Posts tagged ‘Afghanistan’

Where Did the Debt Come From?

by , posted on Wednesday, October 24th, 2012 at 6:00 pm

from the Center for American Progress

We hear a lot about our debt. And it is a pressing issue. But where did it come from? Michael Linden, the Center for American Progress’s Director of Tax and Budget Policy, looks at what happened in the 10-years since the Congressional Budget Office projected a massive surplus.


Little Debate About Afghan War in Election Campaign

by , posted on Tuesday, October 2nd, 2012 at 10:10 am

from The Real News Network

Gareth Porter: Afghan war a failure, yet there is little debate about why and what to do next


For the Troops: Some Good News, Some Very Bad

by , posted on Saturday, August 6th, 2011 at 6:38 pm

My son spent last year and part of this one deployed in eastern Afghanistan, so the loss of dozens of troops we’ve experienced today in eastern Afghanistan strikes me much more personally than it might have a couple of years ago. It also strikes me as tragic that it takes such a large mass of casualties for the mainstream media to care enough to give an Afghanistan or Iraq war story headline room; most days, despite the fact that we most likely lost a man or woman or several in one of these wars on that day, it’s hard to tell from the press that we are still at war in two countries. Throughout my son’s deployment I struggled every day, every single day, to come to terms with the fact that he might not come home alive, and every single day I failed to be able to get my head around that.

One day I would get news of several of his friends and fellow platoon members being wounded or killed, another I would hear about some incredibly dangerous situation he somehow miraculously escaped unscathed, on another I would learn of plans and dreams he just hoped he would be able to come home and put in motion and I would be in tears with the fear that he would never have that chance, and then on yet another day I would hear…nothing at all. And those silences were the most terrifying by far. It was a terrible year.

My heart grieves for these 31 soldiers who will not come home to live out their dreams. May their families and loved ones find peace and comfort. As I said, I was never able to get my head around how one could possibly ever find peace or comfort in these circumstances, but it is my fervent wish for them nevertheless.



Guy Walks Into an Army Recruiting Center

by , posted on Monday, August 1st, 2011 at 9:46 am

and says “where do I sign?” The sergeant on duty hands him a waiting list.


No. Nothing funny about it.



Before we leave Jack Cunningham

by , posted on Wednesday, November 3rd, 2010 at 7:26 am

Who very handily won re-election last night as Kane County Clerk, I’d like to draw Kane County residents attention to his elections website, which states

How to Obtain an Absentee Ballot
By Mail
You may request an absentee ballot to be mailed to you. The last day we can mail you a ballot is 5 days prior to the election. To request an absentee ballot, either

•Print out and complete an application to vote, and then mail the completed form to Kane County Clerk, PO Box 70,Geneva, IL 60134,
•Email us at,
•Or call our office at (630) 232-5990.



NFTT: Lost in Afghanistan

by , posted on Monday, July 19th, 2010 at 3:30 pm

Right before my son got on the plane for his first deployment to Afghanistan at the beginning of May, he called me for one last quick conversation. I asked him if he had any concerns or regrets he wanted to talk about, and he, knowing full well I meant concerns about his deployment or regrets about joining the Army to begin with, said “Well, yes, I have one huge regret.” (long pause) “I deeply regret that I’ve been watching Lost for six damned years and will now miss the last few episodes.”

I recognized this remark as the brand of smart-assed black humor used as a coping mechanism in gravely serious situations that he learned at his parents’ knees, so being the last person who could complain about his use of it, I instead laughed dutifully, though I hardly felt like laughing. On the other hand, I realized there was a part of him that really meant it. The loss of Lost is a big deal to him, representative as it is of losing touch with the version of civilization that has been familiar to him his whole life and so much of that revolves around instant connectivity and constant communication with friends, loved ones, and the world in general.



I have a mission

by , posted on Friday, July 16th, 2010 at 7:23 am

My son called the other day. Like most moms I was glad he called, but unlike most moms I am part of the few, the terrified, the band of sisters known as military moms, who are really, really, really glad when their sons call. There are no words to express the relief when you hear that familiar voice, even though you are hearing only every tenth word spoken over a terrible connection from a remote outpost in Afghanistan.



Obama’s First Hundred Days: A Critical Assessment From the Left

by , posted on Friday, May 8th, 2009 at 11:18 pm

Cross-posted from ZNet, where it was published on May 1, 2009.

A shortened version of this speech was given at a public forum sponsored by AWARE, the local Anti War Anti Racism Effort in Urbana, Illinois on the evening of April 30, 2009 at the Urbana City Council Chambers.

Thank you for inviting me to speak on the new administration’s first hundred days of centrist rule. Along with a number of other left writers and speakers over the last two years including Glen Ford, Bruce Dixon, Margaret Kimberly, Pam Martens, Michael Hudson, John Pilger, Chris Hedges,

John R. MacArthur, Ken Silverstein, Juan Santos, Matt Gonzales, Alexander Cockburn, Ralph Nader, Anthony Arnove, Lance Selfa, Joshua Frank, and Noam Chomsky, I have been living proof that the FOX News crowd is wrong when it says that all of “the left” is deeply and hopelessly in love with His Holiness the Dali Obama. It is true, I think, that much of what passes for a left in the U.S. has been unduly captive to the Obama phenomenon but many of us on the actual, so-called “hard left” have never fallen for the myth of Obama as some sort of progressive Mr. Smith-Goes-to-Washington character who is willing and ready to take on the corporate and military power elite. We’ve tended to see him rather as what MacArthur, the president of Harper’s Magazine, calls “a moderate with far too much respect for the global financial class.”

Before I get into specifics I want to make six quick caveats or qualifications that might provide some useful context for my remarks. The first caveat as is that for all my harsh judgments, I have never doubted that what Barack Obama has been doing is highly intelligent from the perspective of seeking glory and advancement within the narrow institutional and ideological framework of the dominant U.S. political system and culture. Obama and his team are masterful political actors and most of what I disapprove of in their behavior is heavily incentivized by that system and culture.

Second, my critique of the Obama administration is informed by a deeper and broader critique of the Democratic Party and its longstanding role of defining and policing the constricted leftmost parameters of acceptable political debate in the U.S. For the last century it has been the Democratic Party’s distinctive assignment to play what the Marxist author Lance Selfa calls “the role of shock absorber, trying to head off and co-opt restive [and potentially radical] segments of the electorate” by posing as “the party of the people.” If you buy my book Barack Obama and the Future of American Politics, you’ll see that I find Obama’s political career richly consistent with Selfa’s analysis and with the presidencies of John Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson, Jimmy Carter, and Bill Clinton.