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By Ann Patchett

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Tag: Tomdispatch


Down the Memory Hole: Living in Trump’s United States of Amnesia

As we struggle to keep up with the administration’s shifting explanations, it is difficult to remember the events of yesterday, let alone last week or last month.

Posted on May 25, 2017 READ MORE


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Hit Him Where It Hurts

Can a boycott movement to damage President Trump financially change the political landscape?

Posted on May 24, 2017 READ MORE



Whistleblowers, Moral Injury and Perpetual War

If America accepts the idea of fighting endless wars, it will have to accept that the costs of war are also endless.

Posted on May 19, 2017 READ MORE



How U.S. Military Bases Back Dictators and Military Regimes

Critics of President Trump’s public support for authoritarian rulers generally ignore the long-standing support U.S. presidents have offered repressive regimes over the decades.

Posted on May 18, 2017 READ MORE



Mosul on My Mind

Iraq’s military, along with the U.S. Air Force, claims to be taking great care to avoid destruction in Mosul, but significant swathes of the Iraqi city is likely to be left in ruins.

Posted on May 16, 2017 READ MORE



The Hazards of Military Worship

An Army strategist notes that, while everyone loves the troops and their generals, history indicates that military advice isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.

Posted on May 13, 2017 READ MORE



The American Way of War Is a Budget-Breaker

It’s a reasonable bet that never in history has a society spent more on war and gotten less bang for its copious bucks.

Posted on May 10, 2017 READ MORE



Forbidden Questions: 24 Key Issues Ignored by the Washington Elite and the Media

The media’s obsession with Donald Trump provides an excuse for highlighting trivia while slighting issues that deserve far more attention.

Posted on May 9, 2017 READ MORE



Memory Loss in the Garden of Violence: How Americans Remember (and Forget) Their Wars

The American way of recalling war has led to the populist nationalisms of today.

Posted on May 6, 2017 READ MORE



Trump’s Empire Expands

Donald Trump and his family continue to create an unprecedented role for themselves, reimagining the White House as the newest branch of the clan’s imperial business domain.

Posted on May 2, 2017 READ MORE



Climate Change as Genocide

Only concerted action on multiple fronts can prevent the human disasters now unfolding in Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan and Yemen from becoming the global norm.

Posted on Apr 22, 2017 READ MORE



How to Lose the Next War in the Middle East

The short answer: Fight it.

Posted on Apr 21, 2017 READ MORE



A Radical Message From a Half-Century Ago

The largest mobilization for progressive politics since the Vietnam era offers an opportunity to go beyond treating symptoms and start offering cures for underlying illnesses.

Posted on Apr 18, 2017 READ MORE



What Does an ‘America-First’ Foreign Policy Actually Mean?

Donald Trump’s talk of finally winning again is a recipe for prolonging wars guaranteed to create more chaos and failed states in the Middle East, and possibly beyond.

Posted on Apr 14, 2017 READ MORE



The Navy’s Anti-Environmental Broadside in the Gulf of Alaska

In May, U.S. warships will sail to the gulf and engage in activities that could poison those once-pristine waters.

Posted on Apr 11, 2017 READ MORE



Demobilizing America: A Nation Made by War and a Citizenry Unmade by It

For more than 15 years, the U.S. has been fighting essentially failed or failing wars—efforts that seem only to spread the terrorism they’re supposed to eradicate.

Posted on Apr 4, 2017 READ MORE



An American Century of Carnage: Measuring Violence in a Single-Superpower World

Are we in an era of a “new peace”? Think again.

Posted on Mar 29, 2017 READ MORE



Not Your Grandma’s Civil Rights Strategy

In one now-historic decade, civil rights organizers brilliantly identified the levers of government power they could seize, but most of those levers are out of reach today. How will modern activists achieve change?

Posted on Mar 28, 2017 READ MORE



The Surge Delusion

Just as the military and the public misunderstood Vietnam, many contemporary officers and politicians rely on a mythical rendering of a successful surge in the Iraq War.

Posted on Mar 15, 2017 READ MORE



Trump’s Military Nostalgia (or ‘Victory at Sea’ All Over Again)

The president’s talk of rebuilding the U.S. military has been influenced deeply by the “Victory at Sea” documentary series and the war movies of Trump’s youth.

Posted on Mar 14, 2017 READ MORE



The Forever Prisoners of Guantanamo

I looked forward to writing an essay highlighting the detention camp’s last 100 days. It never happened.

Posted on Mar 2, 2017 READ MORE



In Afghanistan, America’s Biggest Foe Is Self-Deception

That a few thousand troops could reverse the present situation and ensure progress toward victory is a fantasy.

Posted on Mar 1, 2017 READ MORE



Misuse of American Military Power Leaves the Middle East in Chaos

Policymakers seriously overestimated the efficacy of American power to shape foreign peoples and cultures.

Posted on Feb 22, 2017 READ MORE



Loving America and Resisting Trump

We’re engaged, we’re awake, we’re in love, and no one is taking our country from us.

Posted on Feb 20, 2017 READ MORE



Is Trump Headed for War With China?

Sooner or later, if the president doesn’t dial down his rhetoric on China, its leaders will surely ratchet up theirs.

Posted on Feb 13, 2017 READ MORE



Football Is Trump-ball Lite

Who needs a reality show about violence, domination and sexism now that we have a reality that replicates football’s authoritarianism?

Posted on Feb 1, 2017 READ MORE



‘Goldmanizing’ Donald Trump

Two former Goldman Sachs executives (pictured, Gary Cohn)—along with the Federal Reserve—are likely to control our economy and financial system in the years to come.

Posted on Jan 30, 2017 READ MORE



A Violent Cesspool of Our Own Making

When it comes to building and exporting murderous weaponry, not even Vladimir Putin’s Russia comes close to the United States.

Posted on Jan 26, 2017 READ MORE



Donald Trump Against the World

For all their international experience, the new president and his appointees care about the planet the way pornographers care about sex.

Posted on Jan 25, 2017 READ MORE



The Year of the Commando

In one conflict zone after another across the northern tier of Africa and the Greater Middle East, U.S. special operations forces waged their particular brand of low-profile warfare during 2016.

Posted on Jan 5, 2017 READ MORE



Washington’s America-First Commandos in Africa

A document from U.S. Special Operations Command Africa shows that military support to partner nations in Africa is prioritized to suit American, not African, needs and policy goals.

Posted on Dec 21, 2016 READ MORE



The U.S. Military’s Role in Asia in the Age of Trump

It would be wise to look once again for alternatives to our militaristic policies in Asia, for more equitable ties with Japan and South Korea, and for a shift away from confrontation with North Korea and China.

Posted on Dec 15, 2016 READ MORE



How to Swamp Washington and Double-Cross Your Supporters

It’s been a month since the election, and here’s what’s clear: Crony capitalism, the kind that festers and grows when offered public support in its search for private profits, is the order of the day among Donald Trump’s Cabinet picks.

Posted on Dec 8, 2016 READ MORE



Was 11/8 a New 9/11?

Forget Vladimir Putin and his rickety petro-state. The most dangerous nation on the planet now may be ours: belligerent, irrational, heavily armed and in possession of staggering powers to intervene, interfere, and repress.

Posted on Dec 2, 2016 READ MORE



An Interrogation in the President-Elect’s Private ‘Public’ Park

High above, in Manhattan’s very own gilt “White House,” Donald J. Trump was huddled with his inner circle, plotting how they would “drain the swamp” and remake Washington, perhaps the world.

Posted on Nov 28, 2016 READ MORE



No ‘New Normal’

I’ve fought, organized and loved too long to let Trump and the people who run him shove me—or any of us—back into a bottle.

Posted on Nov 25, 2016 READ MORE



On the Road With Our American Selves

After the fluorescent circus of Election 2016, I imagine what would be truly exceptional: an America that values all human life in the same way.

Posted on Nov 23, 2016 READ MORE



Rebirth of a Nation?

There’s good reason to assume Donald Trump will be a Clintonesque hawk or even worse, but there is also reason to believe—due to his propensity for lies, bluster and backing down—that he could turn out to be less bellicose.

Posted on Nov 16, 2016 READ MORE



With President Trump, Is the American Experiment Over?

The empire of chaos has made the trip homeward. It’s now with us big time, all the time.

Posted on Nov 14, 2016 READ MORE



Whose Finger on the Nuclear Button?

As the U.S. prepares to elect a new president, the threshold at which some party to a non-nuclear conflict may choose to employ atomic weapons appears to be at its lowest in decades.

Posted on Nov 7, 2016 READ MORE



Donald Trump, the Greatest Victim in the History of the World

Trump seems incapable of taking responsibility for the harm he’s done, and when his own actions finally call down retribution—branding him as a loser—then come the conspiracy theories and the vindictive wail of the victim.

Posted on Nov 3, 2016 READ MORE



One Veteran’s War on Islamophobia

When I chose to serve in the military 20 years ago, I did so to protect what I viewed as our sacred foundational values of liberty, equality and democracy. Now I’ve joined forces with fellow veterans to fight again for those sacred values, this time, right here at home.

Posted on Nov 2, 2016 READ MORE



Waking Up in Hillary Clinton’s America

When we awaken on November 9th, it will undoubtedly be dawn in Hillary Clinton’s America and that potentially means four years of an economic dystopia that will (as would Donald Trump’s version of the same) leave many Americans rightfully anxious about their economic futures.

Posted on Oct 28, 2016 READ MORE



Why Is It So Hard to Reduce the Pentagon Budget?

An ideology of armed exceptionalism and the entrenched power of the arms lobby are the pillars that uphold the Defense Department’s $600 billion annual stranglehold on our tax dollars year after year.

Posted on Oct 27, 2016 READ MORE



All-American Slaughter: The Youthful Carnage of America’s Gun Culture

The presence of gangs in neighborhoods where many American children are killed with guns daily is used as a way to dismiss serious thinking about why this is happening.

Posted on Oct 26, 2016 READ MORE



The Worst Place on Earth: Death and Life in a Lost South Sudanese Town

This is no longer a town, but a killing field—a place where human remains lie unburied, whose residents have long since fled. Its few remaining inhabitants mostly are refugees from similarly ravaged villages.

Posted on Oct 24, 2016 READ MORE



Learning to Claim Our Victories

Why am I feeling hopeful right now? An 11-year-old recording of the presidential nominee bragging about grabbing women “by the pussy” seems to have brought us to Peak Trump, sending even stalwart GOP leaders fleeing.

Posted on Oct 19, 2016 READ MORE



Unipolar No More: American Power at the Crossroads

Moscow’s frustration of Washington’s agenda to overthrow Syrian President Bashar Assad, and China’s plan to link numerous Asian and European countries in a vast transportation and pipeline network, represent a growing international challenge to and curtailment of U.S. power.

Posted on Oct 12, 2016 READ MORE



The Age of Decline, Apple Pie and America’s Chosen Suicide Bomber

Thanks to perhaps trillions of words expended on him by nonstop commentators, pundits, talking heads, retired generals and admirals, former intelligence chiefs and ex-Bush administration officials, Donald Trump and his remarkable ego have become the wallpaper of our lives.

Posted on Oct 8, 2016 READ MORE



What Actually Keeps Americans Safe

The liberties designed by the Founding Fathers are still well aligned with the security of this country and the safety of Americans, while today’s government overreach is anything but.

Posted on Oct 3, 2016 READ MORE


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