My War on Terror, Up Close and Personal

Originally posted at TomDispatch. It’s hard to imagine how I would have done my work at TomDispatch over the last decade without one crucial resource: Brown University’s Costs of War Project. After all, that website has offered a remarkable look at America’s misbegotten twenty-first-century wars. Since it was launched in 2010, it’s been a constant … Continue reading “My War on Terror, Up Close and Personal”

No Accountability and No Apologies

Originally posted at TomDispatch. Just in case you didn’t realize it, the lost war in Afghanistan was their fault, not ours. If we had any fault at all, as Secretary of Defense and former Iraq War commander Lloyd Austin pointed out at a Senate hearing last week, it was not fully grasping how bad our … Continue reading “No Accountability and No Apologies”

‘A Horrible Mistake’ – Recovering from America’s Imperial Delusions

Originally posted at TomDispatch. The bad news stemming from the ill-planned and ill-managed U.S. evacuation of the Afghan capital just kept coming in. The Washington Post put it this way in blowing the whistle on the culminating disaster: “U.S. military admits ‘horrible mistake’ in Kabul drone strike that killed 10 Afghans.” Following the August 26th … Continue reading “‘A Horrible Mistake’ – Recovering from America’s Imperial Delusions”

A Forever Wall for Our Forever Wars

Originally posted at TomDispatch. In the wake of the American withdrawal from Afghanistan, among the many things barely mentioned or already long forgotten (if ever even noticed), were the wedding parties U.S. air power took out there. Since the World Trade Center and the Pentagon were attacked by al-Qaeda’s four-plane air force in September 2001, … Continue reading “A Forever Wall for Our Forever Wars”

A Parable of (All-American) Violence

Originally posted at TomDispatch. As a religious studies professor, I know a parable when I see one. Consider the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks and the final events in this country’s war in Afghanistan as just such a parable taken directly from the history of our moment. The heart-wrenching last days of that war … Continue reading “A Parable of (All-American) Violence”

The Profits of War

Originally posted at TomDispatch. Was the Afghan War a disaster? Well, don’t ask Afghans, including the seven children who died in the final U.S. drone strike of that war, how they’re doing, or those about to go hungry as that land suffers a devastating drought while food prices soar, or the possible one million of … Continue reading “The Profits of War”

A Bright Future for Weapons and War

Originally posted at TomDispatch. There are always winners and losers, aren’t there? For instance, the seven children who died in that last drone strike the U.S. military launched in Kabul as it was leaving town were certainly losers. Those who ordered that strike against an ISIS-K suicide bomber who wasn’t there… well, no, not actually. … Continue reading “A Bright Future for Weapons and War”

Wars of Unintended Consequences

Originally posted at TomDispatch. TomDispatch began with the Afghan War — with a sense I had from its earliest moments that it was a misbegotten venture of the first order. Here, for instance, is a comment I wrote about that disaster in December 2002, a little over a year after the U.S. began bombing and … Continue reading “Wars of Unintended Consequences”

Will the Forever Wars Become Forever Policy?

Originally posted at TomDispatch. If it hasn’t been forever, it’s certainly felt like it. Almost 20 years after George W. Bush and crew invaded and occupied Afghanistan, the American-installed government there collapsed, its leader fled the country, and its American-trained military (already well staffed with plenty of “ghost” troops) evaporated. Many of the government soldiers … Continue reading “Will the Forever Wars Become Forever Policy?”

The All-American Base World

Originally posted at TomDispatch. In January 2004, Chalmers Johnson wrote “America’s Empire of Bases” for TomDispatch, breaking what was, in effect, a silence around those strange edifices, some the size of small towns, scattered around the planet. He began it this way: “As distinct from other peoples, most Americans do not recognize – or do … Continue reading “The All-American Base World”