John Bolton’s Living Obituary

This article originally appeared at TruthDig. “I confess I had no desire to die in a Southeast Asian rice paddy. I considered the war in Vietnam already lost.” ~ John Bolton, in his Yale University 25th reunion book Fitting words from the gold standard in Washington “chicken hawks.” For John Bolton has made a career … Continue reading “John Bolton’s Living Obituary”

John Bolton’s Dream: Saudi Oil and the Casus Belli for War with Iran

All wars require casus belli, ostensible justifications. After all, despite humanity’s long history of vicious warfare, interstate combat often requires a government distant from its working class to motivate its people to kill and die for distant institutions and esoteric ideologies. That said, Washington doesn’t exactly have a strong track record of honesty regarding its … Continue reading “John Bolton’s Dream: Saudi Oil and the Casus Belli for War with Iran”

The Madness of James Mattis

This article originally appeared at TruthDig. Last week, in a well-received Wall Street Journal op-ed, former Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis delivered a critique of Donald Trump that was as hollow as it was self-righteous. Explaining his decision to resign from the administration, the retired marine general known as “Mad Dog” eagerly declared himself “apolitical,” … Continue reading “The Madness of James Mattis”

The Media’s Betrayal of American Soldiers

It is a rare thing, indeed, when both establishment and media "liberals" and "conservatives" agree on anything. Nevertheless, lightning has proverbially struck this week as both sides attack President Trump with equal vehemence. Thus, here we are, and here I am – in the disturbing position of defending Trump’s (until Sunday) peace policy for Afghanistan. … Continue reading “The Media’s Betrayal of American Soldiers”

Profiles in Absurdity: Remembering the ‘Terror’ Wars

When they saw Afghanistan, all they could think of was Iraq. Indeed, most military thinkers are perennially driven by the tunnel-vision of personal experience; rarely a good thing. Indeed, the generals and colonels managing the foolish, politically driven 2009-12 Obama "surge" into Afghanistan – what he’d absurdly labeled the "good war" – had few fresh … Continue reading “Profiles in Absurdity: Remembering the ‘Terror’ Wars”

How the US Shattered the Middle East

This article originally appeared at TruthDig. Yemen is a nightmare, a catastrophe, a mess—and the United States is highly complicit in the whole disaster. Refueling Saudi aircraft in-flight, providing targeting intelligence to the kingdom and selling the requisite bombs that have been dropped for years now on Yemeni civilians places the 100,000-plus deaths, millions of … Continue reading “How the US Shattered the Middle East”

Profiles in Absurdity: Remembering the ‘Terror’ Wars

It has taken me years to tell these stories. The emotional and moral wounds of the Afghan War have just felt too recent, too raw. After all, I could hardly write a thing down about my Iraq War experience for nearly ten years, when, by accident, I churned out a book on the subject. Now, … Continue reading “Profiles in Absurdity: Remembering the ‘Terror’ Wars”

We’re Listening to the Wrong Voices on Syria

This article originally appeared at TruthDig. Once upon a time, Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard traveled to Syria and met with the strongman President Bashar Assad. She considered her willingness to engage all sides of the country’s bloody civil war to be an important step toward peace. For this bold action, she was widely pilloried at … Continue reading “We’re Listening to the Wrong Voices on Syria”

Stop Pretending: Washington and Kabul Never (Really) Controlled Rural Afghanistan

Here we go again. The typically underreported non-news of Orwellian America. This week, two more U.S. soldiers – Green Berets – were killed in a firefight with the Taliban in Faryab province, just another hopeless corner of rural Afghanistan. The two posthumously promoted Master Sergeants represented the 15th and 16th American deaths in the country … Continue reading “Stop Pretending: Washington and Kabul Never (Really) Controlled Rural Afghanistan”

What Fareed Zakaria Gets Wrong About Afghanistan: Everything.

Since when does a (mostly) respected press pundit sound just like an army general? Well, for a while now, in fact. Politicians and reporters will argue viciously about all kinds of issues: immigration, healthcare, race, et al. There’s only one sacred cow that mainstream insiders – both "left" and right – dare not challenge: the … Continue reading “What Fareed Zakaria Gets Wrong About Afghanistan: Everything.”