There's an emerging story that Iraqi leaders--notably Nouri al-Maliki--are standing up to the United States by demanding a timeline for withdrawal. See, for example, the latest New York Times account  on July 11, one of many in recent days. But far from this portrayal, it is more likely that al-Maliki and the Pentagon are conspiring to fool public opinion in both countries during an election year by finally promising a withdrawal deadline, with vague parameters of three to five years--if conditions allow, says an al-Maliki spokesman. What's going on here?
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.
In the depths of the cold war, Stanley Kubrick created a notoriously mad scientist character, Dr. Strangelove, whose passion was for dropping atomic bombs. Now there is a rising media and Beltway fascination with a new Dr. Strangelove, whose passion is imposing a mad science of counterinsurgency on Iraq.
In Miami recently, Barack Obama called for new Latin American policies in his first major policy declaration towards the region. The speech was classic Obama: substantive, centrist, subtle and pragmatic, above all drawing a sharp difference between Obama's support for "direct diplomacy" versus John McCain's status quo policies towards Cuba and the region. As a measure of how far the anti-Castro Cubans have shifted towards the center, Obama's speech was praised by his hosts, the Cuban American National Foundation.
Transcript from Thom Hartmann interviewing Tom Hayden and Frances Moore Lappé at the Dubrovnik Conference: Transforming Culture: From Empire to Global Community Dubrovnik, Croatia, broadcasting live from the studios of Radio Dubrovnik, Croatian Radio.
“Let’s try to imagine what Karl Marx would be doing today.”
It was Sunday, May 21st, and my host posing the question was Ricardo Alarcon, president of the Cuban National Assembly. It was Alarcon’s 69th birthday, and I was having difficulty understanding why he had pressed me to fly down for a visit. The purpose was nothing more than “two old guys talking,” according to his daughter Maggie, a thirty-something single mom and formidable interpreter of Cuba to many North Americans.
In first-ever interviews, representatives of the Mara Salvatrucha (MS) gang in Honduras this week described how security forces were to blame for the May 17 prison fire that killed 105 of those they call their homeboys. In addition to starting the fire, police and prison guards allegedly kept the facility's gates locked for over an hour while trapped inmates were burnt alive or died from smoke inhalation.
Four decades after the egalitarian '60s and some 225 years since the Declaration of Independence, American voters must choose between two members of an elite secret society. The lesson is that aristocracy still survives democracy.
The close of this year's World Social Forum poses an opportunity to explore the organizational and ideological challenges that lie ahead, and to decide how the movement will push forward with its goals.
In November four Harvard undergraduates were arrested in Miami for failing to disperse from a protest, although they were walking backwards on a sidewalk, hands over their heads, shouting “we are dispersing.” Only a George Orwell, with his ironic sense of officialspeak, could have conjured such a scene. The students were arrested for following orders.