The Unz Review - Mobile
A Collection of Interesting, Important, and Controversial Perspectives Largely Excluded from the American Mainstream Media
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 Rebecca Gordon Archive
Reality or Reality TV?
The headlines arrive in my inbox day after day: “U.S.-led airstrikes in Syria killed hundreds of civilians, U.N. panel says.” “Pentagon wants to declare more parts of world as temporary battlefields.” “The U.S. was supposed to leave Afghanistan by 2017. Now it might take decades.” There are so many wars and rumors of war involving... Read More
Living in Trump’s United States of Amnesia
The Trump administration seems intent on tossing recent history down the memory hole. Admittedly, Americans have never been known for their strong grasp of facts about their past. Still, as we struggle to keep up with the constantly shifting explanations and pronouncements of the new administration, it becomes ever harder to remember the events of... Read More
Torture, Rendition, and Indefinite Detention Under Trump
When George W. Bush and Dick Cheney launched their forever wars -- under the banner of a “Global War on Terror” -- they unleashed an unholy trinity of tactics. Torture, rendition, and indefinite detention became the order of the day. After a partial suspension of these policies in the Obama years, they now appear poised... Read More
Fighting the Forever War
In his inaugural address, President Trump described a dark and dismal United States, a country overrun by criminal gangs and drugs, a nation stained with the blood seeping from bullet-ridden corpses left at scenes of “American carnage.” It was more than a little jarring. Certainly, drug gangs and universally accessible semi-automatic weapons do not contribute... Read More
How Can We Recognize Our Friends in the Mixed-Up World of Donald Trump?
You know you’re living in a looking-glass world when former Vice President Dick Cheney speaks out against one of Donald Trump’s executive orders. He’s a good example of how past adversaries of movements for peace and justice are lining up against our current adversary, the new president. The United States, Cheney told radio host Hugh... Read More
Many of the folks I know are getting ready to play serious defense in 2017, and they’re not wrong. Before we take up our three-point stance on the national line of scrimmage, however, maybe we should ask ourselves not only what we’re fighting against, but what we’re fighting for. What kind of United States of... Read More
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The Forgotten War in Yemen and the Unchecked War Powers of the Presidency in the Age of Trump
The long national nightmare that was the 2016 presidential election is finally over. Now, we’re facing a worse terror: the reality of a Trump presidency. Donald Trump has already promised to nominate a segregationist attorney general, a national security adviser who is a raging Islamophobe, a secretary of education who doesn’t believe in public schools,... Read More
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Night Terrors and Daytime Hopes
The night after the election, this long-time pacifist dreamed she shot a big white man carrying an arsenal of guns. He was wandering around a room full of people, waving a pistol and threatening to fire. Someone pushed a gun into my hand and said, “Shoot now, while his back is turned!” I shot. Blood... Read More
Or Why Fighting for Justice Is Like Surfing
In these dismal days of climate change, imperial decline, endless war, and in my city, a hapless football team, I seem to be experiencing a strange and unaccustomed emotion: hope. How can that be? Maybe it’s because, like my poor San Francisco 49ers who have been “rebuilding” for the last two decades, I’m fortunate enough... Read More
Should Prison Really Be the American Way?
You’ve heard of distracted driving? It causes quite a few auto accidents and it’s illegal in a majority of states. Well, this year, a brave New Jersey state senator, a Democrat, took on the pernicious problem of distracted walking. Faced with the fact that some people can’t tear themselves away from their smartphones long enough... Read More
The Enemies of My Enemy May Be War Criminals
It’s not every day that Republicans publish an open letter announcing that their presidential candidate is unfit for office. But lately this sort of thing has been happening more and more frequently. The most recent example: we justheard from 50 representatives of the national security apparatus, men -- and a few women -- who served... Read More
An Illegal Military Strategy Disguised as Technological Advance
Think of it as the Trojan Drone, the ultimate techno-weapon of American warfare in these years, a single remotely operated plane sent to take out a single key figure. It's a shiny video game for grown ups -- a Mortal Kombator Call of Duty where the animated enemies bleed real blood. Just like the giant... Read More
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Should George Bush, Dick Cheney, and Others Be Jailed?
"The cold was terrible but the screams were worse," Sara Mendez told the BBC. "The screams of those who were being tortured were the first thing you heard and they made you shiver. That's why there was a radio blasting day and night." In the 1970s, Mendez was a young Uruguayan teacher with leftist leanings.... Read More
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The Shameful Ordeal of Abu Zubaydah
The allegations against the man were serious indeed. * Donald Rumsfeld said he was “if not the number two, very close to the number two person” in al-Qaeda. * The Central Intelligence Agency informed Assistant Attorney General Jay Bybee that he “served as Usama Bin Laden’s senior lieutenant. In that capacity, he has managed a... Read More
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When It Comes to People of Color, the Police Make San Francisco “Baghdad by the Bay”
In the photo, five of Beyoncé’s leather-clad, black-bereted dancers raise their fists in a Black Power salute. The woman in the middle holds a hand-lettered sign up for the camera, bearing three words and a number: “Justice 4 Mario Woods.” Behind them, the crowd at Levi's Stadium, home of the San Francisco 49ers, is getting... Read More
Candidates Compete to Promise the Most Torture and Slaughter
From the look of the presidential campaign, war crimes are back on the American agenda. We really shouldn’t be surprised, because American officials got away with it last time -- and in the case of the drone warscontinue to get away with it today. Still, there’s nothing like the heady combination of a “populist” Republican... Read More
Kabul in America
A top government official with energy industry holdings huddles in secret with oil company executives to work out the details of a potentially lucrative “national energy policy.” Later, that same official steers billions of government dollars to his former oil-field services company. Well-paid elected representatives act with impunity, routinely trading government contracts and other favors... Read More
Keep the U.S. Military Out
This year’s Nobel Peace Prize went to Tunisia’s National Dialogue Quartet “for its decisive contribution to the building of a pluralistic democracy... in the wake of the Jasmine Revolution of 2011.” The Quartet is a group of four organizations -- two national labor unions, a business group, and a lawyers' association -- whose work helped... Read More
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How to Censor Yourself Before the Government Even Has the Chance
It was August 2002. My partner Jan Adams and I were just beginning our annual pilgrimage to Massachusetts to visit my father and stepmother. At the check-in line at San Francisco International Airport, we handed over our driver’s licenses and waited for the airline ticket agent to find our flight and reservation. Suddenly, she got... Read More
The Failed War on Drugs in Mexico (and the United States)
They behead people by the hundreds. They heap headless, handless bodies along roadsides as warnings to those who would resist their power. They havepenetrated the local, state, and national governments and control entire sections of the country. They provide employment and services to an impoverished public, which distrusts their actual government with its bitter record... Read More
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A Gallery of American Heroes
Why was it again that, as President Obama said, “we tortured some folks” after the 9/11 attacks? Oh, right, because we were terrified. Because everyone knows that being afraid gives you moral license to do whatever you need to do to keep yourself safe. That’s why we don’t shame or punish those who were too... Read More
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Beyond the Senate Torture Report
It’s the political story of the week in Washington. At long last, after the endless stalling and foot-shuffling, the arguments about redaction and CIA computer hacking, the claims that its release might stoke others out there in the Muslim world to violence and “throw the C.I.A. to the wolves,” the report -- you know which... Read More
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Still Living With Jack Bauer in a Terrified New American World
Once upon a time, if a character on TV or in a movie tortured someone, it was a sure sign that he was a bad guy. Now, the torturers are the all-American heroes. From 24 to Zero Dark Thirty, it’s been the good guys who wielded the pliers and the waterboards. We’re not only living... Read More
PastClassics
The “war hero” candidate buried information about POWs left behind in Vietnam.
While other top brass played press agents for the administration’s war, William Odom told the truth about Iraq—though few listened.
What Was John McCain's True Wartime Record in Vietnam?