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  • September 04, 2007
    By Ian Donnis

    A day before President Bush's surprise visit to Iraq, the New York Times had this story:

    Afghan Police Suffer Setbacks as Taliban Adapt

    By DAVID ROHDE Published: September 2, 2007

    KANDAHAR, Afghanistan, Aug. 26 — Over the past six weeks, the Taliban have driven government forces out of roughly half of a strategic area in southern Afghanistan that American and NATO officials declared a success story last fall in their campaign to clear out insurgents and make way for development programs, Afghan officials say.

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  • September 04, 2007
    By Ian Donnis

    US Senator Sheldon Whitehouse is slated to join other critics of the war, including members of Ocean State Action, state Senator Josh Miller and state Representative Art Handy, in a 10 am demonstration this morning at the State House. Ocean State will release a report on the cost of the war to RI taxpayers.

    From a news release:

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  • August 29, 2007
    By Ian Donnis

    In the time before the war in Iraq, Colin Powell famously instructed President Bush in the "Pottery Barn rule." In other words, you break it, you buy it.

    As we know, the administration couldn't have botched things better if it had tried. Let's presume for a second that the war was justified. The administration threw out State Department recommendations for the post-invasion phase and naively assumed that this period would prove a cakewalk.

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  • August 23, 2007
    By Ian Donnis

    Matt Jerzyk has a good roundup in this week's Phoenix on some of the different ways in which Rhode Islanders are taking stands against the war:

    On August 13, nearly 200 people came to the Columbus Theatre on Providence’s West Side to see a screening of the Sean Penn-narrated film, War Made Easy, which depicts the cozy relationship between government deception and the mainstream media.

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  • August 21, 2007
    By Ian Donnis

    insideWoodyG

    So wonders Brian C. Jones:

    This year’s edition of the Newport Folk Festival was almost perfect. For one thing, it had the best T-shirt, just a simple line across the front: “What would Woody do?”

    It’s a great variation on the question about global warming that environmentalists have been asking right-wing evangelicals as they try to covert them into tree-huggers: “What would Jesus do?”



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  • August 15, 2007
    By Ian Donnis

    Tomorrow at 5:30 pm, Moveon.org is sponsoring a news conference on the steps of Providence City Hall to focus attention on the cost to Rhode Islanders of the war in Iraq.

    Here are details, from a news release:

    Wonder what the war is really costing you and Rhode Island? Join us to hear directly from those being impacted and hear the actual figures the was is costing our state.

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  • August 03, 2007
    By Ian Donnis

    Writing in this week's Phoenix, James Parker offers a lively piece on how limericks and surrealism offer considerable insight into the torture policies backed by the Bush administration:

    History will have trouble digesting the irony of it — that George W. Bush, a man who claims Jesus as his favorite political philosopher and the Lord as his warrant, has presided over the transformation of US foreign policy into a God-destroying juggernaut of absurdity.

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  • August 03, 2007
    By Ian Donnis

    Reginald Centracchio, the former adjutant general of the Rhode Island National Guard, appears this week on WPRI/WNAC-TV's Newsmakers, discussing the war in Iraq, Obama's statement about Pakistan, the bridge collapse in Minnesota, and other topics. We also hear from WPRI meteorologist Steve Cascione about the threat posed by hurricanes.

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  • August 02, 2007
    By Ian Donnis

    -- There's a fundraiser tonight for state Representative Grace Diaz (D-Providence) at the Roger Williams Park Casino. Matt has the details.

    -- Brian C. Jones updates how Providence's long-awaited, long delayed First Source ordinance is being implemented. (Andrew offers his view here.)

    The law is beginning to help substantial number of workers get jobs.

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  • July 31, 2007
    By Ian Donnis

    I agree with Justin's incredulity about the overly generous benefits enjoyed by Cranston firefighters:

    It's amazing enough that Cranston firefighters can retire after twenty years at any age, but this is stunning:

    Once retired, retirees continue to receive extra pay each year for longevity bonuses and extra pay for 15 holidays!

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  • July 30, 2007
    By Ian Donnis

    Samantha Power had a lengthy essay in yesterday's New York Times Book Review. One of the highlights is how she calls the US Army/Marine Corps Counterinsurgency Field Manual a leading reference for a revised 21st Century approach to fighting terrorism.

    When the terrorists struck on 9/11, the United States military was singularly unprepared to deal with them.

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  • July 23, 2007
    By Ian Donnis

    Regardless of one's view on the war in Iraq, the Bush administration's lack of preparation for the post-invasion phase of the conflict is nothing short of shameful. How many lives might have been spared if more thought and consideration had gone into this, let alone the wisdom of the entire idea?

    Defense Secretary Robert Gates was recently brought to tears while discussing the death in May of Douglas Zembiec, who was known as "the Lion of Falluja," and who was killed during his fourth tour in Iraq.

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  • July 23, 2007
    By Ian Donnis

    While debate continues around the war in Iraq, with critics seeing it as a lost cause and defenders describing progress, there remains relatively little examination in the US about the relationship between our country and our military.

    On the most elemental level, the all-voluntary military has undercut the possibility of a broader protest movement (while also focusing the sacrifice on a small part of the population).

    Read More

  • July 18, 2007
    By Ian Donnis

    After 9-11, the nation rallied around President Bush and placed a lot of credulity in his statements and leadership. We've seen where that has gotten us.

    While Jack Reed might not want to become defense secretary, he's the kind of Democrat, because of his expertise and military background, who brings a lot of credibility to national security issues.

    Read More

  • July 18, 2007
    By webteam

    Apparently, I'm not the only wretch focused on the idea of Jack Reed becoming secretary of defense in a Democratic administration. The AP's Andrew Miga, formerly of the Boston Herald, yesterday took a look at the senator and his place in the continuing debate over Iraq:

    WASHINGTON --Sen. Jack Reed does not usually turn many heads on Capitol Hill.

    Read More

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