Columns & Articles
It has been 40 years since Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated in Memphis, Tenn., while standing on the balcony outside his room at the Lorraine Motel. King was there to support striking sanitation workers, African-American men who endured horrible working conditions for poverty wages. While King’s staff was opposed to him going, as they were scrambling to organize King’s new initiative, the Poor People’s Campaign, King himself knew that the sanitation workers were at the front lines of fighting poverty.
We just passed the grim milestone of 4,000 U.S. military members killed in Iraq since the invasion five years ago. Still, the death toll climbs. Tomas Young was one of those injured, on April 4, 2004, in Sadr City. Young is the subject of a new feature documentary by legendary TV talk-show host Phil Donahue and filmmaker Ellen Spiro, called “Body of War.”
Last weekend, in the lead up to the fifth anniversary of the invasion of Iraq, a remarkable gathering occurred just outside Washington, D.C., called Winter Soldier: Iraq and Afghanistan, Eyewitness Accounts of the Occupations. Hundreds of veterans of these two wars, along with active-duty soldiers, came together to offer testimony about the horrors of war, including atrocities they witnessed or committed themselves.
The women of New York had a champion in Eliot Spitzer. The good news in the wake of the governor’s resignation is that his successor, David Paterson, and the state’s activists are ready to keep up the fight.
While the Iraq war is off the front pages, and Sens. Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama embark on what may well be a scorched-earth primary battle against each other, let’s keep our eye on where the real scorched earth lies: who profits and who dies.
Clinton proclaimed in her victory speech in Ohio on March 4, after winning three of the four primary contests that day, “as goes Ohio, so goes the nation.” She should take note, however, of how goes Vermont. That state might be a better bellwether, especially concerning the U.S. quagmire in Iraq.
On the Sunday following Sept. 11, 2001, Vice President Dick Cheney told the truth. On NBC’s “Meet the Press,” he said regarding plans to pursue the perpetrators of that attack: “We have to work the dark side, if you will. We’re going to spend time in the shadows.”
The grim, deadly consequences of his promise have, in the intervening six years, become the shame of our nation and have outraged millions around the world. President George Bush and Cheney, many argue, have overseen a massive global campaign of kidnapping, illegal detentions, harsh interrogations, torture and kangaroo courts where the accused face the death penalty, confronted by secret evidence obtained by torture, without legal representation.
Nearing 87 years old, Yuri Kochiyama lives in a small room in an Oakland, Calif., senior living facility. Her walls are adorned with photos, posters, postcards and mementos detailing a living history of the revolutionary struggles of the 20th century. She is quiet, humble and small, and has trouble at times retrieving the right word. Yet, with a sparkle in her eyes, she has no trouble recalling that incredible history—not from books, not from documentaries, but from living it, on the front lines.
After the Potomac Primary, Virginia is the new Massachusetts and Texas is the new Florida. Barack Obama claimed a “Chesapeake Sweep,” winning all three primaries—Maryland, the District of Columbia and Virginia—by decisive margins. Hillary Clinton, whose campaign conceded these, is betting the house on the forthcoming delegate-rich primaries of Texas, Ohio and Pennsylvania, with no campaign stops announced for next week’s voting states, Wisconsin and Hawaii.
With all the talk of record voter participation, we should take a moment to think of the Americans, many of them African-American and Latino, who have been disenfranchised because they once committed a felony.
Read Amy Goodman’s latest column on Attorney General Michael Mukasey, torture and the death of the U.S.-backed Indonesian dictator Suharto.
It’s the deadliest conflict since World War II. More than 5 million people have died in the past decade, yet it goes virtually unnoticed and unreported in the United States. The conflict is in the Democratic Republic of Congo, in Central Africa.
The Las Vegas democratic debate was a lovefest because the corporate sponsor, General Electric-owned NBC News and its cable news channel MSNBC, rescinded its invitation to candidate Dennis Kucinich.
Hillary Clinton’s surprise victory in New Hampshire guarantees a longer, more competitive Democratic primary season.
Benazir Bhutto and her supporters who died with her during the suicide attack Dec. 27 are the latest victims of decades of dangerous U.S. support for Pakistan’s military regime.
On Dec. 18, the five commissioners of the Federal Communications Commission met in Washington, D.C., and, by a 3 to 2 vote, passed new regulations that would allow more media consolidation.
The kidnap and torture program of the Bush administration, with its secret CIA “black site” prisons and “torture taxi” flights on private jets, saw a little light of day this week.
The Nobel Peace Prize was awarded this week, in Oslo, Norway.
Truth matters. History and context count.
This past Saturday the Democrats chose retired Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez to give their radio address, the same general accused in at least three lawsuits in the U.S. and Europe of authorizing torture and cruel, inhumane and degrading treatment of prisoners in Iraq.
“Black Friday” is the name retailers have given to the day after Thanksgiving in their attempt to make Christmas synonymous with shopping.