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  • Iraq, Afghanistan, El Salvador

    What has struck me most throughout the Presidential campaign is how narrowly stupid both teams are on international diplomacy and military issues. There was a perfect illustrative moment in the vice presidential debate when Edwards commented on the insurgency and opium cultivation in Afghanistan and the dwindling hope of fair elections there, and Cheney rebutted with his story about El Salvador in the 1980s. Cheney gamely talked about insurgency there, and how "we" held elections anyway, and now it's a democracy, etc. Edwards let it go. He didn't talk at all about ARENA, Roberto D'Aubisson's fascist party fueled by death squads which were armed and trained by the United States (which is now back in power). There was no mention of the Truth Commission which found that 90 percent of El Salvador's 75,000 civil war victims were killed by this U.S.-backed right-wing force. Or that the democratic government immediately granted amnesty to the named killers.
  • Worse Than The Blues

    Worse Than The Blues
    Bob Dylan sang, "If my thought-dreams could be seen, they'd probably put my head in a guillotine." Well, you should see John Fahey's thought-dreams. "All I have ever done with music," Fahey wrote in 1996, "was to depict various emotions in an organized...

    Six finalists vie for Baltimore's top art award, the Sondheim Prize

    Art prizes are always contestable because they attempt to define the ineffable: By putting money and prestige behind a particular artist, awards inevitably make a claim about art itself. There is, of course, a certain drama to the very act of deciding....

    Al-Qaida affiliate seizes major city in northern Syria

    ISTANBUL In a major setback for Syrian President Bashar Assad, al-Qaida's affiliate in Syria and forces from four other Islamist groups captured the city of Idlib on Saturday. Videos posted on the Internet showed fighters carrying the Nusra Front's black...

    Yemen's president calls Shiite rebels 'puppets of Iran'

    Yemen's embattled president on Saturday called Shiite rebels who forced him to flee the country "puppets of Iran," directly blaming the Islamic Republic for the chaos there and demanding airstrikes against rebel positions continue until they surrender....