The US War Machine Doesn’t Want Us to Take War Personally

“For Washington, it seems that whatever the problem is, the answer is bombing.” So wrote Stephen Zunes, in the wake of Joe Biden’s first act of murder as president . . . excuse me, his first act of defensive military action: bombing a border post in Syria last week, killing 22 of our enemies. This … Continue reading “The US War Machine Doesn’t Want Us to Take War Personally”

Beyond Simplistic ‘Peace’

So here’s an odd, mostly overlooked scrap of recent news: Donald Trump wants to end the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq before he leaves office, and is expected to announce a drawdown of troops in both countries. Currently there are approximately 4,500 troops in Afghanistan and 3,000 in Iraq. The drawdown would leave 2,500 troops … Continue reading “Beyond Simplistic ‘Peace’”

Maneuvering Hell for Our Advantage

When the mainstream media writes about war, even critically, the image that often comes to mind for me is an infant wrapped in plastic. That infant is naked reality, a.k.a., the present moment, suffocating and screaming for its life; the plastic smothering it are the journalistic euphemisms by which murder and terrorism turn into abstract … Continue reading “Maneuvering Hell for Our Advantage”

Given $738 Billion, US War Budget Hits the Motherlode (Again)

The annual defense budget, passed recently by both the House (377-48) and Senate (82-8), came in at $738 billion for 2020, up from last year a sweet $22 billion. War hits the motherlode every year. “The money just isn’t there” for virtually anything that matters – you know, healthcare for all, free college tuition, clean … Continue reading “Given $738 Billion, US War Budget Hits the Motherlode (Again)”

A Tight Grip On Our Nuclear Toys

“Everyone wants to play with the big boys, and the only way to become one of the big boys is to have nuclear toys.” Attention Planet Earth! Attention Planet Earth! It is time to grow up. The words are those of Mohamed ElBaradei, then director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency, from a 2005 … Continue reading “A Tight Grip On Our Nuclear Toys”

Assange Indictments Hide the Context of War

The U.S. government protects itself, not democracy. That’s what is most apparent about its 18-count indictment of Julian Assange, not to mention the ongoing imprisonment of Chelsea Manning, for the leaking and release of State Department and military documents and videos a decade ago. The current reporting on the indictment is mostly about Assange himself: … Continue reading “Assange Indictments Hide the Context of War”

What’s Next: War With Venezuela?

Mix a little socialism in with the oil and war may be unavoidable. Thus, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, talking about Venezuela: "The president has been crystal clear and incredibly consistent. Military action is possible. If that’s what’s required, that’s what the United States will do." He goes on, demonstrating how we lie about war … Continue reading “What’s Next: War With Venezuela?”

Yemen: Our Future?

"They must kill and continue to kill, strange as it may seem, in order not to know that they are killing." ~ Rene Girard, Things Hidden since the Foundation of the World Socially sanctioned killing is called war. The word "war" may be the most powerful word in human history, because it creates a mask of respectability … Continue reading “Yemen: Our Future?”

Trump, Kim, and the Nuclear Status Quo

Peace, love and Donald Trump? I get the skepticism regarding the tentative nuclear disarmament agreement the president and Kim Jong-un reached last week, but not the cynicism – not the outright dismissal. It’s too easy to hate Trump, but he isn’t the point. In his reckless unpredictability – in his lust for applause and desperation … Continue reading “Trump, Kim, and the Nuclear Status Quo”

Peace and the Nuclear Paradox

Whenever the topic is nuclear weapons, I remain in a state of disbelief that we can talk about them "strategically" – that language allows us to maintain such a distance from the reality of what they do, we can casually debate their use. Consider, in the context of the sudden rush of alarming news that … Continue reading “Peace and the Nuclear Paradox”