An All-American Path to War?

Originally posted at TomDispatch. The single scariest night of my life may have been on October 22, 1962, when I thought that all the duck-and-cover moments of my childhood were coming home to roost. President John F. Kennedy appeared on national television (and radio) to warn us all to duck and cover. The Soviet Union, … Continue reading “An All-American Path to War?”

Living With World’s End in Plain Sight

Originally posted at TomDispatch. This editor’s note introduced the single article that took up almost every inch of space in the August 31, 1946, New Yorker magazine: “TO OUR READERS: The New Yorker this week devotes its entire editorial space to an article on the almost complete obliteration of a city by one atomic bomb, … Continue reading “Living With World’s End in Plain Sight”

A Wide World of War Porn

Originally posted at TomDispatch. In this century, Memorial Day, a civic holiday, has gained an almost religious tinge. That third Monday in May is meant, of course, to honor the dead of this country’s wars and has a history that goes back to the period after the Civil War when, thanks to the bloodshed of … Continue reading “A Wide World of War Porn”

America Dominant Again (in Arms Sales)

Think about this: on Saturday, May 12th, with barely an hour’s notice, Israel took out the al-Jalaa Tower, a high-rise building in Gaza City that housed the Associated Press, al-Jazeera, and other media outlets. That act of destruction, among so many others, caused shock globally and protests not just by those media groups but by … Continue reading “America Dominant Again (in Arms Sales)”

A Pandemic of Sexual Assault in the Military?

Originally posted at TomDispatch. From the dawn of recorded history, humans have been making war and rape has been part of it. In ancient Greece, the rape of a woman was considered a property crime; that is, a crime against her father, husband, or master. But in war, rape was socially acceptable and the women … Continue reading “A Pandemic of Sexual Assault in the Military?”

Why the Pentagon Budget Never Goes Down

Originally posted at TomDispatch. Strange, isn’t it? Our secretary of state emphatically claims that China has been acting “more aggressively abroad” and behaving “increasingly in adversarial ways.” No, he insists, we’re not exactly at the edge of a new cold war or planning, in the style of the last century, to “contain China.” All this … Continue reading “Why the Pentagon Budget Never Goes Down”

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 Guantánamo Conundrum

Originally posted at TomDispatch. It seemed obvious enough to me in 2006. When you included the CIA’s “black sites” around the globe (where prisoners from the war on terror were being kept and regularly tortured), American military prisons like the shocking Abu Ghraib in Iraq, which had just then been emptied, and the huge military … Continue reading “The Guantánamo Conundrum”

War Is Peace, Peace Is War

Originally posted at TomDispatch. Here’s the strange thing in an ever-stranger world: I was born in July 1944 in the midst of a devastating world war. That war ended in August 1945 with the atomic obliteration of two Japanese cities, Hiroshima and Nagasaki, by the most devastating bombs in history up to that moment, given … Continue reading “War Is Peace, Peace Is War”

The Graveyard of Empires Redux

Originally posted at TomDispatch. On May 1st, the date Donald Trump signed onto for the withdrawal of the remaining 3,500 American troops from Afghanistan, the war there, already 19 years old, was still officially a teenager. Think of September 11, 2021 – the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks and the date Joe Biden has … Continue reading “The Graveyard of Empires Redux”