Understanding the US Torture State

The United States and Torture: Interrogation, Incarceration, and Abuse edited by Marjorie Cohn (New York University Press: 2011), 342 pages. When I was a child in Reagan’s America, a common theme in Cold War rhetoric was that the Soviets tortured people and detained them without cause, extracted phony confessions through cruel violence, did the unspeakable to … Continue reading “Understanding the US Torture State”

How an Empire Defines Victory

Seeing the end of the Gadhafi regime has somehow vindicated the war on Libya in many Americans’ minds, including some previously on the fence. This is a usual pattern: The U.S. goes to war, always with some lofty goal advertised, and the euphoria kicks in as soon as the regime is defeated. It happened throughout … Continue reading “How an Empire Defines Victory”

Illusions of Security and Danger

In response to the attacks in Norway, everyone immediately began pointing fingers. President Obama and the establishment instantly blamed Islamists, at least implicitly. Now that the alleged killer is profiled as a radical anti-Islamist, the center left is blaming right-wing “extremism” and agitating for an institutional response to such dangerous lines of thinking. Beyond the … Continue reading “Illusions of Security and Danger”

Worse Than a Third Bush Term?

If in 2008 someone had said that Obama’s war policy would be more belligerent and costlier than another round of Bush’s, nearly no one would have believed it. Bush started a preventive war in Iraq, killing hundreds of thousands without any credible correlation to U.S. security, except perhaps a very negative one. He turned a … Continue reading “Worse Than a Third Bush Term?”

‘South of the Border’ Reconsidered

Justin Raimondo’s latest column, "South of the Border," has stirred controversy with its apparent advocacy of stricter U.S. border controls as a response to the drug-related violence terrorizing the American Southwest. While Antiwar.com has traditionally stuck to issues of foreign policy, immigration is a more than tangentially related matter, and the severity of the recent … Continue reading “‘South of the Border’ Reconsidered”

War and the Common Good

The following is based on a talk delivered on Saturday, June 7, 2008, at the Future of Freedom Foundation’s conference, Restoring the Republic: Foreign Policy and Civil Liberties, in Reston, Virgina. We are used to hearing discussion of political issues boiled down to a conflict between the individual and the greater good. Nearly anyone’s pet … Continue reading “War and the Common Good”

The Empire Exposed

Thirteen colonies fought off one of the most powerful, expansive and brutal empires in the history of the world in the late 18th century, creating a new nation based on anti-imperial principles and the notion that people have a right to self-determination. For about a hundred years, the United States, whatever its faults and unwise … Continue reading “The Empire Exposed”

Antiwar Arguments for War

As antiwar sentiments are beginning to overtake the mainstream, we ironically risk seeing the antiwar voices moderating their positions to the point of not being antiwar at all. The Iraq war was a “colossal error” in John Kerry’s words, and it is indeed refreshing to hear mainstream voices echo this viewpoint. There are no weapons … Continue reading “Antiwar Arguments for War”