Murray Polner: After listening to two weeks of scripted hot air, I wondered why so much money and energy was spent on an election where less than 50-55% will even bother voting and those who do, have already made up their minds about which candidate they love least.
Murray Polner: Our country’s preeminent newspaper has had its ‘hills and valleys’, from the high point of the Pentagon Papers and its support for reporter James Risen while he was hounded and harassed for seven years by the feds for refusing to reveal a confidential source down to the lower depths, when it backed the invasion of Iraq
Murray Polner: Presidential elections since the sixties showed that its memories and impact will remain with us “so long as politicians who came of age in the 1960s seek high office—and perhaps longer— the tensions of the era will retain their power.” Those Fabulous Sixties
Murray Polner: As all civil wars go, this one is especially unforgiving and brutal, made worse by bitter historic ethnic, religious and tribal rivalries and the proxy wars fought by foreign powers that are there to defend its interests.
Murray Polner: the dangerous game goes on between the three powers until someone either devises a diplomatic solution with people they may not like or we slip mindlessly into a nuclear war.
Murray Polner: Dov Waxman’s Trouble in the Tribe is a fair and thorough account of a growing schism between American Jews who refuse to remain silent about Israeli policies they find objectionable and the well-known Israel Lobby.
Murray Polner: As Obama’s second term crawls to its end, the US and China are jockeying for dominance in the South Pacific, which could amount to a time bomb if diplomacy or mutual economic interests fail to intercede.
Murray Polner: Soldier suicides and stories of permanently crippled vets have largely vanished from our media, the survivors ignored but for predictable Memorial Day editorials.
Murray Polner: Discrediting the Red Scare: The Cold War Trials of James Kutcher, The Legless Veteran reminds us that Kutcher fiercely resisted the government, and finally won his battle. socialist worker party
Murray Polner: Who thought then that Gorby the communist, and Ron the hawk, urged on by his shrewd and smart wife to meet and talk with the Russian, would become friends and warm pen pals and more importantly, advocates for a more peaceful, non-nuclear world.
Murray Polner: At war’s end, about 75,000 Salvadorans were dead, tens of thousands had fled north for safety, and as the Truth for El Salvador Commission reported in 1993, “The government forces were responsible for eighty-five percent of the atrocities and human rights abuses.”
Murray Polner: “Nagasaki” is an empathetic, meticulous and lucid account of the city and its victims, especially since the city has always lived in the shadow of Hiroshima. Nagasaki Victims
Murray Polner: As Obama prepares to depart to write his memoirs, oversee his presidential library, and await the judgment of history, we have to wonder whether the seeds of future wars his administration has planted will come to fruition.