The Israel Liability: Moral and Strategic Hazards of an Ill-Advised Alliance

Blindly backing Israel has become an article of faith, a civic religion even, for mainstream American politicians. Rarely do any dare publicly question the costs and benefits of this decades-old relationship. Such hesitancy is understandable. After all, to criticize Israeli policy, however mildly, is to risk near certain rebuke and reflexive charges of anti-semitism. Denouncing … Continue reading “The Israel Liability: Moral and Strategic Hazards of an Ill-Advised Alliance”

An Officer’s Path to Dissent

This article originally appeared at TruthDig on January 3, 2018. For a while there, I was a real star. High up in my class at West Point, tough combat deployments in two wars, a slew of glowing evaluations, even a teaching assignment back at the military academy. I inhabited a universe most only dream of: … Continue reading “An Officer’s Path to Dissent”

Syria’s Sunken Cost Fallacy: Not a Reason To Stay

I’m just old enough to remember a time – before 9/11 – when the death of a US soldier in combat was an exceptionally rare thing. Indeed, its hard not to look back fondly on those days of relative peace. Since then, nearly 7000 Americans – and perhaps half a million local civilians – have … Continue reading “Syria’s Sunken Cost Fallacy: Not a Reason To Stay”

Let’s Expose Congress Members for the Warhawks They Are

This article originally appeared at TruthDig. As the nation continued to reel from President Donald Trump’s shock decision last month to remove all U.S. troops from Syria, news came Wednesday that an unknown number of US soldiers were among at least 15 killed in a bombing in northern Syria. Amid such continued violence, one would … Continue reading “Let’s Expose Congress Members for the Warhawks They Are”

Hope or Despair?: A Bit of Both in 2019

These are tumultuous, ambiguous, and trying times for the United States. The nation enters 2019 carrying both the baggage of ongoing wars and the vague hope for a new path in foreign affairs. On the one hand, America’s military remains mired in undeclared wars in several countries across the globe. Our servicemen inhabit hundreds of … Continue reading “Hope or Despair?: A Bit of Both in 2019”

Hypocrisy Without Bounds: The Tragedy of ‘Liberal’ Foreign Policy

If anyone else were president, the "liberals" would be celebrating. After all, pulling American soldiers out of a couple of failing, endless wars seems like a "win" for progressives. Heck, if Obama did it there might be a ticker-tape parade down Broadway. And there should be. The intervention in Syria is increasingly aimless, dangerous and … Continue reading “Hypocrisy Without Bounds: The Tragedy of ‘Liberal’ Foreign Policy”

What if Osama bin Laden Had Legitimate Grievances?

This article originally appeared at TruthDig. You’re not supposed to utter these words, but what the heck: Osama bin Laden had a point. No, his grievances, as well as those of his followers and sympathizers, didn’t excuse the mass murder of 9/11 – not by a long shot. After all, I am a native New … Continue reading “What if Osama bin Laden Had Legitimate Grievances?”

A Modest Proposal: An Anti-Militarist New Year’s Resolution for America

Most New Year’s Resolutions last but a few days. By late January the crowd in the gym dwindles down to its normal size. Most resolutions are fantasy, a simple act of wishful thinking. We all know this. Still, dreams are what makes life tolerable. So, in that spirit, let’s take a break from the standard … Continue reading “A Modest Proposal: An Anti-Militarist New Year’s Resolution for America”

Jesus Christ Would Be Appalled by America’s Immigration Policy

This article originally appeared at TruthDig. Said the shepherd boy to the mighty king, Do you know what I know In your palace warm, mighty king, Do you know what I know A child, a child shivers in the cold Let us bring him silver and gold…. —Lyrics to the famous Christmas song, “Do You … Continue reading “Jesus Christ Would Be Appalled by America’s Immigration Policy”

Ringing in a New Year of War

Originally posted at TomDispatch. On December 9th, the Washington Post covered Donald Trump’s offhand, if long expected, announcement of the ousting of retired Marine General John Kelly from an embattled White House. Its report focused on the chief of staff’s “rocky tenure” there with a nod to his many merits, among them that he “often … Continue reading “Ringing in a New Year of War”