US Foreign Policy Goes Off the Rails

Originally posted at TomDispatch. What’s the value of an American life in the age of Donald Trump? If you were judging by the death of Nawres Hamid, an Iraqi-American contractor killed in late December after an American base in Iraq was mortared by a Shiite militia believed to have ties to Iran, the answer would … Continue reading “US Foreign Policy Goes Off the Rails”

Lying Generals and the Lies They Tell

I’ve had it out for Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, Army General Mark Milley, of late. My dislike for the man might even constitute an intellectual blind spot. Count me guilty as charged. I’ve mistrusted this character – who brilliantly weaves both plainspoken soldier’s bluster with a veneer of intellectualism – ever since he addressed … Continue reading “Lying Generals and the Lies They Tell”

The Islamic Republic of Restraint

Don’t buy the hype 1.0: Look, the administration, Fox News, and a Twitter army of Trumpsters are about to unleash a wave of propaganda. The president was right to assassinate Soleimani all along, they’ll say. The Iranian missiles fired on Tuesday night missed all American targets – perhaps on purpose – resulting in zero U.S. … Continue reading “The Islamic Republic of Restraint”

Who Started It?: A (Reverse) Timeline of US/Iran Retaliations

We, as Americans, are now living in different realities. The almost completely partisan response to Donald Trump’s decision to assassinate one of Iran’s top leaders proves that once and for all. To listen to Mitch McConnell versus Nancy Pelosi – and just about all their underlings – argue about the execution, is to almost believe … Continue reading “Who Started It?: A (Reverse) Timeline of US/Iran Retaliations”

Jimmy Stewart’s Not-So-Wonderful Life With PTSD

This article originally appeared at TruthDig. Certain Christmas songs have always made me cry. As a largely lapsed Catholic, Bing Crosby’s “Do You Hear What I Hear?” touches a nerve, John Lennon’s “Happy Xmas (War Is Over)” reminds me of the horror of combat, and after spending three holidays fighting in Afghanistan, any version of … Continue reading “Jimmy Stewart’s Not-So-Wonderful Life With PTSD”

Mercenary Nation: Litigious ‘Solutions’ to Systemic Problems

Contractors were the bane of my existence. It was first apparent to me in Iraq in 2007, at the height of the civil war. A bunch of Blackwater mercenaries had decided to swing through my assigned sector and shoot up a bunch of civilians in a crowded public square. As they do… The next day … Continue reading “Mercenary Nation: Litigious ‘Solutions’ to Systemic Problems”

Christmas: Time for a Truce

They lived in similar squalor, shared the same God, and celebrated the same holidays. It was December 24, 1914, Christmas Eve, and – though they spoke different languages and had ruthlessly killed one another for over four months – the British and German soldiers in the opposing trench lines had much in common. The ruling … Continue reading “Christmas: Time for a Truce”

The United States of Impeachment

How, exactly, did I get here? My political journey has somehow taken me from canvassing for Obama north of Fort Knox, KY in 2008, to voting for Bernie Sanders in the Democratic Primary outside of West Point, NY in 2016, to – gulp! – "defending" Trump against impeachment in 2019. What a long, strange, trip … Continue reading “The United States of Impeachment”

Remembering America’s First (and Longest) Forgotten War on Tribal Islamists

Originally posted at TomDispatch. Retired U.S. Army Major Danny Sjursen offers a year-ending look at what “forever war” really means in the American experience. To do so, he turns not to the wars in which he personally took part in Afghanistan and Iraq, but to one that took place almost a century before his birth … Continue reading “Remembering America’s First (and Longest) Forgotten War on Tribal Islamists”

The Generals’ Long Con on Afghanistan

This article originally appeared at TruthDig. So now we know that which many of us long surmised. The generals lied, repeatedly; in fact, the whole damn Afghan War was a lie. I wish I could take some pleasure in the vindication, but I can’t seem conjure any. Too many of my own boys died in, … Continue reading “The Generals’ Long Con on Afghanistan”