This week marks the 13th anniversary of the arrival of the first post-9/11 prisoners to Guantanamo Bay, the most notorious prison on the planet. This grim anniversary, and the beginning of normalization of diplomatic relations between the U.S and Cuba, serves as a reminder that we need to permanently close the prison and return the land to its rightful owners, the Cuban people. It is time to put an end to this dark chapter of United States history.
In my October rabble column, I spoke about the horrible treatment of Abu Wa'el Dhiab, one of the Guantanamo detainees who was abusively force-fed by his American guards to dissuade him from continuing his two-year-long hunger strike. In that article, I wrote that Abu Wa'el Dhiab was another example of the collateral damage of the War on Terror, and indeed he was, as U.S. officials proved recently.
There were 8,920,000 military veterans in the United States as of last June, according to the Department of Veterans Affairs. Sometime last Sunday or Monday, hours before Veterans Day began, that number dropped by one, when Tomas Young died at home in Seattle, with his wife by his side. He was one of many soldiers who were sent to Iraq and were grievously injured there.
The public may know more about Tomas Young than about most veterans, thanks to the remarkable documentary Body of War, directed and produced by legendary talk-show host Phil Donahue and filmmaker Ellen Spiro. His journey, his struggle and now his death follow an arc along the tragic U.S. wars and occupations in this post-9/11 world.
UXBRIDGE, Canada, Nov 3 2014 (IPS) - "Greenhouse gas emissions from human activity are higher than ever, and we're seeing more and more extreme weather and climate events….We can't prevent a large-scale disaster if we don't heed this kind of hard science."
Question: Is that statement about the latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report from Greenpeace or the U.S. State Department?
Answer: It's by John Kerry, U.S. Secretary of State, the second most powerful official in the Barack Obama administration.
Elections in the United States are all about money -- lots of it, increasingly from untraceable, "dark" sources. Ultimately, though, history is not made of money but of movements. The Republican sweep in this week's midterm elections has been widely described as a wave, a bloodbath, a shellacking. Beyond the hyperbole, beneath the pronouncements of pundits, strong currents are moving, slowly shifting our society. One movement that shined through the electoral morass demanded an increased minimum wage. It prevailed, even in some of the reddest of states.
There is a database housed in Arkansas with the names of American citizens in it ... that is, if they live in one of the 28 states participating in the Interstate Voter Registration Crosscheck Program. It's one of the growing components of an aggressive drive across the U.S. by Republicans to stop many Americans from voting.
Early voting has already begun in many states in the 2014 U.S. midterm elections. Control of the U.S. Senate hangs in the balance, as do many crucial governorships, congressional races and ballot initiatives. One question looming over this election is just how significant will be the impact of the wholesale, organized disenfranchisement of eligible voters.