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Popular Articles

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Losing Latin America: The Obama Doctrine

Losing Latin America: What Will the Obama Doctrine Be Like?
by Greg Grandin
Google "neglect," "Washington," and "Latin America," and you will be led to thousands of hand-wringing calls from politicians and pundits for Washington to "pay more attention" to the region.
 
True, Richard Nixon once said that "people don't give one shit" about the place. And his National Security Adviser Henry Kissinger quipped that Latin America is a "dagger pointed at the heart of Antarctica." But Kissinger also made that same joke about Chile, Argentina, and New Zealand -- and, of the three countries, only the latter didn't suffer widespread political murder as a result of his policies, a high price to pay for such a reportedly inconsequential place.

Latin America, in fact, has been indispensable in the evolution of U.S. diplomacy. The region is often referred to as America's "backyard," but a better metaphor might be Washington's "strategic reserve," the place where ascendant foreign-policy coalitions regroup and redraw the outlines of U.S. power, following moments of global crisis.


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Meet the New Con

Make No Mistake: McCain's a Neocon
by Robert Parry
Since clinching the Republican presidential nomination, John McCain has sought to hide the forest of his neoconservative alignment with George W. Bush amid the trees of details, such as stressing differences over military tactics used in Iraq.

But the larger reality should be clear: McCain is a hard-line neoconservative who buys into Bush’s “preemptive war” theories abroad and his concept of an all-powerful “unitary executive” at home.


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Revisited: War Inc.

War, Inc.
by Mike Ferner
(Revised June 7, 2008)
Note to the revised version: This article was first written for publication in December, 2001, weeks after the U.S. started bombing Afghanistan. It appeared in the April 2002 issue of “Wild Matters,” a national environmental journal Michael Colby published in Vermont. 

When John Cusack’s film, “War, Inc.” opened in June 2008, I considered suing him for stealing my title and distorting the number of web hits for my “War, Inc.,” from a stable, long-standing total of about a dozen, to a million and a half... but decided my time could be better spent updating the original piece.

The initial purpose of War, Inc. was to question why the U.S. chose to go to war after the attacks of September 11, 2001.  One could argue that other kinds of responses were possible, such as treating the attacks as a criminal act instead of an act of war which, in any sense of how we understand the word, they were not.  Pursuing a criminal response would bring to bear the intelligence-gathering forces of virtually the entire world, then in universal sympathy with the United States, to arrest and try those responsible for the attacks.  Leaving aside for a moment the argument that a criminal investigation into the September 11 attacks would never have been allowed since the federal government at the very least looked the other way before the attacks took place, I think we can safely say the last seven years prove that the path we chose – war – has generated far more innocent victims, grieving families, ruined lives and overall problems for the U.S. than had we sought justice without resorting to war. 
 
Which leaves open the question, why did our government choose to respond by invasion and war?

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Of Winners, Whiners, and Desperately Seeking a Veep

An Immodest Proposal: Hillary for Veep...of the GOP
by Dave Lindorff
I've got an idea. The way to get Hillary Clinton out of the Democratic race so Barack Obama can focus on the general election is to encourage John McCain to name her as his choice for vice president!

It's perfect. On foreign policy, Johno and Hill are an excellent match. They both want to blow up Iran. They both thought invading Iraq was a peachy-keen idea. And they both want to keep freezing out Cuba--or maybe worse.
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Class War Wages: Mort la Difference

On Being Different and Why it’s Important  
by William Bowles
The class war is still with us and it’s still just as vicious, all that’s changed is the location of the battles and the weapons being used. The war is not primarily over physical resources but over values.
 
That said, there are still over five million people in the UK who live in abject material and spiritual poverty, especially the old, the under-educated and of course people of colour.
 
Many are relegated to so-called Sink Estates, they are the under-belly of the ‘good life’, and for the most part out of sight of ‘ordinary, decent’ people. These are the demons who haunt the pages of the Daily Mail, the Daily Express and the Sun, ironically the tabloids whose readership are the same people they blame for every ill that befalls us.

But search in vain for a real working class view at these disgusting, lying rags, for all are university grads with useless degrees in ‘journalism’, well schooled in doing the dirty work of Capital.

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Shades of Significance: Breaking the Pale Monopoly

Degrees of Significance: The Nomination of Barack Obama        
by Chris Floyd     
The symbolic significance of Obama Barack's nomination victory is not insubstantial. In a land where, not so long ago, having the slightest drop of "Negro blood" in your genetic inheritance was enough to bar you -- legally and formally -- from many jobs, educational opportunities, places of residence, medical care, full participation in society, etc. (and where these obstacles still persist, in practice if not in law, for many people), it is striking to see a man whose father was not only black but also a "full-blooded African" (cue the psychosexual "Mandingo" anxieties of generations of trembly white folk) on the doorstep of the White House.
 
At the very least -- until the novelty wears off (and novelty wears off very, very quickly in America)-- if Obama wins the presidency, there will be some aesthetic relief in seeing a different kind of face on the tee-vee mouthing various pieties, refusing to take any options off the table, etc., in place of the long procession of pasty white males of Northern European descent.

As for the substantial significance of Obama's nomination win, there is none. The only thing that really matters is what the human being named Barack Obama will do with power (if he gets it), and not his skin color.

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Engaging Syria: Losing Ground

Engaging Syria: Losing Ground
by Ramzy Baroud
On 15 May, President Bush gave a speech before the Israeli Knesset decrying "radicals and terrorists" (basically anyone who opposes the United States and Israel). His archaic references to the "promised land" and "chosen people" certainly appealed to the equally outdated and exclusivist views of many, though not all, Israeli Knesset members who reportedly saw in Bush the quintessential Zionist.

A few days later, Bush took his message to Sharm El-Sheikh, stating, "we must stand with the good and decent people of Iran and Syria, who deserve so much better than the life they have today. Every peaceful nation in the region has an interest in stopping these nations from supporting terrorism."

Yet, on 21 May, media reports revealed that Israel and Syria were engaged in mediated peace talks in Turkey. Both sides sounded upbeat, with Syrian officials stating that Israel showed readiness to withdraw from the entire Golan Heights, which it occupied in 1967 and illegally annexed in 1981.


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Parched: National Water Security

How Water Has Become a National Security Issue
by Maude Barlow
It's a colossal failure of political foresight that water has not emerged as an important issue in the U.S. Presidential campaign. The links between oil, war, and U.S. foreign policy are well known. But water -- whether we treat it as a public good or as a commodity that can be bought and sold -- will in large part determine whether our future is peaceful or perilous.
 
Americans use water even more wastefully than oil. The U.S relies on non-renewable groundwater for 50 percent of its daily use, and 36 states now face serious water shortages, some verging on crisis.
 
Meanwhile, dwindling freshwater supplies around the world, inequitable access to water, and corporate control of water, together with impending climate change from fossil fuel emissions, have created a life-or-death situation across the planet.
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Bush Insider Wilkerson Revelations on Iraq Run Up

A new three part interview with Larry Wilkerson, Colin Powell's former chief of staff: Part I
by The Real News
Wilkerson, who has gone on record calling Powell's speech before the U.N. in 2003 laying out a case for war with Iraq a "hoax", spoke to The Real News Network at this year's AIPAC conference that did not shy away from painting Iran as a hostile, nuclear threat.
 
 
 
The Washington insider was featured in the documentary "The Israel Lobby", saying that AIPAC was highly influential in the Bush Administration's decision to go to war in Iraq.


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The Empire -- A Status Report

The Empire -- A Status Report
by William Blum
There are a number of expressions and slogans associated with the Nazi regime in Germany which have become commonly known in English.
 
"Sieg Heil!" -- Victory Hail!
"Arbeit macht frei" -- Work will make you free.

"Denn heute gehört uns Deutschland und morgen die ganze Welt" -- Today Germany, tomorrow the world
    
But none perhaps is better known than "Deutschland über alles" -- Germany above all.

Thus I was taken aback when I happened to come across the website of the United States Air Force -- www.airforce.com/ -- and saw on its first page a heading "Above all". Lest you think that this refers simply and innocently to planes high up in the air, this page links to another -- www.airforce.com/achangingworld/ -- where "Above all" is repeated even more prominently, with links to sites for "Air Dominance", "Space Dominance", and "Cyber Dominance", each of which in turn repeats "Above all".
 
These guys don't kid around. They're not your father's imperialist war mongers. If they're planning on a new "thousand-year Reich", let's hope that their fate is no better than the original, which lasted 12 years. 
 
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The Nuisance of Democracy

When a Little Dissent Is Too Much        
by Norman Solomon
Over the years, once in a great while, I’ve been surprised to cross paths with a journalist at a major TV outlet who actually seems willing and able to go outside the conventional boundaries of media discourse.

That’s what happened one day in the fall of 2005 at the Boston headquarters of the CN8 television network, owned and operated by the corporate media giant Comcast.
 
I showed up for an interview about my book "War Made Easy: How Presidents and Pundits Keep Spinning Us to Death." My expectations weren’t very high. After all, I was setting foot in the studios of a large commercial TV channel with wide distribution of its programming in New England and beyond.
 
 
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