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Noam Chomsky and the Public Intellectual in Turbulent Times PDF Print E-mail
Peace News
Posted by Joan Russow   
Monday, 12 May 2014 06:36

 Written by  Henry A. Giroux By Henry A. Giroux, Truthout | Op-Ed

http://www.truth-out.org/opinion/item/23590-noam-chomsky-and-the-public-intellectual-in-turbulent-times

Monday, 12 May 2014 09:3

 

 

Noam Chomsky at the University of Toronto. Noam Chomsky at the University of Toronto. (Photo: Andrew Rusk)

Noam Chomsky is a world renown academic best known not only for his pioneering work in linguistics but also for his ongoing work as a public intellectual in which he has addressed a number of important social issues that include and often connect oppressive foreign and domestic policies - a fact well illustrated in his numerous path breaking books.(1) In fact, Chomsky’s oeuvre includes too many exceptionally important books to single out any one of them from his extraordinary and voluminous archive of work. Moreover, as political interventions, his many books often reflect both a decisive contribution and an engagement with a number of issues that have and continue to dominate a series of specific historical moments over the course of 50 years. His political interventions have been historically specific while continually building on the power relations he has engaged critically. For instance, his initial ideas about the responsibility of intellectuals cannot be separated from his early criticisms of the Vietnam War and the complicity of intellectuals in brokering and legitimating that horrendous act of military intervention.(2) Hence, it becomes difficult to compare his 1988 book, Manufacturing Consent, coauthored with Edward S. Herman, with his 2002 bestseller, 9/11. Yet, what all of these texts share is a luminous theoretical, political, and forensic analysis of the functioning of the current global power structure, new and old modes of oppressive authority, and the ways in which neoliberal economic and social policies has produced more savage forms of global domination and corporate sovereignty.

Last Updated on Monday, 12 May 2014 13:11
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The Three Faces of Drone War Speaking Truth From the Robotic Heavens PDF Print E-mail
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Posted by Joan Russow   
Sunday, 11 May 2014 15:42


By Pratap Chatterjee

http://www.tomdispatch.com/blog/175842

 

Enemies, innocent victims, and soldiers have always made up the three faces of war. With war growing more distant, with drones capable of performing on the battlefield while their “pilots” remain thousands of miles away, two of those faces have, however, faded into the background in recent years. Today, we are left with just the reassuring “face” of the terrorist enemy, killed clinically by remote control while we go about our lives, apparently without any “collateral damage” or danger to our soldiers. Now, however, that may slowly be changing, bringing the true face of the drone campaigns Washington has pursued since 9/11 into far greater focus.

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Drone Killing the Fifth Amendment PDF Print E-mail
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Posted by Joan Russow   
Sunday, 16 February 2014 15:31


How to Build a Post-Constitutional America One Death at a Time
By Peter Van Buren

http://www.tomdispatch.com/blog/175807/Terrorism (ter-ror-ism; see also terror) n. 1. When a foreign organization kills an American for political reasons.

 

Justice (jus-tice) n. 1. When the United States Government uses a drone to kill an American for political reasons.

How's that morning coffee treating you? Nice and warming? Mmmm.

While you're savoring your cup o' joe, imagine the president of the United States hunched over his own coffee, considering the murder of another American citizen. Now, if you were plotting to kill an American over coffee, you could end up in jail on a whole range of charges including -- depending on the situation -- terrorism. However, if the president’s doing the killing, it's all nice and -- let’s put those quote marks around it -- "legal." How do we know? We’re assured that the Justice Department tells him so.  And that’s justice enough in post-Constitutional America.

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In the Darkness of Dick Cheney The Smile of Secret Power PDF Print E-mail
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Posted by Joan Russow   
Tuesday, 11 February 2014 06:12

By Mark Danner

http://www.tomdispatch.com/blog/175805/[This essay appears in the March 6th issue of the New York Review of Books and is posted at TomDispatch.com with the kind permission of that magazine. The film and two books under review in this piece are listed at the end of the essay.]

 

If you’re a man of principle, compromise is a bit of a dirty word.
-- Dick Cheney, 2013

1.  “We Ought to Take It Out”

In early 2007, as Iraq seemed to be slipping inexorably into chaos and President George W. Bush into inescapable political purgatory, Meir Dagan, the head of the Israeli Mossad, flew to Washington, sat down in a sunlit office of the West Wing of the White House, and spread out on the coffee table before him a series of photographs showing a strange-looking building rising out of the sands in the desert of eastern Syria. Vice President Dick Cheney did not have to be told what it was. “They tried to hide it down a wadi, a gulley,” he recalls to filmmaker R.J. Cutler.

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America’s Secret War in 134 Countries PDF Print E-mail
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Posted by Joan Russow   
Thursday, 16 January 2014 08:22


By Nick Turse  http://www.tomdispatch.com/blog/175794/

They operate in the green glow of night vision in Southwest Asia and stalk through the jungles of South America.  They snatch men from their homes in the Maghreb and shoot it out with heavily armed militants in the Horn of Africa.  They feel the salty spray while skimming over the tops of waves from the turquoise Caribbean to the deep blue Pacific.  They conduct missions in the oppressive heat of Middle Eastern deserts and the deep freeze of Scandinavia.  All over the planet, the Obama administration is waging a secret war whose full extent has never been fully revealed -- until now.

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America’s Black-Ops Blackout Unraveling the Secrets of the Military’s Secret Military PDF Print E-mail
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Posted by Joan Russow   
Tuesday, 07 January 2014 06:49

By Nick Turse

http://www.tomdispatch.com/blog/175790/
alt
U.S. Special Operations Forces around the world, 2012-2013 (key below article) ©2014 TomDispatch ©Google

 

“Dude, I don’t need to play these stupid games. I know what you’re trying to do.”  With that, Major Matthew Robert Bockholt hung up on me.

More than a month before, I had called U.S. Special Operations Command (SOCOM) with a series of basic questions: In how many countries were U.S. Special Operations Forces deployed in 2013? Are manpower levels set to expand to 72,000 in 2014?  Is SOCOM still aiming for growth rates of 3%-5% per year?  How many training exercises did the command carry out in 2013?  Basic stuff.

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A Trail of Tears How Veterans Return From America’s Wars PDF Print E-mail
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Posted by Joan Russow   
Thursday, 14 November 2013 08:26

By Ann Jones  http://www.tomdispatch.com/blog/175772/

[The text of this piece is an excerpt, slightly adapted, from Ann Jones's new book They Were Soldiers: How the Wounded Return from America's Wars -- The Untold Story, just published by Dispatch Books/Haymarket Books]

In 2010, I began to follow U.S. soldiers down a long trail of waste and sorrow that led from the battle spaces of Afghanistan to the emergency room of the trauma hospital at Bagram Air Base, where their catastrophic wounds were surgically treated and their condition stabilized.  Then I accompanied some of them by cargo plane to Ramstein Air Base in Germany for more surgeries at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center, or LRMC (pronounced Larm-See), the largest American hospital outside the United States.

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They Didn’t Know What They Were Getting Into:The Cost of War American-Style PDF Print E-mail
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Posted by Joan Russow   
Thursday, 07 November 2013 10:35


By Ann Jones  http://www.tomdispatch.com/blog/175769/

The last time I saw American soldiers in Afghanistan, they were silent. Knocked out by gunfire and explosions that left them grievously injured, as well as drugs administered by medics in the field, they were carried from medevac helicopters into a base hospital to be plugged into machines that would measure how much life they had left to save. They were bloody.  They were missing pieces of themselves. They were quiet.

It’s that silence I remember from the time I spent in trauma hospitals among the wounded and the dying and the dead. It was almost as if they had fled their own bodies, abandoning that bloodied flesh upon the gurneys to surgeons ready to have a go at salvation. Later, sometimes much later, they might return to inhabit whatever the doctors had managed to salvage.  They might take up those bodies or what was left of them and make them walk again, or run, or even ski.  They might dress themselves, get a job, or conceive a child. But what I remember is the first days when they were swept up and dropped into the hospital so deathly still.

Last Updated on Thursday, 07 November 2013 10:46
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A Field Guide to Losing Friends, Influencing No One, and Alienating the Middle East PDF Print E-mail
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Posted by Joan Russow   
Tuesday, 05 November 2013 08:08

 
Obama’s Washington Is the Rodney Dangerfield of the Region
By Bob Dreyfuss

http://www.tomdispatch.com/blog/175768/

Put in context, the simultaneous raids in Libya and Somalia last month, targeting an alleged al-Qaeda fugitive and an alleged kingpin of the al-Shabab Islamist movement, were less a sign of America’s awesome might than two minor exceptions that proved an emerging rule: namely, that the power, prestige, and influence of the United States in the broader Middle East and its ability to shape events there is in a death spiral.

Twelve years after the U.S. invaded Afghanistan to topple the Taliban and a decade after the misguided invasion of Iraq -- both designed to consolidate and expand America’s regional clout by removing adversaries -- Washington’s actual standing in country after country, including its chief allies in the region, has never been weaker. Though President Obama can order raids virtually anywhere using Special Operations forces, and though he can strike willy-nilly in targeted killing actions by calling in the Predator and Reaper drones, he has become the Rodney Dangerfield of the Middle East. Not only does no one there respect the United States, but no one really fears it, either -- and increasingly, no one pays it any mind at all.

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Perpetual War How Does the Global War on Terror Ever End? PDF Print E-mail
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Posted by Joan Russow   
Tuesday, 29 October 2013 07:28


By Jeremy Scahill  

http://www.tomdispatch.com/blog/175766/

[This epilogue to Scahill’s bestselling book, Dirty Wars: The World Is a Battlefield, is posted with the kind permission of its publisher, Nation Books.]

On January 21, 2013, Barack Obama was inaugurated for his second term as president of the United States. Just as he had promised when he began his first campaign for president six years earlier, he pledged again to turn the page on history and take U.S. foreign policy in a different direction. “A decade of war is now ending,” Obama declared. “We, the people, still believe that enduring security and lasting peace do not require perpetual war.”

Much of the media focus that day was on the new hairstyle of First Lady Michelle Obama, who appeared on the dais sporting freshly trimmed bangs, and on the celebrities in attendance, including hip-hop mogul Jay-Z and his wife, Beyoncé, who performed the national anthem. But the day Obama was sworn in, a U.S. drone strike hit Yemen. It was the third such attack in that country in as many days. Despite the rhetoric from the president on the Capitol steps, there was abundant evidence that he would continue to preside over a country that is in a state of perpetual war.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 29 October 2013 07:32
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