Crossing Nuclear Thresholds

Call it Star Wars, parts VII-XXII; but last week, just as Revenge of the Sith was opening galaxy-wide – multiplexes on Tatooine alone were expected to pull in billions – reporter Tim Weiner revealed on the front page of the New York Times that a new presidential directive will soon essentially green-light the future U.S. … Continue reading “Crossing Nuclear Thresholds”

The Return of the Body Count

On March 19, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld discussed the “metrics” of measuring success in Iraq with Steve Inskeep of National Public Radio’s Morning Edition. Here is part of that interview: “NPR: I want to start, Mr. Secretary, with something you said recently. You were at a meeting with troops, taking questions from troops. You … Continue reading “The Return of the Body Count”

An Iraq Correspondent Comes Home

Dahr Jamail, an independent reporter from Alaska, covered our occupation of Iraq for much of 2004 and the beginning of 2005 before coming home early this year. As a “unilateral,” he was a distinctly atypical figure in Baghdad. Unlike reporters for major papers, wire services, and the TV news, he lacked the guards, vehicles, elaborate … Continue reading “An Iraq Correspondent Comes Home”

The Iran Crisis in Global Context

At a moment when the North Koreans claim to have just “harvested a nuclear reactor for weapons fuel,” the latest flare-up in the Iranian/European Union negotiations involving the “Iranian bomb,” well described below by Dilip Hiro, only highlights the increasingly precarious state of nuclear proliferation on our poor planet. It’s almost impossible to tell quite … Continue reading “The Iran Crisis in Global Context”

Out of the Superpower Orbit

Of the two superpowers that faced each other down in an almost half-century-long Cold War, one – the United States – emerged victorious, alone in the world, economically powerful, militarily dominant; the other, never the stronger of the two, limped off, its empire shattered and scattered, its people impoverished and desperate, its military a shell … Continue reading “Out of the Superpower Orbit”

Letting in the Draft?

An overstretched military? You bet. Things going terribly in Iraq? No kidding. Why only yesterday, Jill Carroll and Dan Murphy of the Christian Science Monitor reminded us that, with 140,000 troops (and untold numbers of mercenaries) in Iraq, the Americans can’t defend a crucial six-mile stretch of highway between the two lodestars of the American … Continue reading “Letting in the Draft?”

Iraq ‘Uptick,’ Superpower Downtick?

Quote of the Month (November 1967) “In November, as their plans gelled, General Westmoreland embarked on a whirlwind tour of the U.S. to testify before Congress and drum up support for the Johnson Administration. ‘With 1968,’ he said, speaking before the National Press Club in Washington, ‘a new phase is starting .. we have reached … Continue reading “Iraq ‘Uptick,’ Superpower Downtick?”

New Boys in Town: The Neocon Revolution and American Militarism

On Wednesday, I posted The Normalization of War, the first of two excerpts from a remarkable new book – Andrew J. Bacevich’s The New American Militarism, How Americans Are Seduced by War. In the second excerpt, Bacevich takes up the subject of neoconservatism, which he terms “a singularly inapt label that suggests an ideological rigor … Continue reading “New Boys in Town: The Neocon Revolution and American Militarism”