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Archives from December 2010
Standing Tall in the Rubble
RAMZY BAROUD
When the Iraqi army fell before invading US and British troops in 2003, the latter’s mission seemed to be accomplished. But nearly eight years after the start of a war intended to shock and awe a whole population into submission, the Iraqi people continue to st...
Cutting From the Bottom
BRIAN TIERNEY
Across the U.S. working-class people are struggling, scrapping together meager sums in order to get by. In state and local governments throughout the country, workers are watching public services slashed in the name of balanced budgets. Trillio...
The Minsk Election in a Wikileaks Mirror
ISRAEL SHAMIR
Wikileaks once again has provided the proof positive to unlock a mystery. It’s not the stuff of attention-grabbing headlines and retweets, but it does illustrate how the US State Department can orchestrate riots in a quiet Eastern European country. As an intern...
Right for the Wrong Reasons
RANNIE AMIRI
The foreign policy mantra of Israel’s radical, Moldovan-born foreign minister, Avigdor Lieberman, can be accurately summarized in just four words: always blame the victim. He may be more vocal than most, but it is the paradigm by which all...
Goodbye to 2010, Year of the Tiger, Hello to 2011, Year of the Rabbit
ALEXANDER COCKBURN
When it comes to journalistic achievements in 2010, the elephant in the room is Wikileaks. The alleged leaker of the Wikileaks files, Army Private Bradley Manning, currently being held in solitary confinement in sadistic conditions, should  vigorously applauded ...
Abolition
DAVID Ker THOMSON
I’d be lying if I said I hate to say I told you so.  I used every one of my bodily orifices back in oh-four in Illinois to warn my friends about that Obama guy, but no, they just couldn’t stop themselves.  In oh-eight I wa...
Japan, From the Ruins
CHARLES R. LARSON
Isle of Dreams, by Japanese writer Keizo Hino, is one of the most strangely compelling novels I have read in years?brief, elliptical, hypnotic, and finally compulsive because of the bizarre story at its center. The novel was originally published in Tokyo in 1985 and ...
Resolved: Act Like Bradley Manning
MISSY COMLEY BEATTIE
I was in Kentucky, more than a week, visiting family. "Get the paper," my mother instructed, adding a "please." When I picked up the December 25th edition of the Lexington-Herald Leader, the center contents tumbled from my grasp as if someone had ...
Welcome to the Collapse
LINH DINH
The spinmeisters are playing the same record over and over, recovery, recovery, scratch, scratch, recovery’s in da house! The Associated Press trumpeted, “After two years of recession, Christmas 2010 will go down as the moment when Americans rediscovered ...
Khodorkovsky’s Trip to the Slammer
MIKE WHITNEY
Vladimir Putin summed it up best when he said, "A thief should sit in jail." Right on. It doesn’t matter if he is the richest man in the country or not. If he’s done the crime, he’s got to do the time. It’s that simple. ...
"Be Ye Not Like a Child … "
SHEPHERD BLISS
The biggest surprise of my 2010 was relationships with four unrelated two-year-olds, who are so authentic and full of magical, life-giving vitality. They live in the present moment, rather than being impeded by their brief pasts or by futurizing. I am 66-years-old an...
Trains, What Hitler Really Did in the War, Eating in Paris and Other Insights
DAN WHITE
Reading too much lately, too much time, not enough work, not enough money in the bank to travel or start a project.  That’s Christmas for you.  Picked up and read ...
The Fall of the House of Zeus
THOMAS NAYLOR
Former Boston Globe writer Curtis Wilkie’s new book The Fall of the House of Zeus (Crown...
The Subversive Conservatism of "True Grit"
JOSHUA SPERBER
The Coen Brothers occupy a Hollywood niche that implies subversion while reinforcing conservatism. "Blood Simple," "Raising Arizona," and "No Country for Old Men" are morality tales in which a flawed ? but invariably handsome and charism...
Interests in Conflict
MARTHA ROSENBERG
At the annual American Psychiatric Association meeting in New Orleans this summer, 200 protestors chanted "no conflicts of interest" and held up photos of individual doctors outside the convention center. Inside the hall, their charges were verified. ...
Biofuel Delusions
ROBERT BRYCE
Debunking the tsunami of hype about biofuels doesn’t require much. A standard calculator will do. Alas, Thomas Friedman can’t be bothered to do the handful of simple calculations that prove the futility of the biofuels madness. ...
A Chinese Migrant’s Long March
BEHZAD YAGHMAIAN
Let me tell you how Yu Xinhong left home for the first time, a few years ago. She had never travelled so far, never been on a train before. It was full of farmers, men and women in Mao suits following their dreams south. Their skins were wrinkled and reddened by the ...
When Progress Didn’t Come and the People Didn’t Awake
ALAN FARAGO
It is hard to face the close of 2010 with an admission. I was wrong. For more than twenty years as an environmentalist and writer, I harbored the expectation that progress would come. But I did not believe it would come because we had somehow persuaded decision-maker...
How Green Became the Color of Money
JEFFREY ST. CLAIR
In the early summer of 1995, Jay Hair quietly resigned as head of the National Wildlife Federation. This Napoleonic figure had transformed a once scruffy, apolitical collection of local hunting and gun clubs into the cautious colossus of the environmental movement wi...
Framing the Sixties
RON JACOBS
The 1960s continue to open and salt wounds in the US political and cultural psyche over forty years later.  From the holiday celebrating a domesticated Martin Luther King, Jr. to the hysterical hype around the Black Panthers and Weather Underground, the actual h...
DADT: a Repeal of Convenience
JESS GUH
Am I the only queer person in the country that is sad about the repeal of "Don’t Ask Don’t Tell"? I know the long-delayed bill just signed into law has destroyed my plan to avoid any future military conscription. Let me exp...
Looking Forward for Labor
DAVID MACARAY
Despite the many defeats, false starts, shattered hopes, bitter disappointments, etc., that have dogged organized labor throughout 2010, there are only two New Year’s resolutions that need to be made for 2011.  If both are realized, the labor movement will...
The Political Economy of Duckhorn Pinot
WILL PARRISH And DARWIN BOND-GRAHAM
This is part two of our series on the wine industry in northern California.  In March 2007, a multi-billion dollar investment firm funded primarily by the United States’ two largest public pension funds ? the California Public Employee Retirement Sy...
The US Congress’s Pet Pariah
FRANKLIN LAMB
Beirut This week marks the second anniversary of among the most savage criminal slaughters of human life in long memory. The 522 hour indiscriminate carnage, “Cast Lead”  that killed 1,417 Palestinians, mostly civilians, 352 of them children, ...
The Year in Counter-Terrorism
JOANNE MARINER
As we reach the end of the year, it’s a good moment to look back at some of the court cases, books, and–of course–leaked diplomatic cables that marked 2010. Although we’re now approaching the tenth anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks,...