A Six-Point Plan for Global War
The new Obama doctrine may make waging war too easy for Washington.
by Nick Turse.

A Six-Point Plan for Global War

The new Obama doctrine may make waging war too easy for Washington.

by Nick Turse.

Tags: war Obama

ryking:

Obama records intro for 50th anniversary airing of ‘To Kill A Mockingbird’

President Obama will record an introduction for the debut of a restored print of the 1962 film “To Kill a Mockingbird” set to air on the USA cable network Saturday night, 50 years after the debut of the classic film…
While the president occasionally records brief messages for popular television shows, his association with the Gregory Peck classic will carry significant weight, especially in light of a national discussion focused on race in light of the controversial shooting of Trayvon Martin.
The film, an adaptation of the Harper Lee novel of the same name, centers on the trial and conviction of an innocent black man in a deeply racist Southern town during the 1930s. Peck’s Oscar-winning depiction of lawyer Atticus Finch has been widely heralded as a groundbreaking role that confronted systematic racism in the Jim Crow South.

(Picture of Gregory Peck from the Everett Collection)

ryking:

Obama records intro for 50th anniversary airing of ‘To Kill A Mockingbird’

President Obama will record an introduction for the debut of a restored print of the 1962 film “To Kill a Mockingbird” set to air on the USA cable network Saturday night, 50 years after the debut of the classic film…

While the president occasionally records brief messages for popular television shows, his association with the Gregory Peck classic will carry significant weight, especially in light of a national discussion focused on race in light of the controversial shooting of Trayvon Martin.

The film, an adaptation of the Harper Lee novel of the same name, centers on the trial and conviction of an innocent black man in a deeply racist Southern town during the 1930s. Peck’s Oscar-winning depiction of lawyer Atticus Finch has been widely heralded as a groundbreaking role that confronted systematic racism in the Jim Crow South.

(Picture of Gregory Peck from the Everett Collection)

(Source: diadoumenos)

With U.S. troops marching out of Iraq and Osama bin Laden’s head on a  pike, it will be difficult for Barack Obama’s detractors to characterize  the president’s first-term performance on the international stage as  indecisive, inexperienced, or weak-kneed.
Electoral ramifications notwithstanding, what worries Mark Lagon, who  holds the International Relations and Security Chair at Georgetown  University’s  foreign service master’s degree program, is that Obama’s  seeming strength betrays a lack of inventiveness and depth—especially  when it comes to projecting soft power, that combination of diplomacy  and nonmilitary coercion essential to enduring influence and stability.
Keep reading …

With U.S. troops marching out of Iraq and Osama bin Laden’s head on a pike, it will be difficult for Barack Obama’s detractors to characterize the president’s first-term performance on the international stage as indecisive, inexperienced, or weak-kneed.

Electoral ramifications notwithstanding, what worries Mark Lagon, who holds the International Relations and Security Chair at Georgetown University’s  foreign service master’s degree program, is that Obama’s seeming strength betrays a lack of inventiveness and depth—especially when it comes to projecting soft power, that combination of diplomacy and nonmilitary coercion essential to enduring influence and stability.

Keep reading …

the CIA in Somalia: Nestled in a back corner of Mogadishu’s Aden Adde International Airport  is a sprawling walled compound run by the U.S. Central Intelligence  Agency. Set on the coast of the Indian Ocean, the facility looks like a  small gated community, with more than a dozen buildings behind large  protective walls and secured by guard towers at each of its four  corners. Adjacent to the compound are eight large metal hangars, and the  CIA has its own aircraft at the airport. The site, which airport  officials and Somali intelligence sources say was completed in April, is  guarded by Somali soldiers, but the Americans control access. At the  facility, the CIA runs a counterterrorism training program for Somali  intelligence agents and operatives aimed at building an indigenous  strike force capable of snatch operations and targeted “combat”  operations against members of Al Shabab, an Islamic militant group with  close ties to al-Qaeda.
As part of its expanding counterterrorism program in Somalia, the CIA  also uses a secret prison buried in the basement of Somalia’s National  Security Agency (NSA) headquarters, where prisoners suspected of being  Shabab members or of having links to the group are held. Some of the  prisoners have been snatched off the streets of Kenya and rendered by  plane to Mogadishu. While the underground prison is officially run by  the Somali NSA, U.S. intelligence personnel pay the salaries of  intelligence agents and also directly interrogate prisoners.
Keep reading …

the CIA in Somalia: Nestled in a back corner of Mogadishu’s Aden Adde International Airport is a sprawling walled compound run by the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency. Set on the coast of the Indian Ocean, the facility looks like a small gated community, with more than a dozen buildings behind large protective walls and secured by guard towers at each of its four corners. Adjacent to the compound are eight large metal hangars, and the CIA has its own aircraft at the airport. The site, which airport officials and Somali intelligence sources say was completed in April, is guarded by Somali soldiers, but the Americans control access. At the facility, the CIA runs a counterterrorism training program for Somali intelligence agents and operatives aimed at building an indigenous strike force capable of snatch operations and targeted “combat” operations against members of Al Shabab, an Islamic militant group with close ties to al-Qaeda.

As part of its expanding counterterrorism program in Somalia, the CIA also uses a secret prison buried in the basement of Somalia’s National Security Agency (NSA) headquarters, where prisoners suspected of being Shabab members or of having links to the group are held. Some of the prisoners have been snatched off the streets of Kenya and rendered by plane to Mogadishu. While the underground prison is officially run by the Somali NSA, U.S. intelligence personnel pay the salaries of intelligence agents and also directly interrogate prisoners.

Keep reading …

"True leadership requires conviction. Conviction demands courage, and courage is the lifeblood of change. That is the narrative thread connecting every woman, man, and movement that has altered the course of history. At some point, principle trumps inaction, no matter the risks."

— Utne Reader editor-in-chief David Schimke on leading with conviction, a quality that—he argues—President Barack Obama has not displayed in regard to global human rights. Keep reading …

Since coming into office, the Obama administration has focused on  halting the use of torture, but has avoided holding anyone legally  accountable for it. President Obama wanted to look forward, not  backward. Like other governments around the world, though, the Obama  administration has discovered that legal demands for accountability  might not be so easy to ignore.
Keep reading …

Since coming into office, the Obama administration has focused on halting the use of torture, but has avoided holding anyone legally accountable for it. President Obama wanted to look forward, not backward. Like other governments around the world, though, the Obama administration has discovered that legal demands for accountability might not be so easy to ignore.

Keep reading …

"[Obama’s] reaction to the challenges these countries have posed to the US suggest that it is not soft power itself that Obama doubts, but America’s moral standing to project it."

— Mark Lagon, International Relations and Security Chair at Georgetown University’s Master of Science in Foreign Service Program, on Obama’s hesitancy to use the diplomatic soft power he espoused on the campaign trail. Keep reading …

(via Slate)

President Obama has found himself embroiled in one fried-chicken row after another. First there was the “Obama Fried Chicken” incident of 2009, in which a Bangladeshi immigrant who claimed to be naïve to the racist stereotype of African-Americans’ consumption of fried chicken decided to rebrand his poultry restaurant in homage to our nation’s commander in chief. He couldn’t have asked for a more effective advertising campaign, once the media caught wind of this fowl scandal. Even the Rev. Al Sharpton got involved in the street protests outside the Brooklyn eatery, pressuring for a return to the restaurant’s original name, Royal Fried Chicken. The owner refused to budge, and Obama Fried Chicken is still serving (apparently mediocre) hot wings and biscuits in Remsen Village today.

Then, this year, Kentucky Fried Chicken, that fulsome, ubiquitous goliath of fast-food chains, took considerable heat when its Chinese subsidiary aired a television commercial in Hong Kong featuring an Obama look-alike. The ad showed the Obama doppelgänger campaigning that “change is good” for the KFC menu. (He then gets inexplicably flattened on the podium by a gigantic fish sandwich.) In the face of racism allegations, the company yanked the ad and said that it wasn’t meant to offend anyone.

… In any event, all this suggests that informed citizens of our own country may be the only ones who understand that mentioning “fried chicken” in the same sentence as “black people” is a major no-no.

For connoisseurs, Barack Obama’s fundraising emails for the 2012 election campaign seem just a tad forlorn—slightly limp reminders of the last time ‘round.

Four years ago at this time, the early adopters among us were just starting to get used to the regular flow of email from the Obama campaign. The missives were actually exciting to get, because they seemed less like appeals for money than a chance to join a movement.

Sometimes they came with inspirational videos from Camp Obama, especially the volunteer training sessions staged by organizing guru Marshall Ganz. Here’s a favorite of mine, where a woman invokes Bobby Kennedy and Cesar Chavez and says that, as the weekend went on, she “felt her heart softening,” her cynicism “melting,” her determination building. I remember that feeling, and I remember clicking time and again to send another $50 off to fund that people-powered mission.

None of us gave $50 hoping for a favor. Quite the opposite. You gave $50 hoping that, for the first time in a long while in American politics, no one would get a favor. And the candidate, it must be said, led us on.

Keep reading …

The Crockpot: A Weekly Link-Digest from Utne2