Trump Plans to Make It Easier to Kill Civilians with Drones. Sadly, We Can Thank Obama for That.

Barely a month after President Donald Trump announced plans to deepen and extend the now 16-year-old U.S. war in Afghanistan, reports surfaced of plans to expand another signature Obama-era policy: the drone war. Specifically, The New York Times reported in late September that the administration is relaxing Obama-era restrictions on who can be targeted and … Continue reading “Trump Plans to Make It Easier to Kill Civilians with Drones. Sadly, We Can Thank Obama for That.”

McCain As Metaphor

Some people are living symbols, sheer embodiments of a concept that fits their persona as snugly as their skin: e.g. the Dalai Lama personifies Contemplative Piety, Harvey Weinstein is the incarnation of Brazen Vulgarity, and John McCain’s very person exudes the sweaty blustery spirit of Empire. His entire history – born in the Panama Canal … Continue reading “McCain As Metaphor”

Insider Threat Program Training and Trump’s War on Leaks: A Chilling Combination for Whistleblowers

The Trump administration has declared a war on media leaks and called for the U.S. federal workforce and contractors to receive “anti-leak” training. The centerpiece of Trump’s anti-leak campaign, aside from early morning tweet-storms railing against leakers and media, is the National Insider Threat Taskforce. The Insider Threat Program is not Trump-era creation. In then-secret … Continue reading “Insider Threat Program Training and Trump’s War on Leaks: A Chilling Combination for Whistleblowers”

The Real Reason Behind Trump’s Angry Diplomacy in North Korea

To understand the United States’ stratagem in the Pacific, and against North Korea in particular, one has to understand the fundamental changes that are under way in that region. China’s clout as an Asian superpower and as a global economic powerhouse has been growing at a rapid speed. The US’ belated "pivot to Asia" to … Continue reading “The Real Reason Behind Trump’s Angry Diplomacy in North Korea”

Nixon’s Children

Originally posted at TomDispatch. It took 14 years, but now we have an answer. It was March 2003, the invasion of Iraq was underway, and Major General David Petraeus was in command of the 101st Airborne Division heading for the Iraqi capital, Baghdad.  Rick Atkinson, Washington Post journalist and military historian, was accompanying him.  Six … Continue reading “Nixon’s Children”

The Decertification of Iran Speech: Refuting Trump

Iran’s hardliners were right. They recited a long history of agreements in which Iranian compliance was repaid with American betrayal. Like a Persian chorus of Cassandras, they called their warnings into the wind, and the world called them crazy. Well, the mad mullahs were right. Despite the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) declaring each time … Continue reading “The Decertification of Iran Speech: Refuting Trump”

Kurds Flee as Baghdad Captures Kirkuk; 60 Killed, 133 Wounded

Iraqi forces have captured the contested city of Kirkuk in an aggressive attempt to reestablish control of its Kurdish population, which voted for independence in a non-binding referendum on September 25. Heavily outnumbered, Kurdish forces withdrew without fighting. Meanwhile, Islamic State militants used the diversion to attack two villages in Kirkuk province. Kurdish Peshmerga forces … Continue reading “Kurds Flee as Baghdad Captures Kirkuk; 60 Killed, 133 Wounded”