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Archives from November 2009
International Support for Sri Lanka
RON RIDENOUR
The Geneva Declaration on Terrorism, passed May 29, 1987 by the UN general assembly, points out that the main perpetrators of terrorism are governments striving to keep down parts of their populations or other peoples. In this document the main culprits are the Unite...
Better Than Nothing?
ROB STONE, MD
One of my professors years ago was a round little man who liked to warn us, with a twinkle in his eye, “Making predictions is very difficult, especially predictions about the future.” Will a bill pass, in what form, and then what will the long term implic...
Better Than Nothing?
ROB STONE, MD
One of my professors years ago was a round little man who liked to warn us, with a twinkle in his eye, “Making predictions is very difficult, especially predictions about the future.” Will a bill pass, in what form, and then what will the long term implic...
Canada’s Guantanamo
ERIC WALBERG
A scandal erupted last week in sleepy Ottawa with the revelations of Canada’s chief diplomat in Kandahar in 2006-07, Richard Colvin, who told a House of Commons committee on Afghanistan that Afghans arrested by Canadian military and handed over to Afghan author...
Occupy Everything!
GEORGE CICCARIELLO-MAHER
Berkeley. This was bound to be a big week in California regardless, as the threat of a 32 percent tuition and fee increase across the University of California system made a crashing entrance into reality with Wednesday’s vote by the UC Board of Regents. ...
Obama as Hamlet
GARY LEUPP
Obama’s approval rating has slipped under 50%. Still, I think most Americans feel somewhat sympathetic towards him as he wrestles with what to do in Afghanistan. That, I think, is how the White House wants us to view this interval: the president is a Hamlet-fig...
Mission Creep: Counter-Insurgency in Salinas?
WILLIAM S. LIND
One of the ongoing themes of this column has been gangs and the role they play in a Fourth Generation world.  Here in the United States they already serve as an alternative primary loyalty (alternative to the state) for many urban young men.  Gangs will lik...
Poisoning Dimock
ADAM FEDERMAN
Of all the towns that have been subjected to drilling for natural gas in Pennsylvania since the opening up of the Marcellus Shale, none have suffered more than Dimock. In just over a year several drinking water wells have been contaminated (one of which exploded on N...
The Perils of Plan Mexico
LAURA CARLSEN
I have been a political analyst and writer in Mexico for the past two decades. I’m also a mother faced with the challenge of raising children there. As a human rights advocate and a mother, today I speak to you, frankly, with a great sense of urgency. Me...
The Delphi Incident
DAVID MACARAY
Salaried, white-collar, non-union employees of Delphi (the former General Motors-owned auto parts conglomerate), in Warren, Ohio, were recently treated to a bitterly cruel lesson in the benefits of belonging to a labor union.  As part of GM’s gover...
The Vampire Banks Rise Again
DEAN BAKER
There are more than 15 million people unemployed and almost 2 million people set to lose their homes to foreclosure this year. But there is good news: the Wall Street banks are as profitable as ever and set to give out record bonuses this year. The taxpayer bailouts ...
Health Care Reform and the Skinning of Seniors
MARY LYNN CRAMER
The endgame is over for low-income senior citizens, but the national hoax continues.  Seniors in the state where I live don’t have to wait for the finale of “what is expected to be a bruising, full-scale health care debate after Thanksgiving” (...
Lessons From a Lynching
ANDY THAYER
In vigils and marches in cities around the country last night we mourned and protested the murder of gay Puerto Rican teenager Jorge Steven L?pez-Mercado on the evening of November 13th. His murder was so gratuitous – Jorge was decapitated, dismembered ...
Saudi Arabia’s Attack on Yemen
RANNIE AMIRI
“We are upset and saddened by the recent bombings by the Saudi army to harm the much loved Yemeni people. Saudi Arabia’s intervention does nothing but feed the useless bloodshed on its border with Yemen.” – Mahdi Akef, Chai...
Vulliamy’s Smears
EDWARD S. HERMAN And DAVID PETERSON
In his wild and slanderous "...
Abortion and Health Care
DAVE LINDORFF
The ongoing absolutism in Congress in trying to prevent women—or at least poor women—from obtaining abortions is one of the more shameful spectacles in America. The sanctimonious Blue Dog Democrats and the Republicans, who almost unanimously oppose...
Honduran Dictatorship is a Threat to Democracy in the Hemisphere
MARK WEISBROT
A small group of rich people who own most of Honduras and its politicians enlist the military to kidnap the elected president at gunpoint and take him into exile. They then arrest thousands of people opposed to the coup, shut down and intimidate independent media, sh...
A Trial That Will Convict Us All
PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS
Republican members of Congress and what masquerades as a “conservative” media are outraged that the Obama administration intends to try in federal court Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, the alleged mastermind of 9/11, and four alleged co-conspirators.   ...
The Self-Delusionary American Tragedy
Rev. WILLIAM E. ALBERTS
President Obama is following in the footsteps of George W. Bush as America’s Disconnector-in-Chief.  Obama went to Fort Hood, Texas, where 13 soldiers were killed and many wounded by military psychiatrist Major Nadal Malik Hasan, and continued the self-del...
Have Israeli Spies Infiltrated International Aiports?
JONATHAN COOK
South Africa deported an Israeli airline official last week following allegations that Israel’s secret police, the Shin Bet, had infiltrated Johannesburg international airport in an effort to gather information on South African citizens, particularly black and ...
"And the Envelope, Please …"
MIKE WHITNEY
Andrew and Leslie Cockburn have produced the best movie of the year. American Casino tells the story of the fi...
What’s New? It’s Always Been Like This
BOUTHAINA SHAABAN
No one has believed that the United Nations will respond positively to a Palestinian request for a resolution providing for the creation of a Palestinian state within the borders of 1967, with Jerusalem as its capital and the right of return for Palestinian refugees ...
The Placeholder Presidency of Obama
DAVID MICHAEL GREEN
Hey, remember Seinfeld?  Remember how it billed itself as a “show about nothing”, and how, in fact, that’s what it was? I think we’re at the point now where it’s become inescapable that the Obama presidency is also a show abo...
Health Care’s Historic Flop
HELEN REDMOND
I get weekly emails from Levana Layendecker of Health Care for America Now (HCAN) and Mitch Stewart from Organizing for America. In increasingly shrill prose, the two try to convince me to support whatever legislation emerges from Congress. They warn, “IF THE I...
Florida’s Republican Ultras
ALAN FARAGO
The Wall Street Journal reports that the same Republican forces who attempted a putsch on a safe GOP seat in the NY 23 Congressional District against an incumbent deemed to be too moderate, Dede Scozzafava are now planning to turn to the US Senate primary race in Flo...
The Struggles of the Tohono O’odham
BRENDA NORRELL
Tucson Tohono O?odham living on the border joined with Ward Churchill to speak out on ?Apartheid in America, Surviving Occupation in O?odham Lands,? on Nov. 13. Ofelia Rivas and her brother Julian Rivas, O?odham living on the US/Mexico border, spoke...
The Tamils and Equal Rights of Self-Determination
Ron Ridenour
The Tamil people in Sri Lanka had expectations that they would achieve equal rights and power with the Sinhalese once independence was won from the British colonialists. As the independence movement was winning over colonialization there was no talk of an...
It?s Show Trial Time!
ALEXANDER COCKBURN
You can?t please all of the people all of the time, but  President Obama and his Attorney General, Eric Holder, have  got nearer than most to pulling it off. A week ago Holder announced that  Khaled Shaikh Mohammed  and four alleged co...
Mammography Pushes Back
FRED GARDNER
"Clinical Guidelines" advising women not to start getting annual mammograms at age 40 were published online in Annals of Internal Medicine, Nov. 16.  Opponents of  Obama’s health reform bill immediately raised the specter  of &...
The Israeli Exception: Gilo and East Jerusalem
BINOY KAMPMARK
In 1987, the conservative author Midge Decter described her association with Israel and those willing to place it above conventional judgment.  ?We know ourselves to be bound by ties so deep, so essential, so unconditional, that they are beyond daylight examination.&...
Rabbi’s Followers ‘Terror Cell in Parliament’
JONATHAN COOK
Nazareth A plan by right-wing legislators in Israel to commemorate the anniversary this month of the death of Meir Kahane, whose banned anti-Arab movement is classified as a terrorist organization, risks further damaging the prospe...
Iran Began Preparing for the U.S. Bombing in 2002
GARETH PORTER
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) published new evidence Monday that Iran had been building "contingency centers" in the event of a U.S. bombing attack as early as 2002, years before it began building the second enrichment facility a...
Judge Roy Bean Takes Manhattan
Ron Jacobs
After several months of delay due to the legal concerns of his publisher American author Robert Coover published the novel The Public Burning in 1977.  This novel is an often humorous and consistently biting commentary on the state of the US empire and the psych...
Labor Strife in India
DAVID MACARAY
Despite the economic gains India has made over the last thirty years, it’s important to note that its story, while impressive, is no glittering fairy tale.  Although the country has made extraordinary progress, the notion that India is anywhere...
A War on Coca Nobody Believes In
JAMES J. BRITTAIN
Since their systemic targeting of producer nations through militarized methods of eradication, government officials in Washington have regularly brandished  bogus data when concerning the effectiveness and validity of the US’s so-called ‘war on drugs&rsqu...
Retirement, Norwegian Style
BEN SONNENBERG
After almost 40 years on the job, the Norwegian engineer Odd Horten (B?rd Owe), having reached the mandatory retirement age of 67, is given a party by his fellow engineers. They present him with a silver locomotive. Then they rise in unison, men and women...
The Great Stimulus Debate of ’09:
MIKE WHITNEY
Barack Obama has decided to push the economy back into recession, and no one can figure out why. Perhaps the impressionable Obama has come under the spell of the deficit hawks and crystal gazers who see Armageddon around every corner. Or maybe he’s ...
Great Castrati of the 18th Century
DAVID YEARSLEY
No one paid a higher price for celebrity than the male soprano of the 18th-century, those greatest of European stars, whose fame in their own time was proportionally greater even than that of George Clooney, Madonna, Brittany Spears or of those opera sing...
Impotent in China
JOHN V. WALSH
Where to begin with Obama’s Visit to China!  It was an absurdity from beginning to end, from the media coverage to serious questions like currency and human rights.  Let’s begin with the media coverage.  Cries of ...
Nader v. Dodd
JOHN A. MURPHY
"In the beginning of a change the Patriot is a scarce man, and brave, and hated, and scorned. When his cause succeeds, the timid join him, for then it costs nothing to be a Patriot." –Mark Twain There is a word;...
Blackout in Brazil
NIKOLAS KOZLOFF
It’s everyone’s worst nightmare: being caught in an underground subway in the midst of a power outage. Yet, that is exactly what happened recently when Brazilian commuters in the city of São Paulo were trapped inside trains and literally had to be ...
Dissidents Make Noise–Oops, News
SAUL LANDAU
U.S. government hypocrisy has grown so pervasive over the last decades that it provokes yawns and glazed looks. Senators denounce government interference in health care while partaking in their own top of the line government health insurance that they designed &ndash...
Voices of the Silenced
CHARLES R. LARSON
Celebrity chic, however well intended, always risks of the unexpected. It’s hard to feel otherwise, as ...
Exiting Afghanistan
RALPH NADER
Dear President Obama, You are nearing the day of decision as to whether you order the dispatch of more soldiers to Afghanistan. Some of your advisors have urged up to 50,000 more soldiers, including several thousand called trainers of the Afghan army....
Obama’s Gray World
JAYNE LYN STAHL
Don’t know if you happened to catch Frank Schaeffer on Rachel Maddow, but it was a riveting show. Given his own background as the son of a right-wing evangelist who recently converted, it would be wise to listen to Schaeffer pushing the panic button. I ...
Reputable MDs Buy NorCal Health Care
FRED GARDNER
Doctors Philip A. Denney and Michael Gitter and businessman Omar Salah are buying NorCal Healthcare, the chain of cannabis-consultation offices whose founder, Hany Assad, has had his license revoked. Denney, 61, will be seeing NorCal patients in Oakland as of today (...
A Fraudulent Jobs Summit
SHAMUS COOKE
If the President had offered us a job summit a year ago, he might have been taken seriously. Now, however, after more than six million jobs have been lost — and with the bottom still falling — Obama’s brain storming get-together can only be treated ...
The Dumbest Newspapers at the Center of the World
CHRISTOPHER KETCHAM
How can one describe appropriately the act of sitting down to read – if that’s even the proper term for the experience – the New York Post and Daily News, the two remaining big city tabloids in America’s biggest city?  I am tempted toward...
Strategic Towns
CONN HALLINAN
Before the Obama Administration buys in to General Stanley McChrystal’s escalation strategy, it might spend some time examining the Aug. 12 battle of Dananeh, a scruffy little town of 2,000 perched at the entrance to the Naw Zad Valley in Afghanistan’s so...
Obama’s China Junket
MIKE WHITNEY
Barack Obama took Hu Jintao to task on Tuesday, scolding the dejected-looking Chinese leader at a press conference held in Beijing. Obama delivered one ferocious jab after another, claiming that China’s dollar-peg has cost the US millions of high-paying manufac...