Artificial Intelligence Goes to War

Uh… gulp… you thought it was bad when that experienced pilot ejected from one of the Air Force’s hottest “new” planes, the F-35 combat fighter, near — no, not China or somewhere in the Middle East — but Charleston, South Carolina. The plane then flew on its own for another 60 miles before crashing into … Continue reading “Artificial Intelligence Goes to War”

Contemplating the Unimaginable Costs of a Nuclear War

Here’s something strange about our all-too-nuclearized planet: in my youth during the 1950s and early 1960s, the possibility of an obliterating nuclear war played a significant role in our everyday nightmares. We schoolkids then regularly engaged in “duck and cover” drills, diving under our desks to protect ourselves from a possible nuclear attack on New … Continue reading “Contemplating the Unimaginable Costs of a Nuclear War”

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”

How 9/11 Bred a ‘War on Terror’ From Hell

On September 11th, 22 years later, what are we to make of it all? Who even remembers that, as the Pentagon burned, then-Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld picked up a scrap of hijacked American Airlines Flight 77 from the smoking ruins of that building. Soon after, he would tell his aides (as one of them … Continue reading “How 9/11 Bred a ‘War on Terror’ From Hell”

22 Years of Drone Warfare and No End in Sight

In a June 2012 piece headlined “Praying at the Church of St. Drone,” I wrote, “Be assured of one thing: whichever candidate you choose at the polls in November, you aren’t just electing a president of the United States; you are also electing an assassin-in-chief.” At that time, President Barack Obama was overseeing what came … Continue reading “22 Years of Drone Warfare and No End in Sight”

Living on a War Planet

Originally posted at TomDispatch. A new war, a new alibi. When we think about our latest war – the one that began with the Russian invasion of Ukraine, just six months after our Afghan War ended so catastrophically – there is a hidden benefit. As long as American minds are on Ukraine, we are not thinking … Continue reading “Living on a War Planet”

Does an Old Henry A. Kissinger Require Rehabilitation?

Originally posted at TomDispatch. I only hope I’ll be around in 2123 for Henry Kissinger’s 200th birthday celebration. (I’d be a mere 179 then.) Still, at least I made it to his 100th. Imagine, in fact, that when I was in my twenties and in the streets protesting the war in Vietnam (Cambodia and Laos), he … Continue reading “Does an Old Henry A. Kissinger Require Rehabilitation?”

An Exceptional Military for the Exceptional Nation

Originally posted at TomDispatch. I can still remember my parents singing a somewhat cleaned-up version of the World War I-era song “You’re in the Army Now.” (“You’re in the Army now, You’re not behind a plow; You’ll never get rich, you son of a bitch, You’re in the Army now.”) As it happens, though, that song … Continue reading “An Exceptional Military for the Exceptional Nation”

The Forever War’s Forever Legacy

For more than 18 years, Karen Greenberg has been writing about the crimes the U.S. committed at its offshore prison of injustice at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba. It would be, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld assured Americans, “the least worst place” (a phrase Greenberg turned into the title of her book on the subject). Sorry, Don, … Continue reading “The Forever War’s Forever Legacy”

Oppenheimer and the Birth of the Nuclear-Industrial Complex

Yes, the atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima on August 6 and Nagasaki on August 9, 1945, would kill staggering numbers of people and be an eerily (if all too grimly) appropriate ending to the war that started with the Japanese sneak attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, and, by August 1945, had resulted … Continue reading “Oppenheimer and the Birth of the Nuclear-Industrial Complex”