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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....

    Activists say al-Qaida fighters overrun Syrian rebel bases

    Activists and local residents say intense clashes between a Western-backed rebel group and al-Qaida's Syrian affiliate have killed at least 20 fighters on the outskirts of the northern city of Aleppo. The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights...

    Ukraine government forces, rebels withdraw heavy weapons

    The piecemeal pullback of heavy weapons Friday from the line separating government and rebel forces in Ukraine has boosted the prospects for peace, although both sides are warning of their readiness to resume fighting if necessary. The withdrawals are in...