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Obama Fires Diplomat for Urging Fraud Probe in Afghan Vote

The Obama Adminstration has fired a top US diplomat at the UN for the heinous crime of insisting that the manifest and widespread fraud in the recent Afghan elections be vigorously investigated. Peter Galbraith — the deputy UN special envoy for electoral matters — was technically fired by the United Nations, specifically by UN Secretary General Bai ki-Moon. But as the Guardian points out, “the recall of Galbraith would have required the agreement of the Obama administration.” Galbraith clashed with UN and US officials over his insistence that the fraudulent election of putative Afghan President Hamid Karzai be subjected to

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Imperial Dispatches

There are many good pieces out there at the moment, but not world enough and time today to dig into them properly. So here are some brief glimpses. In the immortal words of Rabbi Hillel: Go, and study. Nightmare Alley Arthur Silber is back from a long, illness-induced hiatus, and as usual, he is firing with both barrels. The piece deserves more comment, but for now, just go read the whole thing:  “Fools for Empire (Part I).” Patriotic Gore Another master sometimes laid low by illness these days has re-emerged with harsh words for the new Potomac regime. We speak,

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The Reason for the Anger and Intractability of the Debate Over Health Care Reform in the United States:

One side is lying; the other side is not telling the truth. * Or to put it another way: One side is pretending that a wildly reactionary plan to further enrich rapacious corporations is really hardcore, gutbucket socialism from the Bolshevik trenches, while the other side is pretending that its "reform" is not really a wildly reactionary plan to further enrich rapacious corporations but something that will somehow, in some way, be good for some people at some point way down the line. * One often finds that dealing in such utter unreality makes it somewhat difficult to achieve workable

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Dry Heaves and Sucker Ploys: The Great New Iran “Crisis”

The new “Iran crisis” is such a sickening concoction of stupidity and lies that it almost defies comment. It certainly defies contemplation; even to think about it for thirty seconds is enough to bring on a bout of the dry heaves. Fortunately, several other writers — with iron-clad innards, no doubt — have boldly waded in and dismantled the deception behind the manufactured hissy fit over Iran’s “secret nuclear facility.” Jason Ditz at gives a good overview of the case, which, shucked of all the warmongering frenzy, boils down to this little nubbin of reality: Iran was building a

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Happy Junta Grounds: Militarist Machiavellis Maneuver for More War

These days, the always noxious air of the Beltway is astir with the machinations of the military junta that now dominates the gutted and looted ruins of the American republic. Two recent articles provide excellent guides to the brazen Pentagon squeeze play to ensure that the civilian government does not stray from the militarist agenda of more war, all the time, everywhere, always — a condition best captured in the marvelous title of the latest volume of Christopher Logue’s serial reworking of The Illiad: All-Day Permanent Red. First up, Tom Englehardt focuses on the powerful proconsul who is directing the

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Curtain Call: Grim Glimpses of the World’s True Workings

It is all too easy to get dazzled by the facades of high politics and state policy, to be taken up with tactics, metrics, movements, trends, with ideologies and philosophies, as if the life of the world was actually conducted on this elevated plane. But sometimes a glimpse of reality shows through the increasingly threadbare curtain, and we can see the grubby, petty, deadly truth of how the world really works. Two particularly telling glimpses came through this week, throwing harsh, glaring light on the all-pervasive corruption of American political system – and on the collusion of governments, business and

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A Brief Explanation

A few years ago, I won an award for a piece I’d written for The Moscow Times  (and CounterPunch.) By hook, crook and the kindness of others, I flew out to San Francisco, then caught the last night ferry to San Rafael, where the ceremony was being held the next day. I was one of several people being noted by Project Censored for their “Top 25 Censored Stories” volume of that year. The honorees were supposed to give speeches, so, weary with jet lag, I worked on mine in my motel room, while keeping one eye on the television, where

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Bad Medicine: The Terror War’s “Public Option”

As Barack Obama continues his noble struggle to reform the wreck of America’s health care system by forcing millions of people to pay billions of dollars to the very insurance companies who wrecked America’s health care system – continuing his winning policy of reforming the wreck of America’s financial system by giving trillions of dollars to the scamsters who wrecked America’s financial system — his soldiers in the good and necessary war of good necessity in Afghanistan have been implenting their own reforms to health care practices in their "host" country. Dahr Jamail reports on the underreported story of an

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Missing Link: Dissent, Delusion and Discontent

America has “tea-baggers,” who channel the very real and justified anger felt by millions into partisan hackery in the service of Big Money; but in Germany, this is what the disaffected are doing: putting together a new “anti-capitalist, pro-social justice” that could “shake up the political landscape” in the upcoming national elections. As the Guardian reports: [Frank Spieth’s] anti-capitalist, pro-social justice Die Linke is striking a chord with an increasingly disenfranchised electorate, espousing causes – such as inequality, reunification issues and, crucially, the war in Afghanistan – that are finding a receptive audience in both east and west. “Our voters

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Blood on the Tracks: The Continuing Lessons of Terror and Tyranny

I. At some point earlier this month, Barack Obama took a moment out of his busy day to sign an "execute order." That is, he ordered American agents to kill a man without any legal procedure whatsoever: no arrest, no trial, no formal presentation – and disputation – of evidence, no defense…and no warning. They killed him on the open road, in a sneak attack; he was not engaged in combat, he was not posing an imminent threat to anyone at the time, he had not been charged with any crime. This kind of thing is ordinarily regarded as murder.

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