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Dissatisfied Mind: Flickers of Hope in a Deadly Political Cycle

(UPDATED BELOW) I found myself unexpectedly heartened by American election returns, at least in one respect. For they have shown, once again, that the American people feel an abiding, angry – if deeply inchoate – dissatisfaction with the nation’s unjust, corrupt and dysfunctional political system. They know that something is profoundly wrong with the system, and so they keep voting one faction out and putting the other faction in, hoping to see some kind of change. History gives this proof: in almost every national election for the past two decades, we have seen a change in control of either one

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Deliberate Evil: The American Strategy of Seeding Civil War

Pressing business elsewhere precludes me from giving proper attention to this, but I must take a moment to urge you to read — immediately — the new article by Gareth Porter at "Torture Orders Were Part of US Sectarian War Strategy." Porter delves into the latest Wikileaks trove to find new and detailed evidence of how the vicious sectarian civil war in Iraq in 2004-2008 — which killed thousands of people, subjected thousands to brutal and macabre tortures, drove hundreds of thousands of people from their homes — was deliberately seeded and constantly fueled by the leaders of the

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First Bad Deal Gone Down: Origins of the Current Democratic Debacle

The last, wan hope for real change in the American system was not lost through the imperial dithering of Barack Obama’s "Bush-Clinton Terror War Continuity" administration during the past two years. No; those last wan hopes went down the drain in 2006 — the year that the Democratic Party regained control of Congress … and promptly made a screeching U-turn on virtually every anti-war, anti-imperialist, pro-liberty, pro-people position it had taken against George W. Bush. The sell-out — or rather, the pay-off to the corporatist-militarist power factions who actually control the Democrats — was immediate, brazen and deeply destructive. It

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Cargo Cult: Questions on the Latest Terrorist Threat

First we were told that the recently intercepted package bombs sent, we are told, from Yemen, were targeted at synagogues in Chicago. Now we are being told that they were intended to blow up the cargo planes themselves. We are also told that the bombs’ design shows the mark of a "highly sophisticated" operation by extremist Islamists, most likely al Qaeda. All of which prompts one question. If you were indeed a "highly sophisticated" Islamist extremist operation wishing to blow up cargo planes bound for the United States with package bombs, would you really a) mail those bombs from Yemen,

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The Good Corporal: To the Exposers of Power and the Troublers of Dreams

This one goes out to Bradley Manning, Julian Assange, Daniel Ellsberg, Sibel Edmonds, and "all those who speak the hard truth to the state."    The Good Corporal Good corporal, good corporal, now what have you done? You’ve laid out the dead in the light of the sun. You’ve opened the door where the dark deeds go on, Where the fine words of freedom are broken like bones. Good corporal, good corporal, you tell us of crime Done in the name of your country and mine. Of torture and murder, corruption and lies, In a land where no echo will

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Manufacturing Mayhem in Mexico: From Nixon to NAFTA and Beyond

Ben Ehrenreich at the London Review of Books has written one of the best  articles on the current situation in Mexico that I have seen. Thousands of people are dying there, caught up in a sinister nexus where all the main players — drug cartels, their officials backers (and servants), the various Drug Warriors on both sides of the border, the corporations profiteering from the Drug War, the august and respectable financial institutions who move the money for both the cartels and their official antagonists, and the American and Mexican politicians who happily game the murderous system for their own

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Say No or Surrender: Progressives Seek to Close “Enthusiasm Gap” for Evil

  In these last days before the massively important, world-historical off-year election, as all our good progressives are out there rallying the troops for the beleaguered Democrats, trying to hold the racist, tyrannical, warmongering Tea Party at bay, Scott Horton at Harper’s provides us with yet another reminder of just what kind of governance these poor, beleaguered Democrats are delivering with the power they received in 2008. Horton reports that Barack Obama has won a great victory for the power of the state to falsely imprison innocent citizens, subject them to repeated abuse, tell slanderous lies about them — then

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Atrocity Now: Wikileaks Release Puts Spotlight Back on Continuing War Crime in Iraq

Many, many years ago, I noted in the Moscow Times that shortly after the 2003 invasion, the United States had begun hiring some of Saddam’s old torturers as the invaders sought to quell the then-nascent “insurgency” — i.e., the opposition to foreign occupation that when carried out by white men, such as the French during World War II, goes by the more ringing name of “resistance.” Here’s part of that report, from August 29, 2003: Here’s a headline you don’t see every day: “War Criminals Hire War Criminals to Hunt Down War Criminals.” Perhaps that’s not the precise wording used

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Brief, Bilious Discharges

A Torch Unto the Nations Religious extremists set fire to a girls’ school and destroy crops — but your terrorist-loving lamestream liberal media are too cowed to report it. Lamesters! Juan Cole busts through their cover-up. Another Glittering Jewel for the D.C. Dream Team Barack Obama appoints one of the key figures in the collapse of the American economy to be his new National Security Adviser — an all-too-typical move which prompts this reaction from Robert Scheer: Behind the wonderfully engaging smile of this president there is the increasingly disturbing suggestion of a cynical power-grabbing politician whose swift rise in

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Obama’s Finest Hour: Killing Innocent People For “Made-Up Crap”

  If ever I am tempted by the siren songs of my tribal past as a deep-fried, yellow-dawg Democrat, and begin to feel any faint, atavistic stirrings of sympathy for the old gang, I simply think of things like the scenario below, sketched last week by Johann Hari, and those wispy ghosts of partisanship past go howling back to the depths: Imagine if, an hour from now, a robot-plane swooped over your house and blasted it to pieces. The plane has no pilot. It is controlled with a joystick from 7,000 miles away, sent by the Pakistani military to kill

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