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Swiss Cheese and Islamophobia: Smelly, Flimsy and Full of Holes

Professor As’ad AbuKhalil, aka The Angry Arab, reports on the remarkably under-reported major story in Switzerland this week: the popular vote to ban minarets in the country. In a piece entitled, "Religious Bigotry in the New York Times" (referring to this story), he writes: What happened in Switzerland is quite significant. Of course, only an ignorant would associate Switzerland with equality and tolerance: just remember — as I always remind my students — that women were only granted the right to vote in 1971. Enough said. But what is quite outrageous is the extent to which US (and Western) media

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Tomorrow Never Knows — But We Do: The Obama Surge Foreseen

Run, don’t walk, to Arthur Silber’s latest, and get tomorrow’s news today. That’s right, Silber has pierced the veil of time and brings back news of Barack Obama’s big announcement, scheduled for Tuesday night, when — to the vast surprise of absolutely no one on earth (except, of course, our serious media analysts, who have been puzzling and puzzling till their puzzlers are sore about the “debate” on escalating the war in Afghanistan) — Obama will announce that he is, er, escalating the war in Afghanistan. What’s more, Silber has done us all the yeoman service of pre-wading through “the

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Planes, Trains and Automobiles

I’m leaving soon for a few days, and will be in the air, on the road, and on the rails. Therefore blogging may be light or non-existent. But given the fact that the readership of this popsicle stand has dwindled to a handful — and financial support has dropped to near zero — I figure the world will somehow manage to survive this terrible lacuna. Also, because of a relentless stream of spam comments, I’m turning off the comment function while I’m gone, since I won’t be able to do the daily weeding of all that sinister kudzu. *Note –

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Beloved Enemy: Paying for the Privilege of Perpetual War

Our American militarists love war so much that they even bankroll the enemy, just to keep the blood money flowing. This odd but absolutely crucial characteristic of the Never-Ending Terror War was borne out again in a remarkable story in the Guardian (with an expanded version in The Nation). As Aram Roston reports — and U.S. military officials openly admit — American taxpayers are giving Afghan insurgents at least 10-20 percent of the war machine’s multibillion-dollar transportation contracts. Hundreds of millions of dollars are flowing into Taliban coffers every year from bribes offered to stop insurgents from attacking supply convoys

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Systemic Success: Blood Money and Black Gold in Iraq

The New York Times is shocked — shocked! — to find personal enrichment of American elites at the heart of the rape and gutting of Iraq. Who could possibly have ever foreseen such a scenario as the Times revealed on Thursday, describing how "influential American adviser" Peter Galbraith helped "ram through" highly controversial provisions in the constitution that the occupying force and its collaborators imposed – provisions that could put more than $100 million in Galbraith’s pocket. Of course, Galbraith’s war-profiteering machinations are hardly unique; the roll call of "advisers" and officials and other insiders feasting on Iraqi corpseflesh is

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Still Going Down That Ghost Road

  On this day of remembrance…. Read: Hear, and Understand, the Veterans Themselves: "Shotvarfet." Listen: "John Brown"   Top photo: Petersburg, Virginia, 1865. (From     

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Master and Pupil: Sowing Tyranny in Iraq, Spreading Slaughter in Afghanistan

Here’s the kind of freedom and liberation you get in exchange for a million dead bodies: Iraqi court rules Guardian defamed Nouri al-Maliki. What exactly did the Guardian do to merit this judgment — which, perhaps not incidentally, directs them to put more than $100,000 in Nouri al-Maliki’s pocket? Something which, admittedly, is quite shocking in our day: reporting. The Guardian’s Ghaith Abdul-Ahad, who has contributed a remarkable series of stories from the frontlines and backrooms of the Iraqi cauldron, interviewed three members of the Iraqi national intelligence service "who claimed that the prime minister was beginning to run Iraqi

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Talking Blues: Gitmo Gets Harsher Under “Progressive” Rule

Talk is cheap; actions speak volumes. And it seems Barack Obama is compiling quite a volume for himself at America’s flagship concentration camp in Guantanamo Bay. As Andrew Wander reports, conditions for prisoners at Gitmo have grown worse since Obama took office: Guantanamo conditions ‘deteriorate’. Of course, Gitmo is by no means the worst pit in America’s worldwide gulag, which Obama has kept wide open for business, while fighting strenuously in court to retain all of Bush’s authoritarian powers over the lives and liberties of anyone the president arbitrarily deems a suspected terrorist. And of course, he hasn’t, uh, closed

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Most Wicked Speed: Hate Tropes Spread From Media Heights After Shooting

We spoke here the other day of “the upswelling of racial, ethnic and religious hatred against Muslims and Arabs we will now see in many quarters” following the Ft. Hood shootings. Arthur Silber points us to some of the poisonous first fruits of this sinister harvest, written by a “respectable” journalist in a “respectable” publication: former Wall Street Journal maven, Tunku Varadarajan, now an executive editor at Forbes. Varadarajan’s putrid tract works the by-now familiar trope of our thoroughly modern hatemongers: it pretends to decry the “dangerous” potential for racist violence and pogroms even as it encourages and exacerbates the

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Saturday Night Special: “Historic” Vote Kills Health Care Reform for Another Generation

What did you do last Saturday night? Head out for dinner and a movie? Take in a show? Hit the clubs? Get cozy on the couch with your main squeeze? Well, here’s what the U.S. House of Representatives did: they passed an “historic” health care bill which will put the kibosh on any genuine, equitable, sensible health care reform for many and many a year. Couldn’t they have just had a cookout — or a key party — instead? We would’ve all been better off. Of course, the House bill, bad as it is, will be mangled beyond all recognition

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