Greg Grandin: How the Iraq War Began in Panama

By: Monday December 22, 2014 5:00 pm

So many years and wars later, it’s easy to forget what a total television hit the first Gulf War of 1991 was.  Just in case you no longer remember — and why should you? — that was the war that was to bury America’s defeat in Vietnam forever and signal the arrival of the greatest Great Power the planet had ever known, the soon-to-be-Soviet-Union-less United States.  That first partial invasion of Iraq, with its million or more uniformed extras, its vast sets, and its six-month preproduction schedule filled with logistical miracles, was something to behold.


Gun “Background Check” on Pentagon

By: Thursday March 7, 2013 11:05 am

Stringent “background checks” are central to many proposals for curbing gun violence. The following is a background check on the nation’s largest buyer of firearms:

The applicant, U.S. Pentagon, seeks to purchase a wide variety of firearms in vast quantities. This background check has determined that the applicant has a long history of assisting individuals, organizations and governments prone to gun violence.

What’s a Few Dead Labor Leaders Between Friends? Colombia Free Trade, Then and Now

By: Thursday October 13, 2011 2:20 pm

Yesterday Obama scored another “w” with the passage of the Korea, Panama and Columbia Free Trade deals — virtually unchanged since Bush tried to push them through before he left office.

In 2008, the Columbia deal was a big campaign issue, with both Obama and Clinton denouncing any agreement until human rights conditions had been addressed. Obama declared he would oppose the Columbia deal “because the violence against unions in Colombia would make a mockery of the very labor protections that we have insisted be included in these kinds of agreements.”

Since that time, the murder of labor leaders in Colombia has only accelerated, but the value of their lives has apparently declined. Because when the Colombia Free Trade agreement passed yesterday, it was awfully lonely in the “what about the dead labor leaders” room.

Colombia Trade Deal Would Have Failed as a Treaty

By: Thursday October 13, 2011 6:59 am

As Public Citizen’s Lori Wallach explained yesterday, the three trade agreements passed Congress in a whirlwind of activity last night, because a present for the President of South Korea’s visit to Washington today is more important than a considered debate about the role of neoliberal trade agreements and what they have traditionally done to US exports. In addition, the House did pass Trade Adjustment Assistance, with every Democrat supporting and about half of Republicans. This had already passed the Senate, so the entire package goes to the President for his signature, and he is pleased about this:

Machinists Say A Vote for Trade Deals Could Trigger Primary Challenges

By: Monday October 10, 2011 1:00 pm

While President Obama has spent weeks crisscrossing the country publicly promoting his American Jobs Act, ironically in Washington his administration has been focused on lobbying Congress to approve a package of job-killing free trade deals. According to the Economic Policy Institute, the NAFTA-style South Korea Free Trade deal could cost America roughly 159,000 jobs while Colombia would export another 54,000.

TONIGHT: Emergency Webinar With Danny Glover, Emanuel Cleaver and TransAfrica on Trade Votes This Week

By: Monday October 10, 2011 9:15 am

Tonight FDL will be hosting a webinar at 8pm ET on the NAFTA-style trade deals for Panama, Columbia and Korea that congress will vote on this week. Our guests will be actor Danny Glover, Chair of TransAfrica; Congressman Emanuel Cleaver and Professor Joseph Jordan of TransAfrica’s Scholars’ Council. TransAfrica Chief of Staff Joia Nuri will host the chat and serve as moderator. Be sure to sign up.

Senate Passes Trade Adjustment Assistance, Setting Up “Free” Trade Agreements

By: Friday September 23, 2011 9:50 am

Speaking of Congress, they may be getting themselves in a position to actually pass those three long-stalled trade agreements The Senate passed a bill providing assistance for workers displaced by trade agreements, but its prospects in the House are uncertain.

Free Trade Flip Flop: Trade Package Goes from “Huge Mistake” to “Grand Bargain”

By: Thursday May 5, 2011 7:05 am

The Obama Administration intends to meet Congressional demands to move all three pending NAFTA-style “free trade” agreements with Colombia, Korea, and Panama by an arbitrary deadline of July 1

Obama Administration Begins Process for Passing Three Free Trade Deals

By: Wednesday May 4, 2011 3:05 pm

The South Korea deal could cost 159,000 jobs in the first eight years, and the Colombia deal 60,000 jobs.

Corporations Shipping Millions of Jobs Out of the US

By: Tuesday April 19, 2011 4:33 pm

I wonder if someone can sketch out for me a vision of America as an economic superpower with no jobs other than finance and the low-wage service sector, with a hollowed-out industrial base, and with its largest corporations replacing jobs at home with jobs overseas. It may make sense to those individual companies, but I’m straining to see how it makes sense for the mass of workers in this country.

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