Bush Administration Seeks to Expand US Military Personnel in Colombia

Last month the Bush administration announced plans to deepen U.S. involvement in Colombia by doubling the number of U.S. troops and private military contractors stationed there. The move came in the midst of an energetic public-relations campaign by the U.S. State Department and the Colombian government. Both administrations attempted to paint U.S. policy in Colombia … Continue reading “Bush Administration Seeks to Expand US Military Personnel in Colombia”

Polls: Abuse Photos Spell Trouble for War Party

The photographs of the abuse of Iraqi prisoners by U.S. soldiers have had a major impact on public opinion in the United States, according to back-to-back national polls that also show continued erosion in support for President George W. Bush and the war in Iraq. A major poll released Wednesday by the Pew Research Center … Continue reading “Polls: Abuse Photos Spell Trouble for War Party”

Prisongate: The Down and Dirty

What struck me most about Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld’s testimony last week was how he reserved his greatest indignation for those who leaked classified information exposing rampant military abuse of Iraqi prisoners. They did so “against the law,” he twice noted in a testy exchange with a senator. Rumsfeld seemed more upset with conscientious whistleblowers … Continue reading “Prisongate: The Down and Dirty”

Against the Phony Resolution on Iraq Abuse

I oppose the House resolution that claims to condemn prisoner abuse in Iraq. Like so many resolutions we have seen here on the Iraq war, this one is not at all what it purports to be. Were this really a resolution condemning abuse of prisoners and other detainees, I doubt anyone here would oppose it. … Continue reading “Against the Phony Resolution on Iraq Abuse”

A Time for Truth

With pictures of the sadistic sexual abuse of Iraqis in Abu Ghraib prison still spilling out onto the front pages, it is not too early to draw some conclusions. The neoconservative hour is over. All the blather about “empire,” our “unipolar moment,” “Pax Americana” and “benevolent global hegemony” will be quietly put on a shelf … Continue reading “A Time for Truth”

Chickenhawk Groupthink

In a 1972 book, Victims of Groupthink: A Psychology Study of Foreign-Policy Decisions and Fiascoes, Irving Janis identified the Vietnam War and the Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba as particularly compelling examples of how very smart people can collectively make very stupid decisions. In studying the Bay of Pigs, for example, Janis noted that … Continue reading “Chickenhawk Groupthink”

Inventing Iraq – Yet Again?

THE SETTING Toby Dodge’s Inventing Iraq: The Failure of Nation Building and a History Denied 1 (03) constitutes a very interesting guide to the British period in Iraq – or Mesopotamia, as it was then called. The period began, naturally enough, in World War I. Like their counterparts in the Central Powers, British policymakers were … Continue reading “Inventing Iraq – Yet Again?”

UN Warned of Death Trap in Iraq

As the United Nations prepares to organize elections and help create a new interim government in Iraq starting in July, skepticism is growing about the wisdom of risking UN lives in a country swirling in violence and chaos.. The UN mission in Iraq is bound to fail, predict many Middle East analysts and UN staffers, … Continue reading “UN Warned of Death Trap in Iraq”

Who is John Israel?

The blithering, the blathering, the pontification, and the grandstanding – that about describes the Senate Armed Services Committee hearings on the Abu Ghraib filth-fest. The Democrats were so hot to link Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld directly to the scandal, and the Republicans were so busy defending their man (and the war) that neither bothered … Continue reading “Who is John Israel?”

Gen. Sanchez’ Command OK’d Use of Dogs on Prisoners

The star witness before yesterday’s Senate Armed Services Committee hearing was Army Maj. Gen. Antonio M. Taguba. Taguba carried out an investigation on the activities of the Army’s 800th Military Police Brigade at Abu Ghraib prison. Afterward, he wrote a 6,000 page report, the summary of which was leaked to the press by Seymour M. … Continue reading “Gen. Sanchez’ Command OK’d Use of Dogs on Prisoners”