The Pentagon’s Bases of Confusion

One of the jokes of our era is the Republican Party’s claim that it favors “small government.” An accurate description might go more like this: the present-day Republican Party (libertarians excepted) has never seen an oppressive power of the national security state it didn’t want to bolster or grow. And it loves big government — … Continue reading “The Pentagon’s Bases of Confusion”

US Empire of Bases Grows

It was Jan. 15, 2004, and TomDispatch had only been in existence for a year when Chalmers Johnson, author of the prophetic book Blowback (published in 2000 and a bestseller after the 9/11 attacks), did a piece for this site titled “America’s Empire of Bases.” He wrote then: “Due to government secrecy, our citizens are … Continue reading “US Empire of Bases Grows”

The Obama Contradiction

He has few constraints (except those he’s internalized). No one can stop him or countermand his orders. He has a bevy of lawyers at his beck and call to explain the “legality” of his actions. And if he cares to, he can send a robot assassin to kill you, whoever you are, no matter where … Continue reading “The Obama Contradiction”

He Who Defends Everything Defends Nothing

After his fourth-place showing in Florida, Ron Paul, by then in Nevada, told supporters he had been advised by friends that he would do better if only he dumped his foreign policy views, which have been derided as isolationism. Not going to do it, said Dr. Paul to cheers. And why should he? Observing developments … Continue reading “He Who Defends Everything Defends Nothing”

War is Peace, Freedom is Slavery … and Fighting Back is ‘Aggression’

The US Department of Defense recently promulgated a new "defense" guidance document: "Sustaining US Global Leadership: Priorities for 21st Century Defense." I use scare quotes because it just doesn’t seem quite right to use "defense" to describe a document that — like its predecessors — envisions something like an American Thousand-Year Reich. The greatest shift … Continue reading “War is Peace, Freedom is Slavery … and Fighting Back is ‘Aggression’”

Bring Back the Standing Army

James Madison and Thomas Jefferson did not agree on much, but when it came to “standing armies” — militaries that did not disband during peacetime — they were united: “War is the parent of armies; from these proceed debts and taxes; and armies, and debts, and taxes are the known instruments for bringing the many … Continue reading “Bring Back the Standing Army”

The Price of Empire

Is there a single region of the world where the United States government isn’t scheming to grab more control, more influence, and have more of a military presence? In Pakistan, a memo has been unearthed from “President” Zardari to Admiral Mike Mullen, head of the joint chiefs of staff, proposing a coup d’etat in which … Continue reading “The Price of Empire”

The Passing of the Postwar Era

Sometimes, just when you least expect it, symbolism steps right up and coldcocks you. So how about this headline for — in the spirit of our last president — ushering America’s withdrawal from Iraq right over the nearest symbolic cliff: “U.S. empties biggest Iraq base, takes Saddam’s toilet.” They’re talking about Victory Base, formerly — … Continue reading “The Passing of the Postwar Era”