War and Pandemic Journalism

Originally posted at TomDispatch. In the midst of the pandemic from hell, with a president who seems incapable of grasping the reality of, no less dealing with, the spreading virus, as deaths mount and cases cascade, in a land where a Covid-19 “second wave” in the fall isn’t conceivable because the first will never have … Continue reading “War and Pandemic Journalism”

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)”

A World of ‘Killer Robots’ But Not ‘National Security’

As Covid-19 was spreading across the planet in April and the crew of the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt was being consumed by the virus, I wrote a piece for TomDispatch in which I wondered: "Will our troops, trainers, advisers, and military contractors soon find themselves in what may be little short of pandemic wars?" … Continue reading “A World of ‘Killer Robots’ But Not ‘National Security’”

The Vet Conundrum and America’s Wars

Originally posted at TomDispatch. Here’s one thing you can say about America’s "war on terror," which has morphed into a set of forever wars across the Greater Middle East and Africa: those conflicts falter, they flop, they fade (only to resurge), but they never truly seem to end. In the case of the Afghan War, … Continue reading “The Vet Conundrum and America’s Wars”

Prioritizing the Pentagon in a Pandemic

Originally posted at TomDispatch. Since it began in 2002, TomDispatch has been following the twenty-first-century rise of the Pentagon and the rest of the U.S. national security state, amid distant wars that simply never seem to end. While much has, in this Covid-19 era of ours, been in the process of going down (billionaires aside), … Continue reading “Prioritizing the Pentagon in a Pandemic”

The All-American Way

Originally posted at TomDispatch. Today, in the context of the Black Lives Matter protests, TomDispatch regular Andrew Bacevich considers the all-American version of “extreme materialism” that Martin Luther King called out more than half a century ago. And when it comes to the overwhelming urge to get one’s hands on the goods, among the looters … Continue reading “The All-American Way”

Is There a Chinese Missile Crisis in Our Future?

Originally posted at TomDispatch. In the grimmest sense imaginable, this has already been an action-packed year. Try, in fact, to imagine a summary of this moment in historical terms: Right now, in June 2020, we’re experiencing a version of the 1918 “Spanish flu” pandemic; an instant rerun of the Great Depression; another round of the … Continue reading “Is There a Chinese Missile Crisis in Our Future?”

How the Saudis, the Qataris, and the Emiratis Took Washington

Originally posted at TomDispatch. It was a bare-knuckle brawl of the first order. It took place in Washington, D.C., and it resulted in a KO. The winners? Lobbyists and the defense industry. The losers? Us. And odds on, you didn’t even know that it happened. Few Americans did, which is why it’s worth telling the … Continue reading “How the Saudis, the Qataris, and the Emiratis Took Washington”

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 End of War As We Know It?

Originally posted at TomDispatch. Consider it strange. The U.S. has been fighting in Somalia on and off (mostly on) since the early 1990s. (Who, of a certain age, doesn’t remember the "Black Hawk Down" fiasco?) Almost 30 years later, at a time when the U.N. secretary-general, supported by dozens of countries, has reasonably enough called … Continue reading “The End of War As We Know It?”