John Kerry and the Legacy of Hiroshima

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and fellow envoys from the G7 visited Hiroshima’s Peace Memorial Park on the margins of their summit meeting this week. Kerry was the highest ranking American government official to visit the Peace Park, the memorial dedicated to the victims of the world’s first nuclear attack on August 6, 1945. … Continue reading “John Kerry and the Legacy of Hiroshima”

Candidates, Here’s Your Iraq/Syria/Libya Mess To Fix

Candidates, one of you will be the fifth consecutive American president to make war inside Iraq. What will you face on day one of your administration? You learned with us recently of the death of a Marine in Iraq, which exposed that the United States set up a fire base in that country, which exposed … Continue reading “Candidates, Here’s Your Iraq/Syria/Libya Mess To Fix”

The Obama Doctrine: The Audacity of Ignorance

Think what it must be like to be one of America’s allies. You enjoy some trade, watch Beyoncé and Brad Pitt at the movies, and visit Disneyland on holiday. But then there’s America again at your cubicle, asking again that you join some coalition, get some troops into another wacky American overseas intervention for freedom, … Continue reading “The Obama Doctrine: The Audacity of Ignorance”

Abe and Okinawa’s Governor Square Off on US Base Plans

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan and the governor of Okinawa Takeshi Onaga agreed in early March to take a dispute over the future of Marine Corps Air Station Futenma out of the courts and back offline to the negotiating table. Abe “accepted” a freeze on construction work at a contentious new location planned for … Continue reading “Abe and Okinawa’s Governor Square Off on US Base Plans”

Candidates, Is America Exceptional, or Only Great?

Originally posted at TomDispatch. The nuances of foreign policy do not feature heavily in the ongoing presidential campaign. Every candidate intends to “destroy” the Islamic State; each has concerns about Russian President Vladimir Putin, North Korea, and China; every one of them will defend Israel; and no one wants to talk much about anything else … Continue reading “Candidates, Is America Exceptional, or Only Great?”

Calling Bull on Obama’s Call for Law Enforcement Access to Encryption

As the government’s fight to eliminate encryption as we know it, and ensure themselves unfettered access to all of all Americans’ communications, spreads out of the most-mediagenic example with Apple, Barack Obama has weighed in, using some of the oldest and sleaziest scare tactics available. Speaking to an audience of technology executives at the South … Continue reading “Calling Bull on Obama’s Call for Law Enforcement Access to Encryption”

Paris: You Don’t Want to Read This

You don’t want to read this, and I take no pleasure in writing it, and no one really wants to hear it right now. But I believe it needs to be said. I join the world in grieving for the dead in Paris. I have grieved for the dead from 9/11 forward – the Australians … Continue reading “Paris: You Don’t Want to Read This”

America’s Civilian Killings Are No Accident

America and its allies make modern war in a way that assures “mistakes” destroy hospitals, and civilian lives are taken by drones. These horrors are all too often strategic decisions, or the result of the profligate use of needlessly destructive weapons. They are typically far from accidents. The destruction of a hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan, … Continue reading “America’s Civilian Killings Are No Accident”

Sustaining Perpetual War: The Bloodless Narrative

Sustaining America’s state of post-9/11 perpetual war requires skillful manipulation of the public at home. The key tool used for this purpose is the bloodless narrative, a combination of careful policy, deliberate falsehoods, and media manipulation that creates the impression that America’s wars have few consequences, at least for Americans. How can the American government … Continue reading “Sustaining Perpetual War: The Bloodless Narrative”

Why US Anti-ISIS Recruitment Videos Don’t Work

The U.S., via the State Department, is spending considerable effort and money producing anti-ISIS videos and other media (actual example, left), the goal of which is to convince American and other would-be jihadis not to join ISIS. The efforts won’t work, almost can’t work. They fail to understand the way ISIS recruits and as such, … Continue reading “Why US Anti-ISIS Recruitment Videos Don’t Work”