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Archives from February 2012
Inviting the Big Payback
DAVE LINDORFF
The attacks and attempted attacks this week on Israeli embassy personnel in Georgia, India and Thailand should serve as a serious warning to the people of both Israel and the US that there will be an increasingly heavy price to pay for the kind of government-sponsored ter...
Built by Blacks, For Blacks, Financed by Blacks
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Built by Blacks, For Blacks, Financed by Blacks ...
Obama’s Zig Zag Maneuvers with Israel and Iran
GARETH PORTER
Washington, DC President Barack Obama has finally begun in recent months to signal to Israel that the United States would not get involved in a war started by Binyamin Netanyahu without US approval. If it is pursued firmly and consistently through 2012, t...
Obama, the Human Rights Hypocrite
PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS
Is Obama a hypocrite or merely insouciant?  Or is he an idiot? According to news reports Obama’s White House meeting on Valentine’s day with China’s Vice President, Xi Jinping, provided an opportunity for Obama to raise “a sensitive human rights issue with...
American Decline in Perspective
NOAM CHOMSKY
In the years of conscious, self-inflicted decline at home, “losses” continued to mount elsewhere.  In the past decade, for the first time in 500 years, South America has taken successful steps to free itself from western domination, another serious loss. The region h...
The Demise of the Lincoln Derivatives Amendment
ANDREW COCKBURN
Blanche Lincoln, once a senator for Arkansas (1998-2010) noted for her fealty to Wall Street, has had one hope for immortality: Section 716 of the Dodd Frank Financial Reform Act, known to history as the Lincoln Amendment. Though larded with loopholes, the amendmen...
Health Care Hypocrites
Rev. JESSE L. JACKSON
Republicans on the campaign trail denounce Obama’s health-care reforms as a virtual threat to the Republic. It’s “socialized medicine,” “a job killer,” “a government takeover of health care.” All the Republican candidates for president promise to repeal it...
Obama’s Timid Budget
MARK WEISBROT
President Obama’s proposed budget has a few interesting proposals for reforms over the next dec...
Tintin and Racism
CHARLES R. LARSON
Friday, February 10, a court in Belgium rejected “an application to ban a colonial-era” children’s book, ...
The Greens and Jill Stein
STEVEN HIGGS
In the days since the U.S. Green Party’s (GP) Feb. 1 announcement that two candidates – Dr. Jill Stein and comedian Roseanne Barr – had filed the necessary paperwork to meet party requirements for its presidential ballot, the Massachusetts physician has ...
The Queasy Liberal
JOSHUA SPERBER
Once in a blue moon, which is still far too often, one encounters the lie that Nazism was a manifestation of the left. A quick way to refute this myth is to note that Nazism’s immediate tasks upon taking power were destroying the German Communist Party, sending communis...
Letter From Okinawa
JOHN FEFFER
Dear Mom: I haven’t written much from Okinawa. I’m sorry about that. I guess maybe you were expecting lots of exciting war stories from your son the Marine. But honestly, the most exciting thing we’ve done is put in a sea wall over by the Torii Beach shorelin...
Huey Long: “Share the Wealth”
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Huey Long: “Share the Wealth” ...
The Divine Right of Money
PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS
The United States government and its NATO puppets have been killing Muslim men, women and children for a decade in the name of bringing them democracy.  But is the West itself a bastion of  democracy? Skeptics point out that President George W. Bush was put in of...
Scapegoating Teachers
MOSHE ADLER
The first to discover that teachers make perfect scapegoats was George W. Bush. When he ran for president for the first time twelve years ago, Bush had a problem. He wanted lower taxes to be his rallying cry, but while taxes in Texas, the state where he was governor, were...
Starving the Real Beast
DARWIN BOND-GRAHAM
“How does the American state finance both its expensive social welfare programs and its powerful military, while most other nation-states can barely afford one or the other? The answer lies in the system of progressive income taxation resurrected by poli...
Empire and Its Discontents
NOAM CHOMSKY
Significant anniversaries are solemnly commemorated — Japan’s attack on the U.S. naval base at Pearl Harbor, for example.  Others are ignored, and we can often learn valuable lessons from them about what is likely to lie ahead.  Right now, in fact. At the...
Cold, Cold Heart
KATHY KELLY
It’s Valentine’s Day, and opening the little cartoon on the Google page brings up a sentimental animation with Tony Bennett singing “why can’t I free your doubtful mind and melt your cold, cold heart.” Here in Dubai, where I’m awaiti...
Information War By Interest Groups
DEEPAK TRIPATHI
The conflict in Syria continues to take lives on both sides in what increasingly looks like a civil war. The bloodshed in Homs has captured most attention in recent days, but we should not forget violence in the capital Damascus and other Syrian towns, under government co...
Israeli Embassies Attacked
FARZANA VERSEY
Monday. February 13. 3.54 pm. A bomb explodes in the car of an Israeli diplomat. Three people, including the defence attaché’s wife Tal Yehoshua, are grievously injured. 30 minutes later, embassy officials are examining the remains of the vehicle in an area that...
Occupy Prisons
VICTORIA LAW
“Manhandled, arrested, cuffed, searched, and locked away in the Tombs” is how AlterNet described the story of protester Barbara Schneider Reilly, who spent 30 hours in jail after being arrested at an Occupy Wall Street-related protest in Octob...
The EU Plays the China Card
THOMAS H. NAYLOR
Who could have imagined back in 2002, when the euro first began circulating, that ten years later, in an act of near desperation, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, would travel to Beijing, hat in hand, to seek bailout funds from Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao to keep th...
Strike Down the Individual Mandate!
RUSSELL MOKHIBER
Fifty medical doctors who favor a single payer health insurance system today urged the US Supreme Court to strike down the individual mandate. In...
An Embarrassment to Canada
MURRAY DOBBIN
It is hard to credit the latest statements and actions by Canada’s Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird. On both Iran and Israel Baird seems to almost deliberately seek to humiliate both himself and the country he is supposed to represent on the international stage. Taki...
About Face March on the White House
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About Face March on the White House ...
Road to Damascus… and on to Armageddon?
DIANA JOHNSTONE
Paris What if pollsters put this question to citizens of the United States and the European Union : “Which is more important, ensuring disgruntled Islamists freedom to overthrow the secular regime in Syria, or avoiding World War Three?” ...
Syria: Slipping into Civil War
PATRICK COCKBURN
As Syrian army tanks mass around Homs and its artillery pounds Sunni districts of the city, Syria is slipping into the first stages of a sectarian civil war. This conflict could be as bloody as anything seen in Iraq between 2006 and 2007 or as long as the civil war in Leb...
A Death Sentence for Greece
MIKE WHITNEY
“We are facing destruction. Our country, our home, has become ripe for burning. The centre of Athens is in flames.” – Costis Hatzidakis, conservative parliamentarian ...
The Job Killing Deficit Hawks
DEAN BAKER
It’s budget time, and that means that we can expect to hear the Washington elite wailing about the budget deficit for the next several weeks. When hearing the cries about out-of-control deficits, people would be best advised to turn off their television sets, put do...
405 Bases and It’s Not Over Yet
NICK TURSE
In late December, the lot was just a big blank: a few burgundy metal shipping containers sitting in an expanse of crushed eggshell-colored gravel inside a razor-wire-topped fence.  The American military in Afghanistan doesn’t want to talk about it, but one day soon, it...
Norman Baxter’s Long Crusade
EAMONN McCANN
Norman Baxter may find policing in Kabul these days more congenial than policing in Belfast. The former RUC and PSNI Detective Chief Superintendant is one of a number of senior Northern Ireland police officers who have decided that the new, reformed force is not for them,...
The Nuclear Juggernaut
KARL GROSSMAN
Last week’s granting by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission of combined construction and operating licenses for two nuclear plants to be built in Georgia—both Westinghouse AP1000s—is the culmination of a scheme developed by nuclear promoters 20 years ago. ...
Honoring Mohammed Hussein Fadlallah
FRANKLIN LAMB
Dahiyeh, South Beirut Rushing to an appointment last Saturday I passed the Mohammad Hussein Fadallah Hassaniyeh (Mosque), which for many in my immediate Dahiyeh neighborhood is the religious institution we feel most connected to because of its long and con...
Nuclear Showdown in Vermont
DAN DEWALT
Entergy Nuclear of Louisiana, which operates the Vermont Yankee (VY) nuclear reactor in Vernon Vermont has launched an attack on the state of Vermont with the help of the federal courts. Vermont state law gives the state the power to decide whether to allow further...
The Blowback Against Big Wind
ROBERT BRYCE
After years of successful marketing and lavish subsidies from taxpayers, the global wind industry now finds itself facing an unprecedented backlash. And that backlash – largely coming from rural landowners – combined with low natural gas prices, and a Congress unwilli...
Haitian People Want UN Troops to Leave
MARK SCHULLER
A United Nations (U.N.) Security Council delegation is planning to visit Haiti from February 13-16, 2012, which provides an opportunity to learn about Haitian people’s perceptions. An August 2011 survey of 800 Haitians living in Port-au-Prince shows that the presence of...
Ralph Nader at Harvard Law: the Constitutional Crimes of Obama and Bush
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Ralph Nader at Harvard Law: the Constitutional Crimes of Obama and Bush ...
“Or Your Lying Eyes…” Truth and Fiction in the News Business
ALEXANDER COCKBURN
If you want a sense of what could well lie in store for Syria, go no further than Anthony Shadid’s report from Libya in the New York Times for February 9. Shadid, a good reporter, describes a dismembered country, rent by banditry: “The militias are ...
Foreclosure Settlement: Just Another Link In a Long Chain of Corruption
PAM MARTENS
Yesterday the Department of Justice and 49 state attorneys general announced the long anticipated $25 billion deal with 5 large Wall Street firms — Bank of America Corporation,  JPMorgan Chase & Co., Wells Fargo & Company, Citigrou...
Whole Fraud
RONNIE CUMMINS
On Jan. 31, organic and natural foods giant Whole Foods Market (WFM) once again attacked the Organic Consumers Association, the nation’s leading watchdog on organic standards, as being too “hard-line” for insisting that retailers like WFM stop selling, or at least s...
Storm Over Hebron
URI AVNERY
THERE SEEMS to be no limit to the troubles caused by the town of Hebron. This time, the reason is as innocent as can be: the organized visits of schoolchildren to the Cave of Machpelah, where our patriarchs are supposed to be buried. By rights, Hebron should...
The NDAA and the Militarization of America
CARL MIRRA
The National Defense Authorization Act of 2012 (NDAA) was passed by Congress and signed into law by the president on New Year’s Eve of 2011. Activists and other critics charge that the NDAA authorizes the indefinite military detention of U.S. citizens, but supporters co...
The Troika Blackmails Greece
MIKE WHITNEY
“We are being asked to take even larger doses of a medicine that has proven to be deadly and to undertake commitments that do not solve the problem, but only temporarily postpone the foretold death of our economy.” — Hieronymos II, hea...
Debunking Charles Murray … Again
ROB URIE
I know the areas of Philadelphia that Charles Murray refers to in his new book Coming Apart and I...
Decoding the Pentagon’s Budget Numbers
WINSLOW T. WHEELER
This Monday, February 13, the Pentagon will release the details of its fiscal year 2013 budget.  The press, congressional staff and think tank-types go through an annual routine, scrambling to get out their take on the numbers and some selected issues.  Some of these ...