John Nichols writes for The Nation: " The only humane and proper response to the mess in Afghanistan is the rapid withdrawal of all U.S. combat troops from that country. The makers of the brilliant documentary "Rethink Afghanistan" have after interviewing savvy diplomats, honest intelligence operatives and frustrated military men and women -- as well as human rights activists, feminists and sincere reformers in Afghanistan -- concluded that:"
All Too Familiar on Afghanistan
Laura Flanders comments for The Nation: "The President talked about America's enduring values again at West Point Tuesday night, and then he laid them out, a whole lot of values one can only wish would endure a little less. The President began his address to the nation on Afghanistan in the traditional style of his predecessor, setting the tone for troop deployments by recalling 9-11 and terror and fright. Then came the retelling of the traditional Al Qaeda story, the one that omits any mention of Saudi Arabia or Israeli occupation or post-Gulf War US bases -- in fact any mention of politics."
The Afghan Ambush
Michael Winship comments for Truthout: "The decision has been made. The months of meetings and briefings are over. Tuesday night, the president made it official: 30,000 more American troops to Afghanistan. Along with Friday's announcement of an additional 7,000 from our NATO allies, after all those weeks of debate and consultation, the result's pretty much exactly what our commander over there, Gen. Stanley McChrystal, asked for in the first place."
Victory at Last!: Monty Python in Afghanistan
Tom Engelhardt writes for TomDispatch.com: "Let others deal with the details of President Obama's Afghan speech, with the on-ramps and off-ramps, those 30,000 US troops going in and just where they will be deployed, the benchmarks for what's called 'good governance' in Afghanistan, the corruption of the Karzai regime, the viability of counterinsurgency warfare, the reliability of NATO allies, and so on. Let's just skip to the most essential point which, in a nutshell, is this: Victory at Last!"
The Crushing Legacy of Bush and Cheney
Joe Conason writes for Truthdig.com: "From now on, the headlines about Afghanistan will be slugged “Obama’s War,” and perhaps that is fair enough given the president’s many endorsements of what he has called a war of necessity. It would be much less fair, however, to ignore the events that led us to this moment, when any choice offers no great guarantee of progress and no small prospect of trouble."
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The Path to Full Employment: An Interview with Marshall Auerback
Mike Whitney writes for CounterPunch: "Marshall Auerback is a Fellow at the Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt Institute. He has some 28 years experience in the investment management business, serving as a global portfolio strategist. Mr Auerback graduated magna cum laude in English & Philosophy from Queen’s University in 1981 and received a law degree from Corpus Christi College, Oxford University in 1983. He has contributed several articles to CounterPunch."
Watchdog Group Calls For Senate Ethics Committee to Review "Secret Holds"
Mary Susan Littlepage reports for Truthout: "Government watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) on Wednesday asked the Senate Select Committee on Ethics to investigate senators' failure to abide by a provision in the Honest Leadership and Open Government Act (HLOGA). The act, enacted in September 2007, bans the use of "secret holds," a parliamentary maneuver that's often used to stall or stop legislation or nominations."
Obama on His Own
Dan Becker and James Gerstenzang write for Truthdig.com: "In Copenhagen, a major binding agreement at the global warming summit is not to be. Not this year. In Washington, the Senate is so divided that it became clear months ago that climate legislation will be pushed off until 2010 at the earliest. Still, the United States can meet the challenge of a world demanding that it take the lead on global warming. Here’s how."
"Climategate": Leaked Emails Push Scientists Toward Transparency
Peter N. Spotts reports for The Christian Science Monitor: "As delegates for climate talks in Copenhagen, Denmark, prepare to craft the outlines of a new global-warming treaty, a controversy over the hacked e-mails of some climate researchers is triggering calls for greater transparency in the UN body that provides governments with scientific advice on the issue. The e-mails have raised questions about the credibility of some climate researchers' work and revived criticism from those who say global warming is exaggerated. Though most scientists insist the e-mails don't undermine climate-change theory, several call for greater transparency in the field."
There’s More to Climate Fraud than just Tax Hikes
Aletho News (via Daily Censored) reports: "By now we know that Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW) theory has been built on a mixture of hype and massaged data. Various carbon tax schemes have been put forward, even unprecedented proposals for a world wide taxation authority to be overseen by the UN. Does it follow that the primary agenda behind the fraud was implementing these new taxes, or were these proposed tax schemes secondary and part of a proclivity on the part of the state to seize any opportunity to enhance revenue?"
A Quiet War On Students
Erin Rosa, Campus Progress: "Banks and loan corporations have quietly declared war on students this year, using an arsenal of more than two dozen lobbyists, an ambitious public relations campaign, and millions of dollars to kill legislation that would make college more affordable. Lenders seem to be terrified of the Student Aid and Fiscal Responsibility Act (SAFRA), a bill in Congress that seeks to reform federal student loan policies by putting lending power and oversight into the hands of the government through the existing Direct Lending Program and ending the tax-subsidized Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) program."
Not So Pretty in Pink
Barbara Ehrenreich writes for TomDispatch.com: "Has feminism been replaced by the pink-ribbon breast cancer cult? When the House of Representatives passed the Stupak amendment, which would take abortion rights away even from women who have private insurance, the female response ranged from muted to inaudible. A few weeks later, when the United States Preventive Services Task Force recommended that regular screening mammography not start until age 50, all hell broke loose."
Addicted to Nonsense
Chris Hedges writes for Truthdig.com: "Will Tiger Woods finally talk to the police? Who will replace Oprah? (Not that Oprah can ever be replaced, of course.) And will Michaele and Tareq Salahi, the couple who crashed President Barack Obama’s first state dinner, command the hundreds of thousands of dollars they want for an exclusive television interview? Can Levi Johnston, father of former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin’s grandson, get his wish to be a contestant on Dancing With the Stars?"
Richard Cohen Should Probably Stop Writing about War
Jamison Foser writes for Media Matters: "It seems like whenever Washington Post columnist Richard Cohen writes about war, he ends up making himself look like a fool, either by writing something foolish in its own right, or by reminding us of his previous foolishness."
They Don't Check Facts Like They Used To
Ellen Goodman writes for Truthdig.com: "If you ever wondered why God invented the delete button, let me pass along the e-mail that arrived on the wings of various listservs directed at the mainstream media. 'How much do we love you?' the author asked the MSM. “Let me count the ways: You lie, omit, distort and skew what otherwise should be unbiased accounts of ALL news, not just what furthers the interests of the ‘fringe left.’ As my finger hovered over 'block sender,' I scanned the list of wrongs. No. 1 was the charge that we, the MSM, had hidden the fact that Bill Ayers was the real author of Dreams From My Father."
Wall Street Journal Plagiarism: Article With Quotes By Fake People Removed From Website
Danny Shea reports for the Huffington Post: "The Wall Street Journal has scrubbed an article from its website after learning that it was plagiarized from several sources. 'A Nov. 10 'New Global Indian' online column by New York City freelance writer Mona Sarika has been found to contain information that was plagiarized from several publications, including the Washington Post, Little India, India Today and San Francisco magazine,' a notice to readers now reads where the column once lived."