War Is Strictly Business in Twenty-First Century America

Here’s the strange thing: almost 20 years into a series of chaotic, staggeringly expensive, failing wars across significant parts of the planet, the U.S. military – "the greatest force for human liberation the world has ever known" (George W. Bush), aka "the finest fighting force that the world has ever known" (Barack Obama) – continues … Continue reading “War Is Strictly Business in Twenty-First Century America”

The Cold War, Rebooted and Rebranded

Originally posted at TomDispatch. When it comes to future conflicts or present-day war games, they have all the advantages and we have none! Or as Eric Edelman, a former undersecretary of defense for policy, told CNN recently, “Russia and China are playing a home game, we are playing an away game.” And mind you, we’re … Continue reading “The Cold War, Rebooted and Rebranded”

Military Cancel Culture: Rewarding Failure

Originally posted at TomDispatch. Cancel culture is a common, almost viral, term in political and social discourse these days. Basically, somebody expresses views considered to be outrageous or vile or racist or otherwise insensitive and inappropriate. In response, that person is “canceled,” perhaps losing a job or otherwise sidelined and silenced. In being deplatformed by … Continue reading “Military Cancel Culture: Rewarding Failure”

We’re All Prisoners of War Now

Originally posted at TomDispatch. America has essentially been at war, nonstop, since the weeks after the 9/11 attacks. Those “forever wars,” as they’re now commonly called, have been both truly distant from and eerily close to us, far away and yet a deeply embedded part of American life. And here, to my mind, is the … Continue reading “We’re All Prisoners of War Now”

Spilling Ink and Spilling Blood

Originally posted at TomDispatch. TomDispatch is essentially a no-submissions site. The only exception I’ve made over the years has been for those in the U.S. military or retired from it who, miraculously enough, became critical of it and the forever wars that it so relentlessly pursued. I’ve always felt that they had something of importance … Continue reading “Spilling Ink and Spilling Blood”

A Typical Democratic Official on the Pentagon and War

Jeh Johnson, formerly homeland security secretary under President Obama, showed how a typical Democratic official approaches the Pentagon and war as he spoke on ABC’s This Week on Sunday (11/15). For Johnson, the Pentagon “is typically an island of stability” in the U.S. government, but President Trump was destabilizing that island because of recent changes … Continue reading “A Typical Democratic Official on the Pentagon and War”

Thinking About the Unthinkable (2020-Style)

Originally posted at TomDispatch. He sent what House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called his "unidentified storm troopers" togged out like soldiers in a war zone onto streets filled with protesters in Portland, Oregon. Those camouflage-clad federal law enforcement agents were evidently from the Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Protective Service and the Customs and Border Protection … Continue reading “Thinking About the Unthinkable (2020-Style)”

America’s Forever Wars Have Come Home

Originally posted at TomDispatch. Here’s a little portrait of the United States in June 2020, a passage from a New York Times report on the National Guard’s treatment of a recent protest march of people chanting "We can’t breathe!" in Washington, D.C.: "A Black Hawk helicopter, followed by a smaller medical evacuation helicopter, dropped to … Continue reading “America’s Forever Wars Have Come Home”

The Paradox of America’s Endless Wars

Originally posted at TomDispatch. Here’s a word that essentially dropped out of Washington’s dictionary in this century: peace. It used to be part of the rhetoric, at least, of politicians there, but in the era of the war on terror it’s barely made an appearance. In election year 2020, however, it’s back, not as a … Continue reading “The Paradox of America’s Endless Wars”

Wars Without Victories, Weapons Without End

Originally posted at TomDispatch. Here was the headline that recently caught my eye: “Former Top U.S. General Dunford Joining UNICEF.” Okay, you knew it was a joke immediately, right? There’s really only one conceivable headline of that sort when you’re talking about a figure like four-star general Joseph Dunford, Jr., who commanded the 5th Marine … Continue reading “Wars Without Victories, Weapons Without End”