My plane was taxiing into the gate at Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson Airport when the end-of-flight announcements came on. Seatbacks in upright position, trays closed and locked, baggage under the seats, you know the drill. On an in-bound international flight, I was headed for my second trip through TSA security in 3 hours.
A neighbor illustrated the problem with the Fourth of July. He broke out a new bumper sticker for his car just in time for the annual celebration. The sticker promoted the US Navy with the slogan, “Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of all those who oppose us.” This twisted take on the spirit of the day is a perfect illustration of the worst American chauvinism that often pushes leftists and other progressives away from the holiday. However, as historians such as Howard Zinn have demonstrated, there are alternatives – there is a counter-narrative to American history that represents ordinary people. The Fourth of July is the perfect opportunity to discover it.
Recent statements by the defense ministers of Germany and Canada reveal that the globally-oriented Western military consortium that is the North Atlantic Treaty Organization plans not only to continue but broaden the wars and military occupations it has conducted over the past twenty years.
The New York Times this week reports under the headline “Taking Lead, Iraqis Hope U.S. Special Operations Commandos Stay” that the security situation in Iraq “may be at risk now that American forces are withdrawing this year” as per the U.S.-Iraqi Status of Force Agreement (SOFA). “Even as few Iraqi politicians are willing to admit publicly that they need American help, Iraqi soldiers say that American troops must stay longer to continue training and advising”, theTimes reports, citing “senior Iraqi military leaders” who “have advised Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki that some troops should stay.” Naturally, “American officials have said they would agree to a such a request.” Continue reading
The most important moral and intellectual voices within a disintegrating society are slowly discredited when their nonviolent protests and calls for justice cannot alter intransigent and corrupt systems of power. The repeated acts of peaceful civil disobedience, efforts at electoral and political reform and the fight to protect the rule of law are dismissed as useless by an embittered, dispossessed and betrayed public. Continue reading
Dear President Obama:
Yesterday’s Washington Post published a page one article headlined “President Waging A Charm Offensive. Obama woos big donors to help fund early campaign expansion.”
Later in the article appears this unseemly behavior by a public servant paid for by public funds:
WASHINGTON, Jul 3, 2011 (IPS) – Data on attacks by armed opposition forces and U.S. combat casualties since the U.S. troop surge in Afghanistan was completed last summer provide clear evidence that the surge and the increase in targeted killings by Special Operations Forces have failed to break the momentum of the Taliban.