This month, President Barack Obama officially became the U.S. president to have been at war the longest — longer than Lyndon Johnson, longer than Abraham Lincoln and certainly longer than George W. Bush. Obama acquired the highly dubious honor on May 6, observes The New York Times.He’s not done yet, either. Far from it! With eight months left to go in his presidency, and with America’s military fighting in several places far-flung, Obama is virtually certain to be the only U.S. president to spend a full eight years presiding over combat. The Times describes Obama’s status as America’s biggest warmonger president as “an improbable legacy” because he ran as an anti-war candidate back in 2008 and promised to end the wars Bush started after the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. (RELATED: Remember When Obama Was The Messiah?) Obama has approved military action in seven countries in his seven full years as America’s 44th president. … [Read more...] about Nobel Peace Prize-Winning Obama Has Been At War LONGER THAN ANY OTHER American President
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PARIS—The Washington Post’s vast investigative report about the delusions and lies of successive American administrations in Afghanistan reads almost like a celebration of superpower humiliation. Drawing on hundreds of internal U.S. government interviews about “lessons learned,” it would reinforce anyone’s belief the best lesson would be to get the fuck out. Like, yesterday already. Certainly the documents dovetail with U.S. President Donald J. Trump’s promise that he’ll be the one to end this “endless war.” Amb. Ryan Crocker, one of the diplomats quoted extensively in the articles, told me after the series came out, “the Post has just helped [Trump] immensely.” And sure enough, NBC and other media reported Saturday night that Trump is preparing a drawdown of 4,000 more troops, to a level of 8,000 to 9,000 boots on the ground, with the aim of "ending" the war (for Americans) before the 2020 election. But is complete … [Read more...] about Trump, Afghanistan, and ‘The Tweet of Damocles’
Some of America’s first homegrown terrorists were the original Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, and they can teach us a lot about the trouble we’re in today at home and in the rest of the world. As these Christian night riders and cross-burners and lynch mobs of the Klan portrayed themselves, they were resistance fighters in an unequal struggle against foreign (that is, Northern) occupation after they lost their all-out war to secede from the Union in 1865. And they weren’t the only ones who felt that way. In a song I learned as a boy in Atlanta 100 years after Reconstruction, a “Good Ol’ Rebel” declares he “hates the ‘Glorious Union’—’tis dripping with our blood.” He hates the “Freedman’s Bureau” representing the interests of the emancipated slaves. He hates everything about the federal government, especially “the striped banner.” In one telling verse he declares, “300,000 Yankees … [Read more...] about The O Word: Christopher Dickey on What Occupation Means Today
The Irish rock star Bono and the world's richest couple, Bill and Melinda Gates, were yesterday named winners of the seasonal ritual known as Time magazine's person or persons of the year award. Time gave its accolade to the threesome "for being shrewd about doing good, for rewiring politics and re-engineering justice, for making mercy smarter and hope strategic and then daring the rest of us to follow". They had made a real difference in the fight against malaria, Aids and global poverty, it said. The rules of the award dictate that the choice should be made on the basis of "the person or persons who most affected the news and our lives, for good or for ill, and embodied what was important about the year, for better or for worse." Past winners have included George Bush, the Queen, Hitler and Stalin. Others on this year's shortlist included Oprah Winfrey and Valerie Plame, the outed CIA agent at the heart of the leak scandal that has rocked the Bush administration. Mr Gates, founder of … [Read more...] about Melinda, Bill and Bono are Time’s people of the year
For the most part American politics exists in its own bubble with its own preoccupations. But every now and then something that happens in a foreign country intrudes. And pokes its nose in. Big time. The 12 December 2019 UK General Election might be such a moment for the US Democratic Party - just as British politics imposed itself on the US presidential election on 23 June 2016, when the British people voted for Brexit. Coincidentally, Donald Trump arrived in Scotland the following day (not the day before as he has repeatedly claimed) and what the British people had just done was a galvanising moment in his campaign, a light bulb moment, as he prepared to face the American people five months later.So what should Democrats learn from the misery that befell the Labour Party last Thursday night? And more particularly can they afford to have Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren as their candidate and stand a chance of defeating Donald Trump in 2020 after the shellacking meted out to Jeremy … [Read more...] about Will UK provide light bulb moment for US Democrats?
One hundred years ago - on 4 June 1919 - Congress approved the 19th Amendment to the US constitution guaranteeing the right of American women to vote. The amendment was the product of decades of campaigning and slow progress since the first convention for women's rights was held in Seneca Falls in 1848.In the years since, women had been thrown in jail for voting illegally, organised pickets across the country and chained themselves to the White House demanding representation.Rights were granted in a handful of, mostly western, states over the years but resistance remained. This amendment, officially ratified in 1920, prohibited discrimination on the basis of sex on a national level. In 2019 the US has more women in national politics than ever before, but still falls well short of equality.These are the pioneers who have made history in the century since.First women in congressBefore the amendment, Jeanette Rankin was elected to the House of Representatives in 1916 remarking: "I may be … [Read more...] about 19th Amendment: A century of pioneering women in US politics