On troops that don’t depart, experts who never leave the scene, an Air Force that suddenly wasn’t there, and a war that no longer deeds a justification.
Sharlet tells Jon Stewart that right-wing members of the Family, the secret order of Christian fundamentalists embedded in Washington, cite Mao, Stalin and Hitler as those who best understood the New Testament.
The victims of war are hardly seen as people by the numbed sophisticates who can measure just about anything but the value of a human life.
The President needs to get specific about what he’s for and what he’s against in order to take back the discussion from Republican Astroturfers.
Freedom Now deplores Burma’s conviction and sentencing of democracy leader Aung San Suu Kye and filed a petition to UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention.
Letters: Readers (and the web) Respond to Mark Dowie’s “Food Among the Ruins ” and his vision to expand Detroit’s urban farmingAugust 10, 2009
In response to Mark Dowie ’s August 1 “Food Among the Ruins ”, a smattering of responses came from readers and around the web, including Treehugger, Freakonomics, and the Detroit Free Press.
Book trailers have been around for years, but for fiction, they’re catching on slowly. There’s a good reason for that.
When an industry gets secret concessions out of the White House in return for a promise to lend the industry’s support to a key piece of legislation, we’re in big trouble. That’s called extortion.
Jeff Sharlet discusses “The Family,” also known as the “Christian Mafia,” and their thoughts on the chosen ones with Bill Maher.
Whatever peccadilos and prayers occur in C Street can (and should) stay in C Street; public service does not completely destroy personal privacy. But what is in the hearts and minds of Family members when they publicly swear an oath to uphold the Constitution is not a private matter.
Vans carrying the logo “Americans for Prosperity,” meant to demonize healthcare reform, are not grassroots efforts in some ideological fight. They are Astroturf–carefully-crafted and market tested–from a party that is looking for power and nothing else.
The disputed healthcare ad targets Cigna CEO’s high salary.
While the healthcare policy outcomes are looking grim, the supposed political imperatives are fueling the desires of Democratic leaders on Capitol Hill to produce a victory that President Obama can tout as healthcare reform. The likely result is a glide path to disaster.
Can engagement with Iran and support for its democratic dissidents be more than a fantasy?
Pick the polls that support your position. There are plenty for whatever views you might have.
David Doody: So, Glenn Beck, Obama is a ‘White Guy’ Who ‘Has a Deep-Seated Hatred for White People’?July 30, 2009
These people — Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity, Bill O’Reilly — simply say things to make people look at them; to make people watch and listen to their shows.
(1) We can no longer afford our postwar expansionism; (2) we are going to lose the war in Afghanistan and it will help bankrupt us; and (3) we need to end the secret shame of our empire of bases, the exploitation of subject or local populations living in proximity to them (especially women).
From Guantanamo to your doorstep: the intelligence industry’s revolving cash door.
Senators Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken “spewed fire” and “threw brimstone” in yesterday’s Senate Judiciary Committee vote on Sonia Sotomayor’s nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court.
Bill Maher’s new rule: Not everything in America needs to make a profit.
Every day that goes by without a vote in the House or Senate on universal health care makes it less likely that major reform will occur, meaning next fall we get something called “universal health insurance” that still leaves millions of Americans uninsured and doesn’t substantially slow the meteoric rise of health-care costs.
David Wojnarowicz’ buffalo photograph is a work of entirely American art, made for a culture that millions of people believed was being driven over a cliff by its president.
A new documentary exposes a little town with a knack for slaughtering dolphins.
The corporate profits pushing the stock market upward are coming, most notably, from payroll cuts, not because consumers have suddenly found themselves with more money, a “push” that is not sustainable and certainly not a recovery.
The kind of arguments heard during the early ’60s against guaranteed healthcare for the elderly can now be heard against establishing a comprehensive single-payer system. But now, the healthcare debate is trapped between a political establishment that doesn’t want a single-payer system and news media that insist on ignoring its real potential.
When I returned from covering the Iranian elections recently, I was surprised to find my email box filled with progressive authors, academics and bloggers who had concluded that the current unrest there must be sponsored or manipulated by the U.S. That comes as quite a shock to those risking their lives daily on the streets of major Iranian cities fighting for political, social and economic justice.
Is it appropriate to copyright divinely inspired expression?
How serial war became the American way of life.
A history of my father’s time and mine from the turn of the last century through three world wars (including the Cold War).
As opposition to universal health care shifts away from industry and toward Blue Dog and moderate Democrats who are increasingly worried about future deficits it’s time for the President to begin twisting arms and knocking heads.
WikiLeaks has released a suppressed report laying at the center of UK plans to seize direct control of the Turks & Caicos Islands, a popular Caribbean tourist destination and tax haven.
Reporting that a war can’t be won, after cheerleading it for years, should not be seen as the ultimate in journalistic quality and courage. That critique says a war is bad only because it’s not winnable, which does nothing to challenge the prerogatives of military expansion.
Available again, is Robert Mitchum’s performance in The Friends of Eddie Coyle as an aging gunrunner forced by circumstances to snitch on his criminal “friends. ”
Fixer is a film that captures some edgy and fearful truths and is the best documentary I’ve seen on Afghanistan.
In an ongoing assessment of the devolving situation in Afghanistan the Obama Administration will undoubtedly resort to troop escalation. Too bad no one’s escalating the diplomacy.
I highly recommend that you go out and nab a copy of American Parent whether you’re a parent, want to be one or would run a mile in the opposite direction at the sight of a stork.
As Judge Sonya Sotomayor noted in her response to questioning by Senator Al Franken, the U.S. Constitution is a mixture of broad principles and specific commands. The latter puts Rep. Michelle Bachmann on dubious legal ground in regards to her decision to only answer certain Census questions in 2010.
The head of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization, Gholam Reza Aghazadeh has resigned under mysterious circumstances, which may have to do with a serious nuclear accident.
We’ve ended up with two giants that now have most of the casino to themselves, are playing with poker chips backed by taxpayers, and have a big say in what the rules of the game are to be. Where are the antitrusters when we need them?
The defense and security of our country should not be limited to just some of the citizens of the country, but should instead be extended to everyone.
The Forecast 42 Project: One man’s experiment to get away from the usual submission process.
To say out loud, as the House has just done with the universal health care bill, that those in our society who can most readily afford it should pay for the health insurance of those who cannot is, well, audacious. There’s also another word for it: fair.
Now that Goldman Sachs has posted record earnings as revenue from trading and stock underwriting reached all-time highs, less than a year after the firm took $10 billion from taxpayers, you can expect them to revert to their old ways in politics if their old ways in the market backfire again.
Ad Nauseam chronicles the manipulative pathologies of advertising culture.
Universal health care is so complicated — touching on so much of the economy, stepping on the toes of so many vested interests — that to allow the bills to languish past recess risks the entire goal. Speed is essential.
Angola’s decades-long terror often was called “the worst war in the world.” The description never seemed overstated. Today, though it is the seventh leading supplier of oil to the U.S., instability still plagues the country.
“Escalation” is a word for a methodical process of acclimating people at home to the idea of more military intervention abroad — nothing too sudden, just a step-by-step process of turning even more war into media wallpaper.
E.C. Osondu’s story in Guernica, Waiting, won the so-called African Booker—the Caine Prize for African Writing.
Tom Engelhardt: Will What We Don’t Know (or Care to Know) Hurt Us?: Mourning Michael Jackson, Ignoring the Afghan DeadJuly 7, 2009
Michael Jackson’s death has little to do with us, but the death of so many Afghan people are, or should be, our responsibility, part of an endless war the American people have either supported or not stopped from continuing. And yet one is a screaming global headline; the others go unnoticed.
The 21st Century photographer can learn more studying the collected work of Claude Monet, Francisco Goya, Jackson Pollock, or Anselm Kiefer than by aping the photographic vocabulary force fed to us.
A reported 140 people were killed and more than 800 were injured in a violent clash in China. One BBC reporter in Shanghai says this was “one of the most serious clashes between the authorities and demonstrators in China since Tiananmen Square in 1989.”
Padgett Powell’s Edisto, which takes place within sight of a beach, isn’t a difficult read—it’s propulsive and written with a light hand—but it’s also rife with all those harder topics that make the book worthwhile.
Is Beck’s guest’s call for a terrorist attack from Osama bin Laden at all like shouting “fire!” in a crowded theater?
No amount of newsprint or airtime can do more than scratch the human surface of war, especially when the media lenses are ground with ideology, nationalism, and economic convenience.
As the war in Iraq and Afghanistan drag on, some people in the US military find their voices, dissent, and resist.
Until the June 12th election, post-Shah Iran seemed to indicate that Islam and democracy could work in harmony. The upheaval has demonstrated that when strains between the two develop, democracy gets short shrift.
Every revolution needs icons and symbols — an image that embodies a sense of universality of blight and at the same time innocence.
When approaching Iran, the Republican Party line and the Hugo Chavez line are running in opposite directions — but parallel. The leadership of GOP reaction and the leadership of Bolivarian revolution have bought into the convenient delusion that long-suffering Iranian people require assistance from the U.S. government to resist the regime in Tehran.
According to the BBC, as the Obama administration takes action to shut down Guantanamo, a detention facility in Bagram (a US military base in Afghanistan) expands. Ex-detainees talk to the BBC about their time at Bagram.
Without a public option, the other parties that comprise America’s non-system of health care — private insurers, doctors, hospitals, drug companies, and medical suppliers — have little or no incentive to supply high-quality care at a lower cost than they do now.
To truly grasp how far America has fallen from the heights of its industrial grandeur — and to understand how that grandeur led to stupendous acts of folly — you should tour a set of ruins far from the Midwest rustbelt; they lie, in fact, deep (and nearly forgotten) in, of all places, the Brazilian Amazon rainforest.
A recap of some of the more in-depth, recent cultural coverage of Iran, and some other reasons Americans might be so fascinated by this story–besides our self-evident altruism.
Republican political commentator Mike Huckabee returns to The Daily Show to debate abortion.
David Doody: Media Matters: ‘Some conservative media figures defend Obama’s response to events in Iran’ (Video)June 22, 2009
Media Matters for America has compiled a list of conservative commentators who have different opinions than some Republicans on President Obama’s response to the events taking place in Iran.
Up to 6,000 Karen have fled a new military offensive by the Burmese Army and its allies, the Democratic Karen Buddhist Army. Most have fled to Thailand. Now that there is less fighting in some places, Thai authorities apparently want the refugees to return to Burma.
Watch the trailer for Waltz with Bashir, a graphic novel and animated documentary film by Ari Folman, that was featured on Guernica’s blog in January.
There are many things the President must do to make universal health care a reality, including putting all other agenda items on hold and actually fighting back against those who have chosen to take up this fight against him.
Maybe the US’s credibility in places like Iran is cause enough for caution. A video plus some Guernica interviews about Iran.
The White House’s so-called reform does very little in the way of actual reform and will allow Wall Street to return to business as usual, which will, sooner than later, result in a repeat of the great meltdown of 2007 and 2008.
This is a crucial time for anti-war activists and other progressive advocates to get more serious about congressional politics. It’s not enough to lobby for or against specific bills — and it’s not enough to just get involved at election time. Officeholders must learn that there will be campaign consequences.
As another Bloomsday has come, I feel that now is as good a time as any to make my case for why James Joyce’s Ulysses is the greatest novel ever written. That’s right, I did say greatest ever.
6000 Karen have been forced to flee their homes as the Burmese Army continues targeting civilians.
In March 1995, the WHO and United Nations Interregional Institute of Crime Investigation announced the publication of the results of a global study on cocaine, which were suppressed due to the intervention of the representative of the United States.
The next weeks will show what Obama is made of — whether he’s willing and able to take on the most formidable lobbying coalition he has faced so far on an issue that will define his presidency.
Michael T. Klare: It’s Official — The Era of Cheap Oil Is Over, Energy Department Changes Tune on Peak OilJune 12, 2009
For the first time, the well-respected Energy Information Administration appears to be joining with those experts who have long argued that the era of cheap and plentiful oil is drawing to a close.
Daily Show correspondent Jason Jones found a new use for the New York Times and for newspapers: butt of our jokes.
Why are the ostensibly liberal Center for American Progress and New York Times participating in the Debt Scare right now when the economy is still mired in the worst depression since the Great one, meaning the government has to create larger deficits if the economy is to get going again?
Royal Dutch Shell has reached a settlement of $15.5 million in a case brought against the oil company by the relatives of anti-oil campaigners in Nigeria who were killed in 1995.
Millions of words and factual data pour out of the Pentagon every day. Human truth is another matter, and there’s plenty more media invisibility and erasure ahead for Afghan people as the Pentagon ramps up its war effort in their country.
Robert Reich: How Pharma and Insurance Intend to Kill the Public Option, And What Obama and the Rest of Us Must DoJune 6, 2009
We must let our representatives and senators know we want a public option without conditions or triggers — one that gives the public insurer bargaining leverage over drug companies, and pushes insurers to do what they’ve promised to do.
While the response to George Tiller’s death demands outrage, another response to this killing must be to demand that the mainstream medical community acknowledge the reality that there will always be some women who need abortions later on in pregnancy.
NEED magazine, a humanitarian magazine based in Minneapolis, searches for an answer to declining advertising revenue.
In an interview for Guernica Magazine, published June 1, I asked Wuer Kaixi where he planned to be yesterday, the twentieth anniversary of the Tianamen Square massacre. Kaixi, who became known to world when cameras captured him scolding Chinese Premier Li Peng while wearing a hospital gown, was one of the most prominent student leaders of the uprising.
Some words, like “empire,” have gone MIA in our American world, and words denied mean analyses not offered, things not grasped, surprise not registered, strangeness not taken in, all of which means that terrible mistakes are repeated and wounding ways of acting in the world never seriously reconsidered.
As new technologies and more efficient machines continue to make many manufacturing jobs obsolete, why is the Obama Administration bailing out GM?
A leading environmentalist explains why drastically reducing carbon dioxide emissions now will be easier, cheaper, and more ethical than dealing with runaway climate destabilization later.
Few recent photographs speak as directly or eloquently about the relationship between civilization and nature as a relatively unknown black-and-white image from American photographer John Divola’s series, “Dogs chasing my car in the desert.”
Obama may be a masterful politician with the common touch, but where is the respect for ordinary citizens when his administration lets Wall Street rescue itself at our expense?
William Astore: Selling Education, Manufacturing Technocrats, Torturing Souls: The Tyranny of Being PracticalMay 28, 2009
Based on a decidedly non-bohemian life — 20 years’ service in the military and 10 years teaching at the college level — I’m convinced that American education, even in the worst of times, even recognizing the desperate need of most college students to land jobs, is far too utilitarian, vocational, and narrow.
Will the Republicans see going negative on Sotomayor as their only chance at slowing Obamomentum, or do they simply lack the wisdom to opt for a more sensible strategy?
It’s overconsumption, not population growth, that is the fundamental problem: By almost any measure, a small portion of the world’s people — those in the affluent, developed world — use up most of the Earth’s resources and produce most of its greenhouse gas emissions.
The only way President Obama can make universal health care a reality will be to change the position he took during the presidential campaign.
As he gets ready to head to a commencement at the University of California Berkeley Robert Reich offers a plan to pay back college tuition, linking repayment to a fixed percent of subsequent wages for a limited number of years, enabling all graduates to follow their dreams into whatever work they want.
“The March of Folly,” a book published 25 years ago explains, as well as anything written since, President Obama’s policy towards Afghanistan–one based, as was the case in Vietnam, more on military strength than on political diplomacy or humanitarian efforts.
America has a long history of torture, dating back, in fact, to our earliest days as an “infant empire” as George Washington called it. Any surprise brought on by the torture memos released by the White House fails to recognize–or refuses to remember–this key factor of American history.
Today, on the steps of one of our nations greatest buildings, in the company of some of our most powerful and respected leaders, Darfuri voices were heard.
A movement to ban cluster weapons is gathering pace. It’s possible that this time around the U.S., which has not used cluster munitions since 2003 in Iraq, will join, helping make the weapons and their explosive sub-munitions a military artifact.
When Texaco left Ecuador in 1992, it left one huge environmental mess. The result has been a suit by tens of thousands of Ecuadorians against Chevron, which bought Texaco, for $27 billion. This is the biggest environmental lawsuit in history.
“Don’t make the perfect the enemy of the better” is a favorite slogan in Washington because compromise is necessary to get anything done. But the way things are going with health care, a better admonition would be: “Don’t give away the store.”
How will the world react to the injustice?