themcglynn.com

13 Jul

Our Government has gone Insane

Carl Levin Wants To Expand Drone Strikes In Pakistan

By Sam Stein , stein@huffingtonpost.com | HuffPost Reporting

The O’Leary: So, we kill a few or many civilians, so what says Levin.

The top Senate Democrat on defense issues said on Tuesday that he would like to see an expansion of the U.S. military’s controversial drone-strike operations in Afghanistan and Pakistan. 

 Senator Carl Levin (D-Mich.), who chairs the Senate Armed Services Committee, told a group of reporters that he favors targeting the militant insurgent group, the Haqqani network, through drone strikes — something that U.S. forces don’t currently do.

“As a matter of fact, I think we have to include on the list other threats to the Afghan mission,” Levin said, during a breakfast sponsored by the Christian Science Monitor. “We have to have, I believe, we should have on our list the headquarters of the Haqqani network. We know where they are. We know where that headquarters is… I don’t think they should be off-limits to those strikes. They directly threaten the Afghan mission.”

“I think we have got to have them on a list of targets, absolutely,” he added, after the breakfast. “I don’t see any reason why they are not on a target list and I won’t be surprised if they are. So I’m not gonna go beyond that.”

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Afghanistan is a catastrophe. But we will have to wait for a new Chilcot to admit it

By Simon Jenkins, guardian.co.uk,

 Our leaders would rather avoid embarrassment than be honest about the horrific futility of the wars we are fighting

As British troops retreat from the fortress of Sangin in south Afghanistan, a sleepy room in Westminster again plays host to the Chilcot inquiry into the Iraq war. The British establishment is strangely dotty. Chilcot is like reviewing Passchendaele during the Battle of Britain, or Boudicca’s charioteering after the charge of the Light Brigade. American congressmen tear their generals apart when fighting stupid wars. The British prefer to avoid embarrassment.  

Sangin should now, after three years of “hearts and minds”, be safe in the hands of Afghan army and police units. It is not, any more than is the rest of Helmand, the province allotted to British troops to pacify in summer 2006. Instead it is a forward operating base under perpetual siege, one that the Americans must abandon to the enemy or defend at battalion strength. …………………………………………….

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 Bagram Renditions Risk Serious Consequences

 By Jonathan Horowitz , Human rights investigator

The U.S. run prison on Bagram Air Base, and the abuses that took place there, have been a lightning rod for international and domestic criticism of U.S. detention policy. Over the past year, the U.S. military has set out to disarm its critics. While still banning defense lawyers from Bagram and using classified evidence that detainees can’t challenge, it has built a new facility that is more humane and put in place better ways to determine who should be detained and who should be released.

In sharp contrast to this progress, it is rumored that the Obama administration wants to resurrect President Bush’s practice of rendering terrorists from around the world to its Bagram detention facility, where, conveniently, the Obama administration has claimed the protections of the U.S. Constitution do not reach. As General Petraeus takes over command, he should make clear to Washington that this is bad for the United States and for Afghanistan…………………………………

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 Harry Reid Complains Obama Avoids ‘Confrontation’ And Should Be ‘More Forceful’ With GOP

The Huffington Post   |  Elyse Siegel

Harry Reid: Obama Should Be More Forceful With Republicans

The O’Leary: The understatement of the year.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid critiqued President Obama’s “peacemaker” approach to policy-making and suggested he embrace a tougher posture toward Republicans in an exclusive interview with Nevada political reporter Jon Ralston during the congressional recess.

“On a few occasions, I think he should have been more firm with those on the other side of the aisle,” Reid explained. “He is a person who doesn’t like confrontation. He’s a peacemaker. And sometimes I think you have to be a little more forceful. And sometimes I don’t think he is enough with the Republicans.”

Reid used the long road to health care reform as a case-in-point.

“I think much of that early on scrimmaging was done in the Senate itself,” Reid said. “And the White House didn’t come in until later. Now, we came up with a great product, and I’m sure he can look back and say I was right, but boy for me down in the trenches, I know it was a time when I wanted a few folks in the White House behind me.” ……………………

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 Threatening World Order: US and Israel Quietly Announce Plans to Reconstitute Their Nuclear Stockpiles

by: Anthony DiMaggio, t r u t h o u t | Op-Ed 

  The world looks like it’s about to become a more dangerous place. A recent report from Israel’s newspaper Haaretz finds that the United States is moving forward with plans to strengthen Israel’s nuclear weapons stockpile. The report, exposed within the last few days, originated from Israel’s Army Radio, which sent along a secret document chronicling the nuclear cooperation between US and Israeli leaders.(1) Israel has not signed the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), meaning that it is not technically violating international rules under the NPT regarding the development and reconstitution of nuclear weapons, despite longstanding efforts of the international community to establish a “nuclear weapons free zone” in the Middle East. ………………………………….

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 The Disappearing Intellectual in the Age of Economic Darwinism

 by: Henry A. Giroux, t r u t h o u t | Op-Ed

(Image: Jared Rodriguez / t r u t h o u t;:

 The O’Leary: We are lost.

 We live at a time that might be appropriately called the age of the disappearing intellectual, a disappearance that marks with disgrace a particularly dangerous period in American history. While there are plenty of talking heads spewing lies, insults and nonsense in the various media, it would be wrong to suggest that these right-wing populist are intellectuals. They are neither knowledgeable nor self-reflective, but largely ideological hacks catering to the worst impulses in American society. Some obvious examples would include John Stossel calling for the repeal of that “section of the 1964 Civil Rights Act that bans discrimination in public places.”[1] And, of course, there are the more famous corporate-owned talking heads such as Glenn Beck, Charles Krauthammer, Bill O’Reilly and Rush Limbaugh, all of whom trade in reactionary world views, ignorance, ideological travesties and outlandish misrepresentations – all the while wrapping themselves in the populist creed of speaking for everyday Americans……………………………………

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