Connie Rice is a respected civil rights attorney who has decided to join the "dark side", as she jokingly calls it, by becoming a Los Angeles Police Department adviser. Working on the inside of any mainstream institution is a difficult adjustment for an outside advocate to make, but joining the LAPD is especially tricky for a former NAACP Legal Defense Fund lawyer. Rice also receives hundreds of thousands of dollars from Los Angeles' city government for reports and advice on police reform.
The Peace Exchange Bulletin
Published by Tom Hayden, The Peace Exchange Bulletin is a reader-supported journal, critically following the Pentagon's Long War in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Iraq, as well as the failed U.S. wars on drugs and gangs, and U.S. military responses to nationalism and poverty around the world.
The return of William Bratton as New York's top cop raises questions about how far reform of stop-and-frisk laws will go. Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio has extolled the incoming chief for implementing "constitutional" stop-and-frisk policies during his Los Angeles tenure.
Stop right there and frisk Bratton's Los Angeles record. It's not what you might think.
There is an opportunity for President Barack Obama to begin rolling back our Cuba sanctions policy by finding a bank willing to do business with Cuba so that hundreds of thousands of Cubans can spend the holidays with their families. The main reason the Cuban Interests Section in Washington DC cannot process visas and passports is because no bank is willing to handle the financial transactions. The reason the banks are afraid is the US sanctions policy and Cuba’s listing on the global terrorism list. So the irrational US policy has come full circle: Obama's policy of expanding and normalizing purposeful travel to Cuba is prevented by Obama's embargo policies. It's an opportunity to begin lifting the embargo, but chances are the administration is too timid, for now, to fully undo its own senseless policy.
When the murder of John F. Kennedy was announced, as my plane to Minneapolis was landing, a young man behind me wearing a Goldwater button leaped up and cheered. He quickly returned to his seat amidst stony silence. I deboarded long enough to make contact with some waiting student contacts, turned around as quickly as possible, flew back to Detroit, and then spent several days huddled with close friends in Ann Arbor. One year before, the Cuban missile crisis had turned life upside down. Now, the assassination became a second unthinkable catastrophe, and once again the subject of Cuba was in the air.
Looks like a victory for Afghanistan in its role as the graveyard of empires.
It appears that the US troop commitment will decline from 105,000 to 6,000-9,000 under the current White House plan, about half the number advocated by the Pentagon. American special forces will continue - at a slower rate - to knock down village doors and drag away suspected terrorists, with immunity from Afghan law. Afghans relish getting jurisdiction over US contractors. While there will be US troops for training and "counterterrorism", Afghanistan will be denied a NATO umbrella of protection. The commitment will last until 2024, though the White House says the American troops will be gone far earlier.
When I look up from my immersion in writing this book on Cuba and the US, all the signs point to the second scenario described below, a goal of normalization by the end of President Barack Obama's second term.
A behind-the-scenes battle is brewing in Washington over bending a United States’ human rights law "to give the administration some flexibility" in supporting the Egyptian military which is now placing President Mohamad Morsi on trial on capital charges after overthrowing him July 3, 2013. The changes are likely to be debated behind closed doors in the Senate committees on foreign relations and appropriations. "It's all about not breaking US defense contracts and incurring the penalties," says one observer.
The Edward Snowden revelations should focus attention on the secret dominance of the Anglosphere, known as the "Five Eyes", of the global surveillance elite - the privileged sharing of secrets between the UK, US, Australia, Canada and New Zealand. These remnants of the British Empire still view the outside world with elitist suspicion. The "outsiders" include Germany's Angela Merkel, Brazil's Dilma Roussef, France, Mexico, Spain and Ireland's Mary Robinson, who was forced out as the UN's human rights commissioner early in the Iraq war, and, of course, Russia, China, southern Europe, and all leaders from Asia, Africa, and Latin America.