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Far From Heaven

1. Shiny Happy PeopleArthur Silber finds even more reasons to celebrate the truly special specialness of the “shining city on the hill.” He also thanks Bill Clinton for teaching him — and all of us — some very important lessons about the nature of the American political system. 2. Dirty is as Dirty DoesNell Lancaster looks askance at Barack Obama’s craven climbdown on releasing the rest of the torture photos from Abu Ghraib — even as he appoints one of the dirtiest of our many dirty war mavens to take over the “humanitarian intervention” in Afghanistan, as Scott Horton of

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Silent as the Grave: A Timely Demise Draws the Curtain on a Deeply Rooted Evil

As Scott Horton at Harper’s reports — drawing on the reporting of Andy Worthington — the Terror War captive who would have provided the most damning evidence of the direct connection between the Bush administration’s torture program and its concoction of false evidence to “justify” its Hitlerian act of aggression in Iraq has suddenly, somehow, come over all dead-like. Ali Mohamed al-Fakheri — more usually known as Ibn al-Sheikh al-Libi — was captured in Afghanistan in late 2001 and subjected to a series of horrific tortures designed to make him “confess” to non-existent ties between Iraq and al Qaeda. These

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Burn After Reading: Intel Dump Muddies Dirty War Waters

Throughout the long history of the Afghan War, the United States has never accused the Taliban of using white phosphorus weapons — until now. Suddenly, after the emergence of glaring evidence of Afghan civilians being seared and maimed by these chemical weapons following American airstrikes and combat operations, the Pentagon has released “classified information” claiming that the Taliban have actually been using white phosphorus weapons for six years, since 2003: a practice that the Pentagon — which has been using white phosphorus weapons in Afghanistan since 2002 if not before — denounced as “reprehensible.” This is very curious. The bipartistan

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The Children’s Crusade

Day after day, week after week, Barack Obama’s “Overseas Contingency Operations” keep churning through the bodies of children: sometimes with chemical weapons that sear their flesh and leave them maimed and disfigured for life; sometimes with carefully aimed bullets ripping through their organs and leaving them dead right on the spot. And in every such case, our brave and noble Terror Warriors — who, lest we forget, are upholding the highest values of world civilization, bringing hope and change to benighted lands and defending our sacred way of life — run screaming like spinsters in a hissy fit from the

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Tales of Yankee Power: Inevitable Atrocities of the Terror War

I. Patrick Cockburn reports that the death count is rising from this week’s American airstrike on an Afghan village compound where women, children and elderly men were taking shelter from a battle several miles away; Afghan officials now say that almost 150 civilians were killed. [One of the few survivors is pictured at left.] What’s more, it turns out that the attack was not a single, mistaken shot, but part of a sustained bombing campaign, lasting for hours, in which three villages were “pounded to pieces.” From The Independent: Shouting “Death to America” and “Death to the Government”, thousands of

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Zero Hour: Calibrating the Case for Intervention

A reader writes: Do you see Pakistan as an unstable republic with nukes? If yes, is there anything you might approve of/wish for the United States (and others) to do to preemptively mitigate the risks that might ensue from political chaos there? For the sake of argument, let’s pretend that the US has pure motives. We’re obviously going to hear many arguments for why “Pakistan is the one (even if you didn’t like our other interventions),” how Abdul Qadeer Khan pals around with terrorists, etc. So, it would be helpful to know what canny critics of American imperialism see as

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Far Beyond Torture: The Long, Dark History of an Imperial Factotum

The intrepid David Swanson digs up another damning memo written by that eager factotum of evil, Jay Bybee. This particular sinister scribbling did not involve the brutal torture of gulag captives, however. No, in this case, Jay had much bigger fish to fry for his masters: the murder of more than a million people in a Hitlerian act of military agresson. As Swanson notes:

Jay Bybee wrote another memo that nobody has noticed, one purporting to authorize crimes far worse than torture, the same crimes the torture was itself intended to create false justifications for.

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Rolling Out the Product: A New Full-Court Press for Pakistan War

(UPDATED BELOW) We asked for signs,And signs were sent.— Leonard Cohen, “Anthem” I.We are now in the midst of a full-blown campaign to “roll out the product” for a new war: this time, in Pakistan. Anyone who lived through the run-up to the invasion of Iraq should be able to read the signs — anyone, that is, who is not blinded by partisan labels, or by the laid-back cool of a media-savvy leader far more presentable than his predecessor. We noted some of these signs in a long post yesterday and won’t belabor them here. But today brings yet another

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Fever Pitch: Obama-Clinton Dream Team Breeds Nightmare in Pakistan

The headline from McClatchy says it all: “Pakistani Army Flattening Villages as it Battles Taliban.” This is exactly what the hot-blooded humanitarian interventionists in the Obama Administration have been demanding: that Pakistan “take the fight” to the Taliban forces that, according to such world-historical savants as Hillary Clinton and the President himself, are posing an existential threat not only to Pakistan but even to the sacred Homeland itself. Last month, when a faction of the Pakistani Taliban (which is not be equated with the Afghan Taliban, but is anyway, repeatedly and deliberately, by the media and political classes) took temporary

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Random Notes on a Runaway World

Here are a few choice items that deserve far more attention than I can give them at the moment. The Unbearable Sanctimonious of ObamaJohn Caruso watches Barack Obama in action at the recent Summit of the Americas, and discerns in the Progressive Paladin’s incredibly condescening, history-maiming speech something which most Americans thought had vanished from the Oval Office forever: a smirk. Read it — and see it — at A Tiny Revolution. Sons Setting in IraqSurely no one could have predicted that the US would dump its dubious “allies” in the Iraq War once they had served their purpose: i.e.,

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