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AntiWar.com Blog

AntiWar.com Blog - 2013-05-16 - Original post - cached version

“A standing military force, with an overgrown Executive will not long be safe companions to liberty. The means of defence agst. foreign danger, have been always the instruments of tyranny at home.” -James Madison

As previously discussed in these spaces by...

AntiWar.com Blog - 2013-05-15 - Original post - cached version

Via NPR, Holder said yesterday in a news conference that he’s not sure how many times he’s signed off on Justice Department requests to spy on journalists:

“I’m not sure how many of those cases…I have actually signed off on,” Holder said. “I take them very seriously. I know that I...

AntiWar.com Blog - 2013-05-15 - Original post - cached version

With the manufactured Benghazi scandal tying with the IRS for the story that the right is pretending is a story, it’s worth looking back at what a real scandal looks like. Most people think of Watergate when they think “scandal” but by Nixon standards, Watergate is just a little icing on...

AntiWar.com Blog - 2013-05-14 - Original post - cached version

Israel’s official silence following its airstrikes on weapons depots in Syria earlier this month fueled accusations in every direction. Damascus condemned it as an attempt to destroy the regime, Tehran said the real targets were Iran and Hezbollah, analysts in the U.S. said it was a...

AntiWar.com Blog - 2013-05-14 - Original post - cached version

When the Iran-Contra scandal broke out, President Reagan went on national television and played dumb. He claimed he had no knowledge that high-level members of his administration were illegally selling arms to the Iranian regime and using the proceeds to fund the Nicaraguan Contra rebels...

AntiWar.com Blog - 2013-05-14 - Original post - cached version

Just when you thought it couldn’t get worse, The Washington Post reports this week that in addition to the escalating sexual assault problem in the the military, there have been an uncomfortable number of sex crimes, convictions and what can only be called criminal behavior at the recruiter...

AntiWar.com Blog - 2013-05-14 - Original post - cached version

Photo credit: Cherri Gregg/via CBS Philly

The 1993 Waco siege is often categorized as one of the more violent, militaristic, domestic actions by U.S. law enforcement in recent memory. And it should be. At the Branch Davidian’s “compound” a fatal combination ...

AntiWar.com Blog - 2013-05-13 - Original post - cached version

After a very lengthy legal process, “former Guatemalan dictator Efrain Rios Montt was found guilty on Friday of genocide and crimes against humanity during the bloodiest phase of the country’s 36-year civil war,” Reuters reports.

Montt came to power in Guatemala in a 1982 military coup....

AntiWar.com Blog - 2013-05-13 - Original post - cached version

Aryn Baker at TIME reports on a video out of Syria depicting the savagery of rebel commander Khalid al-Hamad:

The video starts out like so many of the dozens coming out of the war in Syria every day, with the camera hovering over the body of a dead Syrian soldier. But the next...

AntiWar.com Blog - 2013-05-13 - Original post - cached version

When considering the likelihood of increased U.S. intervention in Syria, it’s useful to try to gauge the opinions of people in positions of policymaking and power. I’ve noted several times the Obama administration’s demonstrated reluctance to get further involved in the form of directly arming...

AntiWar.com Blog - 2013-05-13 - Original post - cached version

From Frank Brodhead’s Iran War Weekly:

While nuclear negotiators will meet Wednesday in Istanbul, little progress is expected in the diplomatic standoff about Iran’s nuclear program before Iran’s presidential election, which will take place on June 14th. With Iran’s reform movement...

AntiWar.com Blog - 2013-05-11 - Original post - cached version

IN THIS ISSUE

Top News Opinion and analysis

This week’s top news:

Pakistan High Court: US Drone Strikes Illegal: Pakistani High Court Chief Justice Dost Muhammad Khan has issued a ruling today declaring the ongoing US drone strikes against the tribal areas illegal under...

AntiWar.com Blog - 2013-05-10 - Original post - cached version

Pakistan holds elections on Saturday. More than 70 people have been killed nationwide in pre-election violence. It is encouraging that Pakistani High Court Chief Justice Dost Muhammad Khan issued a ruling on Thursday declaring US drone strikes in tribal areas in Pakistan illegal and a war crime...

AntiWar.com Blog - 2013-05-10 - Original post - cached version

Here is an NPR segment featuring a former Air Force pilot who operated drones. He describes targeting and killing people he thinks were civilians, or at least not a threat. He describes bombing a man running away, and when the smoke cleared saw the man get his leg blown off and bleed to death....

AntiWar.com Blog - 2013-05-10 - Original post - cached version

The central defense of the Obama administration’s handling of the Benghazi attacks last year is that they shouldn’t be blamed for making so many inaccurate statements about it being a spontaneous protest against an insulting video rather than a premeditated terrorist attack because even...

AntiWar.com Blog - 2013-05-10 - Original post - cached version

Pakistan holds elections on Saturday. More than 70 people have been killed nationwide in pre-election violence. It is encouraging that Pakistani High Court Chief Justice Dost Muhammad Khan issued a ruling on Thursday declaring US drone strikes in tribal areas in Pakistan illegal and a war crime...

AntiWar.com Blog - 2013-05-10 - Original post - cached version

Rep. Charlie Rangel (D-NY), Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal, Thomas E. Ricks, meet David Sirota. Sirota, meet the other three people in the United States who regret the 40 years of conscription-free living Americans have enjoyed.

Over at Salon, Sirota, a liberal author and blogger (who took...

AntiWar.com Blog - 2013-05-10 - Original post - cached version

It’s pretty clear at this point that the Obama administration explicitly misrepresented what they knew to be the truth about the September 11, 2012 attacks on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya that killed four Americans including U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens.

In yesterday’s hearings...

AntiWar.com Blog - 2013-05-09 - Original post - cached version

Writing at Time magazine in response to an article by John McCain advocating US intervention in Syria, Zbigniew Brzezinski – not exactly a peacenik – argues that “the Syrian conflict is a sectarian war in a volatile region whose potential to spread and directly threaten American interests would...

AntiWar.com Blog - 2013-05-09 - Original post - cached version

Our new Contributing Editor Lucy Steigerwald appared on HuffPost Live today to discuss the Obama administration’s apparent embrace of an “an FBI plan for a sweeping overhaul of surveillance – laws that would make it easier to wiretap those who communicate using the Internet.”

Also...

AntiWar.com Blog - 2013-05-09 - Original post - cached version

The dispute between China and Japan over territorial claims to the Senkaku/Diaoyu island chains has become the front line in the Sino-Japanese realpolitik rivalry. But it is at least as much about the geo-political contest between the U.S. and China, with Japan as a proximate instrument...

AntiWar.com Blog - 2013-05-09 - Original post - cached version

Harold Koh, formerly the Obama administration’s top State Department lawyer, has criticized the systematic secrecy surrounding the drone war. The New York Times:

In a speech Tuesday at Oxford University, Harold H. Koh, a Yale law professor who as the...

AntiWar.com Blog - 2013-05-09 - Original post - cached version

Writing in The New Yorker, Dexter Filkins runs through the Obama administration’s reluctance to further intervene in Syria. There are many cons White House officials articulate, but here’s two that stood out to me.

Unintended Consequences

Filkins quotes a senior White House...

AntiWar.com Blog - 2013-05-09 - Original post - cached version

Much has been made of the Obama administration’s decision to set up shop in Jordan under the pretense of containing the Syrian conflict and of training so-called moderate elements in the Syrian rebel opposition. That is the pretense that has so far been publicized in the news media and...

AntiWar.com Blog - 2013-05-08 - Original post - cached version

The Dispensable Nation: American Foreign Policy in Retreat by Vali Nasr, Doubleday, 320 pages

A good insider’s account of a presidential administration can take many forms. These memoirs are always a little difficult to swallow because there is usually the gnawing sense that the author...

AntiWar.com Blog - 2013-05-08 - Original post - cached version

The September 18, 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF), ostensibly a vehicle for the U.S. to go after the perpetrators of the 9/11 terrorist attacks in New York and Washington, DC., turns out to have been a whole hell of a lot more than that nearly 12 years on. That simple joint...

AntiWar.com Blog - 2013-05-07 - Original post - cached version

The sex assault problem in the military is turning out to be a poison that has infected every branch, and it just seems to be getting worse as more women enlist and rise through the ranks. Just when military women were celebrating the successful storming of the citadel and into the infantry,...

AntiWar.com Blog - 2013-05-07 - Original post - cached version

If, as alleged, the Syrian regime has used chemical weapons, it would indeed be a serious development, constituting a breach of the Geneva Protocol of 1925, one of the world’s most important disarmament treaties, which banned the use of chemical weapons.

In 1993, the international...

AntiWar.com Blog - 2013-05-07 - Original post - cached version

Israel’s bombing of Syria this week represented a very serious escalation in the civil war that carries a high risk of internationalizing the conflict. The supposed justification for the attacks was to eliminate a depot of Fateh-110 missiles, shipped from Iran and allegedly headed to Hezbollah...

AntiWar.com Blog - 2013-05-07 - Original post - cached version

Bill Keller’s piece in The New York Times yesterday got a lot of attention, and for all the right reasons. The absurdity of the piece wasn’t lost on most people: Keller lays out how terribly wrong he was for supporting the Bush administration’s war of choice in Iraq, and is now asking readers...

AntiWar.com Blog - 2013-05-07 - Original post - cached version

On Friday, Israel attacked Syria. On Sunday, they launched multiple additional attacks, destroying several military targets in the Syrian capital city of Damascus and killing 42 people.

Today (Monday), Israel has filed an official complaint to the United Nations after a pair of Syrian...

AntiWar.com Blog - 2013-05-07 - Original post - cached version

Director Kathryn Bigelow’s cinematic valentine to dogged CIA sisters doin’ it and taking out Osama Bin Laden for themselves, Zero Dark Thirty, was controversial long before it was released last December. Initially there were rumors the film would be released two months before the 2012 election,...

AntiWar.com Blog - 2013-05-07 - Original post - cached version

Bolivian President Evo Morales recently announced he has expelled the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), saying such “institutions” “continue to conspire.”

USAID, thanks to lots of propaganda, is thought to be a wonderful, almost charitable arm of the U.S...

AntiWar.com Blog - 2013-05-06 - Original post - cached version

IN THIS ISSUE

Top News Opinion and analysis

This week’s top news:

Hagel: US Considering Arming Syria Rebels: Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel became the first US official to admit that the administration is "rethinking" its previous decision not to arm Syria’s rebels...

AntiWar.com Blog - 2013-05-06 - Original post - cached version

From Frank Brodhead’s Iran War Weekly. Please read the entire report at WarisACrime.org.

It is too soon to tell whether Israel’s weekend bombing of Syria will irrevocably change the course of the war and engulf the region in death and fire. Israel has intimated that further attacks are...

AntiWar.com Blog - 2013-05-03 - Original post - cached version

Reports from May 1 protests around the US, particularly in Seattle, may look disturbingly familiar to anyone worried about police militarization.

To be fair, this outlet suggests Seattle saw a contingent of aggressive marchers and rioters who were determined to provoke a response from law...

AntiWar.com Blog - 2013-05-02 - Original post - cached version

A recent New York Times article ascribing the label “isolationist” to those skeptical of military intervention in Syria and North Korea has generated a flurry of commentary about the overall foreign policy debate.

Matt Duss summarizes the controversy well:

Ask...

AntiWar.com Blog - 2013-05-02 - Original post - cached version

There are rumors going around that President Obama “is preparing to send lethal weaponry to the Syrian opposition,” although he has said no such thing publicly.

Nevertheless, the rumors are sparking a new debate on the wisdom of directly arming the Syrian rebels. I say “directly”...

AntiWar.com Blog - 2013-05-02 - Original post - cached version

Nietzsche is incorrectly often associated with fascism, especially Nazism. When he descended into insanity, his sister Elizabeth took control of his works and selectively edited them to support the Third Reich. This is a shame, because Nietzche wrote many prescient passages in his early...

AntiWar.com Blog - 2013-05-02 - Original post - cached version

President Obama this week defended the US’s policy of force feeding detainees in Guantanamo Bay who are protesting their due process-free indefinite detention by going on a hunger strike.

On Wednesday, UN human rights officials declared that force feeding amounts to torture,...

AntiWar.com Blog - 2013-05-02 - Original post - cached version

In the past few days, two different Atlantic writers have worried that drones are a “sexy” subject which often overshadow other issues. Now, Andrew Cohen’s article isn’t really about war or drones. It’s a reminder that it’s not only Anwar al-Awlaki who didn’t get due process. Thousands of other...

AntiWar.com Blog - 2013-05-01 - Original post - cached version

The Boston Police Department has announced — via Twitter – that three more suspects have been taken into custody in the Boston Marathon bombing case. “Details to follow….”

The Boston Globe describes the three as college students. Are two of them these guys?

Update: Answer to above...

AntiWar.com Blog - 2013-05-01 - Original post - cached version

The hoopla over President Obama’s statements on the Guantanamo Bay prison yesterday have obscured the reality of the situation. Sometimes broad talk of policy questions get in the way of the truly revealing details.


Mohamedou Ould Slahi

But now we...

AntiWar.com Blog - 2013-05-01 - Original post - cached version

In response to a question about the hunger strike currently sweeping the prison, President Obama today once again promised to close the U.S. detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Obama spoke eloquently about the issue, saying “It is inefficient, it hurts us in terms of our international...

AntiWar.com Blog - 2013-04-30 - Original post - cached version

When the news about chemical weapons use in Syria hit the headlines again last week, I wrote that the whole debate on the issue was bogus. I argued that the alleged use of chemical weapons didn’t change the fact that the administration sees war in Syria as too costly and that, in any...

AntiWar.com Blog - 2013-04-30 - Original post - cached version

I am pleased to introduce the latest addition to the Antiwar.com staff, our new Contributing Editor, Lucy Steigerwald.

Lucy was previously an Associate Editor at Reason magazine, where she wrote on issues ranging from drones, the drug war, the US justice system, politics, the warfare...

AntiWar.com Blog - 2013-04-30 - Original post - cached version

As we noted in the news section yesterday, The New York Times reported this week on “bags of cash” that have been continually sent to Afghan President Hamid Karzai “courtesy of the CIA.”

Despite its unsurprising “revelations,” the story has received a lot of attention from Americans who...

AntiWar.com Blog - 2013-04-30 - Original post - cached version

Drones are the weapon of choice for fighting undeclared wars all over the Middle East. Surveillance drones are on the cusp of becoming that for U.S. government and law enforcement officials as they continue their efforts to observe everyone as much as and as often as possible.

...

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