If Cairo Came to Kabul

david swanson

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.

On Visiting an Unwinnable War

johan galtung

David Swanson: If Afghanistan is to have peace, Galtung believes, it will need a loose federation of governments within and a confederation of allied countries without, including countries like Pakistan and Iran.

The Lynch-Mob Moment

wikileaks bomb

Tom Hayden: There’s wisdom in expecting calmer heads to prevail in the WikiLeaks matter, but what can be done when the calmer heads are going nuts or hiding in silence?

The Taliban: Forced Into Negotiation While Winning?

taliban fighters

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.

Markos Calls Out Right-Wing Extremists

Markos Moulitsas

Sylvia Moore: The U.S. is going through such a shock right now. Moulitsas is correct when he says that we can’t be polite to or negotiate with extremists, no matter where they reside, in the Middle East or in America.

If Republicans Win, Have “the Terrorists” Already Won?

Paul Hogarth: Despite all the ranting right-wingers make about “terrorists” and how much they accuse liberals of being “un-American,” their worldview has far more in common with Islamic fundamentalism – from a violent jingoism, to the treatment of gays and women, to a rejection of science. American Taliban is a much-needed dose of reality for the upcoming election, as Republicans magnify the non-issue of a proposed Islamic community center in Manhattan.

What to Do About the Wars

afghanistan can of worms

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.

State of Denial: After the Big Leak, Spinning for War

Greg Jaffe-The Washington Post

Norman Soloman: And if, these days, “U.S. troops in the field” are not as inclined to express “frustration at having to fight a war without sufficient resources,” the latest boosts of Pentagon outlays for war in Afghanistan merely reflect the unhinged escalation of a war effort that should not exist.

Afghanistan Again

Joseph Palermo: After nine years of war the U.S. occupation of Afghanistan lacks support at home and is widely recognized as a drain on the domestic economy in a time of severe economic contraction. The billions of dollars in U.S. economic assistance to the Hamid Karzai government has created an unsustainable class of Afghans who are dependent upon the American largesse and military presence that would be impossible to sustain by local taxes. It is a puppet government that wouldn’t last a day without American arms and money.

Taliban’s Time Horizon Longer Than America’s

http://www.independent.org/newsroom/article.asp?id=2815

Ivan Eland: The only solution is to cut the U.S. losses and leave Afghanistan for good. The good news is that removal of U.S. occupation forces from a Muslim land might actually reduce blowback anti-U.S. terrorism around the world.

American Empire: How the Military-Industrial Complex Is Warping America’s Values

defense-budget

Tim Gatto: Now that corporate control of our elections is out in the open thanks to our Supreme Court, we might as well realize that what we see on our televisions and read in our newspapers is also corporate-controlled. We can still tune into the internet to see world news and different opinions, but I can see that soon even the internet will swallowed up by corporate money.

Bhutto:The Film — Heartbreaking, Thought-Provoking History Lesson

Benazir Bhutto

Georgianne Nienaber: Bhutto: The Film presents the story of a woman whose strength of personality and conviction totally dominates the constraints of a fundamentalist religious society where women had no intrinsic value. The voice over of Bhutto describing her birth is the ghost in the room. Her extended family was in mourning that Benazir entered the world in a society where the only desire is that the firstborn be a boy. “Dogs and cats were giving birth to boys,” she narrates from the grave.

Hiding Behind the Skirts of Women

Afghan women lining up for food during the Taliban regime. (UNHCR Photo)

For eight years, many Americans have justified the war in Afghanistan as a moral battle to “protect” Afghan women. But Afghan women tell another story: more U.S. war will bear them more suffering. Three decades of foreign occupation — with little sign of ending — have led to the complete collapse of more than a [...]

Torture: It’s Perfectly Legal — But We Don’t Do It

cheney bush

Liz and Dick Cheney, Bill Bennett, Ari Fleischer, and countless other commentators have saturated the public airwaves of late ever since the Obama Administration decided to make public the Bush torture memos. These apologists for war crimes have been jawboning the issue from every conceivable angle. Why are these barbarians who defend torturing other human [...]

The Drug Wars: Is Half a Century of Bloody Futility Enough?

drug-wars1

Drug wars in northern Mexico, fed by guns and money from the United States, and spilling over into this country, remind us that the trade in illegal drugs remains a huge problem. We have been engaged since around 1970 in a succession of efforts by successive administrations to wage war on illegal drug trafficking, and [...]

Obama Can Learn From Jimmy Carter, Too

jimmy_carter

Jimmy Carter was the last president to ask the nation for collective sacrifice. Barack Obama ought to do the same. How should he do so? He should ask Congress to approve an economic stimulus plan and then specifically outline the sacrifices Americans will have to make over the next four years to achieve the national [...]

We Can No Longer Afford the Empire

french_indochina

Somebody is going to have to whisper in President-elect Obama’s ear that the unipolar moment has passed and that the United States can no longer afford its informal worldwide empire. Even though the looming economic meltdown will likely be serious—and maybe even cataclysmic—the foreign policy chattering classes of both parties are on autopilot and have [...]

A Big ‘Hoorah!’ to the New York Times’ Dexter Filkins

opium

In a devastatingly critical examination of the narco-state formerly known as Afghanistan, the New York Times’ Dexter Filkins today documents case after case of widespread corruption on a massive scale in the Afghan government, including officials ranging from low-level, local bureaucrats right up to the brother of President Hamid Karzai. Filkins shows the difficult situation [...]

Military Action May Sometimes Be Moral and Constitutional, But Not Smart

america-in_pakistan

by Ivan Eland – President-elect Barack Obama—showing the obligatory toughness toward foreign “evildoers” needed (especially by Democrats) in American political campaigns—pledged to use the American military to go after al Qaeda in Pakistan. Of all people, his hawkish rival, Senator John McCain, who supported the unprovoked U.S. invasion and occupation of Iraq, criticized Obama’s approach [...]

Republicans are Cowards

Cowardice

I have concluded that Republicans are, by their very nature, cowards. Let us look at the evidence. First, instead of fighting a war that we really should have been fighting (like addressing real issues about who we are in the world community), we went to a trumped up war based upon lies and innuendo in [...]

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