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Alfred W. McCoy – How a Pink Flower Defeated the World’s Sole Superpower

After fighting the longest war in its history, the United States stands at the brink of defeat in Afghanistan. How can this be possible? How could the world’s sole superpower have battled continuously for 15 years, deploying 100,000 of its finest troops, sacrificing the lives of 2,200 of those soldiers, spending more than a trillion dollars on its military operations, lavishing a record hundred …

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Robert Fisk – Isis and the Taliban are brutally carving up modern Afghanistan

If anyone wants to understand the shame of Afghanistan – the yearly cull of civilians, the beheadings, the execution by single shots, the kidnapping of women – they have only to read the shocking UN report just published in Kabul. It is laced with fearful eyewitness descriptions of brutality. Isis features in its 87 pages with its usual depravity (in …

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Stephen Zunes – Hillary Clinton’s strident opposition to the International Criminal Court

Supporters of international law have expressed consternation that the leading candidate for the Democratic nomination for president — like most of her potential Republican rivals — strongly supported the illegal U.S. invasion and occupation of Iraq. Hillary Clinton’s support for the Bush administration’s request for war authorization effectively placed her in opposition to the United Nations Charter and the Nuremberg …

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Pepe Escobar – Does China hold key to the Afghan puzzle?

Just like Lazarus, there were reasons to believe the Afghan peace process might have stood a chance of being resurrected this past Monday in Islamabad, as four major players – Afghanistan, Pakistan, the US and China – sat together at the same table. The final communiqué though was not exactly ground breaking: “The participants emphasized the immediate need for direct …

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Heather Digby Parton – Donald Trump’s despotic fantasies: Here’s what the world would look like if he were president

Back in August I wrote a piece here in Salon about Trump’s authoritarian tendencies and how it was a mistake for liberals to laugh too much about them. At the time, we were mostly concerned with his signature plan to deport over 11 million people and build his “big beautiful wall” with a “big beautiful door” and have Mexico pay for it. …

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Deaths Reported as MSF-Linked Hospital Bombed in Yemen

A Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF)-supported hospital in northern Yemen was bombed Sunday morning, killing at least four people and wounding eleven—marking the third attack in as many months against a facility associated with the medical charity. MSF said in a statement that it “cannot confirm the origin of the attack” on the Shiara Hospital, which is located in …

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Paul Gottinger – US Enabled Saudi Arabia’s Crackdown on Pro-Democracy Protesters

Just days before Saudi Arabia performed a mass execution of 47 people, including four pro-democracy protesters; the US approved tens of millions in military contracts to the Saudi government. The contracts include $24 million to Raytheon Company for equipment relating to Patriot missiles, $12 million to Advanced Electronics Co. for electronics updates to F-15 fighter jets, and tens of millions …

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If Top General Gets His Way, America’s “Longest War” Will Become Even Longer

If the highest ranking U.S. and NATO military commander in Afghanistan gets his way, America’s longest official war could become even more protracted. Army General John Campbell said in a USA Today article published on Tuesday that he wants to keep the 9,800 American troops currently in Afghanistan there for as long as possible—and is considering asking for even more …

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MEL GURTOV – US Imperial War Presidency?

The death of six US soldiers in Afghanistan on December 21 at the hands of a Taliban suicide bomber brings to 21 the number of US combat deaths there in 2015. Once again we must confront the question of national purpose in waging war without debate or declaration. Like all other battlefield deaths in the Middle East, the Obama administration …

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Andrew Cockburn – A Special Relationship

One morning early in 1988, Ed McWilliams, a foreign-service officer posted to the American Embassy in Kabul, heard the thump of a massive explosion from somewhere on the other side of the city. It was more than eight years after the Russian invasion of Afghanistan, and the embassy was a tiny enclave with only a handful of diplomats. McWilliams, a …