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.

Depression, Not Recession Rocks U.S. Ghettos

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Sherwood Ross: Instead of investing in a framework to help blacks advance by their own initiative, the Federal government has flushed billions down the toilets of friendly foreign strongmen such as Egypt’s Hosni Mubarek.

How to Rate Obama on Afghanistan

Tom Hayden: Since there is no Peace Lobby capable of negotiating or delivering a peace vote in the old-time electoral manner, millions of individuals will are capable of evaluating, changing their minds, and withholding their votes right up to the November 2012 election.

Obama Troop Surge Decision Ignored Pak-Taliban Ties

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Gareth Porter: The unilateral U.S. raid that killed Osama bin Laden created a spike in mutual recriminations between U.S. and Pakistani politicians, but their fundamental conflict of interest over Afghanistan was already driving the two countries toward serious confrontation.

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.

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.

Afghan Attacks Highlight Challenges of Training Afghan Forces

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Marian Wang: The U.S. has spent billions on to train the dysfunctional police force, which has been riddled with high turnover and continued corruption.

A Turning Point?

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Tom Hayden: Peace advocates should unite in demanding that President Obama decide to announce a significant troop withdrawal from Afghanistan beginning this July. Together we can push toward a significant de-escalation of this war.

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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“White City” in Afghanistan; Black Heart in Florida

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Kirwin: Terry Jones’ Quran burning resulted in killings and extreme danger in Afghanistan. The United Nations ordered all of its personnel to remain locked down in their compounds. A credible rumor has it that the UN will decide whether to completely pull out of the country, despite multiple assertions to the contrary by the UN Special Representative, Staffan de Mistura, who is based in Kabul.

Obama: We Won’t Sacrifice Schools for Wars

Randy Shaw: In a galvanizing April Fools’ Day speech in Madison, Wisconsin, President Barack Obama announced that his Administration would “no longer prioritize military spending over educating our children.”

Obama and War

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John Peeler: Obama has done, in the Libyan case, just what he said he would: with UN Security Council and Arab League authorization, he has put together a coalition to take limited military measures to prevent a humanitarian catastrophe.

Tax-Deductible Invasions

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Walter Brasch: If 60 million Americans want war, and the cost is a mere $300 million a week, then each supporter would have about $5 per week deducted from his or her paycheck.

On Visiting an Unwinnable War

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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.

Afghanistan Withdrawal Resolution Passes DNC

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Tom Hayden: The policy resolution demands a “swift withdrawal” of troops and contractors starting with a “significant and sizeable reduction [of troops] no later than July 2011.

Obama’s Progressive Enablers

Randy Shaw: It’s painful to remember that Barack Obama ran against Hillary Clinton by arguing that the Clinton presidency had not been as transformative as Ronald Reagan’s, and that he would go beyond small reforms to bring Change We Can Believe In.

Solar Peace, or Blood for Oil: The Need to Broaden the Peace Movement

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Tom Hayden: In his State of the Union address, President Obama opened a door through which the peace, labor and environmental movements should march, towards an energy future not dependent on resource wars.

A Time for Action — Not Servility

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Norman Solomon and Jeff Cohen: While Washington pundits are talking up a new civility, many progressives are bracing for the old servility — a bipartisanship that is servile to a corporate elite that is unquenchably greedy and more powerful than ever.

Barbara Lee: We Need to Convince Obama to Campaign Against War

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Tom Hayden: President Obama needs to be convinced to “shift his political calculus” and campaign in 2012 “on a platform of ending the war in Afghanistan,” Rep. Barbara Lee told representatives of several peace organizations in a conference call on Dec. 10.

Reliving the Soviet Experience in Afghanistan

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Tom Engelhardt: If, as 2011 begins, you want to peer into the future, enter my time machine, strap yourself in, and head for the past, that laboratory for all developments of our moment and beyond.

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 Lynch-Mob Moment

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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?

WikiLeaks Versus the Empire

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Tom Hayden: Informed sources say that the current deluge of WikiLeaks documents will continue for another week and grow in significance. Why is this drama important? Not because of “life-threatening” leaks as claimed by the establishment, but because the closed doors of power need to be open to public review.

The New War Congress: An Obama-Republican War Alliance?

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David Swanson: The most silvery of possible silver linings here may lie in the possibility of a reborn peace movement. George W. Bush’s new memoir actually reveals the surprising strength the peace movement had achieved by 2006.

Swedish Justice on Trial in WikiLeaks Case

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Tom Hayden: Sweden’s issuing of arrest warrants for Julian Assange yesterday seems designed to further defame the WikiLeaks whistleblower whose network has released embarrassing secret documents on the Afghanistan and Iraq wars.

Looking Forward

Norman Solomon: Deficit commission co-chairs Alan Simpson and Erskine Bowles are pushing scenarios that would undermine Social Security, while all sorts of contorted rationales are in the air for continuing the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy.

The Drain of Blood, Taxes and Hope in Afghanistan

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Tom Hayden: Persistent waffling on dates for American troop withdrawals has eroded any remaining patience with the Obama White House among peace activists and voters, a majority of whom favors a timeline for US troop withdrawals.

Obama Sides with India Against Pakistan Over Afghanistan

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Tom Hayden: President Obama’s visit to India last week further cemented the US alliance with Hindu-dominated India in its long proxy war over Afghanistan against Muslim Pakistan.

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