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Archives from September 2009
Obama’s LBJ Moment
HARVEY WASSERMAN
Lyndon Johnson was once on the verge of becoming one of America’s greatest presidents. But with a single wrong turn into Vietnam, LBJ plunged himself and the nation into a ghastly tragedy that still makes us all weep and bleed. It is NOW! up to ...
Stuck Between Two Failures
NICOLA NASSER
It was extraordinarily questionable why U.S. President Barak Obama chose not to credit the War on Afghanistan with a separate paragraph in his speech to the General Assembly of the United Nations on September 23, to “note” the war on Iraq with only a four...
Street Report From the G20
BILL QUIGLEY
The G20 in Pittsburgh showed us how pitifully fearful our leaders have become. What no terrorist could do to us, our own leaders did.   Out of fear of the possibility of a terrorist attack, authorities militarize our towns, scare our people ...
Dumping Dubya
DAVID MICHAEL GREEN
Hey, wasn’t that George W. Bush presidency really fantastic? You do still remember it, don’t you? Wasn’t it great?  Don’t you have lots of warm and fuzzy memories of it?  Isn’t it a shame that he couldn’t ha...
Why Afghan Intellectuals Live in National Despair
ESHAN AZARI
Afghanistan’s  president, Mr Hamid Karzai has many faces, like the colors of his billowing chapan.  One shines in his antipathy towards Afghan intelligentsia and another in his indissoluble bond with the Afghan warlords.  His election campaign ex...
Hardcore Capitalism
KIM NICOLINI
Lorna’s Silence, Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne’s latest Belgian-Eye-View of life under Capitalism, is an uncompromisingly realistic picture of a cannibalistic economy in which the female body and humanity in general are so much disposable merchandise in th...
How "White Magic" Makes the Ism of Race Disappear
Rev. WILLIAM E. ALBERTS
Cambridge police sergeant James M. Crowley’s arrest of Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr. for “disorderly conduct” in his own home triggered an intense, momentary national conversation on “race.”  Not on racism.  “W...
Send Lawyers, Guns and Money
MIKE ROSELLE
No substantial gain in our efforts to continually evolve into a more humane and caring society has been made without the willingness of individuals-with non violence as both a creed and a strategy–to step outside the framework of law and tradition in order to c...
Obama and Race Management
SETH SANDRONSKY
Is President Obama left, center or right? To some of his opponents he is a leftist. But wait. The actual president widens the war in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Further, he watches the withering of the Employee Free Choice Act to help workers form labor unions. ...
The Goldstone Report and Israeli Impunity
RAMZY BAROUD
"We may be witnessing the beginning of the end of the era of impunity," Nadia Hijab, a senior fellow at the Washington-based Institute for Palestine Studies, said in response to the findings of a 574-page report by a four-member United Nations Fact finding ...
The Lady Vanishes
DAVID Ker THOMSON
We seldom surface long enough to be registered as anything substantial upon the consciousness of your cities, but we are everywhere in your midst.  Our ubiquity is akin to that of dog scat—unremarked till you step in it.  We seldom write, or i...
Cuba, Hurricanes and the Internet
NELSON P. VALDÉS
Fernando Ravsberg of the BBC reports that Cubans now are permitted to have  access to the Internet via the Cuban Post Office. [1] Such a decision has  been characterized as "free access" to the Internet. Actually, the service  is not free bec...
Gitmo Trial Delayed … Again
ANDY WORTHINGTON
On Monday, following a request from the Obama administration, Army Col. Stephen Henley, the military judge in the proposed trial by Military Commission of five men charged in connection with the 9/11 att...
The Ruin of His Presidency
ALEXANDER COCKBURN
The ripest moment of absurdity last week was the spectacle of Pentagon officials berating the Washington Post for publishing the supposedly confidential assessment of the situation in Afghanistan, prepared for General McChrystal, America’s Man in Charge of that...
Why are Farmers Afraid of Michael Pollan?
JIM GOODMAN
Author Michael Pollan is no stranger to controversy. He has broadened the discussion of what we eat, where and how it is grown, big vs. small, organic farming vs. conventional. When he speaks some in the audience will love him, some will not. Advocates of larg...
Covert Memories From Miami
SAUL LANDAU
In Miami, several retired U.S. officials remembered the early 1960s, when the CIA sent hundreds of employees to join other government bureaucrats to process and recruit thousands of Cuban exiles to destroy the Cuban revolution. Assassination plans abounded, from pois...
Speculating on Education
DANIEL WOLFF
"We’re not speculators. We’re investors.” So says the CEO of a real estate trust that recently sunk some $170 million into 22 charter schools. Which got me wondering: why charter schools? How do they end up looking like sound inves...
Transparent Pink
LORENZO WOLFF
Most of the time, it takes something more than the right choice of notes to make a good record. Whether it’s a nostalgic connection or an attraction to the reputation the music brings, people tend to have ulterior motives for their musical choices. On t...
The Partition Straightjacket
JOHN V. WHITBECK
The desperate and desultory New York "summit" among Barack Obama, Binyamin Netanyahu and Mahmoud Abbas and the evident capitulation of Obama to Israeli defiance of even his minimalist effort to achieve mere maintenance of the status quo have left most obser...
From Oppression to Opportunity
CHARLES R. LARSON
How many books make a significant difference in matters that concern everyone who lives on earth? You can probably count the titles on one hand. Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn, husband and wife, have certainly written such a book. Half the Sky: Turning Oppress...
The Pentagon Feedlot
WINSLOW T. WHEELER
2009 is an important year for the evolution of pork in defense bills. Having expanded immensely since September 11, 2001, pork has met its first notable challenge. It came from Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, who in April took a stand against some of the lowest of...
Froberger’s Travels
DAVID YEARSLEY
No music was cloaked more darkly in the allure of travel than that of the great 17th-century keyboardist Johann Jakob  Froberger (1616-1667). Commemorating encounters, incidents, and personages from across Europe, Froberger’s oeuvre acquired its lasting au...
Sleeping with the Enemy
JONATHAN COOK
Nazareth A local authority in Israel has announced that it is establishing a special team of youth counsellors and psychologists whose job it will be to identify young Jewish women who are dating Arab men and “rescue” them. The move by the...
Is Obama a Socialist?
ROBERT JENSEN
For months, leftists have been pointing out the absurdity of the claim that Barack Obama is a socialist. But no matter how laughable, the claim keeps popping up, most recently in the form of the Republican Party chairman’s warning of “a socialist power gr...
Know Your Dictator
NADIA HIJAB
As the United Nations General Assembly convenes this week, a high-level parade of actual and aspiring dictators arrives in New York City. This is a good time for people of conscience to reflect on how to deal with dictators. The U.S. government appears to have...