When we Europeans – the British included – contemplate the battles President Obama must fight to reform the US health system, our first response tends to be disbelief. How can it be that so obvious a social good as universal health insurance, so humane a solution to common vulnerability, is not sewn deep into the fabric of the United States? How can one of the biggest, richest and most advanced countries in the world tolerate a situation where, at any one time, one in six of the population has to pay for their treatment item by item, or resort to hospital casualty wards?
The second response, as automatic as the first, is to blame heartless and ignorant Republicans. To Europeans, a universal health system is so basic to a civilised society that only the loony right could possibly oppose it: the people who cling to their guns, picket abortion clinics (when the…
It would be a great service to the American nation if Barack Obama would tell us what he himself thinks the wars in Afghanistan and Pakistan are about. To capture Osama bin Laden? There have been eight years in which to capture bin Laden and it’s not been done yet, and there seems no reason to think that anything important would change if the thousands of Marines now scheduled for Afghanistan did capture him. What did it change to capture and execute Saddam Hussein in Iraq?
General Stanley McChyrstal says the Taliban are winning (he subsequently denied this). Does the president think he can have a military solution -- or a political solution? The latter is not impossible.
Is the war meant to defeat the Taliban? Why? What business is it of the United States to determine who runs Afghanistan, when the Afghan nation has absolutely no ability, interest, or capacity to do harm to the United States or to any of the NATO countries?
KABUL — It is the open secret no one wants to talk about, the unwelcome truth that most prefer to hide. In Afghanistan, one of the richest sources of Taliban funding is the foreign assistance coming into the country.
Virtually every major project includes a healthy cut for the insurgents. Call it protection money, call it extortion, or, as the Taliban themselves prefer to term it, “spoils of war,” the fact remains that international donors, primarily the United States, are to a large extent financing their own enemy.
“Everyone knows this is going on,” said one U.S. Embassy official, speaking privately.
It is almost impossible to determine how much the insurgents are spending, making it difficult to pinpoint the sources of the funds.
Mullah Abdul Salaam Zaeef, former Taliban minister to Pakistan, was perhaps more than a bit disingenuous when he told GlobalPost that the militants were operating mostly on air.
The world is facing a series of interlinked crises which threatens billions of people and could cause the collapse of civilisation, according to an international report out this week.
Climate pollution, food shortages, diseases, wars, disasters, crime and the recession are all conspiring to ravage the globe and threaten the future of humanity, it warns. Democracy, human rights and press freedom are also suffering.
The report, called 2009 State Of The Future, has been compiled by the Millennium Project, an international think-tank based in Washington DC, and involved 2700 experts from 30 countries.
“Half the world appears vulnerable to social instability and violence,” the report says. “This is due to rising unemployment and decreasing food, water and energy supplies, coupled with the disruptions caused by global warming and mass migrations.”
The project has been backed by organisations including United Nations agencies, the Rockefeller Foundation, private com…
The way you imagine someone engaged in a suicide attack depends, not surprisingly, on which end of the attack you happen to be on -- in cultural, if not literal terms. In American films and pop culture, there were few acts more inexplicable or malevolent in the years of my childhood than those of Japan's kamikaze pilots (and, in a few cases, submariners), the state-organized suicide bombers of World War II who targeted the U.S. fleet with their weapons and their lives. Americans themselves were incapable of such kamikaze acts not because they didn't commit them, but because, when done by someone known to us in the name of a cause we cherish or to save us from being overrun by them, such acts were no longer unrecognizable. Under those circumstances, each represented a profound gift of life to those left behind. In the desperate early days of 1942 in the Pacific, for instance, there were a number of reported cases in which American pilots tried to dive their planes into Japanese…
War Hero Tackles US Over Degrading Prison Conditions
Dumping grounds for drug addicts, the mentally ill and petty thieves exposed by Democrat senator
By Rupert Cornwell August 09, 2009 The Independent
Few United States senators have a more unusual CV than Virginia's Jim Webb. He's a Democrat who was once a Republican and served as Navy Secretary under Ronald Reagan. He's a decorated Vietnam veteran and the highly successful author of Fields of Fire, which is said by many to be the best novel ever written about that war. When he made his senate bid in 2006, his Republican opponent ran adverts criticising some explicit sexy passages in other Webb works. Now he is embarked on perhaps his most improbable mission: the senior senator, from one of the toughest law-and-order states, wants to restore humanity, and proportionality, to the punishment of criminals.
All the focus, right now, is on reforming the US healthcare system. Think prisons, and you think Guantanamo Bay, and the bizar…
A terabyte is a SI-multiple of the unit byte for digital information storage and is equal to 1012 (1000000000000) bytes or 1000 gigabytes. The terabyte is abbreviated with the symbol TBA terabyte is a SI-multiple (see prefix tera) of the unit byte for digital information storage and is equal to 1012 (1000000000000) bytes or 1000 gigabytes. The terabyte is abbreviated with the symbol TB
The designation terabyte is rarely used to refer to the tebibyte, its binary prefix analogue, because only recent (since 2007) disk drives reach this capacity. Disk drive sizes are always designated in SI units by manufacturers. However, a possible confusion arises from a conflict between the long-standing tradition of using binary prefixes and base 2 for memory sizes, and the decimal (SI) standard adopted widely both within and outside of the computer industry. Standards organizations such as IEC, IEEE and ISO recommend to use the alternative …