What Center?

obama eating crow

Joseph Palermo: The political “center” of American politics is a moving target. And for the last thirty years it has moved in only one direction: Rightward.

Elections a Setback for Peace

Sen. Russ Feingold

Tom Hayden: The peace bloc – activist groups, anti-war Congress members, writers and artists, here and across the NATO – can exercise a massive drag against the war-making machine through 2012 as long as the wars remain deeply unpopular.

The Company We Keep

karzai and obama

Stanley Kutler: Once again, we have bet the mortgage on one leader, no matter how inept and corrupt he might be. Karzai is playing off various sides, eagerly accepting the largesse and patronage of at least two governments, each with its own interests.

WikiLeaks Wins Information War: New Torture, Civilian Casualties Revealed

julian assange

Tom Hayden: Like all Americans, the Peace and Justice Resource Center needs the peeling back of secrecy covering the Pentagon’s wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Blame Obama for Democrats’ Problems

randy shaw

Randy Shaw: President Obama spent nearly his entire first year playing “bipartisanship” with those out to destroy him. As much as many of us cheered Obama’s election and still admire many of his skills, the sad reality is that his failure to aggressively push for change in 2009 is the chief cause of the celebrated enthusiasm gap.

Woodward’s Exposé Documents What We All Suspected About the White House

bob woodward

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.

Progressive Canaries in a Political Mine

Streakyheaded Canary on Aloe Flower

Norman Solomon: After more than 20 months of White House insistence that the only useful role for progressive canaries is to keep singing the president’s tune, the electoral coal mine is filled with the political equivalent of carbon monoxide and methane.

Why Liberals Don’t Stand a Chance in the Corporate Media

glenn beck blind

Joseph Palermo: Our political spectrum, as refracted through the lens of corporate media, runs from center-right to far-right. No wonder the conventional wisdom in Washington holds, without evidence, that the United States is a “center-right” country. Those making that argument might not be real, informed commentators — but they play them on TV.

A Big Fool Says to Push On

pete seeger

Ann Wright: On the eve of the beginning of the tenth year (October 7) of the U.S war in Afghanistan, Bob Woodward’s new book “Obama’s War” about presidential decision making on the war in Afghanistan is pretty scary reading. It sounds to me like folk singer Peter Seeger’s song about the Vietnam war “Waist Deep in the Big Muddy,” describes the U.S. war in Afghanistan.

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.

Bob Woodward and All the President’s Men

bob woodward

Andrew J. Bacevich: Once a serious journalist, the Washington Post’s Bob Woodward now makes a very fine living as chief gossip-monger of the governing class.

This Year, Contractor Deaths Exceed Military Ones in Iraq and Afghanistan

contractor candy

T. Christian Miller: More private contractors than soldiers were killed in Iraq and Afghanistan in recent months, the first time in history that corporate casualties have outweighed military losses on America’s battlefields.

Recession Is Over! (If You Want It)

combat

Joseph Palermo: The National Bureau of Economic Research tells us the Great Recession is “over.” The only thing this announcement reveals is just how out of touch and compassionless those who view human society through the lens of quantitative measurements can be.

Fixing the World Not Our Responsibility

u.s. military

Steve Hochstadt: The main problem has been the the policy of intervention. We can’t create a safe world by sending more arms overseas.

End Illegal War: Support Bradley Manning

collateral damage

Ann Wright: Just as Daniel Ellsberg blew the whistle on the lies of the US leaders of the Vietnam War, Manning is accused of blowing the whistle on the illegality of today’s wars. What will our response to the information Manning is charged with releasing be? Can we make today’s Pentagon Papers lead to an end to illegal and wasteful wars abroad and the return of our troops home?

On the Art of Exit: Iraq and Afghanistan

John Peeler: Obama appears determined that the wars not overwhelm his domestic agenda, even as, pragmatically, he cannot walk away from either without exposing himself to withering political attacks. If Bush saw himself as a war president, Obama wants to be a reformer with two wars to manage.

The Possible Prosecution of WikiLeaks

wikileaks

Ivan Eland: The U.S. Justice Department is apparently considering prosecuting Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, which is a Web site that publishes classified documents from governments, under the rarely used Espionage Act of 1917. Such a prosecution would have adverse effects on the American people’s right to know what their government is doing in a republic that is supposed to be run by them.

General McChrystal, General Petraeus, and General Confusion

Michael H. Hunt

Michael Hunt: This might be a good time to put a stop to general confusion and to that end assert firm civilian control, order the brass back to the Pentagon, and above all ask if the militarization of our society is consistent with our historic values.

Wikileaks: An Antidote for the Pentagon’s Long History of Burying the Truth?

Tom Hall: Excuse me if don’t start drooling with enthusiasm at the recent disclosure that the Pentagon and Wikileaks have been talking to each other about proper handling of further disclosures on our occupation of Afghanistan.

General Petraeus Goes to Media War

Norman Solomon: It’s already history. In mid-August 2010, the U.S. commander in Afghanistan launched a huge media campaign to prevent any substantial withdrawal of military forces the next summer.

Converting Military Restraint in Wars into an Effective National Strategy

bombingbaghdad

Ivan Eland: The US should attempt to win hearts and minds in the Muslim world by ending meddling in places such as Yemen and Somalia and withdrawing forces rapidly from Iraq and Afghanistan.

U.S. Policy in Iraq Urged Indiscriminate Shooting of Civilians, Say Three Former Soldiers

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Sherwood Ross: Three former U.S. soldiers involved in the infamous “Collateral Murder” helicopter gunship attack on Baghdad civilians in July 2007, say that attack was nothing out of the ordinary.

Washington May Be Broken Now, But the Future Is Up for Grabs

Rep. Wilbur Mills, long-time former Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, with chief aide and swimming instructor Fanne Foxe.

Michael Sigman: But lest the healthy anger of progressives during the Bush years curdle into full-blown, hide-under-the-covers depression, it’s worth asking: When did Washington work, anyway?

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.

When Teachers Unions Back War Escalations

troops

David Swanson: There is nothing altruistic in the idea of peace activists helping workers and the unemployed here at home. That’s how you build a movement for any political end, and that’s how you keep our young people from becoming cannon fodder.

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.

Unanimous Conformity in the Senate

Sen. Wayne Morse

Norman Solomon: Every living senator voted Wednesday to approve Gen. David Petraeus as the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan. Call it the unanimity of lemmings – except the senators and their families aren’t the ones who’ll keep plunging into the sea.

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.

Look at Our Yellow Ribbons

time square kiss

Tina Dupuy: What strikes me about the photo is that they really knew how to end wars back then. For example: they used to end wars…back then. There was a global conflict followed by a resolution. Beginning. Middle. End. Done. Birthrate skyrockets.

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