Welcome to the eight edition of the Radical Progressive Carnival. It was great hosting this carnival because there were so many bloggers i have never heard of who decided to send in submissions. I’m 3800 miles into a 4500-mile trip, so i’m sorry if this seems a little rushed, but i’m determined not to miss this like i did the Internet Day of Solidarity with Oaxaca. Now sit back, grab a hot beverage, and enjoy!
The War on Terror, The War of Error
I have to say that I’m glad that we haven’t forgotten about Iraq like we’ve forgotten about so many other international tragedies and failures of US policy. Yet, although the topic of the US invasion of Iraq continues to receive a far amount of air time (i’d still argue not enough, however), opponents to the war seem to be doing little more than complaining about it. The Picket Line takes a look at a Slate article questioning why the Iraq War is even more unpopular than the Vietnam War yet we don’t see nearly as much public protest.
Manila Ryce, at The Largest Majority, has a couple of posts related to the War on Terror. The most recent of which discusses the US’s self-awarded trophy for its role in the war: Saddam’s head (in a noose). Ryce outlines why Saddam’s execution should not be a means for patriotic unification in the US (as it seems to currently be), but rather another disturbing outcome of an unjust war. As Ryce states, even though Saddam was a bastard, the US is not the world police and does not have the right to murder the leaders of other nations because we don’t like their policies. I particularly like Ryce’s analogy:
Let us not forget that we are in Iraq under completely false pretenses. There were no WMDs, Iraq was not tied in any way to 9/11, and it was not a breeding ground for terrorists. If America is the police force of the world, we’ve kicked in the door to Iraq, found no illegal arms or activity, and decided to shoot the head of the household to justify our unsubstantiated allegations for intrusion. That we can easily barge into another country and execute their leader is a cause for great distress, not celebration.
The Largest Majority also takes note of an oft forgotten victim of the US War on Terror: Afghanistan. Ryce’s post is one near and dear to my heart as it discusses what was the topic of the last op-ed piece that i wrote for a print publication (back in 2001). Back then, i was writing about the ties between the US and the Taliban - highlighting the millions of dollars that the US had given them earlier in the year to continue their war on opium production. Five years later, the US’s role in Afghan opium production seems to have reversed. Ryce notes how opium production has not only increased since the US invaded Afghanistan, but Afghanistan is now, according to the DEA, the fastest growing supplier of heroin to the US.
Althought the Isreali war against Palestinians has been going on for nearly 60 years, the US is happy to incorporate the Isreali’s offensive against arabs (as we saw in Lebanon, not just muslims) into the broader War on Terror. Samson Blinded, a blog written by an Isreali politician using a pen name and which has been banned by Google and all of China, writes about the thin line that Isreal walks. Although Isreal’s redistribution of GDP classifies it as a socialist state, their campaigns of propaganda in schools, forced militarization, lack of free press, and other policies, Obadaiah (the blog’s author) argues, draw Isreal dangerously close to being a fascist state.
Gracchi over at Westminster Wisdom calls out British journalist Richard Littlejohn for his preposterous claim that the victims of the Ipswitch murders deserved their deaths because they were sex workers. Gracchi states that although critics have already shown the inadequacies of Littlejohn’s logic, they, too, fail to show any compassion towards the murder victims.
Abyss2hope highlights an article from the Houston Chronicle that discusses how the rite-of-passage myth continues to create a culture of silence and hinders justice for boys who are sexually assaulted by older wimmin. As abyss2hope states, “Besides being useful to sexual predators, these myths are useful to people who want the illusion that there isn’t a problem. If they refuse to see the problem then the problem doesn’t exist anywhere near them or theirs.”
The Growing Divide
Long or Short Capital looks at the average family of four in the US, looks at their bank statement, looks at their entertainment opportunities, looks at the family again, and recommends a good game of real life frogger. Why? Because the growing rate of poverty and the increasing cost of entertainment in the US means we are able to afford fewer and fewer means of entertainment.
Amp introduces us to a paper from a liberal think tank with some suggestions that i’m certainly fond of. The paper suggests that if those of us in the US reduce our work hours, we would see significant environmental benefits. This theory isn’t much of a surprise. It goes along with the reasoning that its not what can we do to reverse the effects of global climate change, but what can we stop doing.
Save the Ribble, a blog dedicated to, well, saving the Ribble River (in Preston, England). They’ve been making the rounds to get the word out and being a long-time environmental activist, i couldn’t ignore them. They submitted a post which breaks down the campaign and responds to criticism.
Sketchy Politics and Politicians
Humantide, looking at recent scandals in Britain and the death of Pinochet, reminds us that politicians (and all those with power-over) need to be held to the .
same standards and to the same laws as the rest of us.
the degenerati takes a look at the mysterious poisoning of Alexander Litvinenko (the Russian ex-spy and dissident). Claims are that Litvinenko may have been killed by rogue Russian agents. The degenerati asks when is a rogue not a rogue?
Many folks in the US don’t realize how many human rights abuses go on in the name of immigration control. I was glad that Latina Lista wrote about the disturbing trend of privatized “family detention centers.” The insides of these prisons look a lot like a county dog pound (fenced cells and all).
With the impending death of Fidel Castro, Cuba has once again found its way into the living room discussions of people in the US, particularly among those claiming moral authority (left, right, and center). Monoco Jerry has a nice reminder to leftists in the US that we shouldn’t let criticism be overrun with hypocrisy.
Last but certainly not least, over at Alas, an anonymous medical student writes about anti-fat bias in medical school. The student goes on to list several example of this bias, everything from discrediting studies because they don’t match up with the belief that obesity causes diabetes to clinical tutors claiming that fat people simply lack willpower.