August 1945: Let’s Talk About Terrorism

On August 6, 1945, the United States of America became the first – and, to this day, the only – nation to use atomic or nuclear weapons in actual hostilities (as opposed to testing). The unconditional surrender of Japan quickly followed, bringing an end to World War II. For 70 years now, the anniversaries of … Continue reading “August 1945: Let’s Talk About Terrorism”

Hubris Unlimited: Tom Cotton versus Reality

Freshman Senator Tom Cotton (R-AR) wants the United States to pick a fight with Iran. Not an all-out brawl, he says; just an itty-bitty bout along the lines of 1998’s Operation Desert Fox, in which US aircraft carried out four days of airstrikes on Iraq. Setting aside the fact that there’s just no reason for … Continue reading “Hubris Unlimited: Tom Cotton versus Reality”

Joe Biden’s Dangerous Game

US vice-president Joe Biden put American exceptionalism on display in a big way Saturday (February 7), laying down a tough line of patter to the 2015 Munich Security Conference. Biden called on Russian president Vladimir Putin to “get out of Ukraine,” doubling down on US threats to escalate conflict in the Russia-Ukraine border region by … Continue reading “Joe Biden’s Dangerous Game”

The Best Defense (for the Welfare State) Is an Expensive Offense

In late January, the US military-industrial complex reported results for 2014’s fourth quarter and expectations for 2015. Good times! Northrop Grumman knocked down nearly $6 billion in Q4 2014 and expects 2015 sales of around $23.5 billion. Raytheon did about as well last fall and expects a big radar order from the Air Force this … Continue reading “The Best Defense (for the Welfare State) Is an Expensive Offense”

Chemical Weapons Hypocrisy: WMD for We But Not For Thee

The French, British and Israeli governments have all accused Syria’s regime of using chemical weapons in its ongoing struggle with foreign-backed rebels. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon is urging Assad to allow UN inspectors into the country to verify or disprove the claims. And US president Barack Obama, while carefully avoiding a direct accusation, has … Continue reading “Chemical Weapons Hypocrisy: WMD for We But Not For Thee”

War, Children: It’s Just a Welfare Check Away

When pundits name-check “the welfare-warfare state,” we usually mean, and are usually understood to mean, something along the lines of “bread and circuses at home, military adventurism abroad.” That’s as good a definition as any, I suppose, and certainly an accurate description of today’s global political environment, but it fails to really capture the nature … Continue reading “War, Children: It’s Just a Welfare Check Away”

Syria: Let’s You and Him Fight

The usual suspects are at it again — doing their damnedest to escalate a war they have no intention of either fighting in or paying for themselves, and to involve you in it. US Senators John McCain (R-AZ) and Joe Lieberman (of the "Connecticut for Lieberman" Party, in which the ordering of names conveys his … Continue reading “Syria: Let’s You and Him Fight”

Syria: There Are No ‘Good Guys’

Well, OK, yes, there are some “good guys” in Syria: People trying to live their lives in the midst of civil war, doctors treating the wounded, and, yes, almost certainly some who are genuinely fighting for freedom. But neither of the two sides of that civil war are worthy of support. Everything which either side … Continue reading “Syria: There Are No ‘Good Guys’”

If You Have to Ask Why, the Answer is Usually ‘Money’

One major problem with writing political commentary is that it’s often difficult look at something that seems … well, crazy … and find a rational explanation for it. It’s easier to just write off what looks like craziness as craziness and move on. But in the real world, there is in fact method to most … Continue reading “If You Have to Ask Why, the Answer is Usually ‘Money’”