MoveOn challenges Obama over Afghanistan

Is Obama losing one of his biggest supporters?

Over at Left Foot Forward, Will Straw notes that, in a unprecedented move, the influential liberal-left website MoveOn.org has broken with Barack Obama over his decision to deploy 30,000 new troops to Afghanistan.

A poll of 50,000 of the site's 3.3 million members showed that 56.2 per cent now oppose the war, with just 16.1 per cent in favour and 27.7 per cent undecided. The site is calling on its members to sign a petition asking Congress to press Obama for a "binding timeline" on withdrawal of troops.

Obama's hawkish stance on Afghanistan should come as no surprise to those who listened carefully to his inauguration speech. In an almost Bush-style passage he declared:

We will not apologise for our way of life, nor will we waver in its defence, and for those who seek to advance their aims by inducing terror and slaughtering innocents, we say to you now that our spirit is stronger and cannot be broken; you cannot outlast us, and we will defeat you.

There seems to be an unwritten constitutional requirement for every US president to have "their war", and now Obama has his. It's another salutary reminder that he represents continuity at least as much as "change".

George Eaton is political editor of the New Statesman.

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Quiz: Can you identify fake news?

The furore around "fake" news shows no sign of abating. Can you spot what's real and what's not?

Hillary Clinton has spoken out today to warn about the fake news epidemic sweeping the world. Clinton went as far as to say that "lives are at risk" from fake news, the day after Pope Francis compared reading fake news to eating poop. (Side note: with real news like that, who needs the fake stuff?)

The sweeping distrust in fake news has caused some confusion, however, as many are unsure about how to actually tell the reals and the fakes apart. Short from seeing whether the logo will scratch off and asking the man from the market where he got it from, how can you really identify fake news? Take our test to see whether you have all the answers.

 

 

In all seriousness, many claim that identifying fake news is a simple matter of checking the source and disbelieving anything "too good to be true". Unfortunately, however, fake news outlets post real stories too, and real news outlets often slip up and publish the fakes. Use fact-checking websites like Snopes to really get to the bottom of a story, and always do a quick Google before you share anything. 

Amelia Tait is a technology and digital culture writer at the New Statesman.