Should police officer Darren Wilson be held accountable for the shooting death of unarmed citizen Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, on August 9, 2014?
That the police officer was white and his victim black should make no difference. In a perfect world, it would not matter. In an imperfect world such as ours, however, racism is an effective propaganda tool used by the government and the media to distract us from the real issues.
As a result, the national dialogue about the dangers of militarized, weaponized police officers being trained to act like soldiers on the battlefield, shooting first and asking questions later, has shifted into a largely unspoken debate over race wars, class perceptions and longstanding, deep-seated notions of who deserves our unquestioning loyalty and who does not.
Putting aside our prejudices, however, let’s not overlook the importance of Ferguson and this grand jury verdict. Tasked with determining whether Wilson should stand trial for Brown’s shooting, the grand jury ruled that the police officer will not face charges for the fatal shooting.
After more than a year of negotiations between the United States and Iran, the two sides have failed to reach an agreement by the agreed deadline in July. They have agreed to continue negotiating, but the failure to meet the deadline was clearly not caused by the lack of time.
To understand why the talks have remained deadlocked, it is necessary to review the Obama administration’s stance on diplomacy with Iran in the context of the long US history of favouring “coercive diplomacy” over traditional negotiations in managing conflicts with adversaries.
Reliance on coercive diplomacy is deeply imbedded in the strategic culture of US national security institutions. It has evolved over decades of US military and economic dominance in international politics, which has allowed the United States to avoid genuine diplomacy repeatedly.
Based on that military supremacy, the United States avoided negotiations with its communist adversaries up to the early 1970s, when Henry Kissinger courted China and launched his détente policy with the Soviet Union. But that brief period of serious negotiating came in the wake of political pressures for reducing US military spending and foreign military presence during the long and exhausting US war in Vietnam. It soon gave way to renewed reliance on coercive diplomacy during the Reagan administration.
Breaking: Hagel Out, Assad Next
Washington is abuzz with news that Chuck Hagel is out as President Obama's Secretary of Defense. The Secretary was said to have never meshed with the rest of Obama's foreign policy team, led by National Security Advisor Susan Rice and flanked by US Ambassador to the UN Samantha Power and others. Differences over how to handle the rapidly-escalating US war in Syria and Iraq are said to be the breaking point.
Obama's Stealth Surge in Afghanistan
It is a pattern for President Obama: posing as a peacemaker who ends the wars of the previous administration, while expanding the US use of force in areas the Bush gang could not have even imagined.
Fmr. Bush National Security Advisor: Start WWIII With Russia!
Stephen Hadley, who served as National Security Advisor to President George W. Bush, believes that the United States should begin delivering lethal military equipment to the US-backed government in Ukraine as that government moves ever-closer to another assault on eastern territories seeking independence.
Dennis Kucinich: Support for War and National Security State is Reason for Democrat Election Losses
Dennis Kucinich, the former Democratic United States House of Representatives member from Ohio and two-time presidential candidate, pins blame for Democrats’ 2014 midterm elections “debacle” on Democrat politicians in the last eight years advancing war and the national security state. Kucinich’s analysis is presented Thursday in a Common Dreams article by Deidre Fulton.
Ed Mullins Returns with More Marijuana Nonsense Talk
With the recent announcement of the particulars of the New York City Police Department policy change intended to reduce marijuana arrests, Sergeants Benevolent Association police union leader Ed Mullins, who previously lamented that reducing marijuana arrests in the city would be “clearly the beginning of the breakdown of a civilized society,” is back with more nonsense talk about marijuana.