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Archives from June 2011
Obama’s Singularities
WILLIAM A. COOK
"We arouse and arrange our memories to suit our psychic needs." – Michael Kammen, Columbus in History If George W. Bush could attest to his mission from God Almighty to invade Iraq– ‘I’m driven...
Nuclear Power? What’s the Alternative?
JOE GIAMBRONE
Glad you asked. It turns out that the alternative energy market is the new gold rush of the 21st century. That’s the good news. In the wake of Italy’s overwhelming rejection of high-risk atomic power, Reuters tells ...
Turkey Rising
RAMZY BAROUD
Many commentators today are basing the success of Turkey’s Justice and Development Party (AKP) in the June 12 elections largely on its ability to guide the country through a decade of remarkable growth. Economic indicators are often seen...
The Anguish in the American Dream
ROBERT JENSEN
Whether celebrated or condemned, the American Dream endures, though always ambiguously. We are forever describing and defining, analyzing and assessing the concept, and with each attempt to clarify, the idea of an American Dream grows more incoherent y...
In the Land of Hope and Dreams
DAVE MARSH
Clarence Clemons, said both my daughter and Bruce Springsteen this week, passed through his life doing exactly what he wanted to do. Bruce said the rest, which amounted to admitting that you can’t really do that, and the result of trying to is co...
The Drug War at 40
HELEN REDMOND
U.S.A. United States of Addiction. To the war on drugs. 40th Anniversary this year. NixonFordCarterReaganBushClintonBushObama. Happy 40th anni...
The Open Door in Afghanistan
GARETH PORTER
President Barack Obama’s speech announcing that the 33,000 "surge" troops in Afghanistan will be withdrawn by "summer" 2012 indicates that he has given priority to the interests of the military and the Pentagon over concerns b...
Obama, Still Better Than Bush?
ANDREW LEVINE
A gullible portion of the electorate here in the Homeland  and a gullible slice of the entire world expected a great deal from Barack Obama.  But anyone who paid close attention to his run for the White House, and who managed not to succumb t...
Against Travel
DAVID Ker THOMSON
It’s cloud illusions I recall. ?Joni Mitchell I’ve been hanging out a lot with a friend my age these days.  Like me, she was a transcontinental hitch-hiker in the seventies.  For you young&rsqu...
Not Single-Payer in Vermont
RUSSELL MOKHIBER
Look at the headlines that came out of Vermont last month. CBS News: Vermont Governor Signs Single Payer Health Law. Democracy Now: Vermont Governor Signs Single Payer Health Law. Kaiser...
The True Meaning of Marriage
STEVE BREYMAN
One vote in the State Senate separates gay and lesbian New Yorkers from the right to wed. While there have been some surprises among the opposing forces?Roy McDonald’s change of heart?those arrayed on either side of the issue are mostly familiar ...
Amnesty Questions Claim That Gaddafi Ordered Rape as Weapon of War
PATRICK COCKBURN
Human rights organizations have cast doubt on claims of mass rape and other abuses perpetrated by forces loyal to Colonel Muammar Gaddafi, which have been widely used to justify Nato’s war in Libya. Nato leaders, opposition ...
Nail That Coffin Shut!
ALEXANDER COCKBURN
How many nails does it require to whack down forever the coffin lid on European social democracy? Lenin, outraged in 1914 at the sight of Social Democratic parties across Europe rallying behind their national flags and voting war credits to unleash th...
Palestine’s Own Spring
ALAIN GRESH
The images of Palestinians massed at Israel’s borders on 15 May represented a dream for some, and a nightmare for others. On the 63rd anniversary of the declaration of the Jewish state and of the nakba (catastrophe) for the many thousands of Pale...
Cosi Fan Tutte at Drottingholm
DAVID YEARSLEY
The  location and miraculous preservation of the theatre at Drottningholm which I described last week make it a must for devotees of 18th-century opera as well as those in search of a whiff of Sweden’s illustrious past as a European super po...
The Eco-Sex Movement
BINOY KAMPMARK
Annie Sprinkle, PhD has been in the sex advocacy business for years.  She was colorfully present on Friday, along with her partner in crime Elizabeth M. Stephens, at the Femina Potens Gallery on Mission Street in San Francisco.  A good crowd ...
Bankers Gear Up for the Rape of Greece, as Social Democrats Vote for National Suicide
MICHAEL HUDSON
The fight for Europe’s future is being waged in Athens and other Greek cities to resist financial demands that are the 21st century’s version of an outright military attack. The threat of bank overlordship is not the kind of economy-killing...
Ending the War on Drugs
YOLANDE CADORE
"America’s public enemy number one in the United States is drug abuse. In order to fight and defeat this enemy, it is necessary to wage a new, all-out offensive." These were the words of President Richard Nixon on June 17th, 1971. ...
Turning Back Time
JOHN SINCLAIR
420 Caf?, Amsterdam. When I got back to Amsterdam last week and checked into my headquarters at the 420 Caf?, I received an urgent message from the proprietor, Michael Veling, in response to my last column, which talked about atte...
The Mother of Intervention
MISSY COMLEY BEATTIE
Yesterday, I said to my sister Laura, "I don’t believe in hell, but if I’m wrong, I’ll be removing wallpaper there." I’ve spent the last four days working on her condo, stripping the walls of dark green and br...
One Tiny Voice
WILLIAM MANSON
Last night I heard something. We were all celebrating–kind of a going-away party for Bob and Gretchen. They’ve had a great year?Bob’s a big oil company honcho, you know, and we were toasting (and roasting?) him about his six-figure ...
Revolution in Their Eyes
AMIRA HOWEIDY
Palestinian intellectual and ex-Knesset member Azmi Bishara followed Egypt’s 25 January Revolution minute by minute from the Qatari capital Doha where his think tank — the Arab Centre for Research and Policy Study — is based. ...
Burned at the Stake for Being Poor
RON JACOBS
One of the places I lived at in Berkeley, California in the 1970s was owned by the biggest landlord in the part of California known as the Eastbay.  He owned buildings in the cities of Oakland, Berkeley, El Cerrito and Albany.  In addition, h...
Writing Our Own Stories
SUSAN ABULHAWA
Anger was my first reaction after listening to US president Barack Obama’s two recent speeches, one to the world and another to AIPAC, the powerful Israeli lobby in the US. I went around to my friends with questions like "who does he think h...
Exposing Israel’s Most Dangerous Secret
SALEH EL-NAAMI
Drivers will only dart a glance at that mammoth structure nestled in the dunes south of Rishon Litsion southeast of Tel Aviv as they speed on their way. It is forbidden to turn off the Tel Aviv-Rishon Litsion highway onto the side road leading up to th...
Mediated Ignorance
ANTHONY DiMAGGIO
The recent “debate” between Comedy Central’s Jon Stewart and the non-partisan Politifact group is largely missing the point with regard to the current state of public ignorance.  Stewart recently argued in an interview on Fox New...
Out of the Wilders
FARZANA VERSEY
It was indeed "a beautiful day" as Geert Wilders, the Dutch politician, wrote after being acquitted for hate speech against Islam. It was a beautiful day not because it was a victory for freedom of speech, but because what Wilder...
Alabama, Where Intolerance is King
CHRISTOPHER BRAUCHLI
Now that Alabama has passed what some describe as the harshest anti-immigration law in the country, it is interesting to see how Alabama has improved on the harsh anti-immigration ordinances passed by a small municipality. In ...
QE 3?
MIKE WHITNEY
No one expects the Fed to announce a rate-hike at the end of the today’s FOMC meeting, but that doesn’t mean there won’t be a few surprises. The problem is that the recovery has stalled and the Fed can’t decide whether we’ve ju...
The US Needs to be More Like China
DAVID MACARAY
Say what you will about “authoritarian capitalism” (the term British historian Timothy Garten Ash uses to describe China’s economy), but when Chinese corporate executives disgrace themselves beyond any hope of redemption, they know what to do.  They ...
Suicide at HTS
JOHN STANTON
A staff sergeant on duty with the US Army TRADOC Human Terrain System (HTS) committed suicide in April 2011. He left behind his wife and children. Suicide has become a plague within the US Army. Whatever the reasons?despair, stress, relationship issues̵...
Defining an American State of War
TOM ENGELHARDT
Now that Washington has at least six wars cooking (in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Libya, Yemen, and more generally, the global war on terror), Americans find themselves in a new world of war. If, however, you haven’t joined the all-volunteer military...
Sentimental Mass Murderer
LINH DINH
When Obama came into power, there were roughly 35,000 American troops in Afghanistan. Within two years, he tripled that number. Now, Obama announces that 10,000 soldiers will come home by the end of 2011, and 33,000 by the end of next summer. He surges twic...
The Real Rubio
ALAN FARAGO
In a June 19th column, “Rand and Rubio”, NY Times columnist R...
Fanning the Flames of Prejudice
ROBERTO RODRIGUEZ
John McCain said there was ‘substantial evidence’ linking wildfires in Arizona to illegal immigrants. Photograph: Jonathan Ernst/Reuters Does it surprise anyone that Arizona Senator John McCain has blamed undocumented immig...
Bilderberg vs. the SCO
ERIC WALBERG
Last week’s 10th Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit in the Kazakh capital Astana highlighted how the major rivals to empire, led by Russia and China — themselves rivals, are trying to fashion an alternative to US hegemony. ...
American Hypocrisy at the UN
ROBERT FANTINA
On June 17, 2011, the United Nations Human Rights Council passed a resolution expressing support for equal rights for everyone, regardless of sexual orientation. The United States had pushed for this resolution, and fully supported it. ...
Haiti, 17 Months After the Quake
BILL QUIGLEY
Haiti experienced a major earthquake January 12, 2010. Tens of thousands died, estimates range from 65,000 to 230,000 people killed. About 2 million more people were displaced. Haiti was already the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere with a per capit...
Token Withdrawals
PHYLLIS BENNIS
President Obama’s speech violated one of his most important campaign promises: to “end the mind-set that leads to war.” To the contrary, his announcement of a token shift of 10,000 soldiers leaving by the end of 2011,...
The Western Inferno
GEORGE WUERTHNER
The Wallow Fire is now the largest in recent Arizona history, encompassing more than 500,000 acres. The media discussion of the fire often leads to misinformation and misunderstanding of wildfires, and feeds the political agenda of politicians, and industri...
The Reshaping of Cuba
SAUL LANDAU And NELSON VALD?S
After more than half a century some myths need dispelling about U.S.-Cuba relations and Washington’s demand for “changes.” On the Cuban Revolution Ernest Hemingway said: “I think the people [of Cuba] now have a decent moment and I don’t believe that they eve...
Missing the Downturn
DEAN BAKER
That’s what people around the world should have been asking when the IMF presented its latest assessment of the fiscal and economic prospects for nations around the world last week. Much of the world remains mired in the worst downturn since the Great...
Deciphering Political Language
AHMED AFZAAL
For many Americans, the Israeli-Palestinian issue has become an unfathomable mystery enveloped in a dense fog of confusion. In order to clear some of the fog, I would like to enlist the help of a particular expert. The person I have in mind is George Orwell...
McCain’s Monstrous Lie
STEWART J. LAWRENCE
John McCain’s attempt to blame illegal immigrants for the wild fires raging in Arizona is only the latest attempt by the Republican Senator to scapegoat immigrants for America’s border problems and to distance himself from his one-time role as t...
Learning From the Community of the Land
SHEPHERD BLISS
While recently shoveling aged horse manure around berry vines on my small organic farm to fertilize them, which gives me great pleasure, I thought about what I have learned about the community of the land by farming over the last two decades. I noticed how ...
The Myth of Precision-Guided Coercion
FRANKLIN C. SPINNEY
Vieux Port, St Raphael, France At the end of May the British press was filled with stories headlined “Gaddafi to be told to stand down or face Apache attack.” As of this writing, the Apaches have attacked, but Gaddafi has not stood down....
Gullibility and Fiction at the Philadelphia Inquirer
DAVE LINDORFF
Let me state from the outset: I have no problem with soldiers who inflate their war stories, any more than I am bothered by anybody who likes to spice up the tale of a youthful exploit. It’s different though, when exaggerations a...
Stop Blaming Teachers for Poor Student Performance
MYLES HOENIG
The Baltimore City Council, spurred by Councilwoman Mary Pat Clarke, deserves praise for its resolution endorsing the Save Our Schools March and National Call to Action, to be held in Washington, D.C., on July 30. This march, and the national attention it b...
Destination Gaza
MEDEA BENJAMIN
“I refuse to accept the idea that man is mere flotsam and jetsam in the river of life, unable to influence the unfolding events which surround him,” said Dr. Martin Luther King as he accepted the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964. These words will guide me ...
It’s Time to End the Bombing and Find a Political Solution in Libya
Dr. RUHAKANA RUGUNDA
At a meeting between the UN Security Council and the African Union High Level Ad hoc Committee on Libya on June 15, Dr Ruhakana Rugunda, Uganda’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations gave the African Union’s stand on NATO’s invasion of Libya....