Juan Cole: Bahrain: U.S. Naval Base or Iranian Asset?

February 16, 2011
 What is at stake for Americans in the Bahrain unrest?

Meakin Armstrong: Egypt and the American Fever Dream

February 16, 2011

For over 30 years, we gave Egypt the shaft, because it was in our national interest to do so. Now it’s time for Egypt to find out where its own interests are, without a strongman leading the way. The country has a difficult and terrible road to walk.

Robin Yassin-Kassab: The Autumn of the Patriarch

February 16, 2011
 Qaddafi thinks he’s a lady-killing revolutionary of Guevara proportions and a tyrant of the stature of Mao. At the same time, he thinks the people are in control of Libya’s destiny. And perhaps—we can hope after Tunisia and Egypt—he’s right.

Michael Schwartz: Why Mubarak Fell: The (Sometimes) Incredible Power of Nonviolent Protest

February 16, 2011
 Memo to President Obama: Given the absence of intelligent intelligence, it’s not surprising that your handling of the Egyptian uprising has set new standards for foreign policy incompetence. Perhaps a primer on how to judge the power of mass protest will better prepare for the next round of political upheavals.

Greta Christina: Why It’s Not a ‘Safe Bet’ to Believe In God

February 16, 2011
 Pascal's Wager, which says it's better to believe in God just in case, is one of the most common arguments in favor of religion—too bad it's illogical and trivializes both faith and reality.

Robert Reich: Why We Should Raise Taxes on the Super-Rich and Lower Them on the Middle Class

February 15, 2011
 For years progressives have whined that Democratic presidents compromise with Republicans while Republican presidents stand their ground. Isn’t it about time progressives had the courage of our conviction and got behind what we believe in?

Kevin Karner: In Brazil, Peasants Claim Farmland

February 15, 2011
 Three percent of Brazil’s population owns two-thirds of the country’s farmable land. However, the Landless Workers’ Movement can lay claim to finding land for more than 350,000 families in over 2000 settlements.

Don Hazen: Suprise: Big Old New York City Is the Cutting Edge for Urban Transportation and a Vision for a Sustainable Future

February 15, 2011
 Who would have thought that New York City, the nation’s most populous city, often perceived as lumbering when it comes to change, would be a cutting-edge innovator in transportation and the future of open space?

Wenonah Hauter: Eaters Must Become More Political—We Can’t Just Vote With Our Forks

February 15, 2011
 Mrs. Obama’s vision for healthy food is at best fragmented and at worst a failure. She does not address the root causes of our broken food system, where a few powerful players make all of the decisions about what we eat and write the rules for the economic survival of independent producers.

Joshua Holland: 5 Ways Corporate Scavengers Are Making Big Money Off Our Economic Pain

February 14, 2011
 Like vultures descending on a rotting corpse, [big business have] come up with a variety of innovative methods to pull the last scraps of meat off the bones of America's middle-class.

Robert Reich: Obama Shouldn’t Allow Republicans to Frame the Spending Cuts Debate

February 14, 2011
 This brouhaha over spending cuts is the wrong debate about the wrong thing at the wrong time.

Michael Winship: Insider’s Account of Egypt: “A Truly Civilized, Peaceful People Who Decided to Regain Control of Their Destiny”

February 14, 2011
 An insider's account of Cairo now that Mubarak is gone.

Jen Marlowe: From An Israeli Prison to Tahrir Square: One Palestinian’s Odyssey in a Middle East Ablaze

February 14, 2011
 A young Palestinian incarcerated for constructing a bomb earns a liberal arts-style education in prison with an emphasis on reading, discussion, reflection, democracy, solidarity, and equality.

Robin Yassin-Kassab: Arab Earthquake

February 12, 2011
 “Arab Tunis rose up. Inspired by Tunis, mighty Egypt rose. Today American control over the Arab region is collapsing. Palestine faces a different future to the one it faced yesterday. The Arab nation is back.”

Joel Whitney: Writers Respond to Mubarak’s Departure

February 11, 2011
 This is Egypt in 2011, and this revolution ought to be a signal to anyone who still thinks of the Middle East in colonialist terms to accept the new reality. Randa Jarrar, Lorraine Adams, Porochista Khakpour, Rabih Alameddine, Amitava Kumar, Laila Lalami, Benny Brunner, Alia Malek & Nawal El Saadawi share their reactions.

Chase Madar: Why Bradley Manning Is a Patriot, Not a Criminal: An Opening Statement for the Defense of Private Manning

February 11, 2011
 As one of Manning’s childhood friends from Crescent, Oklahoma, has testified, “He wanted to serve his country.” It’s up to you to decide whether he did.

Sam Kerbel: Memoir Wars

February 11, 2011
 Neil Genzlinger of the NYT charges that the contemporary memoir is dull, “unexceptional,” and evidence of “the current age of oversharing.” Maybe. But what about speaking for the unheard?

Mark Dowie: On the Fly Podcast: Todd Gitlin On America’s Divine Exceptionalism

February 10, 2011
 The inaugural episode of Guernica editor-at-large Mark Dowie’s interview series features sociologist Todd Gitlin, who argues that the relationship between America and Israel is steeped in the belief that both nations were “chosen” by God.

Robert Reich: Why the Republican Attack on “Job-Killing Regulations” is Dumb

February 10, 2011
 Here’s another instance of where the White House’s attempt to preempt Republican rhetoric ends up legitimizing it—and reframing the public debate around an issue that’s hardly central to what ails America.

Robert Reich: Obama’s Deal with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce

February 9, 2011
 Obama and the Chamber of Commerce promise to abide by the deep, abiding beliefs of America, but after following the Chamber for years, Robert Reich just thinks it has a deep, abiding belief in cutting taxes on the wealthy and taking the nation back to the days before the New Deal.

Julianne Escobedo Shepherd: “Crazy Chicks Are Hot?” 8 Messed-Up Portrayals of Women Going Insane in Film

February 9, 2011
 Everyone loves to watch a hot babe going batshit crazy. At least that’s what the astronomical success of Black Swan would have you believe…

Suzanne Menghraj: Attempts to Control Time

February 8, 2011
 This post’s author considers the relationship between those events big and small that constitute fodder for journalism and the stories embedded in any news line.

Roger D. Hodge: On Obama’s Shamelessness and How to Save Harper’s

February 8, 2011
 Former editor of Harper’s Magazine Roger Hodge speaks about his former employer, John “Rick” MacArthur, the current state of Harper’s, and why Obama’s State of the Union was “appalling.”

Nomi Prins: The Egyptian Uprising Is a Direct Response to Ruthless Global Capitalism

February 8, 2011
 When people are facing a dim future, in a country hijacked by a corrupt regime that destabilized its economy…waiting doesn’t cut it.

Justin Alvarez: “Imported from Detroit”

February 8, 2011
 Just as the NFL championship trophy returned to its roots with Vince Lombardi returning to Green Bay for the first time in 14 seasons, another standout of last night’s Super Bowl broadcast reminded the world where manufacturing innovation was invented — Detroit.

Tom Engelhardt: Pox Americana: Driving Through the Gates of Hell and Other American Pastimes in the Greater Middle East

February 7, 2011
 Almost 20 years after the lesser superpower of the Cold War left the world stage, the “victor” is now lurching down the declinist slope, this time as the other defeated power of the Cold War era.

Rebecca Bates: The Many Faces of the AWP Attendee

February 7, 2011
 The AWP conference is over, and we are all happy to get back to our regularly scheduled programming. But just in case you didn’t get to spend a lot of time gawking at others, here’s a small people-watching checklist, complete with (not-so-covertly taken) photos.

Angela Chen: Turkish Singer & Unrepentant Peacenik Ferhat Tunc Harassed By Government

February 7, 2011
 According to the Turkish government, singer Ferhat Tunc is a bad man. His crime? He sang kinda nice stuff about peace. How terrible.

Robert Reich: The Individual Mandate in the Health Care Bill: Why We Should Trade Broccoli and Asparagus for Hot Dogs and Apple Pie

February 7, 2011
 Social Security and Medicare aren’t broccoli or asparagus. They’re as American as hot dogs and apple pie.

Julianne Escobedo Shepherd: The FBI Has Been Violating Your Liberties in Ways That May Shock You

February 7, 2011
 Over the last decade, the FBI has been found to violate the Constitution countless times under the guise of the Patriot Act.

Wallace Shawn: Why I Call Myself a Socialist: Is the World Really a Stage?

February 4, 2011
 …each person comes to understand what role he will play, and so each can consistently select and reproduce, through all the decades and changes of fashion, the appropriate style and wardrobe, for the rest of his life.

Bill McKibben: Catastrophic Weather Events Are Becoming the New Normal — Are You Ready for Life on Our Planet Circa 2011?

February 3, 2011
 For two decades now we’ve been ignoring the impassioned pleas of scientists that our burning of fossil fuels was a bad idea. And now we’re paying a heavy price.

Robert Reich: Why the Republican Budget Plan Is a Hairball

February 3, 2011
 What happened to John Boehner’s $100 billion budget-cutting commitment? What became of Paul Ryan’s big ideas? Where did all the roaring and raging on the right during the 2010 election go?

Jill Richardson: Why Women Who Pick and Process Your Food Face Daily Threats of Rape, Harassment, and Wage Theft

February 3, 2011
 Jill Richardson discusses the hardships faced by the immigrant women who put food on America’s table.

Robert Reich: Stocks Up, Houses Down, And What This Means for Most Americans

February 3, 2011
 Don’t be fooled. The American economy isn’t back.While Wall Street’s bull market is making America’s rich even richer, most Americans continue to be mired in a worsening housing crisis.

Rachel Somerstein: On Todd Hido’s “Fragmented Narratives”

February 2, 2011
 The problem is, thanks to the art world, porn, movies, television, and men’s and women’s magazines alike, the fallen, nude, waxed woman is a trope everyone knows.

Robin Yassin-Kassab: Bloodbath

February 2, 2011
 “I will make a prediction: if this revolution fails, America will face an unprecedented wave of Arab anger, and Egypt will be plagued by violence from now on.”

Glenna Gordon: “The Secret Lives of Gay Ugandans”

February 1, 2011
  Last week David Kato, an openly gay activist in Uganda, was brutally murdered after a local paper published his name and photograph. Glenna Gordon speaks about the effects of Kato’s death within Uganda’s gay community.

Amardeep Singh: Poetry in the Protests: Egypt and Tunisia

February 1, 2011
 One of the aspects of the recent uprisings in Egypt and Tunisia that has not received much attention—not surprisingly—is the role Arabic poetry has played. At times like these, the right poetry and song doesn’t merely describe how people are feeling; it can actually be an intensifier that helps a protest spread and solidify.

Guernica Contributor John Patrick Leary on WDET About “Detroitism”

February 1, 2011
 “A lot of the interest comes from a sense that the city of Detroit isn’t just an exception to the rule of the United States…that Detroit is, in some sense, the future of American cities…”

Joshua Holland: Ayn Rand Railed Against Government Benefits, But Grabbed Social Security and Medicare When She Needed Them

February 1, 2011
 The degree to which Ayn Rand has become a touchstone for the modern conservative movement is striking.

Robert Reich: The President Ignored the Elephant in the Room

February 1, 2011
 Investing in education and technology are all well and good, but what about our nation's biggest problem, the scourge of high unemployment?

Guernica and the DISQUIET: International Literary Program Award

January 31, 2011
 Guernica is partnering with Dzanc Books to sponsor the first annual DISQUIET: International Literary Program Award. The winner of the award will be published in Guernica, will receive airfare, accommodations, and tuition for the program of writing workshops in Lisbon.

Robin Yassin-Kassab: Sovereignty

January 31, 2011
 Egypt’s Friday of Rage was a beautiful revolutionary moment. While uncertainty remains, that energy has been unleashed…and it’s not about to jump back in the bottle.

Robert Lipsyte: You Must Watch the Empire Bowl: It’s Our Last Super Thing

January 30, 2011
 Whether you’re an old-fashioned imperialist running dog or you’ve made a real effort to disregard the game, this is the Super Bowl to watch. Never before have so many loose strands of an unraveling empire come together in a single event accessible to those who mourn or cheer America.

Guernica Interviewee Cherien Dabis Wins 2011 Sundance/NHK International Filmmaker Award

January 29, 2011
 Cherien Dabis ended her 2009 Guernica interview with: “I am lucky enough to have yet another story in me that I really want to tell, so I am working on that.” This unnamed project became May in the Summer and earned Dabis an award for visionary filmmakers.

Video: Juan Cole: “Egypt is a Praetorian Regime”

January 29, 2011
 Juan Cole discusses the uprising in Egypt—both what it means for the citizens, and what it means for the United States.

Angela Chen: Why I’m Not Intimidated By “Tiger Mom” Amy Chua’s Frighteningly Accomplished Daughters

January 28, 2011
 For me, all this tiger parent business started before Amy Chua's article. It started when I was rejected from Yale—something Chua's daughter will never experience— and wondered for the first time if it's better to have choices, even if you sometimes make the wrong ones.

Julianne Escobedo Shepherd: Conservatives Freak Out Over MTV’s “Skins” — Teenagers Have Sex. Get Over It.

January 28, 2011
 Teenagers deserve to have a moderately accurate portrayal of their lives, one that bothers to understand their psyches and problems, that reflects both the joys and consequences of their actions. Instead, MTV handed them a caricature of themselves.

Moshe Adler: Obfuscating Unemployment

January 27, 2011
 Since unemployment is a regular feature of a free market system, let’s not mystify it. And let’s also not pretend that the cure for it is as mysterious as the cure for cancer.

Andrew J. Bacevich: Cow Most Sacred: Why Military Spending Remains Untouchable

January 27, 2011
 The essential facts remain: U.S. military outlays today equal that of every other nation on the planet combined, a situation without precedent in modern history.

Joel Whitney: How Crazy Was Loughner?

January 27, 2011
 That Jared Loughner is so crazy we can’t look for motive is the same story Bush shilled after September 11. But files found on Loughner’s computer suggest he won’t be getting off on an insanity plea.

John Sevigny: San Salvador’s Not-So-Hidden Wounds

January 27, 2011
 Amidst the upward mobility of the outer, Pizza-Hut-and-Tony-Romas suburbs, and the relentless, grinding poverty of San Salvador, the ghosts of a U.S.-funded war haunt every intersection, neighborhood, and café.

Beacon Broadside: Sargent Shriver and the Birth of the Peace Corps

January 26, 2011
 Fifty years ago, then-President Kennedy handed his brother-in-law Sargent Shriver an unwanted project called the Peace Corp. Shriver took the gift, and made it one of the most popular and endearing trademarks of that administration.

Juan Cole: The Corruption Game: What the Tunisian Revolution and WikiLeaks Tell Us about American Support for Corrupt Dictatorships in the Muslim World

January 25, 2011
 Despite the Obama administration's abandonment of the phrase “war on terror,” the impulses encoded in it still powerfully shape Washington’s policy-making…

Robert Reich: The State of the Union: What the President Should Say

January 25, 2011
 Most Americans no longer have the purchasing power to get the economy moving again. Once the debt bubble burst, they were stranded.

Justin Alvarez: Levi’s-towns: Where Have All the Real Workers Gone?

January 25, 2011
 What about the towns that don’t have a multi-million dollar advertising campaign behind them? How do they move forward?

Rebecca Bates: The Blog that Cried Misogyny

January 25, 2011
 Why the Ms. Magazine blog’s attempt at proving Jared Loughner acted predominantly out of hate for women is a bit…misguided.

Robert Reich: American Competitiveness, and the President’s New Relationship with American Business

January 24, 2011
 The Obama administration is trying to make American products more competitive; Robert Reich explains the ways we can measure what that really means.

Video: Aung San Suu Kyi will review sanctions on Burma

January 24, 2011
 In a new interview with Ann Curry, Burmese opposition icon Aung San Suu Kyi signals her party will finally reexamine the efficacy of sanctions. Guernica editor Joel Whitney explains why Burma sanctions, and sanctions in general, may soon become obsolete.

Michael T. Klare: The Year of Living Dangerously: Rising Commodity Prices and Extreme Weather Events Threaten Global Stability

January 23, 2011
 2011 is looking grim. From now on, rising prices, powerful storms, severe droughts and floods, and other unexpected events are likely to play havoc with the fabric of global society, producing chaos and political unrest. Get ready for a rocky year.

Erik Raschke: The Great American Novelist

By Erik Raschke
January 23, 2011
  With all the anger in America right now, why have our well-crafted words seemingly fallen on deaf ears? Is it that we have nothing to say or that what we say is no longer connected to the blood flowing through our country? Or is it even simpler: the modern American novel is no longer about debate, but about appeasing an audience.

Alex Halperin: Coming Home From Prison

January 21, 2011
 Since leaving prison, Burgess’s marketable skill stabilized her while she explored her options. She’s always talking about what’s next. Still, she’s learned that her past won’t just disappear.

Angela Chen: In Which Okey Ndibe Learns He’s Been Blacklisted From His Native Country

January 21, 2011
 A day after being detained at the Nigerian airport, critic Okey Ndibe learned that it was all an accident, just a little misunderstanding over the issue of that pesky enemies list with his name on it.

Ira Chernus: Obama Trapped by Myth

January 20, 2011
 Religious historian Ira Chernus discusses the myths people tell to make sense of the chaos of their lives—myths of the enemy, myths of security—and how these have ensnared Washington itself.

Lex Paulson: A Staffer Reflects on Tucson

January 20, 2011
 Being a congressional staffer is like being a human metonym—someone transparent, someone communicated through—and this is why the shooting of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords wounds us all.

Zoya Phan: Don’t You Dare Lift Sanctions on Burma

January 19, 2011
 Karen-Burmese author/activist Zoya Phan worries that an ascendant Aung San Suu Kyi might get assassinated, chides nostalgia for pre-colonial Burma, where minorities were oppressed, and calls sanctions busters naive or stupid.

Karol Nielsen: In Defense of Nonfiction

January 18, 2011
 How does journalism intersect with literature? For the author of this post, it’s a question that’s taken years to answer.

Tom Engelhardt: In the Crosshairs, Tuscon-Kabul

January 18, 2011
 Six are dead in Tucson, and the country is outraged. Sixteen are killed in Kabul, and there’s nary a thought for the deceased. Tom Engelhardt discusses how Americans are quick to protect their own, but care little for Afghan innocents.

Erica Wright: Top Ten Female Fictional Heroes of 2010

January 18, 2011
 There are plenty of female heroes in real life, but what about those fictional characters that usurp our daydreams?

Jake Whitney: How Income Inequality Helped Spark the Great Recession (And Why It Isn’t Getting Any Better)

January 17, 2011
 In case you haven’t heard, the gap between the rich and poor in the U.S. is currently wider than it’s been since the Great Depression. So, why isn’t there more support for attempting to alleviate it by taxing the rich?

John Patrick Leary: Further Reading for “Detroitism”

January 17, 2011
 Leary, author of this issue’s “Detroitism,” offers reading recommendations for putting together Detroit’s story, as well as the increasingly-familiar story of urban America in an era of prolonged economic crisis.

Video: A Message To Sarah Palin from Media Matters CEO David Brock

January 17, 2011
 David Brock’s appeal to logic and rationale after the Tucson shootings and Palin’s immediately infamous cries of “blood libel.”

Rachel Somerstein: A Blasphemous Film and the Revival of the Culture Wars

January 17, 2011
 Between the Twitter hype surrounding David Wojnarowicz’s film, A Fire In My Belly, and the Flickr photos of Ai WeiWei’s demolished Shanghai studio, artists are proving the power of social media to spur a real revolution.

Stephan Salisbury: Extremist Killing Is as American as Apple Pie: Murders Grow on the Far Right Four Decades After Martin Luther King

January 16, 2011
 Over the past few years, 19 people have been killed and 26 wounded all over the country by white gunmen with ties to racist or right-wing groups or who harbored deep suspicions of “the government.” So, do we call them terrorists or “deranged” Americans?

Jeff Cohen and Norman Solomon: The Martin Luther King You Don’t See on TV

January 15, 2011
 The networks are filled with reports commemorating Martin Luther King, Jr.’s death, but few discuss the human rights and economic issues that he fought for in life.

Juan Cole: The First Middle Eastern Revolution since 1979

January 14, 2011
 The Tunisian Revolution is potentially more consequential than the Iranian one was thirty years ago. Yet, even with an alliance of frustrated BA holders, professionals, workers, farmers, progressives and Muslim activists, it remains to be seen if little Tunisia is the start of something, or one more false dawn.

Gayatri Patnaik: All Labor Has Dignity: Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Speeches on Labor

January 14, 2011
 As of January 2011, Beacon Press has reissued four books by Martin Luther King, Jr. to introduce King to a new generation of readers, to show aspects of King that are fresh and original, and to underscore how astonishingly relevant he continues to be today.

Ann Jones: Why Peace Is the Business of Men (But Shouldn’t Be): A Modest Proposal for the Immodest Brotherhood of Big Men

January 13, 2011
 The sad news from Afghanistan is that a great many progressives have already figured out their own exit strategy. Like generations of Afghans before them, they will become part of one of the world’s largest diasporas from a single country.

Rebecca Bates: The ALA Reminds Us Why We Kind of Need the First Amendment

January 12, 2011
 The American Library Association has proven that at least they have their shit together by taking a positive stand on the public’s right to government “transparency” and an “access to information.”

Juan Cole: Death Penalty for Blasphemy Rare in Muslim World

January 12, 2011
 Blasphemy laws are objectionable on their face, but they aren’t limited to a few Muslim-majority countries. They also exist in Christendom.

Adam Kader: Storytelling as Organizing: How to Rescue the Left from its Crisis of Imagination

January 12, 2011
 In the same way that a direct action physically interrupts a target’s business-as-usual, a campaign has a deeper impact when it also interrupts the dominant narrative about the campaign issue.

William D. Hartung: Is Lockheed Martin Shadowing You?: How a Giant Weapons Maker Became the New Big Brother

January 11, 2011
  Have you noticed that Lockheed Martin, the giant weapons corporation, is shadowing you? If not, then you haven’t been paying much attention. Let’s just say that, if you have a life, Lockheed Martin is likely a (big) part of it.

David Morris: Once We Insisted On Civility: Reflections on Tucson

January 11, 2011
 We can talk all we want about the need to regain a sense of civility, but civility will reappear only when we demand it.

Jamie Goldenberg: Nina Berman’s Under Taliban, A Decade Later

January 10, 2011
 Berman’s project was shot in in Kabul when the Taliban was Afghanistan’s official government. Goldenberg came across her photographs while researching images for J. Malcom Garcia’s most recent piece in Guernica, “Bed 18.

Nick Turse: Does the Pentagon Really Have 1,180 Foreign Bases?

January 9, 2011
 In a WikiLeaks world where almost all information is a click away, nobody knows the answer to one seemingly simple question: Does the United States really have more than one thousand military bases across the globe?

Angela Chen: How Nigeria’s President Plans to Steal the April Election

January 9, 2011
 Here's a deliciously ironic turn of events: First, columnist Okey Ndibe criticizes the Nigerian government for human rights and elections breaches. Then, the Nigerian government arrests him because they're tired of his criticism. Next up, election in April.

Robert Reich: How the Republican Assault on Health Care Could Backfire On Them

January 9, 2011
 The Republicans wanted controversy over the health-care law, now let's see how the White House showdown will pan out.

Rebecca Bates: On “Drowning the Dolls” or How I Am Clearly a Stooge of the Patriarchy

January 7, 2011
 Sure, art is supposed to make us a little uncomfortable. But the “Drowning the Dolls” project, in which an artist paints “drowning” Barbie Dolls, may only be perpetuating bad vibes.

Beacon Broadside: Revising Huck Finn, Revising History

January 6, 2011
 The Classic American Novel, Huckleberry Finn has weathered centuries of controversy. The latest one—removing the '‘n’-word to make the book appeal to educators—is a well-intentioned mistake that changes the author's intention and the role of academics to wrestle with difficult issues.

William J. Astore: Freedom Fighters for a Fading Empire: What It Means When We Say We Have the World’s Finest Fighting Force

January 6, 2011
 Are we truly the world’s greatest fighting force, not only at this moment, but as measured against all militaries across history? If so, on what basis is this claim made? And what does such triumphalist rhetoric suggest, not just about our national narcissism, but Washington’s priorities?

Robert Reich: The Shameful Attack on Public Employees

January 5, 2011
 The Republican version of class warfare is to pit private-sector workers against public servants. They’d rather set average working people against one another. (And they also would rather you didn’t know they want to cut taxes on the rich even more.)

Tom Engelhardt: The Urge to Surge: Washington’s 30-Year High

January 4, 2011
 It’s easy to forget that war is a drug. But eventually, Washington, the Pentagon, and the U.S. military will have to enter rehab. They desperately need a twelve-step program for recovery. Until then, the delusions and the madness that go with surge addiction are not likely to end.

Eline Gordts: Denmark’s fight in Afghanistan

January 4, 2011
 Can there be a “humanitarian mission” where fighters are bored and disillusioned when a patrol doesn’t involve a fight, the taking of possibly innocent lives? What security does a NATO-mission bring, if villagers are too scared to talk to the security forces for fear of repercussions from the Taliban?

Robert Reich: The Big Lie

January 3, 2011
 George Orwell once explained that when a public is stressed and confused, a Big Lie told repeatedly can become the accepted truth. Only the President has the bully pulpit. But will he use it to tell the Big Truth?

Jay Walljasper: Recipe File for Political Optimism

January 3, 2011
 When seen through the lens of the commons, public services cannot be dismissed as “waste” nor basic matters of fairness reduced to “entitlements.”

Rebecca Bates: Q&A with J. Malcolm Garcia

January 2, 2011
 The writer of “Bed 18”, one of this issue’s features, talks about reporting on self-immolation in a country where years of war and poverty have made grief and suffering “so common that loss no longer evokes shock.”

Juan Cole: WikiLeaks Reveals How Israel Plans Total War on Lebanon, Gaza

January 2, 2011
 Juan Cole discusses Wikleaks documents revealing that Israel, driven by a fear of stockpiles of rockets in Gaza, is preparing for a major war.