America at War Since 9/11

Originally posted at TomDispatch. At 36% to 37% in the latest polls, Donald Trump’s approval rating is in a ditch in what should still be the “honeymoon” period of his presidency. And yet, compared to Congress (25%), he’s a maestro of popularity. In fact, there’s just one institution in American society that gets uniformly staggeringly … Continue reading “America at War Since 9/11”

Vladimir Putin: A Suitor Spurned

Throughout the 2016 presidential campaign, Donald Trump kept repeating a line that stuck in the Establishment’s craw like a cherry pit stuck under a denture: “Wouldn’t it be nice if we could get along with Russia?” Russia and specifically Russian President Vladimir Putin are consistently portrayed in the US media as implacable enemies of the … Continue reading “Vladimir Putin: A Suitor Spurned”

The Age of No Privacy: The Surveillance State Shifts Into High Gear

“We are rapidly entering the age of no privacy, where everyone is open to surveillance at all times; where there are no secrets from government.” ~ William O. Douglas, Supreme Court Justice, dissenting in Osborn v. United States, 385 U.S. 341 (1966) The government has become an expert in finding ways to sidestep what it … Continue reading “The Age of No Privacy: The Surveillance State Shifts Into High Gear”

Understanding ISIS in the Philippines

For about a month the government of the Philippines has been fighting a group who has pledged allegiance to ISIS. The battle is in Marawi City, about an hour from my family’s city, where I have built a house and live part-time. We have relatives in Davao City, where the president of the Philippines, Rodrigo … Continue reading “Understanding ISIS in the Philippines”

Who Tried to Kill Putin – Five Times?

Oliver Stone’s series of interview with Russian President Vladimir Putin – conducted between July 2015 and February 2017 – has garnered a lot of attention, albeit in most cases not for the right reasons. In a much-noted appearance of Stephen Colbert’s comedy show, the liberal host attacked Stone for not confronting the Russian leader for … Continue reading “Who Tried to Kill Putin – Five Times?”

A Wide World of Winless War

Originally posted at TomDispatch. If you want a number, try 194. That’s how many countries there are on planet Earth (give or take one or two). Today, Nick Turse reports a related number that should boggle your mind: at least 137 of those countries, or 70% of them, already have something in common for 2017 … Continue reading “A Wide World of Winless War”