Posts tagged ‘USA’

August 11, 2010

Election Map

by Vince

A neat guide for the House, Senate, and Gubernatorial races across the USA.

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August 11, 2010

The War Report: The Kids Are Not Alright

by Vince

(Photo: Asan Bibi, 9, (R) and her sister Salima,13, (L) stand in the hallway of Mirwais hospital October 13, 2009 Kandahar, Afghanistan. Both were burned when a helicopter fired into their tent in the middle of the night on October 3rd, according to their father. Three members of the family were killed in the incident. The family belongs to the Kuchi ethnic tribe, nomads living in tents out in the open desert whom are very vulnerable to a war they have little understanding of. The Taliban are now staging suicide attacks and IED blasts in densely populated areas to create a bigger impact as more of Afghan’s war wounded hit the headlines. By Paula Bronstein/Getty Images.)

Some more background courtesy of the Daily Dish:

As we fight an unwinnable war in an ungovernable country, the enemy simplyratchets up the evil by targeting more and more innocent civilians, especially women and children. HuffPo’s headline misleadingly suggests that US policy is behind the yearly increase in civilian fatalities but the UN report actually notes that casualties caused by the US and UK fell by 30 percent and by 64 percent in aerial bombing in one year, which strikes me as a real achievement for McChrystal. But then you see an image like that above (having scanned many of them I feel numb from the images of agony and despair) which was the result of a Coalition air-strike gone awry and you see the awful, horrible, gut-wrenching moral dilemma we are in. But the vast majority of child murders are by the Taliban.

August 5, 2010

The Logic of Hegemonic Stability Theory

by Vince

Christopher Predle ponders over the bipartisan Hadley-Perry commissions findings, which justifies spending $800 billion a year on military expenditures to ensure America’s “global policeman” personality:

Most in Washington still embraces the notion that America is, and forever will be, the world’s indispensable nation. Some scholars, however, questioned the logic of hegemonic stability theory from the very beginning. A number continue to do so today. They advance arguments diametrically at odds with the primacist consensus. Trade routes need not be policed by a single dominant power; the international economy is complex and resilient. Supply disruptions are likely to be temporary, and the costs of mitigating their effects should be borne by those who stand to lose — or gain — the most. Islamic extremists are scary, but hardly comparable to the threat posed by a globe-straddling Soviet Union armed with thousands of nuclear weapons. It is frankly absurd that we spend more today to fight Osama bin Laden and his tiny band of murderous thugs than we spent to face down Joseph Stalin and Chairman Mao. Many factors have contributed to the dramatic decline in the number of wars between nation-states; it is unrealistic to expect that a new spasm of global conflict would erupt if the United States were to modestly refocus its efforts, draw down its military power, and call on other countries to play a larger role in their own defense, and in the security of their respective regions.

August 1, 2010

The Ordinary Radicals

by Vince

By Shane Claiborne. More found on their website.

July 11, 2010

The Rule of Law within the USA

by Vince

Greenwald points out the issues seen over the past several years:

* If you torture people or eavesdrop on Americans without the warrants required by the criminal law, you receive Look-Forward Imperial Immunity.

* If you shoot and kill unarmed rescuers of the wounded while occupying their country and severely wound their unarmed children sitting in a van — or if you authorize that conduct — your actions are commended.

* If you help wreck the world economy with fraud and cause hundreds of millions of people untold suffering, you collect tens of millions of dollars in bonuses.

* If you disclose to the world evidence of war crimes, government lawbreaking, or serious corruption, or otherwise embarrass the U.S., you will be swiftly prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law and face decades in prison.

As was true for Ellsberg, the issue isn’t that Manning is being prosecuted; the issue is the extreme disparities in how such decisions are made and what that reveals about the objectives and priorities of those responsible for these decisions.

July 5, 2010

Reflectively seeing the USA after Jordan

by Vince

Buzz Bissinger reflects and shares on hubris:

Whenever you travel overseas, you can’t help but reflect on where you are and where you have come from. It is a soul-searching made even more intense as we celebrate our birth as a nation today, and it is further enhanced by my own personal odyssey from one Philadelphia to another. The ruins truly do reveal a profound linkage to the past, but the present contains lessons just as powerful.

We are a nation of vast pride. There is much to be proud of. But we are also a nation of vast blinders, dismissing other countries as irrelevant pebbles in the shadow of the great monolith that we believe we still are. Patriotism is wonderful, but not when it becomes arrogant and regressive. Too many Americans think that the Grand Canal shopping complex at the Venetian hotel in Las Vegas is the real one, and that depressing ignorance applies tenfold to the Middle East.

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