There Is Only One Spaceship Earth

Originally appeared at TomDispatch. I was born on July 20, 1944, barely a year before the world (potentially) ended. On August 6 and 9, 1945, the U.S., which had already been torching Japanese cities from the air, dropped the first atomic bombs on the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The explosions were unlike anything humanity … Continue reading “There Is Only One Spaceship Earth”

Cutting the Pentagon Down to Size

Reprinted from TomDispatch. It’s one of the stranger phenomena on this planet. By 2023, the U.S. was estimated to spend more money on its “defense budget” than the next 10 countries combined. Yes, the next 10! And yet, whether you’re talking about Korea and Vietnam in the last century, or Afghanistan, Iraq, and so many … Continue reading “Cutting the Pentagon Down to Size”

Bombing Muslims for Peace

Originally posted at TomDispatch. War, what is it good for? Absolutely nothing. So that classic late 1960s song claimed. Still, for Bill Astore and me (and, I have little doubt, Joe Biden, too), such a thought didn’t cross our minds as we played with toy soldiers on the floors of our rooms as kids. I … Continue reading “Bombing Muslims for Peace”

Peace Hero Martin Luther King Jr.

Reprinted from Bracing Views with the author’s permission. Martin Luther King, Jr., hero for peace. It’s sad that the word “hero” is so often modified by or married to “war” in history. He’s a war hero, we say, without giving it too much thought. As if wars are somehow ennobling and sublime. Waging peace is … Continue reading “Peace Hero Martin Luther King Jr.”

The Madness of Threat Inflation

Reprinted from Bracing Views with the author’s permission. What will historians say decades or centuries from now when the U.S. empire collapses into ruin? How will they explain it? Consider the United States in the big picture. I see a country with unique strengths. Two wide oceans protecting us. A long secure border with Canada. … Continue reading “The Madness of Threat Inflation”

Liberty at the Point of a Sword

Reprinted from Bracing Views with the author’s permission. There’s a man who famously crowned himself emperor rather than submit to the otherworldly power of a pope. A new movie will soon be out on his “glories.” Napoleon Bonaparte, a military genius, embraced war and drove for total victory until his empire collapsed on him and … Continue reading “Liberty at the Point of a Sword”

Peace Dividends? Not in Our Lifetimes

Reprinted from Bracing Views with the author’s permission. When the Soviet Union fell in 1991, America heard something about “peace dividends” and “a new world order.” With the Soviet Union gone, the Cold War over, America could take all the hundreds of billions it had been spending on weapons and wars and spend it instead … Continue reading “Peace Dividends? Not in Our Lifetimes”

6000 Bombs in Six Days

Reprinted from Bracing Views with the author’s permission. I read Saturday that Israel had already dropped 6000 bombs on Gaza in six days. Here’s the report from the Wall Street Journal: The Israeli Air Force said it has dropped about 6,000 bombs targeted at Hamas in Gaza since the war began, adding that it will … Continue reading “6000 Bombs in Six Days”

War Destroys History: The God of War Consumes All

Reprinted from Bracing Views with the author’s permission. The ancients were wise to make war a god. Violent, unpredictable, destructive, seductive, brutal, and capricious. And of course very, very powerful in its hold on the human mind. I trained as a historian, where an understanding of facts, context, and other forms of evidence is all-important. … Continue reading “War Destroys History: The God of War Consumes All”

Imagining a Progressive Pentagon

In September 2007, retired Air Force lieutenant colonel and historian William Astore emailed me out of the blue. He’d been reading TomDispatch articles on this country’s Global War on Terror, especially the invasion of, and never-ending conflict in, Iraq. And as a former military man, something struck him: the staggering rows of medals and ribbons … Continue reading “Imagining a Progressive Pentagon”