A GI’s Mother Looks at Iraq

A month ago I wrote a dispatch, "Incident on Haifa Street," considering news reports about a bloody set of encounters in downtown Baghdad, only a few hundred yards from the heavily fortified, American-occupied Green Zone. A day or two later, I visited the TomDispatch mail box and found an e-mail that began, “hi tom, i … Continue reading “A GI’s Mother Looks at Iraq”

Sci-Fi Superwarriors

The year is 2030 and President Pierce Bush addresses the nation: “My fellow countrymen, in the past, enemies of America required massed armies, and great navies, powerful air forces to put our nation, our people, our friends and allies at risk. What has changed in the first four decades of the 21st century is that, … Continue reading “Sci-Fi Superwarriors”

‘Anonymous’ Thrives in Imperial Press

Every now and then, an article catches my eye that seems to sum up the worst of Washington-based access journalism (“just the spin, ma’am”) in our imperial press. On Friday, the morning of the second presidential debate, just such a piece – "Pentagon Sets Steps to Retake Iraq Rebel Sites" – made it onto the … Continue reading “‘Anonymous’ Thrives in Imperial Press”

Withdrawal Goes Mainstream

On Oct. 31, 2003, in a piece called "The Time of Withdrawal," I wrote: “I think one thing is predictable in a world where predicting anything accurately is a low-percentage bet: Sooner or later, the time of withdrawal will be upon us. Some of us would like it to be sooner, not later. … But, … Continue reading “Withdrawal Goes Mainstream”

Sen. Kerry, Help Is Not on the Way

If the United States is the Earth’s last great imperial power, then the election of its leader is indeed a global event. On this event, in fact, the world has already spoken – in opinion poll terms at least. According to a recent Program on International Policy Attitudes poll [.pdf] of 35 countries on their … Continue reading “Sen. Kerry, Help Is Not on the Way”

Are We in Saidad or Baghgon?

The other day I happened to notice a little piece from the Washington Times headlined, "Pentagon seeks ideas to fight ‘urban’ wars." Journalist Jennifer Harper had come across a “solicitation” from the Pentagon’s futuristic research arm, DARPA (the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency), calling on researchers to develop, among other things, “on-demand, infantry-operated, ultra-precision, beyond … Continue reading “Are We in Saidad or Baghgon?”

Incident on Haifa Street

Quotes of the week: “When the Americans fire back, they don’t hit the people who are attacking them, only the civilians,” said Osama Ali, a 24-year-old Iraqi who witnessed the attack [in Baghdad]. “This is why Iraqis hate the Americans so much. This is why we love the mujahedin.” (Dexter Filkins, “Raising the Pressure in … Continue reading “Incident on Haifa Street”

Hegemony or Survival?

In Hegemony or Survival, Noam Chomsky suggested that our leaders, facing the choice in the book’s title, might well opt for hegemony over survival. “There is ample historical precedent,” he wrote, “for the willingness of leaders to threaten or resort to violence in the face of significant risk of catastrophe. But the stakes are far … Continue reading “Hegemony or Survival?”