The Last Empire?: Portugal’s Cautionary Tale and the Costs of Forever War

Empire exposure is the ghastly gift of coronavirus. Not that everyone can see it: consider that the "Drop Dead Fred” effect of corporate media duopoly. Imperialism has, after all, long been America’s imaginary friend: unspoken, publicly invisible – those who dare discern it branded as juvenile cranks. Only sift through the disease morass and mass … Continue reading “The Last Empire?: Portugal’s Cautionary Tale and the Costs of Forever War”

Trump’s Own Military Mafia

Originally posted at TomDispatch. I’m sure you still remember them. The president regularly called them “my generals.” They were, he claimed, from “central casting” and there were three of them: retired Marine Corps General John Kelly, who was first appointed secretary of the Department of Homeland Security and then White House chief of staff; Army … Continue reading “Trump’s Own Military Mafia”

A Time To Choose: ‘Company Men’ or Common Decency?

"To everything (turn, turn, turn) There is a season (turn, turn, turn) And a time to every purpose, under heaven… A time to kill, a time to heal… A time for peace, I swear it’s not too late" ~ "Turn, Turn, Turn," as performed by the Byrds (1965) – adapted from Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 It shouldn’t … Continue reading “A Time To Choose: ‘Company Men’ or Common Decency?”

Orwellian ‘Enemies’: The Enduring Utility of ‘Axes of Evil’

The great enemy of clear language is insincerity. When there is a gap between one’s real and one’s declared aims, one turns, as it were, instinctively to long words and exhausted idioms…" ~ George Orwell, "Politics and the English Language" (1946) Lieutenant General Robert P. White. Remember his name. I knew nothing of this man … Continue reading “Orwellian ‘Enemies’: The Enduring Utility of ‘Axes of Evil’”

The Unaccountable Nation

Exceptionalism, triumphalism, chauvinism. These characteristics define most empires, including, like it or not, these United States. The sequence matters. A people and national government that fancies itself exceptional – an example for the rest of the world – is apt to assert itself militarily, economically, and culturally around the globe. If that self-righteous state happens … Continue reading “The Unaccountable Nation”

Dual Paths in Dark Times: Despair or Hope for Antiwar Dreamers

"Red" (Morgan Freeman): "Hope is a dangerous thing my friend, it can kill a man…" Andy (Tim Robbins): "Remember, Red. Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies." ~ The Shawshank Redemption (1994) Two futures lie before us. Like the classic visions of late-Old Testament prophets, contemporary … Continue reading “Dual Paths in Dark Times: Despair or Hope for Antiwar Dreamers”

The One Thing Corona Won’t Halt: Endless War

On the one hand, many Americans have nothing but time on their hands. With folks out of work, working from home, and socially quarantined, there’s never been a better time to make a sizable dent in their book queues and catch up on the sort of analytical articles found here at At the same … Continue reading “The One Thing Corona Won’t Halt: Endless War”

Militarism in a Time of Pandemic: The Arrogance of the (Ongoing) US War in Iraq

Look, I’m no doctor; not a scientist; certainly no expert in epidemiology. So I’ve kept silent, for the most part, on the Coronavirus. Being more than a little out of my depth on the subject, I’ll continue to do so. Nonetheless, it is striking how the disease outbreak has swallowed the news cycle whole, totally … Continue reading “Militarism in a Time of Pandemic: The Arrogance of the (Ongoing) US War in Iraq”

C.R.E.A.M.: America’s Real Drug Dealers Work in the Military-Industrial Complex

Cash rules everything around me, C.R.E.A.M. get the money, dollar dollar bill, y’all! So rhymed Method Man, of the famed New York hip hop collective Wu Tang Clan, in 1993. Underprivileged denizens of a particularly rough and tumble, if forgotten, slice of my own forgotten borough of Staten Island, most of the street dudes turned … Continue reading “C.R.E.A.M.: America’s Real Drug Dealers Work in the Military-Industrial Complex”

The US Military’s #MeToo Reckoning That Wasn’t

This article originally appeared at TruthDig. “A cadet will not lie, cheat, steal, or tolerate those who do.” Everyone who enters the gate at West Point Military Academy must memorize and recite these words on their first day. Failure to follow that protocol, including the “nontoleration clause,” can mean expulsion. Even insufficient adherence to the … Continue reading “The US Military’s #MeToo Reckoning That Wasn’t”