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Monthly Archive: November 2006

Nov 16 2006

Fighting to save Christmas

It’s the middle of November. Yes, that means it’s time to take up arms to do battle in the “War on Christmas”! As we approach the joyous season of peace and goodwill, we can look forward to the moment, arriving any day now, when people like Bill O’Reilly and John Gibson of Fox News and …

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Nov 15 2006

The Return of the Taliban

On October 3, 2006, the excellent PBS series Frontline broadcast a program with the above name. It examined the complexities of the politics of Pakistan’s northwest frontier provinces, which shares a 500-miles open border with Afghanistan, and explains why it has been a place where the Taliban could regroup and gain strength once again, threatening …

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Nov 14 2006

The October Surprise That Failed?

Waiting for the ‘October Surprise’ has become a standard ritual of the American election season, and this year was no exception. As usual, nervous Democrats anxiously wondered what sort of manufactured event and tricks the Bush administration, weighed down by its abysmal approval ratings, would unleash in the week or two prior to November 7 …

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Nov 13 2006

The fallacy of torture’s effectiveness-3

(See part 1 and part 2.) In the cover story of the October 2006 issue of The Progressive magazine, Alfred W. McCoy, professor of history at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and author of A Question of Torture: CIA Interrogation, from the Cold War to the War on Terror dissects The Myth of the Ticking Time …

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Nov 10 2006

The fallacy of torture’s effectiveness-2

(See part 1 here.) In the cover story of the October 2006 issue of The Progressive magazine, Alfred W. McCoy, professor of history at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and author of A Question of Torture: CIA Interrogation, from the Cold War to the War on Terror dissects The Myth of the Ticking Time Bomb and …

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Nov 09 2006

The fallacy of torture’s effectiveness

I have written before that the passage and signing of the Military Commissions Act of 2006 (MCA) means that the US, as a nation, has decided that it has accepted the idea that the government can arrest and detain and torture people indefinitely without giving them access to family, lawyers, or courts. Thus, in one …

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Nov 08 2006

Michael Ledeen – The ultimate revisionist

Of all the people that are mentioned in the Vanity Fair article that are seeking to escape responsibility for their role in urging the Iraq war, none sinks lower than that Michael Ledeen. Jonah Goldberg alerted us to the fact that Ledeen was an “entertaining speaker” but he did not tell us the half of …

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Nov 07 2006

Trying to avoid blame for the Iraq fiasco-2

(See part 1 here.) Of course, one thing that all the people interviewed in the Vanity Fair article share is that they never acknowledge any personal responsibility for causing the mess in Iraq. They never apologize. Instead they are anxious to say that they are not to be blamed for this mess. So scapegoats must …

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Nov 06 2006

Trying to avoid blame for the Iraq fiasco

I had thought that I had said all that I had wanted to about the warmongering pundits attempts at rewriting the history of the Iraq war, but some dramatic developments over the weekend compel me to revisit the question. The recognition that the situation in Iraq is very bad, if not hopeless, is more widespread …

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Nov 03 2006

Why the pro-war pundits must be countered

I have spent this week trying to explain why we should not take seriously even those pro-war pundits who now think invading Iraq was a bad idea. The reason is that they have never acknowledged the fundamental wrongness of that policy and instead have tried to portray it as errors in implementation. This kind of …

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