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THE DECAY OF AMERICAN MEDIA — Patrick L. Smith on the decline and fall of American journalism; Peter Lee on China and its Uyghur problem; Dave Macaray on brain trauma, profits and the NFL; Lee Ballinger on the bloody history of cotton. PLUS: “The Vindication of Love” by JoAnn Wypijewski; “The Age of SurrealPolitick” by Jeffrey St. Clair; “The Radiation Zone” by Kristin Kolb; “Washington’s Enemies List” by Mike Whitney; “The School of Moral Statecraft” by Chris Floyd and “The Surveillance Films of Laura Poitras” by Kim Nicolini.
Archives by Tag 'Afghanistan'
A Murderous Optimism About Syria
DEEPAK TRIPATHI
The disclosure of President Barack Obama’s decision to provide secret American aid to Syria’s rebel forces is a game changer. The presidential order, known as an “intelligence finding” in the world of espionage, authorizes the CIA to support armed groups fighting...
Why Afghanistan Can’t Wait
KATHY KELLY and DR. HAKIM
Two days ago, we spent three anxious hours in an outer waiting area of the “Non-Immigrant Visa” section of the U.S. consulate here in Kabul, Afghanistan, waiting for our young friends Ali and Abdulhai to return from a sojourn through the inner offices where they were ...
The Afghanistan of Africa
RAMZY BAROUD
Northern Mali promises to be the graveyard of scores of innocent people if African countries don’t collectively challenge Western influence in the region. Mali is fast becoming the Afghanistan of Africa. The tragic reality is that Mali – a large ...
The Sky as It Falls
KATHY KELLY
Kabul. For the Afghan Peace Volunteers, living in a working class area of Kabul’s “Karte Seh” district, daily problem-solving requires a triage process. Last week, upon arrival, I looked at the sagging ceilings over the kitchen, living room an...
Our Perverse War on Drugs
FIRMIN DeBRABANDER
Perhaps the most humiliating legacy of our nation-building venture in Afghanistan is the stubborn narco-state flourishing under our noses. The opium crop in Afghanistan has doubled since US forces deposed the Taliban, and the drug trade threatens to dominate the country a...
Extending the Empire to New Frontiers
DEEPAK TRIPATHI
Recent wars from Libya to Afghanistan and Pakistan in a region of vast natural wealth and strategic importance highlight a phenomenon as old as humanity. Iraq and Libya had oil, but their leaders were longtime foes of the United States, now the world’s lone hegemon. Sad...
Would You Dodge the Draft in Afghanistan?
ALEXANDER COCKBURN
Two years after he was sacked by President Obama as the top commander in Afghanistan for suggesting to Rolling Stone magazine that the real enemy were “the wimps in the White House”, General Stanley A McChrystal has recycled a perennial chestnut: Brin...
The Crisis in Pakistan-US Relations
SOHAIL MAHMOOD
Islamabad. On November 26, 2011 in a brazen incident NATO attacked the Salala post on the Pakistan-Afghanistan border in which 24 Pakistani soldiers were killed. Pakistanis were shocked at the incident since it was unprovoked. The Government of Pakistan re...
Afghan Bangs and Whimpers
BRIAN CLOUGHLEY
This is the way the world ends Not with a bang but a whimper. – T. S. Eliot, The Hollow Men As Afghans stand up, they will not stand alone. – Barack Obama, May 21, 2012 The war in Af...
Trapped in a Military Mindset
TOM ENGELHARDT
Americans may feel more distant from war than at any time since World War II began.  Certainly, a smaller percentage of us — ...
No Shelter
WILLIAM BLUM
“The true hypocrite is the one who ceases to perceive his deception, the one who lies with sincerity.” – André Gide Afghanistan president Hamid Karzai said recently that he had had an argument with...
The Longest War
KATHY KELLY
In April of 2003, I returned from Iraq after having lived there during the U.S. Shock and Awe bombing and the initial weeks of the invasion.  Before the bombing I had traveled to Iraq about two dozen times and had helped organize 70 trips to Iraq, aiming to cast light on...
What’s Really Happened to America’s Soldiers?
NAN LEVINSON
“PTSD is going to color everything you write,” came the warning from a stepmother of a Marine, a woman who keeps track of such things.  That was in 2005, when post-traumatic stress disorder, a.k.a. PTSD, wasn’t getting much attention, but soon it was pr...
Jimmy Carter’s Penance?
MISSY BEATTIE
In a New York Times (NYT) opinion piece, Jimmy Carter opens with: “The United States is abandoning its role as the global champion of human rights.” I read these words and focus on the present tense of “is”.  And I think:  When was this country e...
History’s Revenge
DEEPAK TRIPATHI
The “global war on terror” started by President George W. Bush more than a decade ago has taken a new and more sinister turn. Now we know that Barack Obama, the current president, goes through the profiles of people he wants eliminated (...
The Unseen Wound
JERRY LEMBCKE
The headline was alarming: “Almost half of New Vets seek Disability.” According to the May 28 Associated Press story, 45% of the 1.6 million veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are seeking some kind of compensation for war injuries, more than dou...
The Sweet Stink of Charity
AFSHIN RATTANSI
If we can forget, for a moment, the hundreds of thousands of Afghans and Iraqis who have been killed, and the suicide-a-day in 2012 for U.S. servicemen and women, let’s turn to one NATO ally – the UK. This week, in the unlikely setting of a London room, off Pic...
Obama’s Robotic Assassins
VIJAY PRASHAD
“It’s drones, baby, drones.” - (former) United States Secretary of Defence Robert Gates, March 2011. Unmanned U.S. aircraft now routinely fly over Afghanistan, Pakis...
The Myth of the Drone War “Successes”
PATRICK COCKBURN
As the US and its allies ponder what to do about Syria, one suggestion advanced by the protagonists of armed intervention is to use unmanned drones to attack Syrian government targets. The proposal is a measure of the extraordinary success of the White House, CIA and Defe...
Body Counts
M. REZA PIRBHAI
In the early days of the ‘War on Terror,’ US General Tommy Franks declared, “We don’t do body counts.”  He was referring, of course, to the dead of Afghanistan. That the names of 9/11 victims have been appropriately written in stone, only makes it doubly striki...
The Obama Syndrome
COLLIN HARRIS
I have no animosity towards people who supported and voted for President Obama. Well maybe a little, but only because I know your energy could have been put to better use. But if you vote, then given the options available, which is insanity or maybe slightly less insanity...
“Buddy, Please Put On Your Hood”
BUDDY BELL
Kabul. Once I did put my hood on, Omar motioned for me to push back some loose strands of hair still visible outside my hooded sweatshirt. Long-haired men, though a typical sight in some regions of Afghanistan, are apparently not very common in Kabul. Cove...
Diving Into Life
MISSY BEATTIE
The storm washed through last Friday afternoon.   All was still and, then, I looked out the balcony doors to see tree leaves wet and undulating.  I was reminded of ocean waves.  Wind rushed rain across the greenery with feverish lapping. “It’s symmetry,” I said ...
The Limits of Patience
BRIAN CLOUGHLEY
With respect to the Sudeten German problem my patience is now exhausted! I have made Mr Benes an offer, which contains nothing but the realization of what he himself assured us would be done. The decision is in his hands! Peace or war! Adolf Hitler, Ber...
Out to the Wall
KATHY KELLY
On the last day of summer, ten hours before fall … … my grandfather took me out to the wall.” Kabul. When we arrived at the museum, two legless men wheeled themselves...