I don’t believe in god. I never have. I don’t believe in religions. I study them, but I don’t practice them. I try to understand them to be sensitive to the beliefs and traditions of others, and to attempt to appreciate the motivations behind religious thought and deed. But they are irrelevant to living my […]
The Military Industrial Complex
President Eisenhower warned against the dangers of developing a military industrial complex. It appears that when all you have in your toolbox is hammers, everything looks like a nail. The articles below give a sense of the many ways we use all of the hammers we've invested in.
At the end of the state funeral for Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau on October 3, 2000, official mourners were milling about in front of Montreal’s Notre Dame Basilica. Cuban president Fidel Castro stepped over to Jimmy Carter to ask a serious political question: What did Carter think of using the love of baseball shared […]
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 […]
The renewed Israel-Hamas war in Gaza presents the incoming Obama Administration with its most difficult immediate foreign policy challenge. Yet it also offers Obama a well-timed opportunity to act on his promise to return to the aggressive Mideast diplomacy that characterized the final years of the Clinton Administration.
It’s been going on for sixty years. Or a century. Or a millennium. Or more. It depends on how you look at it, but the Israeli-Palestinian confrontation defiantly resists resolution, yielding an unending harvest of blood. Decades of inconclusive conflict have made clear that neither side can achieve its goals by purely military means.
by Ann Wright — On the news today of the death of Harold Pinter, the winner of the 2005 Nobel Prize for Literature, I remembered hearing his Nobel Laureate lecture/acceptable speech. I was in London in December 2005 speaking at the annual “Stop the War” conference when Pinter delivered his speech—not in Oslo, as Pinter […]
For years since the United States invaded Iraq, I’ve witnessed countless photo and video images of innocent civilians – men, women, teens and children – being rudely and aggressively threatened by hired uniformed militants (mostly men), wielding guns
by Charley James — According to both the 9/11 Commission report and Richard Clarke’s book, Against All Enemies, in the summer of 2001 former CIA director George Tenet raced around Washington clanging “alarm bells” to anyone who would listen about a possible al Qaeda attack on the United States. The CIA and the National Security […]
General David Petraeus, the former military commander of U.S. forces in Iraq and author of the military’s most recent counterinsurgency manual, learned the lessons of the successful British counterinsurgency experience in Malaya in the 1950s. He was able to reduce the violence in Iraq by instituting a policy of U.S. military restraint in that country.
by Sherwood Ross — President-elect Obama should drop his plans to escalate the war in Afghanistan, a country that never attacked America, out of pity for a helpless civilian population that will only suffer increasing misery from an expanded fight against the Taliban and its allies.
by Charley James — To prove to himself once and for all that everything is going swell in Iraq, George Bush spent one of his last weekends in office sneaking into Baghdad to say, “So long, suckers! Glad we destroyed you!” in front of what he assumed would be a friendly, naïve audience of Iraqi […]
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 […]
by Sherwood Ross — As the anniversary of the December 7, 1941, Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor rolls around, critics of President Franklin Roosevelt will again claim he had advance knowledge of the strike and allowed it to happen. That would be treasonable on FDR’s part, of course. A rational examination of events, though, shows […]