How To Stuff the Middle East With Weaponry

Originally posted at TomDispatch. Yes, his first act on returning to the White House from Walter Reed Medical Center was to step out on a balcony and rip off his face mask to display to the world that thoroughly contagious look of his. He’s been a killer president in all sorts of ways (as I … Continue reading “How To Stuff the Middle East With Weaponry”

Lessons From Battling the Pentagon for Four Decades

The other day, after a three-year legal struggle, the Washington Post broke a story about a secret Afghan War project of the Office of the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction. Its focus was hundreds of interviews with American figures – from top officials and generals to lesser actors of every sort – involved in … Continue reading “Lessons From Battling the Pentagon for Four Decades”

America’s Arms Sales Addiction

Originally posted at TomDispatch. Honestly, if a single corporate entity controlled three-quarters of the global market in a product, you’d call it a monopoly, right? Well, in 2011, that was the situation of the United States when it came to the arms trade. This country sold more than three-quarters of the weapons on the global … Continue reading “America’s Arms Sales Addiction”

Eisenhower’s Worst Nightmare

Originally posted at TomDispatch. Congratulations to us! Talk about the art of the deal! Whether we know it or not, in the wake of those presidential Fourth of July festivities on the Washington Mall (“the biggest ever fireworks”), we’re all Saudis now. And here’s the good news: it only cost the Pentagon $1.2 million extra … Continue reading “Eisenhower’s Worst Nightmare”

A Dollar-by-Dollar Tour of the National Security State

Originally posted at TomDispatch. In its latest budget request, the Trump administration is asking for a near-record $750 billion for the Pentagon and related defense activities, an astonishing figure by any measure. If passed by Congress, it will, in fact, be one of the largest military budgets in American history, topping peak levels reached during … Continue reading “A Dollar-by-Dollar Tour of the National Security State”

The Pentagon’s Revolving Door Spins Faster

Originally posted at TomDispatch. Give Donald Trump credit. As a businessman, he’s brought into office some skills that previous presidents lacked. Take, for example, his willingness to plough staggering sums of money into five casinos destined to go bankrupt (and then jump ship, money in hand, leaving others holding the financial bag). Now, he seems … Continue reading “The Pentagon’s Revolving Door Spins Faster”

Jobs Are No Excuse for Arming a Murderous Regime

If the Saudi government is indeed behind the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi there should be consequences – political, military, economic, and reputational. Unfortunately, President Trump begs to differ. His reaction to questions about whether the United States would cut off arms sales to Saudi Arabia if Riyadh is proven to be behind the killing … Continue reading “Jobs Are No Excuse for Arming a Murderous Regime”

To Boldly Go Nowhere?

Originally posted at TomDispatch. Like many in my generation, undoubtedly including Donald Trump, I went into space early (and I’m not even counting all those hours in my early teens I spent reading Isaac Asimov’s Foundation trilogy or H.G. Wells’s War of the Worlds by flashlight under the covers while supposedly asleep). I’m thinking of … Continue reading “To Boldly Go Nowhere?”

Weaponized Keynesianism in Washington

Who could forget it? There were the $37 screws (no need to say who was getting screwed), the $2,043 nut (McDonnell Douglas made it specially for the U.S. Navy), the $7,622 coffee pot, the $74,165 aluminum ladder, and the $640 plastic toilet seats for the Air Force. All of those examples of Pentagon waste were … Continue reading “Weaponized Keynesianism in Washington”

A Saudi Love Affair in Washington

Originally posted at TomDispatch. Imagine that you paid a special visit to a family you hardly knew halfway around the world and they were so pleased to see you that they spent an estimated $68 million on your welcome, while mounting “festivities” like the one in which you danced with them sword in hand? Yes, … Continue reading “A Saudi Love Affair in Washington”