The Guantánamo Conundrum

Originally posted at TomDispatch. It seemed obvious enough to me in 2006. When you included the CIA’s “black sites” around the globe (where prisoners from the war on terror were being kept and regularly tortured), American military prisons like the shocking Abu Ghraib in Iraq, which had just then been emptied, and the huge military … Continue reading “The Guantánamo Conundrum”

War Is Peace, Peace Is War

Originally posted at TomDispatch. Here’s the strange thing in an ever-stranger world: I was born in July 1944 in the midst of a devastating world war. That war ended in August 1945 with the atomic obliteration of two Japanese cities, Hiroshima and Nagasaki, by the most devastating bombs in history up to that moment, given … Continue reading “War Is Peace, Peace Is War”

The Graveyard of Empires Redux

Originally posted at TomDispatch. On May 1st, the date Donald Trump signed onto for the withdrawal of the remaining 3,500 American troops from Afghanistan, the war there, already 19 years old, was still officially a teenager. Think of September 11, 2021 – the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks and the date Joe Biden has … Continue reading “The Graveyard of Empires Redux”

How To Make a Gulf Monarchy All-American

Originally posted at TomDispatch. Some things just never seem to end. What came to mind was the way in which, during administration after administration, the Saudis and other foreign powers have poured money into Washington to ensure that their governments and their desires will be supported, that they will be sold arms in a major … Continue reading “How To Make a Gulf Monarchy All-American”

The Cold War, Rebooted and Rebranded

Originally posted at TomDispatch. When it comes to future conflicts or present-day war games, they have all the advantages and we have none! Or as Eric Edelman, a former undersecretary of defense for policy, told CNN recently, “Russia and China are playing a home game, we are playing an away game.” And mind you, we’re … Continue reading “The Cold War, Rebooted and Rebranded”

A Game of Chicken in Asia With the World at Stake

Originally posted at TomDispatch. Think of it as Cold War II or, as President Biden put it in his first news conference, “a battle between the utility of democracies in the twenty-first century and autocracies.” In other words, it’s us versus Vladimir Putin’s Russia and, above all, of course – since the Russian economy is … Continue reading “A Game of Chicken in Asia With the World at Stake”

The History of the Present

Originally posted at TomDispatch. Assassination has not exactly been a foreign concept to American presidents. After all, there were those CIA-backed plots during the presidency of John F. Kennedy (who was himself assassinated) aimed at killing foreign leaders ranging from the Congo’s Patrice Lumumba to Cuba’s Fidel Castro. In Lyndon Johnson’s and Richard Nixon’s years … Continue reading “The History of the Present”

The Massive and Unseen Costs of America’s Post-9/11 Wars

Perhaps the strangest thing about America’s "forever wars" is how little obvious impact they’ve had here. A country – an imperial power, in fact, that liked to think of itself as the planet’s last or "lone" superpower – goes to war for so long (and with so little evident result) that even "the longest war" … Continue reading “The Massive and Unseen Costs of America’s Post-9/11 Wars”

We’re All Prisoners of War Now

Originally posted at TomDispatch. America has essentially been at war, nonstop, since the weeks after the 9/11 attacks. Those “forever wars,” as they’re now commonly called, have been both truly distant from and eerily close to us, far away and yet a deeply embedded part of American life. And here, to my mind, is the … Continue reading “We’re All Prisoners of War Now”

How Not To End Terror Wars

Originally posted at TomDispatch. As his time in office ends in a mob invasion of the Capitol and an avalanche of pardons for his pals and cohorts, Donald Trump also pardoned four American guards from the former private security company Blackwater (run by Erik Prince, brother of Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos), part of a … Continue reading “How Not To End Terror Wars”