The Scourge of Militarism: Rome and America

In September 2003, only four months after our president’s “Mission Accomplished” moment on the USS Abraham Lincoln, it was already evident to some of us that neocon dreams of establishing a robust Pax Americana on the planet were likely to be doomed in the sands of Iraq – but that, in the process, the American … Continue reading “The Scourge of Militarism: Rome and America”

Bases, Bases Everywhere

The last few weeks have been base-heavy ones in the news. The Pentagon’s provisional Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) list, the first in a decade, was published to domestic screams of pain. It represents, according to the Washington Post, “a sweeping plan to close or reduce forces at 62 major bases and nearly 800 minor … Continue reading “Bases, Bases Everywhere”

Crossing Nuclear Thresholds

Call it Star Wars, parts VII-XXII; but last week, just as Revenge of the Sith was opening galaxy-wide – multiplexes on Tatooine alone were expected to pull in billions – reporter Tim Weiner revealed on the front page of the New York Times that a new presidential directive will soon essentially green-light the future U.S. … Continue reading “Crossing Nuclear Thresholds”

The Return of the Body Count

On March 19, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld discussed the “metrics” of measuring success in Iraq with Steve Inskeep of National Public Radio’s Morning Edition. Here is part of that interview: “NPR: I want to start, Mr. Secretary, with something you said recently. You were at a meeting with troops, taking questions from troops. You … Continue reading “The Return of the Body Count”

An Iraq Correspondent Comes Home

Dahr Jamail, an independent reporter from Alaska, covered our occupation of Iraq for much of 2004 and the beginning of 2005 before coming home early this year. As a “unilateral,” he was a distinctly atypical figure in Baghdad. Unlike reporters for major papers, wire services, and the TV news, he lacked the guards, vehicles, elaborate … Continue reading “An Iraq Correspondent Comes Home”

The Iran Crisis in Global Context

At a moment when the North Koreans claim to have just “harvested a nuclear reactor for weapons fuel,” the latest flare-up in the Iranian/European Union negotiations involving the “Iranian bomb,” well described below by Dilip Hiro, only highlights the increasingly precarious state of nuclear proliferation on our poor planet. It’s almost impossible to tell quite … Continue reading “The Iran Crisis in Global Context”

Out of the Superpower Orbit

Of the two superpowers that faced each other down in an almost half-century-long Cold War, one – the United States – emerged victorious, alone in the world, economically powerful, militarily dominant; the other, never the stronger of the two, limped off, its empire shattered and scattered, its people impoverished and desperate, its military a shell … Continue reading “Out of the Superpower Orbit”