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U.S.-Iranian Relations Emerge From a 30-Year Cold War

Don’t sweat the details of the July nuclear accord between the United States and Iran. What matters is that the calculus of power in the Middle East just changed in significant ways.

Posted on Jul 29, 2015 READ MORE



A Message in a Bottle From My Mother: Requiem for the Home Front

In these decades, when we’ve gone from an American version of people’s war and national mobilization to peopleless wars and a demobilized populace, war has remained a constant, but we have not. Given that, I want to offer one small cheer, however belatedly, for my mother the caricaturist.

Posted on Jul 22, 2015 READ MORE



The Next Gaza War

Odds are that months of relative “quiet” in Gaza will prove nothing more than an interregnum between Israel’s ever more devastating military escalations.

Posted on Jul 16, 2015 READ MORE



Dirty Energy vs. Clean Power: The Past and the Future at Seneca Lake

Against corporate efforts to turn the region around New York state’s Seneca Lake into a gas storage and transportation hub for the entire northeastern U.S., a coalition of farmers and vintners, doctors and lawyers, clean energy companies and reluctant do-it-yourself activists is working to guide their home toward a fossil-fuel-free future.

Posted on Jul 9, 2015 READ MORE



Five Things That Won’t Work in Iraq

It’s the American Way to believe with all our hearts that every problem is ours to solve and every problem must have a solution, which simply must be found. As a result, the indispensable nation faces a new round of calls for ideas on what “we” should do next in Iraq.

Posted on Jun 25, 2015 READ MORE



Our Jihadis and Theirs

National security officials and politicians have been pounding home the message that the “greatest threat” to Americans is a jihadist movement thousands of miles away. With that in mind, let’s take a quick survey of national insecurity in a country armed to the teeth.

Posted on Jun 22, 2015 READ MORE



The Truth About the U.S. Military Base at Diego Garcia

The truth about the U.S. military base on the British-controlled Indian Ocean island can be hard to believe. In fact, it would be easy to confuse the real story with fictional accounts found in the “Transformers” movies, on the television series “24” and in Internet conspiracy theories about the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370.

Posted on Jun 15, 2015 READ MORE



A Magical Mystery Tour of American Austerity Politics

Numerous cities and school districts in Michigan are now run by single, state-appointed technocrats. This arrangement not only strips residents of their local voting rights but also gives appointees of the state’s austerity-promoting governor the power to do just about anything, including dissolve the cities themselves, all in the name of “fiscal responsibility.”

Posted on Jun 10, 2015 READ MORE



The Geopolitics of American Global Decline

America’s political, national security and foreign policy elites have missed the significance of the rapid global changes in Eurasia that are undermining the grand strategy for world dominion that Washington has pursued these past seven decades.

Posted on Jun 8, 2015 READ MORE



The Secret Origins of the CIA’s Torture Program and the Forgotten Man Who Tried to Expose It

Anthony J. Russo blew the whistle on American torture policy in Vietnam and on an intelligence debacle at the center of the decision-making that helped turn that war into a nightmare. Neither of his revelations saw the light of day in his own time or ours. And while Daniel Ellsberg remains a major figure for his role in releasing the Pentagon Papers, Russo is a forgotten man.

Posted on Jun 1, 2015 READ MORE



Delusionary Washington: The Desperate Plight of a Declining Superpower

Russia refuses to curtail support for armed separatists in Ukraine; China refuses to abandon its base-building endeavors in the South China Sea; the Islamic State movement refuses to capitulate in the face of U.S. airpower. What is a declining superpower supposed to do in the face of such defiance?

Posted on May 28, 2015 READ MORE



How the U.S. Navy Plans to War-Game the Arctic

The Navy is increasingly focused on possible future climate-change conflicts in the melting waters of the north and, in that context, has little or no intention of caretaking the environment when it comes to military exercises.

Posted on May 21, 2015 READ MORE



Writing History Before It Happens

With an emphasis on the U.S. national security state and its follies, here are my top nine American repeat headlines, each a surefire news story guaranteed to appear sometime, possibly many times, between June 2015 and the unknown future.

Posted on May 20, 2015 READ MORE



One Boy, One Rifle and One Morning in Malakal

When I was their age, I wasn’t trusted to drive, vote, drink, get married, gamble in a casino, serve on a jury, rent a car, or buy a ticket to an R-rated movie. No one would have thought it a good idea to put an automatic weapon in my hands. But someone thought it was acceptable for them, including the government of the United States.

Posted on May 18, 2015 READ MORE



The American Military Uncontained

Despite all the happy talk about a “new world order” after the Cold War, the U.S. military never gave a serious thought to becoming a “normal” military for normal times. Instead, in the words of Conservative columnist Charles Krauthammer, our leaders sought to “reshape norms, alter expectations, and create new realities” by “unapologetic and implacable demonstrations of will.”

Posted on May 14, 2015 READ MORE



A Five-Step Guide to Police Repression, From Ferguson to Baltimore and Beyond

Equate dissidents with domestic terrorists; arm police with “less-lethal” weapons; replace humans with robots. Here is a step-by-step guide, based on the latest developments in the security sector, on how to police a protest movement in the new age of domestic counterinsurgency.

Posted on May 6, 2015 READ MORE



The Everyday Politics of Confinement in Palestine

Despite the torrents of press coverage here about Israel and its relationship with the United States, the daily reality of half the people in a century-old conflict is essentially off the American radar screen.

Posted on Apr 30, 2015 READ MORE



A Letter of Apology to My Grandson

When I stumbled into the future in all its grim horror, I felt an urge that seemed uncomplicated: not to hand your mother and uncle a degraded country, planet, new century without lifting a finger in opposition, without at least trying. I felt the need to mobilize myself in a new way for the future I’d seen.

Posted on Apr 23, 2015 READ MORE



Sex, Drugs and Dead Soldiers: What the U.S. Africa Command Doesn’t Want You to Know

As American military operations have ramped up across Africa, reports of excessive drinking, sex with prostitutes, drug use, sexual assaults, and other forms of violence by AFRICOM personnel have escalated, and many of them have been kept under wraps.

Posted on Apr 22, 2015 READ MORE



The Continuing Depopulation of Detroit

The city that was the arsenal of the 20th century may also provide the blueprint for a more precarious era: 100,000 of its residents are on what many call an eviction “conveyor belt.”

Posted on Apr 20, 2015 READ MORE



Transition From Fossil Fuel to Green Energy Is Gaining Traction

Four key trends could speed the transition to renewables: the world’s growing determination to put a brake on climate change; a sea change in China’s stance on growth and the environment; the increasing embrace of green energy in the developing world; and the growing affordability of renewable energy.

Posted on Apr 16, 2015 READ MORE



Manhunters Inc.: How the Predator Became Washington’s Calling Card

The metamorphosis of the drone from eye to weapon came about almost by chance as the new millennium began. Barely two months after the outbreak of hostilities in Afghanistan, President George W. Bush declared: “It is clear the military does not have enough unmanned vehicles.”

Posted on Apr 9, 2015 READ MORE



Plutocracy the First Time Around

Aversion to the new industrial order and a “democratic feeling” in the late 19th century brought workers, storekeepers, lawyers and businessmen of all sorts together, appalled by the behavior of large industrialists who often enough didn’t live in those communities and so were the more easily seen as alien beings.

Posted on Apr 3, 2015 READ MORE



The Great Game in Afghanistan: a 21st Century Update

As the chances for peace talks between the government of Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and the unbeaten Taliban brighten, the Obama administration finds itself gradually but unmistakably reduced to the status of bystander.

Posted on Apr 1, 2015 READ MORE



On Women Who Refused to Live in Silence and Be Consigned to Oblivion

In 1919 Rosa Luxemburg, the revolutionary, was murdered in Berlin. Her killers bludgeoned her with rifle blows and tossed her into the waters of a canal. Along the way, she lost a shoe.

Posted on Mar 30, 2015 READ MORE



Your Money at War Everywhere

President Obama wants to raise the Pentagon’s budget for fiscal year 2016 by $35 billion more than the law currently allows. Sen. John McCain wants to see Obama’s $35 billion and raise him $17 billion more.

Posted on Mar 26, 2015 READ MORE



Pleading Guilty (to Insubordination)

In the current age of “lean-in” feminism at one end of the spectrum and an “anti-respectability” discourse at the other, an essay by Howard Zinn reminds us of an earlier meaning of women’s liberation.

Posted on Mar 25, 2015 READ MORE



The New American Order

Political campaigns and elections; the privatization of Washington; the de-legitimization of traditional governance; the national security state as an untouchable fourth branch of government; the demobilization of “we the people.” These are five areas in which the outlines of the new U.S. order are emerging.

Posted on Mar 19, 2015 READ MORE



The Big Dick School of American Patriotism

The BDSP is based on a bedrock belief in how America should work: that the only strength that really matters is military and that a great country is one with the capacity to beat the bejesus out of everyone else.

Posted on Mar 18, 2015 READ MORE



Rationalizing Lunacy: The Intellectual as Servant of the State

Let me propose an experiment: Put our policy intellectuals on furlough. Not permanently—just until the last of the winter snow finally melts in New England. Let’s see if we are able to make do without them for a month or two.

Posted on Mar 9, 2015 READ MORE



To Drill or Not to Drill—That Is the Question

Major oil company Royal Dutch Shell wants to drill in the Chukchi Sea this summer. In the long term, that could spell doom for one of the last great relatively untouched oceanic environments on the planet.

Posted on Mar 4, 2015 READ MORE



Ten Commandments for a Better American World

My suspicion is that what’s right and moral is also what’s practical and realistic. In that light, let me offer Ten Commandments for a better world in general.

Posted on Mar 2, 2015 READ MORE



The Great Game in the Holy Land

Almost all the current wars, uprisings and other conflicts in the Middle East are connected by an increasingly frenzied competition to find, extract and market fossil fuels whose future consumption is guaranteed to lead to a set of cataclysmic environmental crises.

Posted on Feb 27, 2015 READ MORE



Watching the Same Movie About American War for 75 Years

“American Sniper,” which started out with the celebratory tagline “the most lethal sniper in U.S. history” and now has the tagline “the most successful war movie of all time,” is just the latest in a long line of films that have kept Americans on their war game.

Posted on Feb 20, 2015 READ MORE



Walking Back the American 21st Century?

Not so long ago, that 9/11 “changed everything” seemed like the hyperbolic cliché of a past era. From the present moment, however, it looks ever more like a sober description of what actually happened.

Posted on Feb 19, 2015 READ MORE



Once White in America

The second and third times I fell in love with black bodies I became a black body, in a way I’d say without shame and some humor, for mine is dark tan called white. But I am the carrier, I am the body who carried them, released on a river of blood.

Posted on Feb 16, 2015 READ MORE



Saying No to Torture

Why was it again that, as President Obama said, “we tortured some folks” after the 9/11 attacks? Oh, right, because we were terrified.

Posted on Feb 12, 2015 READ MORE



Burying Vietnam, Launching Perpetual War

How do you commemorate the Vietnam War, the signature catastrophe of the 1960s? You probably know the answer: leave out every troubling memory and simply say: “Let’s honor all our military veterans for their service and sacrifice.”

Posted on Feb 9, 2015 READ MORE



The Lone-Wolf Terror Trap

The shadow of a new threat seems to be darkening the national security landscape: the lone-wolf terrorist. But most of what pundits and officials claim about it simply isn’t true.

Posted on Feb 5, 2015 READ MORE



Why There Is No Massive Anti-War Movement in America

I.F. Stone’s sign-off, that medic’s song, and my letter all are documents from a time when Americans could be in opposition to, while also feeling in service to, their country. They are documents from a lost world and so would, I suspect, have little meaning to the young of the present moment.

Posted on Feb 3, 2015 READ MORE



Save Us From Washington’s Visionaries

En route back to Washington at the tail end of his most recent overseas trip, John Kerry, America’s peripatetic secretary of state, stopped off in France “to share a hug with all of Paris.” Whether Paris reciprocated the secretary’s embrace went unrecorded.

Posted on Jan 30, 2015 READ MORE



Gaza in Arizona

In October 2012, a brigadier general for the Israel Defense Forces explained his country’s border policing strategies at a border technology conference in El Paso, Texas. “We have learned lots from Gaza,” he told the audience. “It’s a great laboratory.”

Posted on Jan 26, 2015 READ MORE



The Golden Age of Black Ops

Just 66 days into fiscal 2015—America’s most elite troops had already set foot in 105 nations, approximately 80 percent of 2014’s total. This secret war across much of the planet remains unknown to most Americans.

Posted on Jan 20, 2015 READ MORE



Your Home Is Your Prison

On January 27th, domestic violence survivor Marissa Alexander will walk out of Florida’s Duval County jail—but she won’t be free.

Posted on Jan 19, 2015 READ MORE



Is This Country Crazy?

I still remember a time when to be an American was to be envied. The country where I grew up after World War II seemed to be respected and admired around the world for way too many reasons to go into here.

Posted on Jan 12, 2015 READ MORE



Carbon Counterattack

Instead of retreating from a moral assault that portrays them as the enemies of humankind, the major oil, gas and coal companies have gone on the offensive, extolling their contributions to human progress and minimizing the potential for renewables to replace fossil fuels in just about any imaginable future.

Posted on Jan 9, 2015 READ MORE



The War to Start All Wars

As we end another year of endless war in Washington, it might be the perfect time to reflect on the War That Started All Wars—or at least the war that started all of Washington’s post-Cold War wars: the invasion of Panama.

Posted on Dec 22, 2014 READ MORE



The Senate Drone Report of 2019

Three years into a sagging Clinton presidency and a bitterly divided Congress, the 500-page executive summary of the Senate Intelligence Committee’s long fought-over, much-delayed, heavily redacted report on the secret CIA drone wars was finally released. Committee chairman Ron Wyden (D-OR) took to the Senate floor, and said…

Posted on Dec 19, 2014 READ MORE



Go West, Young Han

The new Yiwu-Madrid railway across Eurasia is the first building block on China’s “New Silk Road,” conceivably the project of the new century and undoubtedly the greatest trade story in the world for the next decade.

Posted on Dec 18, 2014 READ MORE



The Abolition of Abolition

A long-dreaded transformation from hope to doom is taking place as President Obama ushers the world onto the no-turning-back road of nuclear perdition.

Posted on Dec 12, 2014 READ MORE


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