Reclaiming the Truth About Vietnam

“From Ia Drang to Khe Sanh, from Hue to Saigon and countless villages in between, they pushed through jungles and rice paddies, heat and monsoon, fighting heroically to protect the ideals we hold dear as Americans. Through more than a decade of combat, over air, land, and sea, these proud Americans upheld the highest traditions … Continue reading “Reclaiming the Truth About Vietnam”

Why Does North Korea Hate Us?

"The bombing was long, leisurely and merciless . . ." And so we return to the Korean War, when North Korea was carpet-bombed to the edge of existence. The American media doesn’t have a memory that stretches quite so far back, at least not under present circumstances. One commentator at MSNBC recently explained, for instance, … Continue reading “Why Does North Korea Hate Us?”

Terrorism for Profit

Donald Trump stands cluelessly at the edge of history, exemplifying everything wrong with the past, oh, 10,000 years or so. The necessity for fundamental change in humanity’s global organization is not only profound, but urgent. Trump’s latest outburst about North Korea’s nukes – threatening that country “with fire, fury, and frankly power the likes of … Continue reading “Terrorism for Profit”

How Witnesses of the Unseen: Seven Years in Guantánamo Opens Up the Horrors of Torture

To read Witnesses of the Unseen: Seven Years in Guantánamo is to run your mind along the contours of hell. The next step, if you’re an American, is to embrace it. Claim it. This is who we are: We are the proprietors of a cluster of human cages. This torture center is still open. Men … Continue reading “How Witnesses of the Unseen: Seven Years in Guantánamo Opens Up the Horrors of Torture”

Dead Civilians and the Language of War

Finally it comes down to this: Some people are expendable. In certain parts of the world – where we and our allies are waging war – the expendable people come in two categories: terrorists (good riddance!) and civilians, whom we only kill if and when necessary, and whose deaths often elicit official apologies (if there’s … Continue reading “Dead Civilians and the Language of War”

When the Detainee Is American…

The corpses pile up like sandbags along the planet’s geopolitical borders. “Perhaps his condition deteriorated and the authorities decided it was better to release him in a coma than as a corpse.” So said an expert on North Korea recently, quoted in the New York Times following the death of 22-year-old Otto Warmbier, six days … Continue reading “When the Detainee Is American…”

Classified America: Why Is the US Public Allowed To Know So Little?

For a journalist – especially one covering government and politics – the most suspicious, least trustworthy word in the language ought to be: “classified.” As the drama continues to swirl around Russiagate, or whatever the central controversy of the Trump administration winds up being known as, that word keeps popping up, teasingly, seductively: “It appeared … Continue reading “Classified America: Why Is the US Public Allowed To Know So Little?”