Tuesday, August 25, 2015 Tomgram: Laura Gottesdiener, The King Is Dead!
Laura Gottesdiener, who has been traveling fossil-fuel ravaged America from the fracking fields of the West to the coal industry's mountain-top removal in West Virginia, offers a powerful look at what's left behind when Big Energy is done.
Monday, August 24, 2015 Tomgram: David Bromwich, The Neoconservative Empire Returns
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netayahu, and a bevy of congressional Republicans as well as Republican presidential candidates, go after President Obama and play what he calls "the long game on Iran." They are, that is, not just looking toward shooting down the agreement now, but making sure that the next president will feel tremendous pressure to do so and to take on Iran militarily in 2017.
Thursday, August 20, 2015 Tomgram: Noam Chomsky, Rogue States and Nuclear Dangers
Noam Chomsky's major essay on the Iranian nuclear deal and the drumbeat of opposition to it. He makes sense of and offers a striking sense of perspective on the various over-the-top charges offered by those out to sink the deal, including that Iran is the "gravest threat" to world peace, the "greatest supporter" of terrorism on the planet, and "fueling instability" across the Greater Middle East.
Tuesday, August 18, 2015(1 comments)
Tomgram: William Astore, Time to Hold Military Boots to the Fire
Air Force Academy instructor William Astore. He considers just what America's future commanders are being taught in the country's three elite military academies and wonders what a crew that has taken no responsibility for years of disaster in conflict after conflict has to offer anyone and why they are generally held in such high regard in this country.
Monday, August 17, 2015(1 comments)
Tomgram: William deBuys, Entering the Mega-Drought Era in America
TomDispatch regular William deBuys offers an eye-opening look at bone-dry, blazing California and ways in which that state is leading us all into a grim future. Today's droughts, bad as they are, will be put in the shade by the predicted mega-droughts of tomorrow, and the problem of water in the American West is only going to deepen -- or do I mean grow shallower?
Thursday, August 13, 2015 Tomgram: Michael Klare, Big Oil in Retreat
In his latest fascinating dispatch, Klare takes us through the ins and outs of an oil industry that suddenly looks to be on the ropes. "Most of us are used to following the ups and downs of the Dow Jones Industrial Average as a shorthand gauge for the state of the world economy. However, following the ups and downs of the price of Brent crude may, in the end, tell us far more about world affairs on our endangered planet."
Thursday, August 6, 2015 Tomgram: Susan Southard, Under the Mushroom Cloud -- Nagasaki after Nuclear War
Southard follows five teenagers, who survived the second use of a nuclear weapon, from the moment a B-29 appeared over the city to the first devastating moments after the blast. It's an unforgettable account of one city's destruction and a reminder of the dangers our world, filled with nuclear weapons so much more powerful than the one that obliterated Nagasaki, still faces.
Tuesday, August 4, 2015(5 comments)
Tomgram: Christian Appy, America's Hiroshima and Nagasaki 70 Years Later
Historian Appy tells a remarkable and vivid tale of how the leaders of the only country to use atomic weapons against human beings crafted a narrative of, in essence, atomic "mercy" killings of a life-saving nature and how that narrative remained engraved in our collective consciousness (as in the wildly successfully bestseller and movie Unbroken) from August 1945 to the present moment.
Monday, August 3, 2015 Karen J. Greenberg, The Mass Killer and the National Security State
TomDispatch regular Karen Greenberg, director of the Center on National Security at Fordham Law, explains just what it means to the future funding of the national security state amid a panic over ISIS "lone wolves" and mass shootings -- and why it's likely to result in more taxpayer money going into ever more intrusive efforts to monitor Americans instead of into caring for those in our society who are young and disturbed.
Thursday, July 30, 2015 Subhankar Banerjee, Fire at World's End
Subhankar Banerjee lives on the Olympic Peninsula in the state of Washington and has recently found himself on the front lines of the present wildfire season in a drought-gripped West. In his latest piece, he takes us into perhaps the single place least likely to be ablaze in America and oh yes, if you haven't already guessed, it's on fire.
Tuesday, July 28, 2015 Tomgram: Peter Van Buren, Washington and Tehran Come in From the Cold
Peter Van Buren says to stop fretting about the details. What's in the actual accord matters little; what does matter is that a kind of Cold War in the Middle East has just potentially ended, the balance of power in the region may have shifted, and the world could be a very different place -- and none of that is in the nuclear document itself.
Monday, July 27, 2015 Eduardo Galeano, The Previous Sole Superpower
The 13 passages take you, in Galeano-esque fashion, from the Opium Wars to Darwin's finches. It's great stuff from a man to whom history regularly whispered its secrets and it's excerpted from his late-in-life masterpiece, his history of humanity in 366 episodes, Mirrors.
Thursday, July 23, 2015(4 comments)
Tomgram: Pepe Escobar, The Pivot to Eurasia
n the rest of this remarkable piece, Escobar explores the latest news when it comes to China's and Russia's attempts to stitch together a new set of forces on the Eurasia continent, a plan in which Iran will be a key crossroads and node. He offers an eye-opening new way of looking at where our planet is headed and why Washington won't be the country leading it there. Make sure to give this piece your full attention!
Tuesday, July 21, 2015 Tomgram: Engelhardt, A Message in a Bottle from My Mother
[This article] explores the last instance of American war mobilization and implicitly why the U.S. has failed to win another significant war without it -- and does so in the context of my memories, my life, and my mother (copiously illustrated with photos and memorabilia of mine from her life). I hope you find this one both heartfelt and out of the ordinary. Tom
Thursday, July 16, 2015(1 comments)
Tomgram: Max Blumenthal, The Next Gaza War
A gripping anatomy of the nightmarish ongoing conflict in Gaza, and why Israelis are so bent on a fourth round of hostilities in Gaza.
Tuesday, July 14, 2015(1 comments)
Tomgram: Tim Weiner, The Nixon Legacy
It turns out we never got rid of Richard Nixon. Weiner's book should convince anyone that he created the blueprint for the present national security state. What was, for instance, one president's mania for bugging and recording his world in the twentieth century has become, in the twenty-first century, the NSA's mania for bugging and recording the whole planet.
Monday, July 13, 2015(1 comments)
Tomgram: Pratap Chatterjee, No Lone Rangers in Drone Warfare
In reality, there's nothing 'lone' about drone warfare. Think of the structure for carrying out Washington's drone killing program as a multidimensional pyramid populated with hundreds of personnel and so complex that just about no one involved really grasps the full picture.
Thursday, July 9, 2015 Tomgram: Ellen Cantarow, Paradise Lost -- or Found?
In the Finger Lakes, an area of New York State you may never have heard of, Cantarow offers a glimpse of the small-scale, local ways in which Americans are standing up to Big Energy corporations. She describes how they are doing their inventive best to seize the day and ensure that our children and grandchildren remain on a planet capable of supporting them. This is inspiring stuff. Don't miss it! Tom
Tuesday, July 7, 2015(2 comments)
Tomgram: Greg Grandin, How Endless War Helps Old Dixie Stay New
In this remarkable anatomy of how the Confederate flag went to war -- after the Civil War -- Grandin explores its uses from the late 19th century through World War II, Korea, Vietnam, and into the wars of our present century.
Saturday, July 4, 2015 Tomgram: Engelhardt, What Happened to War?
In my latest post, I start with the strange inability of Washington to translate America's staggering military power into effective and successful policy. Consider this an American decline piece with a twist. The question I ask is: What if the U.S. is indeed declining, but unlike in the past 500 years of the rise and fall of empires, no rivals are rising to challenge it?
Tuesday, June 30, 2015 Michael Klare, The Coming of Cold War 2.0
In a world that, from Washington's point of view, is only getting darker, Nixon-era enemies are also returning to the fray, and so Washington's new, twenty-first century "enemies list" is the focus of TomDispatch regular Michael Klare's latest offering. As the 2016 election campaign ramps up, get ready to hear far more about the grave, even existential threats posed by two oldies but goodies: Russia and China.
Monday, June 29, 2015 William Astore, "Hi, I'm Uncle Sam and I'm a War-oholic"
Endless war-making, whether on countries, terror groups, or social problems, has become an American trait. We seem to regularly launch wars of every sort and then never quite make our way out of them. Retired Air Force Lieutenant Colonel and TomDispatch regular William Astore suggests that, were the U.S. an individual, we would immediately recognize what such behavior was -- addiction -- and act accordingly.
Thursday, June 25, 2015(1 comments)
Peter Van Buren, What If There Is No Plan B for Iraq?
In recent White House "debates" over a disastrously deteriorating situation in Iraq, President Obama's top military officials were dragging their feet on the question of what more the U.S. should do. Clearly, they weren't ready to swallow the idea of more U.S. casualties in a spreading conflict leading nowhere fast.
Tuesday, June 23, 2015 Tomgram: Nomi Prins, Jeb! The Money! Dynasty!
Based on her book, All the Presidents' Bankers, former Wall Street exec Nomi Prins is now producing a series of pieces for TomDispatch on presidential dynasties-in-the-making and their financial underpinnings.
Monday, June 22, 2015(2 comments)
Armed Violence in the Homeland
In the rest of the piece, I offer a kind of tabulation of the overwhelming annual carnage-by-weapon in America that, most of the time, is remarkably little attended to and that no national security state promotes as "the greatest threat" of our time. It's a piece meant to put violence in our American world in some kind of perspective. I hope you'll find it provocative!
Thursday, June 18, 2015(1 comments)
Tomgram: Andrew Bacevich, The Theology of American National Security
Today, a brilliant piece by TomDispatch regular Andrew Bacevich on the repetitive madness that is Washington's Iraq policy. A full-scale look at the consensus thinking (or national security "theology") that rules the nation's capital and how it has led us repeatedly down the rabbit hole in Iraq (and elsewhere). What the Obama Administration have blinded themselves to and where this leads in an Alice-in-Wonderland world
Tuesday, June 16, 2015 Tomgram: Naomi Oreskes, Why Climate Deniers Are Their Own Worst Nightmares
From prominent historian of science Naomi Oreskes (profiled in the New York Times science section this morning) and co-author of the already-classic book Merchants of Doubt, a truly important piece: a devastating dissection of climate denial, the deniers, and their attack on climate scientists.
Thursday, June 11, 2015 Tomgram: Jen Marlowe, "They Demolish and We Rebuild"
Nasser Nawaj'ah held Laith's hand as, beside me, they walked down the dirt and pebble path of Old Susya. Nasser is 33 years old, his son six. Nasser's jaw was set and every few moments he glanced over his shoulder to see if anyone was approaching. Until Laith piped up with his question, the only sounds were our footsteps and the wind, against which Nasser was wearing a wool hat and a pleated brown jacket.
Tuesday, June 9, 2015(1 comments)
Tomgram: Gottesdiener and Garcia, How to Dismantle This Country
Something is rotten in the state of Michigan.
One city neglected to inform its residents that its water supply was laced with cancerous chemicals. Another dissolved its public school district and replaced it with a charter school system, only to witness the for-profit management company it hired flee the scene after determining it couldn't turn a profit.
Monday, June 8, 2015(4 comments)
Tomgram: Alfred McCoy. Washington's Great Game and Why It's Failing
For even the greatest of empires, geography is often destiny. You wouldn't know it in Washington, though. America's political, national security, and foreign policy elites continue to ignore the basics of geopolitics that have shaped the fate of world empires for the past 500 years.
Thursday, June 4, 2015 Tomgram: Nick Turse, My Very Own Veteran's Day
PIBOR, South Sudan -- "I've never been a soldier," I say to the wide-eyed, lanky-limbed veteran sitting across from me. "Tell me about military life. What's it like?" He looks up as if the answer can be found in the blazing blue sky above, shoots me a sheepish grin, and then fixes his gaze on his feet. I let the silence wash over us and wait. He looks embarrassed. Perhaps it's for me.
Tuesday, June 2, 2015 Tomgram: Engelhardt, Going for Broke in Ponzi Scheme America
It couldn't be a sunnier, more beautiful day to exit your lives -- or enter them -- depending on how you care to look at it. After all, here you are four years later in your graduation togs with your parents looking on, waiting to celebrate. The question is: Celebrate what exactly?
Monday, June 1, 2015 Barbara Myers: The Unknown Whistleblower
The witness reported men being hung by the feet or the thumbs, waterboarded, given electric shocks to the genitals, and suffering from extended solitary confinement in what he said were indescribably inhumane conditions. It's the sort of description that might have come right out of the executive summary of the Senate torture report released last December.
Thursday, May 28, 2015(2 comments)
Michael Klare: Superpower in Distress
Take a look around the world and it's hard not to conclude that the United States is a superpower in decline. Whether in Europe, Asia, or the Middle East, aspiring powers are flexing their muscles, ignoring Washington's dictates, or actively combating them.
Tuesday, May 26, 2015 John Feffer: Why the World is Becoming Un-Sweden
Imagine an alternative universe in which the two major Cold War superpowers evolved into the United Soviet Socialist States. The conjoined entity, linked perhaps by a new Bering Straits land bridge, combines the optimal features of capitalism and collectivism. From Siberia to Sioux City, we'd all be living in one giant Sweden.
Thursday, May 21, 2015 Dahr Jamail: The Navy's Great Alaskan "War"
I lived in Anchorage for 10 years and spent much of that time climbing in and on the spine of the state, the Alaska Range. Three times I stood atop the mountain the Athabaskans call Denali, "the great one." During that decade, I mountaineered for more than half a year on that magnificent state's highest peaks.
Tuesday, May 19, 2015 Engelhardt: Tomorrow's News Today
It's commonplace to speak of "the fog of war," of what can't be known in the midst of battle, of the inability of both generals and foot soldiers to foresee developments once fighting is underway. And yet that fog is nothing compared to the murky nature of the future itself, which, you might say, is the fog of human life.
Monday, May 18, 2015 Nick Turse: One Boy, One Rifle, and One Morning in Malakal
President Obama couldn't have been more eloquent. Addressing the Clinton Global Initiative, for instance, he said: "When a little boy is kidnapped, turned into a child soldier, forced to kill or be killed -- that's slavery."
Thursday, May 14, 2015 William Astore: America's Mutant Military
It's 1990. I'm a young captain in the U.S. Air Force. I've just witnessed the fall of the Berlin Wall, something I never thought I'd see, short of a third world war. Right now I'm witnessing the slow death of the Soviet Union, without the accompanying nuclear Armageddon so many feared. Still, I'm slightly nervous as my military gears up for an unexpected new campaign, Operation Desert Shield/Storm...
Tuesday, May 12, 2015 Ann Jones: Citizen's Revolt in Afghanistan
I went to Kabul, Afghanistan, in March to see old friends. By chance, I arrived the day after a woman had been beaten to death and burned by a mob of young men. The world would soon come to know her name: Farkhunda
Thursday, May 7, 2015 Nomi Prins: Hillary, Bill, and the Big Six Banks
The past, especially the political past, doesn't just provide clues to the present. In the realm of the presidency and Wall Street, it provides an ongoing pathway for political-financial relationships and policies that remain a threat to the American economy going forward.
Tuesday, May 5, 2015(1 comments)
Michael Gould-Wartofsky, The New Age of Counterinsurgency Policing
Last week, as Baltimore braced for renewed protests over the death of Freddie Gray, the Baltimore Police Department (BPD) prepared for battle. With state-of-the-art surveillance of local teenagers' Twitter feeds, law enforcement had learned that a group of high school students was planning to march on the Mondawmin Mall.
Monday, May 4, 2015 Engelhardt: Counting Bodies, Then and Now
In the twenty-first-century world of drone warfare, one question with two aspects reigns supreme: Who counts?
In Washington, the answers are the same: We don't count and they don't count.
Thursday, April 30, 2015 Sandy Tolan: The One-State Conundrum
The SUV slows as it approaches a military kiosk at a break in a dull gray wall. Inside, Ramzi Aburedwan, a Palestinian musician, prepares his documents for the Israeli soldier standing guard. On the other side of this West Bank military checkpoint lies the young man's destination, the ancient Palestinian town of Sebastia.
Tuesday, April 28, 2015 Andrew Cockburn: How Assassination Sold Drugs and Promoted Terrorism
As the war on terror nears its 14th anniversary -- a war we seem to be losing, given jihadist advances in Iraq, Syria, and Yemen -- the U.S. sticks stolidly to its strategy of "high-value targeting," our preferred euphemism for assassination. Secretary of State John Kerry has proudly cited the elimination of "fifty percent" of the Islamic State's "top commanders" as a recent indication of progress.
Monday, April 27, 2015 Christian Appy: From the Fall of Saigon to Our Fallen Empire
If our wars in the Greater Middle East ever end, it's a pretty safe bet that they will end badly -- and it won't be the first time. The "fall of Saigon" in 1975 was the quintessential bitter end to a war. Oddly enough, however, we've since found ways to reimagine that denouement which miraculously transformed a failed and brutal war of American aggression into a tragic humanitarian rescue mission.
Thursday, April 23, 2015 Engelhardt: The Future Foreseen (and Not)
Consider my address book -- and yes, the simple fact that I have one already tells you a good deal about me. All the names, street addresses, email addresses, and phone numbers that matter to me are still on paper, not in a computer or on an iPhone, and it's not complicated to know what that means: I'm an old guy getting older.
Tuesday, April 21, 2015 Nick Turse: AFRICOM Behaving Badly
Six people lay lifeless in the filthy brown water.
It was 5:09 a.m. when their Toyota Land Cruiser plunged off a bridge in the West African country of Mali. For about two seconds, the SUV sailed through the air, pirouetting 180 degrees as it plunged 70 feet, crashing into the Niger River.
Monday, April 20, 2015 Laura Gottesdiener: Another Round of Detroit Refugees?
Unlike so many industrial innovations, the revolving door was not developed in Detroit. It took its first spin in Philadelphia in 1888, the brainchild of Theophilus Van Kannel, the soon-to-be founder of the Van Kannel Revolving Door Company. Its purpose was twofold: to better insulate buildings from the cold and to allow greater numbers of people easier entry at any given time.
Thursday, April 16, 2015 Michael Klare: Is the Age of Renewable Energy Already Upon Us?
Don't hold your breath, but future historians may look back on 2015 as the year that the renewable energy ascendancy began, the moment when the world started to move decisively away from its reliance on fossil fuels. Those fuels -- oil, natural gas, and coal -- will, of course, continue to dominate the energy landscape for years to come, adding billions of tons of heat-trapping carbon to the atmosphere.
Tuesday, April 14, 2015 Nick Turse: The U.S. Military's Battlefield of Tomorrow
For three days, wearing a kaleidoscope of camouflage patterns, they huddled together on a military base in Florida. They came from U.S. Special Operations Command (SOCOM) and U.S. Army Special Operations Command, from France and Norway, from Denmark, Germany, and Canada: 13 nations in all.
Monday, April 13, 2015 Peter Van Buren: In the Middle East, Bet on a Winner (Iran!)
The U.S. is running around in circles in the Middle East, patching together coalitions here, acquiring strange bedfellows there, and in location after location trying to figure out who the enemy of its enemy actually is. The result is just what you'd expect: chaos further undermining whatever's left of the nations whose frailty birthed the jihadism America is trying to squash.
Tuesday, April 7, 2015 Gregoire Chamayou: Hunting Humans by Remote Control
Initially, the English word "drone" meant both an insect and a sound. It was not until the outbreak of World War II that it began to take on another meaning. At that time, American artillery apprentices used the expression "target drones" to designate the small remotely controlled planes at which they aimed in training. The metaphor did not refer solely to the size of those machines or the brm-brm of their motors.
Monday, April 6, 2015 Anand Gopal: How to Create an Afghan Blackwater
The sky clotted gray and the winds gusted cold as the men crowded into an old roadside gas station. It was daybreak in Band-i-Timor, early December 2001, and hundreds of turbaned farmers sat pensively, weighing the choice before them. They had once been the backbone of the Taliban's support; the movement had arisen not far from here, and many had sent their sons to fight on the front lines.
Thursday, April 2, 2015 Steve Fraser: Mongrel Firebugs and Men of Property
"The past is a foreign country. They do things differently there." So wrote British playwright Harold Pinter. How apt that seems when one compares life in our own "second Gilded Age" to the way things were done in the original Gilded Age of a century ago. True, there are some striking similarities between the two moments, including the rise to power of crony capitalism, the staggering growth of inequality...
Tuesday, March 31, 2015(1 comments)
Call it an irony, if you will, but as the Obama administration struggles to slow down or halt its scheduled withdrawal from Afghanistan, newly elected Afghan President Ashraf Ghani is performing a withdrawal operation of his own.
Monday, March 30, 2015 Eduardo Galeano: Sacrilegious Women
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.
Some hand picked it up, that shoe dropped in the mud.
Rosa longed for a world where justice would not be sacrificed in the name of freedom, nor freedom sacrificed in the name of justice.
Every day, some hand picks up that banner.
Thursday, March 26, 2015 William Hartung: Your Money at War Everywhere
President Obama and Senator John McCain, who have clashed on almost every conceivable issue, do agree on one thing: the Pentagon needs more money. Obama wants to raise the Pentagon's budget for fiscal year 2016 by $35 billion more than the caps that exist under current law allow.