An Empire of Failed States

Imperial powers hedge their bets. The most striking recent example we have of this is in Egypt. While the Pentagon was pouring money into the Egyptian military (approximately $40 billion since 1979), it turns out—thank you, WikiLeaks!—that the U.S. government was shuttling far smaller amounts (millions, not billions) to various “American government-financed organizations” loosely connected … Continue reading “An Empire of Failed States”

Cold War’s Ghost Blocks Mideast Peace

And you thought “don’t ask, don’t tell” was a U.S. law on gays in the military that Barack Obama has promised to change. As it turns out, the same phrase plays quite a different role in the Middle East, where Obama seems to have no intention of changing it at all. Successive administrations have adhered … Continue reading “Cold War’s Ghost Blocks Mideast Peace”

Irving Kristol, RIP

To my knowledge, the late Irving Kristol was the only self-admitted neoconservative in existence. With his death, at the age of 89, does this mean the species is extinct? Far from it. In spite of the odd tendency of neoconservatives to deny their ideological heritage, there is no escaping it. The title of Kristol’s 1999 … Continue reading “Irving Kristol, RIP”

The Face in the Mirror

[Note for TomDispatch readers: Last year, at my birthday, I wrote “When I’m 64… ,”a post about war and (lack of) peace in my time. Another year has rolled around, as it tends to do, so think of what follows as further scribbled notes, stuffed in an e-bottle, and set afloat, all part of a … Continue reading “The Face in the Mirror”