Foreign Policy & War

The Violence That Empire Engenders

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On May 1, a naturalized Pakistani-American left the United States a smoking surprise in Times Square meant to maim and murder indiscriminately. Fortunately the car bomb failed because a Senegalese Muslim T-shirt vendor sounded the alarm and because the bomb was ineptly designed. But as all acts of violence warrant, we should ask why. Was homegrown terrorist Faisal Shahzad’s ... [click for more]

Terrorist Threat Has Roots in U.S. Policy

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“While al-Qaeda continues to threaten America directly, it also inspires its affiliates and other groups and individuals who share its violent ideology.... Homegrown terrorists represent a new and changing facet of the terrorist threat. To be clear, by ‘homegrown,’ I mean terrorist operatives who are U.S. persons and who were radicalized in the United States....” With those words Homeland Security ... [click for more]

Leading Humanity Out of the Darkness, Part 4

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Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 During the entire 11 years of the sanctions on Iraq, the anger in the Middle East was simmering, not only among Iraqi parents but also among Muslims throughout the Middle East, who could only sit idly by and watch the deaths occur year after year. There ... [click for more]

Two Freed Prisoners in Germany

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On Thursday, two Guantánamo prisoners were released, to start new lives in Germany, bringing the prison’s population to 174. Announcing their arrival, Interior Minister Thomas de Maizière stated that, by taking them in, Germany had “made its humanitarian contribution to closing the detention center.” He also noted that the two men had asked for their identities to be withheld ... [click for more]

The Dishonor of Militarism

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What a blown opportunity! Glenn Beck gathered thousands of people at the Lincoln Memorial on Saturday to urge a restoration of American honor — but not once did he mention the most egregious assault on America’s honor: militarism. It would have been a perfect time to call for dismantling the American empire, ending the bloody occupations and covert wars in ... [click for more]

None Dare Call It Tyranny

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If you want to know what tyranny is like, look around. The national government — specifically the executive branch — can do pretty much what it wants. It could bomb Iran tomorrow without a declaration of war from Congress. It can — and does — conduct secret wars and covert operations against countries that have done nothing to us. Of ... [click for more]

What They Do in Our Name

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Thanks to Wikileaks and heroic leakers inside the military, we now know the U.S. government has killed many more innocent Afghan civilians than we were aware of heretofore. We also know that American military and intelligence personnel roam Afghanistan assassinating suspected bad guys. Sometimes they kill people they later acknowledge weren’t bad guys at all. “Bad guys,” like “Taliban,” ... [click for more]

Leading Humanity Out of the Darkness, Part 3

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Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 The 40-year-old war on drugs has long been a favorite government program of both liberals and conservatives. It is a program by which statists have brought nothing but death and destruction to our nation and to people all over the world. It is impossible to count ... [click for more]

Is a Peace Movement Finally Awakening?

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What America needs most today is a peace movement, a broad-based coalition that opposes not only the American empire’s operations in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan (as well as less overt activities elsewhere), but also its attendant accretion of presidential power, which diminishes or eliminates civil liberties and the traditional protections accorded criminal suspects. Unfortunately, there have been impediments to the ... [click for more]

Reagan, the Bushes, and Saddam Hussein

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Throughout the Reagan-Poppy Bush years, the White House had been an eager backer of Saddam. The two administrations had provided millions of dollars in aid and had permitted the export of U.S. technology that Iraq used to build a massive arsenal of chemical, biological, and possibly nuclear weapons. George W. Bush would repeatedly express outrage over Saddam’s 1988 gassing ... [click for more]

Endless Occupation?

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So Gen. Stanley McChrystal is out and Gen. David Petraeus is back at the helm in Afghanistan. I don’t like hackneyed phrases, but if this isn’t rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic, what is it? America’s occupation of Afghanistan has no end in sight. The July 2011 date for the beginning of withdrawal is something that even President Obama ... [click for more]

UN Human Rights Council Discusses Secret Detention Report

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On June 3, unnoticed by most of the U.S. media, the UN Human Rights Council held an interactive dialogue to discuss the “Joint Study on Global Practices in Relation to Secret Detention in the Context of Counter-Terrorism,” prepared by Manfred Nowak, the Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment, Martin Scheinin, the Special ... [click for more]
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