Perfect Asymmetry: The Predator and the Suicide Bomber

The expansion (and contraction) of great empires has long been driven by tactical and strategic “asymmetries” in the conduct of war. Norman archers overcame sword- and spear-wielding Anglo-Saxons at Hastings in 1066. Musket- and rifle-bearing Europeans slaughtered Native Americans opposing them with bows and arrows. And vast fleets of heavy bombers laid both Japan and … Continue reading “Perfect Asymmetry: The Predator and the Suicide Bomber”

Don’t Expand the Military’s Antiterrorism Role

The WikiLeaks documents released on Guantanamo prisoners indicate appalling military incompetence in haphazardly patching together sketchy and contradictory information that has allowed many high-risk terror suspects to go free, while low-risk or innocent detainees continue to be incarcerated. Yet some members of Congress would like to strengthen the military’s role in holding and trying such … Continue reading “Don’t Expand the Military’s Antiterrorism Role”

West Bank Neighbors: Chronicles of Death

March 11, 2011 On Friday night, two men—presumably Palestinians—entered the West Bank Jewish settlement of Itamar. The settlement of 1,000 was established in 1984, deep in occupied land (28 km from the Green Line). It is named after the son of the biblical Aharon, Itamar, whose grave—according to a 13th-century legend—is located in the adjacent … Continue reading “West Bank Neighbors: Chronicles of Death”

Iranian Terrorist Group Courts Friends in High Places

For years now, supporters of the Iranian opposition group the Mujahedin-e Khalq (MEK) have lobbied in vain to have the organization taken off the U.S. State Department’s terrorism list. That day may now be approaching. A growing number of high-profile defense and foreign policy big-wigs—from former Central Command chief Anthony Zinni to former congressman and … Continue reading “Iranian Terrorist Group Courts Friends in High Places”

I Will Not Dignify This Witch Hunt

I have been summoned to appear before a federal grand jury in Chicago on Jan. 25. But I will not testify, even at the risk of being put in jail for contempt of court, because I believe that our most fundamental rights as citizens are at stake. I am one of 23 antiwar, labor, and … Continue reading “I Will Not Dignify This Witch Hunt”

The Uses of Political Violence

Rep. Peter King (R-New York) is the kind of in-your-face demagogue that only the state of New York could have elevated to high office. From his perch in the 3rd congressional district, in Long Island, King holds forth like a cruder version of Rudolph Giuliani, if you can imagine it. Yet we don’t have to … Continue reading “The Uses of Political Violence”

Politics in the Terrordome, 2011

Here in the United States of Fear, official voices are again rising in a remarkable crescendo of hysteria. My advice: don’t even try getting on the subway car filled with American politicians and their acolytes accusing WikiLeaks and Julian Assange of terrorist activity. It’s already standing room only. Among those who have recently spoken out: … Continue reading “Politics in the Terrordome, 2011”

The National Security State Cops a Feel

It’s finally coming into focus, and it’s not even a difficult equation to grasp. It goes like this: take a country in the grips of an expanding national security state and sooner or later your “safety” will mean your humiliation, your degradation. And by the way, it will mean the degradation of your country, too. … Continue reading “The National Security State Cops a Feel”

Adm. Mullen’s Spinning vs. Prof. Hayek’s Insight

Introduction In 1945, the flagship journal of the American Economic Review published one of the ten most important economics articles of the 20th century. Entitled “The Use of Knowledge in Society,” it was written by an Austrian economist named Friedrich Hayek. I deal with this article in every economics course I teach. (For the notes … Continue reading “Adm. Mullen’s Spinning vs. Prof. Hayek’s Insight”

FBI Thwarts Its Own Plot in Portland

A Muslim teen (Mohamed Osman Mohamud) allegedly attempted to set off a bomb at a Portland tree-lighting ceremony, but the FBI was able to thwart the alleged attack according to the affidavit filed: “The FBI thwarted an attempted terrorist bombing in Portland’s Pioneer Courthouse Square before the city’s annual tree-lighting Friday night, according to the … Continue reading “FBI Thwarts Its Own Plot in Portland”