A U.S. judge has reduced the sentence of Antonio Guerrero, one of the members of ‘The Cuban Five,’ from life in prison to 22 years in jail. The high-profile case has been a barrier to improving ties between the U.S and Cuba, which are already strained. Barack Obama says he wants to improve relations between the two nations, but why was this decision made now? And could it be politically motivated? RT’s Dina Gusovsky speaks to Brian Becker from the Answer Coalition.
After the Vietnam War, US military planners realized that in future wars preference would be given for being short in duration, if possible, decisive and very low in American casualties. Otherwise, even with effective propaganda, it would be difficult to mobilize the public to support wars of long duration with significant US casualties. The Panama invasion, the Grenada invasion, the overthrow of Aristide, the first Persian Gulf War and the bombing of Yugoslavia were all successful, relatively short in duration with few American casualties, and so, confidence grew that the so-called Vietnam Syndrome had been overcome.
Although the killed and wounded American soldiers of the first war against Iraq were few in number, the number getting sick, becoming disabled or dying months or years later was considerable. Joyce Riley of the American Gulf War Veterans Association has estimated that approximately 400,000 of the 697,000 military personnel serving in the first Persian Gulf war are sick, roughly 200,000 of these young men and women are disabled and receiving a small monthly payment of ninety-eight dollars from the federal government and over ten thousand have already died.
Default: The Student Loan Documentary is a feature-length documentary chronicling the stories of borrowers from different backgrounds affected by the private student lending industry and their struggles to change the system.
In 2005 private student loans were exempted of ALL consumer protections. No matter when their loans were taken, many borrowers now find themselves in a paralyzing predicament of repaying two, three or multiple times the original amount borrowed, with no bankruptcy protection, no cap on fees and penalties and no recourse to the law. The consequences are dire, with stories of borrowers in financial and emotional ruin.
“Stripping Bare the Body: Politics, Violence, War”: Groundbreaking Journalist Mark Danner on Haiti, the Balkans, Iraq and Torture
Award-winning journalist, writer and professor Mark Danner has just released a new collection of dispatches about Haiti, the Balkans, Iraq and the use of torture in the US war on terror. It’s called Stripping Bare the Body: Politics, Violence, War. We speak to Danner about torture in the so-called war on terror and his career of chronicling US-backed human rights abuses abroad. [includes rush transcript]
The deep and ongoing crises of leading capitalist countries, especially the United States, has provoked a debate over the causes, consequences and appropriate policies to remedy it.
The debate has revealed a deep division over the causes and remedies, with Anglo-Franco American (AFA) politicians, columnists and economists on one side and their Asian-German (AG) counterparts on the other. In general terms the AFA spokespeople put the blame for the crises on external factors, or more specifically they point their finger at the positive trade surpluses, dynamic export sectors and high investment rates in productive sectors and low levels of consumption in the AG countries as the cause of ”unbalances” or “disequilibrium” in the world economy .
Obama brought the ‘AfPak’, doctrine with him to the White House, ostensibly with the intention of securing Afghanistan, neutralizing Al-Qaeda, bringing peace to Afghanistan. Such urbane jargons did much to soothe the ears of the news viewers in the US but in reality all such slogans were as hollow as the dark hole that the US finds itself in at the moment in Afghanistan.
The Surge in Afghanistan, has all but failed. Over 75% of Afghanistan is in the hands of Taliban. Last Saturday, eight US troops were killed in Nuristan province when, hundreds of Taliban attacked US and Afghan troops by attacking their outpost from multiple locations.  Today, CNN Europe reports many more civilian dead and wounded in this groteque war.