S. is not in imminent danger of attack from any country, President Obama’s first budget further expands the Pentagon’s already dominant global operations. Not even the prospect of a $3.1 trillion combined budget deficit for this year and next deters him. Let them chop the budget for black colleges and police officer death [...]
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 [...]
Let’s see if I got this right. The prime minister of an allied government disses the U.S. Secretary of State, says he went over her head and got her boss, the President of the United States, to countermand her intention to vote for a resolution at the United Nations and gloats over the fact that [...]
As Barack Obama looks abroad for allies in the war in Afghanistan, he should move fast to put Canada at the top of his list. Thus far, however, the incoming administration’s message to Canadians has been disappointing. The principal problem is Obama’s use of Defense Secretary Robert Gates as his primary recruiter of Canadian support. [...]
by Ivan Eland – As rage coursed through India after the Mumbai terrorist bombings, Condoleezza Rice, the Bush administration’s Secretary of State, flew to India and cautioned the Indian government on avoiding a knee-jerk and counterproductive response. She warned the Indians that “any response needs to be judged by its effectiveness in prevention and also [...]
Some have looked at the list of Obama’s latest appointees and said that Obama has thrown his supporters under the bus. Others say his selections are nothing less than masterful. We, at the LA Progressive, have decided not to weigh in. . .yet. Instead of giving you our opinion, we’ve compiled a list of the [...]
by Joseph Palermo – Forty-eight years ago, President-Elect John F. Kennedy thought it would be a good idea to show “bipartisanship” and continuity by keeping on Allen Dulles from the previous administration as Director of Central Intelligence. He found out after the Bay of Pigs fiasco of April 1961 that he had made a big [...]