(3 comments) SHARE Thursday, August 4, 2011 Tomgram: Nick Turse, Uncovering the Military's Secret Military
Without the knowledge of the American public, a secret force within the U.S. military is undertaking operations in a majority of the world's countries. This new Pentagon power elite is waging a global war whose size and scope has never been revealed, until now.
(11 comments) SHARE Tuesday, May 8, 2012 Noam Chomsky: A Rebellious World or a New Dark Age?
If you had followed May Day protests in New York City in the mainstream media, you might hardly have noticed that they happened at all. The stories were generally tucked away, minimalist, focused on a few arrests, and spoke of "hundreds" of protesters in the streets, or maybe, if a reporter was feeling especially generous, a vague "thousands."
(2 comments) SHARE Thursday, October 6, 2011 Andy Kroll: Flat-Lining the Middle Class
A stunning portrait of the economic collapse of the American middle class in the lost decade of 2000-2010, using the hardest of hard numbers, and what it means for our future.
(3 comments) SHARE Thursday, January 26, 2012 Christian Parenti: Big Storms Require Big Government
At some basic level, climate change shouldn't be hard to grasp. Fossil-fuel burning -- the essence of our civilization since the industrial revolution -- dumps prodigious amounts of carbon dioxide (CO2) into the atmosphere. As it happens, 2010 was another banner year for carbon dioxide production; the 5.9% rise in CO2 emissions was the "biggest jump ever recorded."
(3 comments) SHARE Thursday, April 21, 2011 Noam Chomsky, Who Owns the World?
Noam Chomsky returns to TomDispatch with a remarkable post that begins with the democracy uprising in the Arab world and events in Madison, Wisconsin, and traces, as he puts it, "what is taking place both in the decaying industrial heartland of the richest and most powerful country in human history, and in what President Dwight Eisenhower called "the most strategically important area in the world.'"
(1 comments) SHARE Tuesday, February 21, 2012 Rebecca Solnit: Why the Media Loves the Violence of Protestors and Not of Banks
In December 2001, 110 of 112 revelers at a wedding died, thanks to a B-52 and two B-1B bombers using precision-guided weapons to essentially wipe out a village in Eastern Afghanistan (and then, in a second strike, to take out Afghans digging in the rubble). The incident got next to no attention here.
SHARE Thursday, April 17, 2014 Ann Jones, Star-Spangled Baggage
In today’s post, Ann Jones traces that trail, painted in blood and suffering, from the first veterans of the Afghan War to return to Fort Bragg, four of whom murdered their wives (and three of whom then committed suicide). to the present moment. It’s a stunning account of pain and carnage that puts Fort Hood in the kind of perspective you seldom see. Don’t miss it!
(1 comments) SHARE Thursday, May 9, 2013 Peter Van Buren: If the Government Does It, It's "Legal"
Indefinite detention of the innocent and guilty alike, without any hope of charges, trial, or release: this is now the American way. Most Americans, however, may not care to take that in, not even when the indefinitely detained go on a hunger strike. That act has certainly gotten Washington's and the media's collective attention.
(1 comments) SHARE Tuesday, September 13, 2011 How Obama Became the Curator of the Bush Legacy
This is, in Davis's usual quirky form, a brilliant account of how lower Manhattan became the Sarajevo of the War on Terrorism, the first shot (and what a disastrous shot it was) in a spiraling nightmare -- like the assassination that began World War I.
(2 comments) SHARE Monday, August 2, 2010 Tomgram: Ann Jones, In Bed With the U.S. Army
a unique account of being embedded with the U.S. Army in an Afghan war zone and a vivid explanation of why American-style war is bound to fail in Afghanistan -- Ann Jones, "Here Be Dragons, MRAPS, Sprained Ankles, Air Conditioning, Farting Contests, and Other Snapshots from the American War in Afghanistan"
(2 comments) SHARE Tuesday, July 1, 2014 Noam Chomsky, America's Real Foreign Policy
It goes without saying that the honchos of the national security state weren't exactly happy with Edward Snowden's NSA revelations. Still, over the last year, the comments of such figures, politicians associated with them, and retirees from their world clearly channeling their feelings have had a striking quality: over-the-top vituperation.
(2 comments) SHARE Tuesday, January 11, 2011 Tomgram: William Hartung, Lockheed Martin's Shadow Government
As a boy in the 1950s, I can remember my father, a World War II vet, becoming livid while insisting that our family not shop at a local grocery store. Its owners, he swore, had been "war profiteers" and he would never forgive them.
(11 comments) SHARE Tuesday, September 6, 2011 Tomgram: Noam Chomsky, The Imperial Mentality and 9/11
Chomsky takes a piercing look at the American imperial mentality in action both before and since 9/11, and at what is noticed, what is ignored, and what is conveniently forgotten in this country. He also explores Osama bin Laden's crimes, how he was killed, and why the Obama administration was so unwilling to capture him and bring him into a court of law
(4 comments) SHARE Monday, July 16, 2012 David Vine: U.S. Empire of Bases Grows
It was January 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 entitled "America's Empire of Bases." He wrote then: "Due to government secrecy, our citizens are often ignorant of the fact that our garrisons encircle the planet.
(1 comments) SHARE Monday, July 23, 2012 Noam Chomsky: Destroying the Commons - How the Magna Carta Became a Minor Carta
This week the ACLU and the Center for Constitutional Rights filed suit against CIA Director David Petraeus, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, and two top special operations forces commanders for "violating the Constitution and international law" in the drone assassination of three American citizens in Yemen, Anwar al-Awlaki, Samir Khan, and al-Awlaki's 16-year-old son Abdulrahman...
(24 comments) SHARE Thursday, March 19, 2015 Is a New Political System Emerging in This Country?
This period doesn't represent a version, of politics as usual; nor is the 2016 campaign an election as usual; nor are we experiencing Washington as usual. Put together our 1% elections, the privatization of our govt, the de-legitimization of Congress & the presidency, as well as the empowerment of the national security state and the U.S. military, & add in the demobilization of the American public & you have a new ballgame
SHARE Tuesday, March 3, 2015 Subhankar Banerjee: Arctic Nightmares
Here's a Jeopardy!-style question for you: "Eight different species of whales can be seen in these two American seas." Unless you're an Iñupiaq, a marine biologist, or an Arctic enthusiast like me, it's a pretty good guess that you can't tell me what those seas are or what those whales are either.
SHARE Thursday, July 13, 2017 William Astore, Returning to Cheyenne Mountain
Has there ever been a nation as dedicated to preparing for doomsday as the United States? If that's a thought that hasn't crossed your mind, maybe it's because you didn't spend part of your life inside Cheyenne Mountain. That's a tale I'll get to soon, but first let me mention America's "doomsday planes."
SHARE Thursday, February 16, 2012 Ari Berman: The Politics of the Super Rich
America has a serious air pollution problem. Kathleen Hall Jamieson is hell-bent on fixing it.
"Air pollution," in this case, doesn't mean CO2, methane, or anything else in the poisonous cocktail of gases helping warm our planet. Jamieson, a University of Pennsylvania communications professor and long-time media critic, is talking about the error-riddled attack ads flooding the TV airwaves this campaign season.
SHARE Thursday, March 12, 2015 Michael Klare: Is Big Oil Finally Entering a Climate Change World?
Many reasons have been provided for the dramatic plunge in the price of oil to about $60 per barrel (nearly half of what it was a year ago): slowing demand due to global economic stagnation; overproduction at shale fields in the United States; the decision of the Saudis and other Middle Eastern OPEC producers to maintain output at current levels (presumably to punish higher-cost producers in the U.S. and elsewhere)...
(1 comments) SHARE Tuesday, March 31, 2015 Dilip Hiro:
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.
SHARE 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.
SHARE Thursday, November 5, 2015 Tomgram: Ann Jones, The Never-Ending War
Ten months ago, on December 28, 2014, a ceremony in Kabul officially marked the conclusion of America's very long war in Afghanistan. President Obama called that day "a milestone for our country." After more than 13 years, he said, "our combat mission in Afghanistan is ending, and the longest war in American history is coming to a responsible conclusion."
SHARE 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.
(1 comments) SHARE Tuesday, February 14, 2012 Noam Chomsky: Hegemony and Its Dilemmas
Back in May 2007, I stumbled across online sketches at the website of a Kansas architectural firm hired to build a monster U.S. embassy-cum-citadel-cum- Greater-Middle-Eastern command center on 104 acres in the middle of the Iraqi capital, Baghdad. They offered an artist's impressions of what the place would look like -- a giant self-sufficient compound both prosaic (think malls or housing projects) and opulent.
SHARE 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
SHARE 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.
(1 comments) SHARE Thursday, January 8, 2015 Michael Klare: Perpetuating the Reign of Carbon
Around the world, carbon-based fuels are under attack. Increasingly grim economic pressures, growing popular resistance, and the efforts of government regulators have all shocked the energy industry. Oil prices are falling, colleges and universities are divesting from their carbon stocks, voters are instituting curbs on hydro-fracking, and delegates at the U.N.
(1 comments) SHARE Tuesday, August 17, 2010 Tomgram: Chalmers Johnson, Portrait of a Sagging Empire
From TomDispatch this morning: Chalmers Johnson's monumental, if grim, look into America's post-imperial future on the occasion of the publication of his new book Dismantling the Empire -- Chalmers Johnson, "The Guns of August, Lowering the Flag on the American Century
SHARE 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.
(2 comments) SHARE Thursday, May 28, 2015 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.
(1 comments) SHARE Tuesday, July 14, 2015 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.
SHARE Sunday, February 9, 2020 Tomgram: Michael Klare, War in the Arctic?
In early March, an estimated 7,500 American combat troops will travel to Norway to join thousands of soldiers from other NATO countries in a massive mock battle with imagined invading forces from Russia.
SHARE 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.
SHARE Thursday, May 10, 2012 Michael Klare: Oil Wars on the Horizon
There has been much discussion recently about the Obama administration's "pivot" from the Greater Middle East to Asia: the 250 Marines sent to Darwin, Australia, the littoral combat ships for Singapore, the support for Burmese "democracy," war games in the Philippines (and a drone strike there as well), and so on. The U.S. is definitely going offshore in Asian waters.
SHARE 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...
(3 comments) SHARE Sunday, June 5, 2011 Tomgram: Michael Klare, How to Wreck a Planet 101
In this stunning, tour-de-force view of global energy developments in a world in which "easy energy" is increasingly a thing of the past and "tough energy" the present reality, Klare highlights three developments that are now shaking all our energy futures and will change our lives.
SHARE Monday, March 24, 2014 Best of TomDispatch: Noam Chomsky, "The Most Dangerous Moment"
He wrote it back in 2012, catching unforgettably the time when, more than half a century ago, we all almost bit the dust. Of course, as you'll see from my introduction, even without his piece I remember well that moment in 1962 when the 18-year-old Tom Engelhardt thought he was toast.
(2 comments) SHARE Monday, February 8, 2016 "The Finest Fighting Force in the History of the World"
It's a line you'll hear often enough in Washington: the U.S. military is "the finest fighting force in the history of the world." In my latest post, I take that line seriously and offer a devastating assessment of the actions of the U.S. military since 9/11, as well as a little preview of what we know about U.S. military planning for 2016 in the Greater Middle East and why it's almost certainly doomed to fail.
(1 comments) SHARE Tuesday, May 5, 2015 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.
SHARE Tuesday, November 26, 2019 Tomgram: Engelhardt, Which Hunt? Who Knows Which Witch?
French king Louis XV reputedly said, "Après moi, le de'luge." ("After me, the flood.") Whether that line was really his or not remains unclear, but not long after his death did come the French Revolution. We should be so lucky! Our all-American version of Louis XV, Donald I, is incapable, I suspect, of even imagining a world after him.
(1 comments) SHARE Monday, July 13, 2015 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.
(9 comments) SHARE Tuesday, October 25, 2011 Barbara Ehrenreich, Homeless In America
From TomDispatch regular Barbara Ehrenreich, a powerful look at the draconian response to homelessness in America, and the way Occupy Wall Street has shined a spotlight on the homeless. Her latest post is both an eye-opening look at what the homeless endure in this country and a striking explanation for how extremes of wealth and homelessness are linked.
(2 comments) SHARE Monday, November 25, 2019 Tomgram: Andrea Mazzarino, What My Personal War Costs Me
There is some incongruity between my role as an editor of a book about the costs of America's wars and my identity as a military spouse. I'm deeply disturbed at the scale of human suffering caused by those conflicts and yet I've unintentionally contributed to the war effort through the life I've chosen.
SHARE Tuesday, February 16, 2016 Tomgram: Peter Van Buren, Minimum Wage, Minimum Chance
Back in 2014, TomDispatch regular Peter Van Buren described for this site how, having lost his State Department job for being a whistleblower on the Iraq War, he fell for a time into the low-wage world. As he wrote, "And soon enough, I did indeed find myself working in exactly that economy and, worse yet, trying to live on the money I made. But it wasn't just the money.
(1 comments) SHARE Thursday, June 18, 2015 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
(2 comments) SHARE Thursday, February 3, 2011 Wallace Shawn, Are You Smarter Than Thomas Jefferson?
Wally Shawn makes his first appearance at TomDispatch with an essay that couldn't be quirkier, more provocative, or more appropriate to the site.
He begins with a world he knows well. "The actor's role in the community," he writes, "is quite unlike anyone else's. Businessmen, for example, don't take their clothes off or cry in front of strangers in the course of their work. Actors do."
(1 comments) SHARE Thursday, April 26, 2012 Pepe Escobar: A Full Spectrum Confrontation World?
Last December, a super-secret RQ-170 Sentinel, part of a far-reaching program of CIA drone surveillance over Iran, went down (or was shot down, or computer-jacked and hacked down) and was recovered intact by the Iranian military. This week, an Iranian general proudly announced that his country's experts had accessed the plane's computer.
SHARE Tuesday, December 23, 2014 Rebecca Solnit: Challenging the Divine Right of Big Energy
No one would call TomDispatch a traditional website. Still, we do have our traditions. Among them, none is more "traditional" -- a full decade old at a website that just turned 13 this November -- than having Rebecca Solnit end our year.
(1 comments) SHARE Thursday, February 24, 2011 Tomgram: Engelhardt, Washington's Echo Chamber
In this unique post, I offer five striking recent examples of how the American echo chamber -- that place in which Washington can only hear itself talking -- actually works. Each of these comes from the largely forgotten war in Afghanistan and Pakistan where Washington and the U.S. military blunder on as if there were nothing new under the sun.
SHARE Monday, November 28, 2011 Peter Van Buren: Thought Crime in Washington
A stunning warning from a State Department official that free speech is in imperiled in Washington as "thought crimes" become the order of the day. Peter Van Buren on the Orwellian firing of Morris Davis.
(2 comments) SHARE Wednesday, May 19, 2010 Tomgram: Michael Klare, The Oil Rush to Hell
Yes, the oil spewing up from the floor of the Gulf of Mexico in staggering quantities could prove one of the great ecological disasters of human history. Think of it, though, as just the prelude to the Age of Tough Oil, a time of ever increasing reliance on problematic, hard-to-reach energy sources. Make no mistake: we're entering the danger zone. And brace yourself, the fate of the planet could be at stake.
SHARE Sunday, June 13, 2010 Tomgram: John Feffer, Pax Ottomanica?
Take population out of the equation -- an admittedly big variable -- and Turkey promptly becomes a likely candidate for future superpower. It possesses the 17th top economy in the world and, according to Goldman Sachs, has a good shot at breaking into the top 10 by 2050. Its economic muscle is also well defended: after decades of NATO assistance, the Turkish military is now a regional powerhouse.
SHARE Thursday, February 13, 2020 Tomgram: Engelhardt, War Addicts, Inc.
My first question is simple enough: After 18-plus years of our forever wars, where are all the questions?
Almost two decades of failing American wars across a startlingly large part of the planet and I'd like to know, for instance, who's been fired for them? Who's been impeached? Who's even paying attention?
(4 comments) SHARE Thursday, July 23, 2015 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!
SHARE 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?
SHARE Thursday, September 5, 2013 Nick Turse, AFRICOM's Gigantic "Small Footprint"
Here's a question for you: Can a military tiptoe onto a continent? It seems the unlikeliest of images, and yet it's a reasonable enough description of what the U.S. military has been doing ever since the Pentagon created an Africa Command (AFRICOM) in 2007.
SHARE 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.
(3 comments) SHARE Thursday, February 10, 2011 Tomgram: Chase Madar, The Trials of Bradley Manning, A Defense
The actual trial of Private Bradley Manning, now in a Marine brig in Quantico, Virginia, under the most punitive of conditions, is not expected to take place until at least this May. In the meantime, TomDispatch offers lawyer and essayist Chase Madar's full-scale defense of the young U.S. Army private in a unique form: the future opening statement of the defense in the case.
(1 comments) SHARE Wednesday, August 4, 2010 Tomgram: Bill McKibben, A Wilted Senate on a Heating Planet
From TomDispatch this morning, a call to action from one of our leading environmentalists -- in what is likely to be the hottest summer on record, it's time to take the politics of global warming back from a do-nothing establishment: Bill McKibben, "We're Hot As Hell and We're Not Going to Take It Any More, Three Steps to Establish a Politics of Global Warming"
SHARE Monday, September 23, 2019 Tomgram: Danny Sjursen, Living at War (Forever)
Recently, on a beautiful Kansas Saturday, I fell asleep early, exhausted by the excitement and ultimate disappointment of the Army football team's double overtime loss to highly favored Michigan. Having turned against America's forever wars and the U.S. military as an institution while I was still in it, West Point football...
SHARE Thursday, March 12, 2020 Tomgram: Nomi Prins, The Global Economy Catches the Coronavirus
Whether you're invested in the stock market or not, you've likely noticed that it's been on a roller coaster lately. The White House and most of the D.C. Beltway crowd tend to equate the performance of the stock market with that of the broader economy. To President Trump's extreme chagrin, $3.18 trillion in stock market value vaporized during the last week of February. Stock markets around the world also fell dramatically.
SHARE 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...
SHARE 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.
(1 comments) SHARE Tuesday, June 22, 2010 Tomgram: Michael Klare, The Coming Era of Energy Disasters
On June 15th, in their testimony before the House Energy and Commerce Committee, the chief executives of America's leading oil companies argued that BP's Deepwater Horizon disaster in the Gulf of Mexico was an aberration -- something that would not have occurred with proper corporate oversight and will not happen again once proper safeguards are put in place. This is fallacious, if not an outright lie.
(1 comments) SHARE Monday, November 27, 2017 Tomgram: Danny Sjursen, Putting the "War" in the "War on Terror"
I've long argued that just about every Bush-era policy that followed 9/11 was an unqualified disaster. Nevertheless, it remains important to ponder the weight piled upon a president in the wake of unprecedented terror attacks. What would you have done? What follows is my best crack at that thorny question, 16 years after the fact, and with the accumulated experiences of combat tours in Iraq and Afghanistan.
SHARE 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.
SHARE Monday, October 27, 2014 Rory Fanning: Why Do We Keep Thanking the Troops?
Since 9/11, those thank yous have been aimed at veterans with the regularity of the machine gun fire that may still haunt their dreams. Veterans have also been offered special consideration when it comes to applications for mostly menial jobs so that they can "utilize the skills" they learned in the military. . . .The only question that never seems to come up is: What exactly are they being thanked for?
(3 comments) SHARE Tuesday, August 7, 2012 Michael Klare: Post-Apocalyptic Fantasy Becomes Everyday Reality
Wherever you look, the heat, the drought, and the fires stagger the imagination. Now, it's Oklahoma at the heart of the American firestorm, with "18 straight days of 100-plus degree temperatures and persistent drought" and so many fires in neighboring states that extra help is unavailable.
SHARE Thursday, July 25, 2013 Ira Chernus, Political Dreaming in the Twenty-First Century: Where Has It Gone?
Before plunging into TomDispatch regular Ira Chernus's piece on political dreaming, there's one historical reality worth considering in the largely dreamless night that is our present planet. As everyone knows -- but few give the slightest thought to these days -- the Soviet Union, that "evil empire," that other "superpower," gave up the ghost in 1991. In that moment, history as humanity had long known it ended.
SHARE Thursday, March 5, 2015 Pratap Chatterjee: Is Drone Warfare Fraying at the Edges?
The U.S. drone war across much of the Greater Middle East and parts of Africa is in crisis and not because civilians are dying or the target list for that war or the right to wage it just about anywhere on the planet are in question in Washington. Something far more basic is at stake: drone pilots are quitting in record numbers.
SHARE Tuesday, September 27, 2011 Tomgram: Peter Van Buren, WikiLeaked at the State Department
A particularly vivid, news-breaking, first-person account by a government truth-teller of what it's like to be harried by the government he's served for 23 years -- Peter Van Buren, "Freedom Isn't Free at the State Department, The Only Employee at State Who May Be Fired Because of WikiLeaks"
(2 comments) SHARE Monday, September 30, 2019 Tomgram: Engelhardt, "Make America Greta Again"
Look what Greta started and what she did to me! I took part in the recent climate-strike march in New York City -- one of a quarter-million people (or maybe 60,000) who turned out there, along with four million others across all seven continents.
SHARE Tuesday, July 23, 2019 Tomgram: Andrew Bacevich, Future History
From our present vantage point, it seems clear that, by 2019, the United States had passed a point of no return. In retrospect, this was the moment when indications of things gone fundamentally awry should have become unmistakable. Although at the time much remained hidden in shadows, the historic pivot now commonly referred to as the Great Reckoning had commenced.
SHARE Thursday, November 14, 2013 Tomgram: Ann Jones, War Wounds
In 2010, I arrived at Harvard University with a mess of a manuscript -- 10 years' worth of research on American war crimes in Vietnam patchworked together in such a way that it was comprehensible to only one person on the planet: me. But I was lucky. I had a year to do something about it, and by something, I mean write the book again.
(2 comments) SHARE Monday, June 22, 2015 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!
SHARE Thursday, June 6, 2019 Tomgram: Rebecca Gordon, Of Crimes and Pardons
Memorial Day has come and gone and President Trump did not issue his pardons after all. There was substantial evidence that he was planning to use the yearly moment honoring the country's war dead to grant executive clemency to several U.S. soldiers and at least one military contractor. All have been accused, and one already convicted, of crimes in the never-ending war on terror.
(1 comments) SHARE Monday, March 2, 2015 Engelhardt: The Ten Commandments for a Better American World
I wish I knew your name. I've been thinking about you, about all of us actually and our country, and meaning to write for a while to explain myself. Let me start this way: you should feel free to call me an American nationalist. It may sound ugly as hell, but it's one way I do think of myself.
SHARE 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.
SHARE Tuesday, August 13, 2019 Tomgram: William Astore, Military Strength Is Our National Religion
When I was a teenager in the 1970s, I looked to the heavens: to God and Christianity (as arbitrated by the Catholic Church) and to the soaring warbirds of the U.S. military, which I believed kept us safe. To my mind then, they were classic manifestations of American technological superiority over the godless Communists.
(2 comments) SHARE Thursday, May 11, 2017 Tomgram: Danny Sjursen, America's Wars and the "More" Strategy
I was guilty of it myself. Commanding a small cavalry troop of about 85 soldiers in southwest Kandahar Province back in 2011, I certainly wanted and requested more: more troopers, more Special Forces advisers, more Afghan police, more air support, more supplies, more money, more... everything.
SHARE Tuesday, February 11, 2020 Tomgram: William Hartung, Are Military-Funded Jobs a Key to Election 2020?
Donald Trump likes to posture as a tough guy and part of that tough-guy persona involves bragging about how much he's spent on the U.S. military. This tendency was on full display in a tweet he posted three days after an American drone killed Iranian Major General Qassem Suleimani in Baghdad:
"The United States just spent Two Trillion Dollars on Military Equipment. We are the biggest and by far the BEST in the World! ..."
SHARE Thursday, July 25, 2019 Tomgram: Karen Greenberg, What the Child Detentions at the Border Really Tell Us
Lately, I've been thinking about the Grimm's fairy tale, Hansel and Gretel. Terrified by cruel conditions at home, the brother and sister flee, winding their way, hungry and scared, through unknown woods. There, they encounter an old woman who lures them in with promises of safety. Instead, she locks one of them in a cage and turns the other into a servant, as she prepares to devour them both.
SHARE Monday, March 23, 2015 Rebecca Gordon: It Didn't Work in Afghanistan, So Let's Do It In Mexico
If there was an official beginning to Mexico's war on drugs, it would have to be considered the election of Felipe Calderón as the country's president in 2006. The candidate of the right-wing Partido Acción Nacional, the National Action Party (PAN), Calderón was only the second Mexican president in 70 years who did not come from the Partido Revolucionario Institucional, the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI).
SHARE 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.
SHARE Thursday, February 26, 2015 Michael Schwartz: Israel, Gaza, and Energy Wars in the Middle East
Guess what? Almost all the current wars, uprisings, and other conflicts in the Middle East are connected by a single thread, which is also a threatGuess what? Almost all the current wars, uprisings, and other conflicts in the Middle East are connected by a single thread, which is also a threat: these conflicts are part of an increasingly frenzied competition to find, extract, and market fossil fuels
SHARE Thursday, July 20, 2017 Tomgram: Engelhardt, Bombing the Rubble
You remember. It was supposed to be twenty-first-century war, American-style: precise beyond imagining; smart bombs; drones capable of taking out a carefully identified and tracked human being just about anywhere on Earth; special operations raids so pinpoint-accurate that they would represent a triumph of modern military science. Everything "networked." It was to be a glorious dream of limited destruction combined with unlimi
(3 comments) SHARE Thursday, January 4, 2018 Tomgram: Engelhardt, Seeing Our Wars for the First Time
Before a 40-foot American flag, addressing 500 American troops, Vice President Mike Pence praised them as "the world's greatest force for good," boasted that American air strikes had recently been "dramatically increased," swore that their country was "here to stay," and insisted that "victory is closer than ever before." As an observer noted, however, the response of his audience was "subdued."
SHARE 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.
SHARE Monday, April 9, 2018 Tomgram: Alfred McCoy, A New Age of Sea Power?
To some it might seem curious, even quaint, that gunboats and naval bastions, once emblematic of the Victorian age, remain even remotely relevant in our own era of cyber-threats and space warfare. Yet if you examine, even briefly, the central role that naval power has played and still plays in the fate of empires, the deadly serious nature of this new naval competition makes more sense.
(1 comments) SHARE Monday, December 9, 2019 Tomgram: Dahr Jamail, Dealing With Climate PTSD
Recently, I was in Homer, Alaska, to talk about my book The End of Ice. Seconds after I had thanked those who brought me to the small University of Alaska campus there, overwhelmed with some mix of sadness, love, and grief about my adopted state -- and the planet generally -- I wept.
SHARE 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.
SHARE Tuesday, November 19, 2019 Tomgram: Mattea Kramer, The Opioid Crisis in Perspective
It was evening and we were in a windowless room in a Massachusetts jail. We had just finished a class -- on job interview skills -- and, with only a few minutes remaining, the women began voicing their shared fear. Upon their release, would someone really hire them? Beneath that concern lurked another one: Would they be able to avoid the seductively anesthetizing drugs that put them in jail in the first place?
SHARE Tuesday, October 8, 2019 Tomgram: Andrew Bacevich, High Crimes and Misdemeanors of the Fading American Century
There is blood in the water and frenzied sharks are closing in for the kill. Or so they think.
From the time of Donald Trump's election, American elites have hungered for this moment. At long last, they have the 45th president of the United States cornered. In typically ham-handed fashion, Trump has given his adversaries the very means to destroy him politically. They will not waste the opportunity.
SHARE Thursday, October 10, 2019 Tomgram: Nick Turse, Lives (and Names) Lost
GOMA, North Kivu Province, Democratic Republic of Congo -- The boy was sitting next to his father, as he so often did. He mimicked his dad in every way. He wanted to be just like him, but Muhindo Maronga Godfroid, then a 31-year-old primary school teacher and farmer, had bigger plans for his two-and-a-half-year-old son.
SHARE 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.
(1 comments) SHARE Thursday, October 31, 2019 Tomgram: Andrew Bacevich, Why Those "Endless Wars" Must Never End
Let us stipulate at the outset that Donald Trump is a vulgar and dishonest fraud without a principled bone in his corpulent frame. Yet history is nothing if not a tale overflowing with irony. Despite his massive shortcomings, President Trump appears intent on recalibrating America's role in the world.
(2 comments) SHARE Monday, March 16, 2015 William deBuys: A Global War on Nature
Maybe baby steps will help, but the world needs a lot more than either the United States or China is offering to combat the illegal traffic in wildlife, a nearly $20-billion-a-year business that adds up to a global war against nature. As the headlines tell us, the trade has pushed various rhinoceros species to the point of extinction and motivated poachers to kill more than 100,000 elephants since 2010.
(1 comments) SHARE Thursday, January 16, 2020 Tomgram: William deBuys, Creating Steelhenge on the Border
A new Wild West has taken root not far from Tombstone, Arizona, known to many for its faux-historical reenactments of the old West. We're talking about a long, skinny territory - a geographic gerrymander - that stretches east across New Mexico and down the Texan Rio Grande to the Gulf of Mexico. It also runs west across hundreds of miles of desert to California and the Pacific Ocean. Like the old Wild West, this one is lawless
SHARE 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.
(2 comments) SHARE Thursday, June 17, 2010 Tomgram: Nick Turse, BP and the Pentagon's Dirty Little Secret
Residents of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida are livid with BP in the wake of the massive, never-ending oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico -- and Barack Obama says they ought to be. But there's one aspect of the BP story that most of those angry residents of the Gulf states aren't aware of. And the president hasn't had a thing to say about it.
SHARE Thursday, September 5, 2019 Tomgram: Engelhardt, Welcome to His World
He crossed the border without permission or, as far as I could tell, documentation of any sort. I'm speaking about Donald Trump's uninvited, unasked-for invasion of my personal space.
(3 comments) SHARE Tuesday, January 3, 2012 Debacle!
Simply to fight its war, Washington has made itself dependent on the kindness of strangers -- in this case, Pakistan and Russia. It's one thing when a superpower or great power on the rise casts its lot with countries that may not be natural allies; it's quite a different story when a declining power does so.
(3 comments) SHARE Tuesday, January 20, 2015 Nick Turse, A Shadow War in 150 Countries
From the point of view of the U.S. military and the national security state, the period from September 12, 2001, to late last night could be summed up in a single word: more.
SHARE Tuesday, June 4, 2019 Tomgram: William Astore, The Dark Side of Air Power
From Syria to Yemen in the Middle East, Libya to Somalia in Africa, Afghanistan to Pakistan in South Asia, an American aerial curtain has descended across a huge swath of the planet. Its stated purpose: combatting terrorism. Its primary method: constant surveillance and bombing -- and yet more bombing.
SHARE Thursday, June 15, 2017 Karen Greenberg, A Planet's Future Threatened by the Fate of Its Children
"This is a war against normal life." So said CNN correspondent Clarissa Ward, describing the situation at this moment in Syria, as well as in other parts of the Middle East. It was one of those remarks that should wake you up to the fact that the regions the United States has, since September 2001, played such a role in destabilizing are indeed in crisis, and that this process isn't just taking place at the level of failing st
SHARE Thursday, December 19, 2019 Tomgram: Andrea Mazzarino, How War Targets the Young
One day in October 2001, shortly after the U.S. invaded Afghanistan, I stood at the front of a private high school classroom. As a new social studies teacher, I had been tasked with describing violence against women in that country.
SHARE Thursday, May 8, 2014 Ann Jones, How to Lose Friends and Influence No One (The State Department Way)
Now, writes Ann Jones, TomDispatch regular and author of They Were Soldiers, ignorance is again on the march in Washington, with a helping hand from the State Department. Herself a Fulbright fellow, she offers a scathing report on how State plans to eviscerate its Fulbright international scholarly exchange program in 2015, helping make government-sponsored ignorance not just a national but a global concern.
SHARE Thursday, October 24, 2019 Tomgram: William Astore, The Militarization of Everything
Here's a topic you won't find discussed anywhere: a growing American militarism at home in this era of never-ending wars and soaring national security state budgets. That's why we're lucky to have historian and retired Air Force Lieutenant Colonel William Astore, a TomDispatch regular, offer a rare assessment of the damage our wars are doing not in distant parts of the Earth, but right here in this country, however unnoticed.
SHARE Tuesday, July 2, 2019 Tomgram: Engelhardt, War With...?
Headlined "U.S. Seeks Other Ways to Stop Iran Shy of War," the article was tucked away on page A9 of a recent New York Times. Still, it caught my attention...
(1 comments) SHARE Monday, July 17, 2017 Tomgram: Alfred McCoy, Trumping the Empire
The superhighway to disaster is already being paved.
From Donald Trump's first days in office, news of the damage to America's international stature has come hard and fast. As if guided by some malign design, the new president seemed to identify the key pillars that have supported U.S. global power for the past 70 years and set out to topple each of them in turn.
SHARE 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.
SHARE Tuesday, May 23, 2017 Mattea Kramer, Hit Him Where It Hurts
In normal times, Dee from New York would have ordered her copy of The Handmaid's Tale from Amazon, but these are not normal times. Amazon is on the Grab Your Wallet list, a campaign to boycott retailers that sell Trump family products, which began as a response to the video revealing our now-president's penchant for grabbing women "by the p*ssy." Dee bought her book from a smaller retailer instead.
SHARE 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.
SHARE Monday, October 28, 2019 Tomgram: James Carroll, November Hopes Mislaid
Here's the strange thing that TomDispatch regular and former Boston Globe columnist James Carroll brought to my mind with today's piece on what may qualify as the single most important historical event of my life: the dismantling of the Berlin Wall.
SHARE Monday, January 6, 2020 Tomgram: Nick Turse, America's Plans to "Win" the Afghan War
On February 4, 2002, a Predator drone circled over Afghanistan's Paktia province, near the city of Khost. Below was al-Qaeda's founder Osama bin Laden -- or at least someone in the CIA thought so -- and he was marked for death. As Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld put it later, both awkwardly and passively: "A decision was made to fire the Hellfire missile. It was fired."
SHARE Monday, June 3, 2019 Tomgram: Michael Klare, Fighting the Next War, Not the Last
The recent White House decision to speed the deployment of an aircraft carrier battle group and other military assets to the Persian Gulf has led many in Washington and elsewhere to assume that the U.S. is gearing up for war with Iran. As in the lead-up to the 2003 invasion of Iraq, U.S. officials have cited suspect intelligence data to justify elaborate war preparations.
(1 comments) SHARE Monday, December 23, 2019 Tomgram: Engelhardt, On Hijacking History
Here's the question at hand -- and I guarantee you that you'll read it here first: Is Donald Trump the second or even possibly the third 9/11? Because truly, he has to be one or the other.
SHARE Thursday, November 21, 2019 Tomgram: Karen Greenberg, Making Alphabet Soup in Washington
These days, witnessing the administration's never-ending cruelty at the border, the shenanigans of a White House caught red-handed in attempted bribery in Ukraine, and the disarray of this country's foreign policy, I feel like I'm seeing a much-scarier remake of a familiar old movie.
SHARE Monday, July 29, 2019 Tomgram: Danny Sjursen, Could Donald Trump End the Afghan War?
Could Donald Trump end the Afghan war someday? I don't know if such a possibility has been on your mind, but it's certainly been on the mind of this retired U.S. Army major who fought in that land so long ago. And here's the context in which I've been thinking about that very possibility.
(1 comments) SHARE Tuesday, June 9, 2015 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.
SHARE Monday, October 21, 2019 Tomgram: John Feffer, The Far Right's War on Culture
TomDispatch regular John Feffer, author of the dystopian novels, Splinterlands and Frostlands, wonders today: Isn't it time that humanity got its facts in order and its stories straight when it comes to the extremity that is increasingly at the heart of our world?
SHARE Tuesday, October 1, 2019 Tomgram: Rajan Menon, The Hypersonic Race to Hell
Hypersonic weapons close in on their targets at a minimum speed of Mach 5, five times the speed of sound or 3,836.4 miles an hour. They are among the latest entrants in an arms competition that has embroiled the United States for generations, first with the Soviet Union, today with China and Russia.
SHARE Tuesday, February 18, 2020 Tomgram: Rebecca Gordon, Torture's Legacy of Impunity
On February 5th, the Senate voted to acquit President Donald J. Trump of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. In other words, Trump's pre-election boast that he "could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody" and not "lose any voters" proved something more than high-flown hyperbole.
(2 comments) SHARE Thursday, April 14, 2011 Michael Klare, Avenging Planet
In his latest post, energy expert, TomDispatch regular, and author of Rising Powers, Shrinking Planet, Michael T. Klare offers a stunning post-earthquake, post-tsunami, post-Fukushima vision of a planet -- ours -- that is not simply the victim of human depredations but a powerful actor in its own right, quite capable of defending itself.
SHARE 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.
SHARE Tuesday, December 3, 2019 Tomgram: Arnold Isaacs, Another Kind of War Wound
When an announcement of a "Moral Injury Symposium" turned up in my email, I was a bit startled to see that it came from the U.S. Special Operations Command. That was a surprise because many military professionals have strongly resisted the term "moral injury" and rejected the suggestion that soldiers fighting America's wars could experience moral conflict or feel morally damaged by their service.
SHARE Thursday, June 10, 2010 Tomgram: Juan Cole, Israel's Gift to Iran's Hardliners
Iran's Green Movement is one year old this Sunday, the anniversary of its first massive demonstrations in the streets of Tehran. Greeted with great hope in much of the world, a year later it's weaker, the country is more repressive, and its hardliners are in a far stronger position -- and some of their success can be credited to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and sanctions hawks in the Obama administration.
SHARE Tuesday, October 22, 2019 Tomgram: Arnold Isaacs, Trump's Ugly New Anti-Immigrant Wave
Call it an irony of the grimmest sort that the most disruptive power of this century has spent these last years dreaming about walling itself in and walling the suffering and displaced out, whether via Donald Trump's "great wall" or Muslim bans and other grotesque means.
SHARE Monday, December 2, 2019 Tomgram: William Astore, Mutiny on Spaceship Earth
Ever since 2007, when I first started writing for TomDispatch, I've been arguing against America's forever wars, whether in Afghanistan, Iraq, or elsewhere. Unfortunately, it's no surprise that, despite my more than 60 articles, American blood is still being spilled in war after war across the Greater Middle East and Africa, even as foreign peoples pay a far higher price in lives lost and cities ruined.
SHARE 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.
SHARE Tuesday, July 25, 2017 Tomgram: William Hartung, The Trillion-Dollar National Security Budget
You wouldn't know it, based on the endless cries for more money coming from the military, politicians, and the president, but these are the best of times for the Pentagon. Spending on the Department of Defense alone is already well in excess of half a trillion dollars a year and counting.
SHARE Thursday, April 13, 2017 Tomgram: William Astore, From Deterrence to Doomsday?
What does an "America-first" foreign policy look like under President Donald Trump? As a start, forget the ancient label of "isolationism." With the end of Trump's first 100 days approaching, it looks more like a military-first policy aimed at achieving global hegemony, which means it's a potential doomsday machine.
(4 comments) SHARE Monday, June 8, 2015 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.
SHARE 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.
SHARE Tuesday, December 17, 2019 Tomgram: Danny Sjursen, The (Failed) War on Terror's Precursor
For a decade and a half, the U.S. Army waged war on fierce tribal Muslims in a remote land. Sound familiar?
As it happens, that war unfolded half a world away from the Greater Middle East and more than a century ago in the southernmost islands of the Philippines.
SHARE 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.
SHARE Thursday, August 24, 2017 Tomgram: Alfred McCoy, The CIA and Me
When historian Alfred McCoy began his long journey to expose some of the darkest secrets of the U.S. national security establishment, America was embroiled in wars in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia. Almost 50 years later, the United States is, in one way or another, involved in so many more conflicts from Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, and Yemen to Libya, Somalia, the Lake Chad region of Africa, and the Philippines.
(1 comments) SHARE Tuesday, February 1, 2011 Tomgram: Nick Turse, Making Mahem (It's Spelled Correctly!)
The secretive Pentagon's Defense Advanced Research Project Agency or DARPA is the government's blue skies outfit par excellence. In a prodigious piece of journalistic research, Turse digs into the future that it's planning for the rest of us in his eye-opening new TomDispatch post filled with bone-rattling acronyms from hell.
(5 comments) SHARE Tuesday, August 4, 2015 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.
SHARE 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.
SHARE Thursday, March 19, 2020 Tomgram: Nick Turse, America's Commandos: What Did They Do and Where Did They Do It?
Last October, a group of eight Apache attack and CH-47 Chinook helicopters carrying U.S. commandos roared out of an airfield in Iraq. They raced through Turkish airspace and across the Syrian border, coming in low as they approached a village just north of Idlib Province where Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, his bodyguards, and some of his children were spending the night.
SHARE Wednesday, February 15, 2012 Noam Chomsky: The Imperial Way; American Decline in Perspective, Part 2
On Tuesday, Part 1 of Noam Chomsky's piece on American decline, ""Losing' the World" was posted at this site. It can be read by clicking here. Now, Part 2 begins. When you're done, you might check out Chomsky's earlier TomDispatch piece, "Who Owns the World?" which could be considered a companion to this one.
SHARE Tuesday, November 28, 2017 Tomgram: Rajan Menon, How Trump Will Betray His Base
Among the stranger features of the 2016 election campaign was the success of Donald Trump, a creature of globalization, as an America First savior of the white working class. A candidate who amassed billions of dollars by playing globalization for all it was worth -- he manufactured clothes and accessories bearing his name in low-wage economies and invested in corporations eager to outsource -- won over millions of voters...
SHARE Monday, June 17, 2013 Tom Engelhardt, You Are Our Secret
As happens with so much news these days, the Edward Snowden revelations about National Security Agency (NSA) spying and just how far we've come in the building of a surveillance state have swept over us 24/7 -- waves of leaks, videos, charges, claims, counterclaims, skullduggery, and government threats. When a flood sweeps you away, it's always hard to find a little dry land to survey the extent and nature of the damage.
SHARE Tuesday, December 13, 2011 Nick Turse: Did the Pentagon Help Strangle the Arab Spring?
As the Arab Spring blossomed and President Obama hesitated about whether to speak out in favor of protesters seeking democratic change in the Greater Middle East, the Pentagon acted decisively. It forged ever deeper ties with some of the most repressive regimes in the region, building up military bases and brokering weapons sales and transfers to despots from Bahrain to Yemen.
SHARE Monday, March 2, 2020 Tomgram: Mandy Smithberger, Letting the Pentagon Loose With Your Tax Dollars
Hold on to your helmets! It's true the White House is reporting that its proposed new Pentagon budget is only $740.5 billion, a relatively small increase from the previous year's staggering number. In reality, however, when you also include war and security costs buried in the budgets of other agencies, the actual national security figure comes in at more than $1.2 trillion...
(1 comments) SHARE Tuesday, October 29, 2019 Tomgram: Allegra Harpootlian, Drone Strikes and Tears
Think back to the last time you cried at work. Did the tears come after your boss sent you a curt email? Or when you accidentally cc'd (instead of bcc'd) everyone? Maybe you just had a really, really long day and that one last little misstep pushed you over the edge.
SHARE Tuesday, January 7, 2020 Tomgram: Andrew Bacevich, On Misreading Victory
Thirty years ago this month, President George H.W. Bush appeared before a joint session of Congress to deliver his first State of the Union Address, the first post-Cold War observance of this annual ritual. Just weeks before, the Berlin Wall had fallen. That event, the president declared, "marks the beginning of a new era in the world's affairs."
SHARE Tuesday, September 10, 2019 Tomgram: Andrew Bacevich, Ending War, American-Style
When the conflict that the Vietnamese refer to as the American War ended in April 1975, I was a U.S. Army captain attending a course at Fort Knox, Kentucky. In those days, the student body at any of our Army's myriad schools typically included officers from the Army of the Republic of Vietnam (ARVN)...
SHARE Tuesday, March 10, 2015 Frida Berrigan: Witness to War, American-Style
The Pentagon loomed so large in my childhood that it could have been another member of my family. Maybe a menacing uncle who doled out put-downs and whacks to teach us lessons or a rich, dismissive great-aunt intent on propriety and good manners.
(1 comments) SHARE Thursday, June 18, 2020 Tomgram: Engelhardt, The Invasion of America
Let me rant for a moment. I don't do it often, maybe ever. I'm not Donald Trump. Though I'm only two years older than him, I don't even know how to tweet and that tells you everything you really need to know about Tom Engelhardt in a world clearly passing me by.
SHARE Thursday, January 30, 2020 Tomgram: Robert Lipsyte, Electing a Head Coach Instead of a President
Attorney General William Barr's campaign to expand the powers of the presidency to unprecedented imperial levels has been misinterpreted as an attempt to raise Donald Trump to the level of his strongman heroes like Vladimir Putin, Kim Jong-un, and Jair Bolsonaro. Fake news! It's really been an attempt to boost him into the same league with the strongman heroes of far too many American men: the head coaches of our major sports,
(1 comments) SHARE Thursday, October 2, 2014 Todd Gitlin: As the Globe Warms, So Does the Climate Movement
The extraordinary range, age, and diversity exhibited in the People's Climate March -- race, class, sex, you name it, and if you were there, you saw it -- changes the game. The phalanxes of unions, indigenous and religious groups, and all manner of local activists in New York formed an extraordinary melange.
SHARE Thursday, March 5, 2020 Tomgram: Bob Dreyfuss, A Giuliani-Trump Foreign Policy?
Imagine, just for the sake of argument, that the president of the United States was an arrogant, information-challenged, would-be autocrat with a soft spot for authoritarian leaders from China, Russia, and North Korea to Egypt ("my favorite dictator"), Saudi Arabia, and Turkey.
SHARE Thursday, August 26, 2010 Tomgram: Andrew Bacevich, How Washington Rules
From TomDispatch this morning: A stirring excerpt from Andrew Bacevich's bestselling new book, Washington Rules, that focuses on how, as his Army career was ending, his real education, which would turn him into a leading critic of American war policy, began --Andrew Bacevich, "The Unmaking of a Company Man, An Education Begun in the Shadow of the Brandenburg Gate"
SHARE Monday, March 9, 2015 Andrew Bacevich: How to Create a National Insecurity State
Policy intellectuals -- eggheads presuming to instruct the mere mortals who actually run for office -- are a blight on the republic. Like some invasive species, they infest present-day Washington, where their presence strangles common sense and has brought to the verge of extinction the simple ability to perceive reality.
SHARE Monday, August 12, 2019 Tomgram: Engelhardt, Creating a Spectacle of Slaughter at the Movies
Call it a summer whim or something about this grim moment of ours, but I had an urge to post at TomDispatch my very first piece of published writing. It appeared 48 years ago in what was, at the time, one of the more obscure journals on the face of the Earth, one I helped found as a then-antiwar-China-scholar-to-be: the Bulletin of Concerned Asian Scholars.
SHARE Thursday, March 1, 2012 Andy Kroll: The Unlikely Oracle of Occupy Wall Street
n a recent TomDispatch introduction, I pointed out that, when it comes to America's wars, you can't afford to be right. I suggested that those who had foreseen disaster in Iraq and Afghanistan should logically be celebrated in this country and "should be in the Rolodexes of every journalist reporting on American foreign policy, the Iran crisis, or our wars." But, I asked, "When was the last time you heard from one of them?"
SHARE 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.
(2 comments) SHARE Wednesday, April 20, 2011 Tomgram: Engelhardt, This Can't End Well
From the historians, we know about the perils of overextended empires fighting wars they can't afford to win -- or lose. But that's patterns of history stuff. In my latest post, I try to give a sense of what it's like instead to be inside an empire heading down faster and blinder than anyone expected or is prepared to deal with.
(1 comments) SHARE Friday, May 28, 2010 Tomgram: Dilip Hiro, Obama's Flip-Flop Leadership Style
Irrespective of their politics, flawed leaders share a common trait. They generally remain remarkably oblivious to the harm they do to the nation they lead. George W. Bush is a salient recent example, as is former British Prime Minister Tony Blair. When it comes to foreign policy, we are now witnessing a similar phenomenon at the Obama White House.
SHARE Thursday, October 17, 2019 Tomgram: Steve Fraser, Existential Threat Versus Existential Crisis
The way greenhouse gasses have poured into the atmosphere since 1965 -- more than a third of them attributable to the products of just 20 fossil-fuel companies -- should represent the crisis of any lifetime. In a fashion previously unknown to humanity, existence on this planet will change in ways that should prove grim indeed.
SHARE 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.
(1 comments) SHARE Thursday, June 25, 2015 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.
SHARE Thursday, October 3, 2019 Tomgram: Frida Berrigan, Protecting the Children on a Trumpian Planet
Okay, I'll admit it. Sometimes I can't take the bad news. It's too much. It's so extra, as the kids like to say.
When I hit that wall of hopelessness and anxiety so many of us have become familiar with, I take what I think of as a "kid break." I stare into the faces of my three children seeking solace and sanity. I remind myself that they are the why of it all.
(1 comments) SHARE Tuesday, September 6, 2016 Tomgram: Nick Turse, What the U.S. Military Doesn't Know (and Neither Do You)
What the Pentagon and the U.S. military do matters greatly on this conflicted planet of ours, which is why I regularly find it amazing, even unnerving, that, in a world of monster media organizations, covering what the U.S. military does in Africa -- and it's doing more and more there -- has largely been left to Nick Turse of TomDispatch.
SHARE Thursday, December 12, 2019 Tomgram: Michael Klare, Acclimatizing the U.S. Military
It was Monday, March 1, 2032, and the top uniformed officers of the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps were poised, as they are every year around this time, to deliver their annual "posture statement" on military readiness before the Senate Armed Services Committee.
(3 comments) SHARE Thursday, May 22, 2014 Is Climate Change a Crime Against Humanity?
Consider this piece my attempt to reframe the climate change debate by suggesting the obvious but normally never stated: climate change is a weapon of mass destruction in the same apocalyptic vein as nuclear weapons. It is also a self-evident "crime against humanity." These are obvious categories in which to discuss the damage that is now being done, despite everything we know, to our future, but no one ever uses them.
SHARE Tuesday, June 18, 2019 Tomgram: Rajan Menon, The Death(s) of the Working Class in the Age of Trump
We hear a lot about suicide when celebrities like Anthony Bourdain and Kate Spade die by their own hand. Otherwise, it seldom makes the headlines. That's odd given the magnitude of the problem.
In 2017, 47,173 Americans killed themselves. In that single year, in other words, the suicide count was nearly seven times greater than the number of American soldiers killed in the Afghanistan and Iraq wars between 2001 and 2018.
SHARE Tuesday, March 3, 2020 Tomgram: Engelhardt, The Trump Conundrum
Here's the truth of it: I'd like a presidential pardon. Really, I would. And I think I deserve it more than Michael Milken or Rod Blagojevich or -- because it's obviously heading our way -- Roger Stone (not to speak of Michael Flynn and Paul Manafort).
SHARE Monday, February 24, 2020 Tomgram: Andrew Bacevich, When Reality Sneaks Through
The impeachment of the president of the United States! Surely such a mega-historic event would reverberate for weeks or months, leaving in its wake no end of consequences, large and small. Wouldn't it? Shouldn't it?
SHARE Monday, December 16, 2013 Tomgram: Ann Jones, Suffer the Children
Another week, another revelation about spying by the National Security Agency. This time, it was the NSA's infiltration of online video games and virtual realms like World of Warcraft and Second Life. And it was hardly a shock.
SHARE Monday, January 27, 2020 Tomgram: Engelhardt, Are We All Australians Yet?
Let me betray my age for a moment. Some of you, I know, will be shocked, but I still read an actual newspaper. Words on real paper every day. I'm talking about the New York Times, and something stuck with me from the January 9th edition of that "paper" paper.
(1 comments) SHARE Thursday, June 20, 2019 Tomgram: Andrew Bacevich, The Fake News of D-Day
How best to describe the recently completed allied commemoration of the 75th anniversary of the D-Day invasion of France? Two words come immediately to mind: heartfelt and poignant. The aged D-Day veterans gathering for what was probably the last time richly deserved every bit of praise bestowed on them. Yet one particular refrain that has become commonplace in this age of Donald Trump was absent from the proceedings.
SHARE Monday, July 1, 2019 Tomgram: Dilip Hiro, American Decline
Make America Great Again? Don't count on it.
Donald Trump was partly voted into office by Americans who felt that the self-proclaimed greatest power on Earth was actually in decline -- and they weren't wrong. Trump is capable of tweeting many things, but none of those tweets will stop that process of decline, nor will a trade war with a rising China or fierce oil sanctions on Iran.
SHARE Tuesday, November 26, 2013 TomDispatch: Laura Gottesdiener, Wall Street's Rental Empire
"One shitty deal." "Shitty deal." "Shitty." The date was April 27, 2010, and Senator Carl Levin (D-Mich.) was pissed as he launched into a rant with those pungent quotes in it. As part of a Senate subcommittee investigation into the causes of the financial meltdown, Levin was grilling Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein and several other current and former Goldman higher-ups about their roles...
SHARE Thursday, June 2, 2011 Bill McKibben, Obama Strikes Out on Global Warming
President Obama came into office promising to mitigate climate change and hold back the rising waters of global oceans. More recently, his administration has been opening up new lands to coal mining and new pipeline territory to bring Canadian tar-sand "sludge" through the U.S.
(3 comments) SHARE Tuesday, July 18, 2017 Tomgram: John Feffer, The Invisible Monster of Climate Change
Once upon a time, long, long ago, I testified before the great assembly of our land.
When I describe this event to children today, it really does sound to them like a fairy tale. Once upon a time -- a time before the world splintered into a million pieces and America became its current disunited states -- this old woman was a young idealist who tried to persuade our mighty Congress that a monster was stalking the land.
SHARE Thursday, September 19, 2019 Tomgram: Stephanie Savell, The Saddest Story of All
I've never been to Afghanistan, but I am the mother of two young children. So when I imagine what life must be like there after 18 years of war, my mind conjures up the children most vividly -- the ones who have been affected by the conflict -- and their parents.
(1 comments) SHARE Monday, March 26, 2012 Michelle Alexander: The Age of Obama as a Racial Nightmare
In March 2010, when TomDispatch first published a piece by Michelle Alexander, her book, The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness, had just been published. As I wrote then, it focused in startling ways on "a growing racial divide, one which includes the formation of a new undercaste in America that loses its normal rights at the prison gates and often never recovers them."
SHARE Thursday, August 8, 2019 Tomgram: Robert Lipsyte, A Comic Stands Up to Racism
One afternoon in New York City in the spring of 1964, I marched at the head of a small civil rights demonstration, one of the few white people in the group. I was carrying a watermelon. It was a Dick Gregory joke.
SHARE Thursday, November 7, 2019 Tomgram: Danny Sjursen, Inauspicious Futures in the U.S. Army
Patches, pins, medals, and badges are the visible signs of an exclusive military culture, a silent language by which soldiers and officers judge each other's experiences, accomplishments, and general worth. In July 2001, when I first walked through the gate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point at the ripe young age of 17...
(2 comments) SHARE Thursday, August 21, 2014 Patrick Cockburn, How to Ensure a Thriving Caliphate
Think of the new "caliphate" of the Islamic State, formerly the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), as George W. Bush and Dick Cheney's gift to the world (with a helping hand from the Saudis and other financiers of extremism in the Persian Gulf).
(1 comments) SHARE Thursday, September 12, 2019 Tomgram: Michael Klare, A Formula for Catastrophe in the Arctic
Donald Trump got the headlines as usual -- but don't be fooled. It wasn't Trumpism in action this August, but what we should all now start referring to as the Pompeo Doctrine. Yes, I'm referring to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and, when it comes to the Arctic region, he has a lot more than buying Greenland on his mind.
SHARE Tuesday, January 28, 2020 Tomgram: Frida Berrigan, "We Get to Live in the Mayor's House!"
"YES!" he yelled, thrusting his fist in the air. "We get to live in the mayor's house!" My son's reaction when I told his two sisters and him that I was running for mayor of our town became the laugh line of my campaign. But in real time, I had to burst his bubble. "Oh Seamus," I said, smiling, "the mayor just lives in his own house. There is no 'mayor's house.'
SHARE 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?
SHARE Sunday, January 11, 2015 Ann Jones: Answering for America
So wherever we expatriates settle on the planet, we find someone who wants to talk about the latest American events, large and small: another country bombed in the name of our "national security," another peaceful protest march attacked by our increasingly militarized police, another diatribe against "big government" by yet another wannabe candidate who hopes to head that very government in Washington.
SHARE Monday, February 23, 2015 Pepe Escobar: Inside China's "New Normal"
Seen from the Chinese capital as the Year of the Sheep starts, the malaise affecting the West seems like a mirage in a galaxy far, far away. On the other hand, the China that surrounds you looks all too solid and nothing like the embattled nation you hear about in the Western media, with its falling industrial figures, its real estate bubble, and its looming environmental disasters.
SHARE Tuesday, March 10, 2020 Tomgram: Nan Levinson, What Difference Does It Make Who Fights Our Wars?
Bizarrely enough, the spate of phone calls from recruiters began a couple of years ago. The first ones came from the Army, next the Marines, and then other branches of the military. I'm decades past enlistment age. I've been publicly antiwar for most of that time and come from a family that was last involved with a military when my grandfather ran out the back door to avoid Russian army recruiters...
SHARE Tuesday, September 12, 2017 Tomgram: William Astore, The Superpower That Fought Itself -- And Lost
When it comes to the "world's greatest military," the news has been shocking. Two fast U.S. Navy ships colliding with slow-moving commercial vessels with tragic loss of life. An Air Force that has been in the air continuously for years and yet doesn't have enough pilots to fly its combat jets. Ground troops who find themselves fighting "rebels" in Syria previously armed and trained by the CIA...
SHARE Tuesday, March 31, 2020 Tomgram: Rebecca Gordon, Feminism in the Time of Coronavirus
Before I found myself "sheltering in place," this article was to be about women's actions around the world to mark March 8th, International Women's Day. From Pakistan to Chile, women in their millions filled the streets, demanding that we be able to control our bodies and our lives.
SHARE Tuesday, July 9, 2019 Tomgram: William Astore, Drowning in Militarism
Put up with me for just a moment while I wax literary. It turns out that, if French novelist Marcel Proust lived today, he might have had to retitle his Remembrance of Things Past as Remembrance of Things Present, or even more sadly, Things Future...
SHARE Tuesday, November 20, 2018 Tomgram: Danny Sjursen, Global War to Infinity and Beyond
American militarism has gone off the rails -- and this middling career officer should have seen it coming. Earlier in this century, the U.S. military not surprisingly focused on counterinsurgency as it faced various indecisive and seemingly unending wars across the Greater Middle East and parts of Africa.
(1 comments) SHARE Tuesday, August 18, 2015 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.
SHARE 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.
(1 comments) SHARE Thursday, January 5, 2012 Bill McKibben, Buying Congress in 2012
How Congressional representatives have been turned from public servants into corporate employees and what to do about the money flooding Washington.
SHARE Monday, April 9, 2012 Peter Van Buren: Joining The Whistleblowers' Club
The world can be a luckless place, but every now and then serendipity just knocks you off a cliff. In what passed for my real life before TomDispatch intervened, I was (and remain, on a part-time basis) a book editor in mainstream publishing. The "slush pile" in a publishing house is normally the equivalent of an elephant's graveyard, the place prospective books go to die. It's made up of proposals or manuscripts arriving over
(2 comments) SHARE Monday, June 4, 2012 Bill McKibben: Climate-Change Deniers Have Done Their Job Well
Here's the thing about climate-change deniers: these days before they sit down to write their blog posts, they have to turn on the AC. After all, it might as well be July in New York (where I'm writing this), August in Chicago (where a century-old heat record was broken in late May), and hell at the Indy 500.
SHARE Tuesday, June 24, 2014 Michael Schwartz, The New Oil Wars in Iraq
Imagine the president, speaking on Iraq from the White House Press Briefing Room last Thursday, as the proverbial deer in the headlights -- and it's not difficult to guess just what those headlights were. Think of them as Benghazi on steroids.
SHARE Tuesday, June 23, 2020 Tomgram: Andrew Bacevich, The All-American Way
In the wake of the police killing of George Floyd, Americans are finally -- or is it once again? -- confronting the racism that afflicts this country and extends into just about every corner of our national life. Something fundamental just might be happening.
(6 comments) SHARE Thursday, September 29, 2011 Sex and the Single Drone: The Latest in Guarding the Empire
In the world of weaponry, they are the sexiest things around. Others countries are desperate to have them. Almost anyone who writes about them becomes a groupie. Reporters exploring their onrushing future swoon at their potentially wondrous techno-talents. They are, of course, the pilotless drones, our grimly named Predators and Reapers.
(1 comments) SHARE Monday, December 11, 2017 Andrew Bacevich, A Country Addicted to War
What makes a Harvey Weinstein moment? The now-disgraced Hollywood mogul is hardly the first powerful man to stand accused of having abused women. The Harveys who preceded Harvey himself are legion, their prominence matching or exceeding his own and the misdeeds with which they were charged at least as reprehensible.
(1 comments) SHARE Tuesday, July 26, 2011 Tomgram: Mike Davis, The Coming Economic Disaster
Economically speaking, dots everywhere are almost religiously not connected, and so the thought that the global system itself might fail (as systems sometimes do) never quite manages to arise. Thank heavens, then, for Mike Davis, TomDispatch regular who has never seen a set of dots he didn't care to connect.
SHARE Tuesday, February 6, 2018 Tomgram: Dilip Hiro, America First Actually Means China First
Here, then, is a list of favors that Donald Trump has done for America's latest challengers and how they have reacted on what, after almost two decades of a sole superpower global order, is once again a planet with more than one world power.
SHARE 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.
SHARE Thursday, February 1, 2018 Tomgram: Nomi Prins, How to Set the Economy on Fire
In Donald Trump's White House, you can hardly keep up with the ongoing brouhahas from North Korea to Robert Mueller's Russian investigation, while it already feels like ages since the celebratory mood over the vast corporate tax cuts Congress passed last year. But don't be fooled: none of that is as important as what's missing from the picture...
(3 comments) SHARE Tuesday, March 27, 2012 Chip Ward: Apologies to the Next Generation for the Turmoil to Come
t our relatively advanced ages, Chip Ward and I couldn't be more modern. We've never met, only e-met (and chatted on our cell phones). We may never meet. He lives in the backcountry of Utah and while he travels extensively, it's not on trails I'm likely to be following, nor is it to the big city. I seldom leave New York and when I do, it's not for Utah.
SHARE Sunday, November 18, 2018 Rajan Menon, Tweeting in the Rain
By now, we're used to the president's words and deeds prompting eye-rolling and jokes. But on this occasion, as on others, Trump's behavior reflects deeper and dangerous political trends -- ones he both exemplifies and fosters...
(1 comments) SHARE Monday, June 17, 2019 Tomgram: Engelhardt, Trump Change
Don't try to deny it! The political temperature of this country is rising fast. Call it Trump change or Trump warming, if you want, but grasp one thing: increasingly, you're in a different land and, whatever happens to Donald Trump, the results down the line are likely to be ever less pretty. Trump change isn't just an American phenomenon, it's distinctly global.
SHARE Tuesday, October 15, 2019 Tomgram: Rebecca Gordon, True Crimes and Misdemeanors
Think of it this way: with the refusal of the White House to cooperate in any fashion with the impeachment inquiry of the House of Representatives, which Donald Trump has already taken to calling a "totally compromised kangaroo court," the president is, in effect, attempting to impeach Congress. He's doing it through the media, on Twitter, and in the long run -- he hopes -- via the 2020 election.
(5 comments) SHARE Tuesday, June 15, 2010 Tomgram: Engelhardt, Washington Drunk on War
Gorbachev had dubbed Afghanistan "the bleeding wound," and when the wounded Red Army finally limped home, it was to a country that would soon cease to exist. For the Soviet Union, Afghanistan had literally proven "the graveyard of empires." If, at the end, its military remained standing, the empire didn't. (And if you don't already find this description just a tad eerie, given the present moment in the U.S., you should.)
SHARE Thursday, November 2, 2017 Tomgram: Eduardo Galeano, Monster Wanted
Birds are the only free beings in this world inhabited by prisoners. They fly from pole to pole, powered by food alone, on the route they choose and at the hour they wish, without ever asking permission of officials who believe they own the heavens.
(1 comments) SHARE Tuesday, January 15, 2019 Tomgram: Dahr Jamail, "We Can't Undo This"
While describing the warming, ever more acidic waters around Alaska and the harm being caused to the marine food web, he recalled a moment approximately 250 million years ago when the oceans underwent similar changes and the planet experienced mass extinction events "driven by ocean acidity. The Permian mass extinction where 90% of the species were wiped out, that is what we are looking at now."
(11 comments) SHARE Tuesday, July 28, 2009 Bush Era Horrors Will Haunt Us Until We Truly Face Them
Given the last eight years of disaster piled on catastrophe, who in our American world would want to look backward? The urge to turn the page in this country is palpable. Perhaps the greatest fantasy of the present moment is that there is a choice here. We can look forward or backward, turn the page on history or not. Don't believe it. History matters.
SHARE Tuesday, July 16, 2019 Tomgram: William Hartung, Eisenhower's Worst Nightmare
When, in his farewell address in 1961, President Dwight D. Eisenhower warned of the dangers of the "unwarranted influence" wielded by the "military-industrial complex," he could never have dreamed of an arms-making corporation of the size and political clout of Lockheed Martin. In a good year, it now receives up to $50 billion in government contracts, a sum larger than the operating budget of the State Department.
(2 comments) SHARE Monday, November 24, 2014 Andrew Bacevich: Daydream Believers
Inside the Beltway, policymakers, politicians, and pundits take Iraq's existence for granted. Many can even locate it on a map. They also take for granted the proposition that it is incumbent upon the United States to preserve that existence. To paraphrase Chris Hedges, for a certain group of Americans, Iraq is the cause that gives life meaning. For the military-industrial complex, it's the gift that keeps on giving.
(6 comments) SHARE Monday, February 13, 2017 Tomgram: Rajan Menon, The China Missile Crisis of 2018?
Forget those "bad hombres down there" in Mexico that U.S. troops might take out. Ignore the way National Security Adviser Michael Flynn put Iran "on notice" and the new president insisted, that, when it comes to that country, "nothing is off the table." Instead, focus for a moment on something truly scary: the possibility that Donald Trump's Washington might slide into an actual war with the planet's rising superpower, China.
(1 comments) SHARE Thursday, January 11, 2018 Tomgram: William D. Hartung, 2018 Looks Like an Arms Bonanza
As Donald Trump might put it, major weapons contractors like Boeing, Raytheon, and Lockheed Martin cashed in "bigly" in his first year in office. They raked in tens of billions of dollars in Pentagon contracts, while posting sharp stock price increases and healthy profits driven by the continuation and expansion of Washington's post-9/11 wars.
(4 comments) SHARE Tuesday, October 6, 2015 Tomgram: Frida Berrigan, A Mother Thinks the Unthinkable
We can't say it, but we are increasingly afraid of the future, of tomorrow, afraid for our children in ways that, in themselves, are frightening to bring up. It's as diffuse as "anything can happen" and as specific as we are running out of ______ [fill in the blank: clean water, fossil fuels, space for people, arable land, cheap food stuffs, you name it].
(4 comments) SHARE Thursday, June 1, 2017 John Feffer, Trump, China, and the Unsettled Future of Asia
Asia has been the future for more than a generation.
When Americans try to glimpse what's to come, images of the Pacific Rim flood the imagination. For movie audiences in 1982, the rain-soaked Los Angeles of Blade Runner looked like downtown Tokyo.
SHARE Monday, January 13, 2020 Tomgram: Allegra Harpootlian, Droning the World
We're only a few days into the new decade and it's somehow already a bigger dumpster fire than the last. On January 2nd, President Trump decided to order what one expert called "the most important decapitation strike America has ever launched."
SHARE Thursday, June 11, 2020 Tomgram: Michael Klare, Is There a Chinese Missile Crisis in Our Future?
America's pundits and politicians have largely concluded that a new Cold War with China -- a period of intense hostility and competition falling just short of armed combat -- has started. "Rift Threatens U.S. Cold War Against China," as a New York Times headline put it on May 15th, citing recent clashes over trade, technology, and responsibility for the spread of Covid-19...
SHARE Monday, October 14, 2019 Tomgram: Engelhardt, The Ultimate Brexiteer
Donald Trump may prove to be the ultimate Brexiteer. Back in August 2016, in the midst of his presidential campaign, he proudly tweeted, "They will soon be calling me MR. BREXIT!" On the subject of the British leaving the European Union (EU) he's neither faltered nor wavered.
SHARE Tuesday, July 30, 2019 Tomgram: John Feffer, How to Decide the Fate of the Planet
At its best, the Earth was once likened to a spaceship that sails through the heavens with a crew working together for the common good. Thanks to climate change, this metaphor no longer works. Our planet is now more like a lifeboat that's sprung a major leak. People onboard are beginning to panic and the clock is ticking.
SHARE Tuesday, September 11, 2018 Tomgram: Andrew Bacevich, The President as Pimple
Donald Trump's tenure as the 45th U.S. president may last another few weeks, another year, or another 16 months. However unsettling the prospect, the leaky vessel that is the S.S. Trump might even manage to stay afloat for a second term. Nonetheless, recent headline-making revelations suggest that, like some derelict ship that's gone aground, the Trump presidency may already have effectively run its course.
SHARE Tuesday, November 5, 2019 Tomgram: Engelhardt, Donald in Blunderland
There can be no question about it. Donald Trump is Lewis Carroll's Queen of Hearts. "Off with his head!" was the president's essential suggestion for -- to offer just one example -- a certain whistleblower who fingered him on that now notorious Ukrainian phone call.
(1 comments) SHARE Monday, June 13, 2016 Tomgram: Noam Chomsky, Tick... Tick... Tick...
It's no small horror that, on this planet of ours, humanity continues to foster two apocalyptic forces, each of which -- one in a relative instant and the other over many decades -- could cripple or destroy human life as we know it.
(3 comments) SHARE Thursday, August 17, 2017 Tomgram: Engelhardt, Welcome to the Post-American World
Let me try to get this straight: from the moment the Soviet Union imploded in 1991 until recently just about every politician and mainstream pundit in America assured us that we were the planet's indispensable nation, the only truly exceptional one on this small orb of ours.
SHARE Tuesday, August 11, 2020 Tomgram: Bob Dreyfuss, Could Covert War With Iran Become Overt Before November 3rd?
Was Donald Trump's January 3rd drone assassination of Major General Qasem Soleimani the first step in turning the simmering Cold War between the United States and Iran into a hot war in the weeks before an American presidential election? Of course, there's no way to know, but behind by double digits in most national polls and flanked by ultra-hawkish Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Trump is a notoriously impetuous and erratic
SHARE 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.
SHARE Tuesday, November 5, 2019 Tomgram: Nick Turse, Bases, Bases, Everywhere, and Not a Base in Sight
They called it Castle Black, an obvious homage to the famed frozen citadel from the HBO series Game of Thrones. In the fantasy world of GoT, it's the stronghold of the Night's Watch, the French Foreign Legion-esque guardians of the northern border of the Seven Kingdoms.
This Castle Black, however, was all too real and occupied by U.S. Special Operations forces, America's most elite troops.
SHARE Thursday, May 25, 2017 Rebecca Gordon, Those Who Do Not Remember History...
The Trump administration seems intent on tossing recent history down the memory hole. Admittedly, Americans have never been known for their strong grasp of facts about their past. Still, as we struggle to keep up with the constantly shifting explanations and pronouncements of the new administration, it becomes ever harder to remember the events of yesterday, let alone last week, or last month.
SHARE Monday, September 9, 2019 Tomgram: Nick Turse, How to Read a Broken Body
Do you remember July 8, 2011? Where you were? What you did? Whom you talked to? Anything at all? [...] Maybe you remember it because it was the day NASA launched the Space Shuttle on its 135th and final mission...
(1 comments) SHARE Tuesday, May 28, 2013 Andrew Bacevich: The Eternal War?
Twelve and a half years after Congress didn't declare war on an organization of hundreds or, at most, thousands of jihadis scattered mainly across the backlands of the planet, and instead let President George W. Bush and his cohort loose to do whatever they wanted.
(1 comments) SHARE Tuesday, October 17, 2017 Tomgram: Engelhardt, Nixon's Children
"[Petraeus] hooked his thumbs into his flak vest and adjusted the weight on his shoulders. 'Tell me how this ends,' he said. 'Eight years and eight divisions?' The allusion was to advice supposedly given the White House in the early 1950s by a senior Army strategist upon being asked what it would take to prop up French forces in South Vietnam. Petraeus's grin suggested the comment was more droll quip than historical assertion.
(1 comments) SHARE Tuesday, May 31, 2016 Tomgram: Andrew Bacevich, America's Sinkhole Wars
Fifteen years of "milestones," turning points, landmarks -- the "liberation" of Afghanistan, the capture of Saddam Hussein, the killing of Osama bin Laden, and most recently the drone-killing of the leader of the Taliban -- and still America's failing wars go on.
SHARE 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.
(2 comments) SHARE Thursday, March 27, 2014 Tomgram: Nick Turse, America's Non-Stop Ops in Africa
For the last several years, Nick Turse has been covering the expansion of U.S. Africa Command and the quiet, under-the-radar-screen growth of U.S. operations on that continent at TomDispatch. Today, Turse offers a revealing look at the quickening pace of U.S. military operations in Africa as the Pentagon prepares for future wars, and the destabilization and blowback it is already helping to sow on that continent.
(2 comments) SHARE Tuesday, September 8, 2015 Exceptional Pain Dispensed by the Indispensable Nation
Fourteen years of wars, interventions, assassinations, torture, kidnappings, black sites, the growth of the American national security state to monumental proportions, and the spread of Islamic extremism across much of the Greater Middle East and Africa. Fourteen years of astronomical expense, bombing campaigns galore, and a military-first foreign policy of repeated defeats, disappointments, and disasters.
SHARE Monday, May 18, 2020 Tomgram: Karen Greenberg, So Long to American Exceptionalism
Remember the song "Over There"? [...] Maybe not, since it was popular so long ago, but it was meant to inspire American troops saying goodbye to their country on their way to a Europe embroiled in World War I. Written by George M. Cohan, the song paid homage to an American wartime urge to do good in the world, to take what was precious about this country and spread it to less fortunate, endangered peoples elsewhere.
SHARE Monday, June 26, 2017 Tomgram: Nick Turse, The Commandos of Everywhere
The tabs on their shoulders read "Special Forces," "Ranger," "Airborne." And soon their guidon -- the "colors" of Company B, 3rd Battalion of the U.S. Army's 7th Special Forces Group -- would be adorned with the "Bandera de Guerra," a Colombian combat decoration.
SHARE Tuesday, July 12, 2016 Tomgram: William Astore, We Have Met the Alien and He Is Us
When we go to the movies, we identify with the outgunned rebels, the underdogs, the liberators, against the alien invaders, the imperial stormtroopers, the Terminators. Here, however, is one retired Air Force lieutenant colonel's hard won realization that we -- the U.S. military in particular -- may be the invading "aliens" in much of the world.
SHARE Monday, February 20, 2012 Andrew Bacevich: Uncle Sam, Global Gangster
If all goes as planned, it will be the happiest of wartimes in the U.S.A. Only the best of news, the killing of the baddest of the evildoers, will ever filter back to our world.
SHARE Monday, January 20, 2020 Tomgram: Greenberg and Dratel, The Gitmo Era
In January 2002, the Guanta'namo Bay Detention Facility in Cuba opened its gates for the first 20 detainees of the war on terror. Within 100 days, 300 of them would arrive, often hooded and in those infamous orange jumpsuits, and that would just be the beginning. At its height, the population would rise to nearly 800 prisoners from 59 countries.
SHARE Tuesday, November 21, 2017 Tomgram: Rebecca Gordon, The Annals of Rehabilitation
George W. Bush is hardly the first disgraced Republican president and war criminal to worm his way back into American esteem. Richard Nixon remains the leader in that department. He spent his later years being celebrated as an elder statesman and a master of realpolitik in international relations. In the process, he managed to shake off the dust of Watergate.
SHARE Thursday, August 1, 2019 Tomgram: Adam Hochschild, America's Real War
Along rivers prone to overflowing, people sometimes talk of preparing for a 100-year flood -- a dangerous surge of muddy, debris-filled water so overwhelming it appears only once a century.
SHARE Thursday, August 3, 2017 Tomgram: Robert Lipsyte, Hail to the Duffer in Chief
From TomDispatch this morning: a devastating anatomy of the sport that's central to Donald Trump's plutocratic vision of his presidency and the promotion of the Trump brand -- Robert Lipsyte, "The Sport of Plutocrats, Golf Is Trump"
SHARE Thursday, August 13, 2020 Tomgram: Andrew Bacevich, The First Two Weeks
Assume Joe Biden wins the presidency. Assume as well that he genuinely intends to repair the damage our country has sustained since we declared ourselves history's "Indispensable Nation," compounded by the traumatic events of 2020 that demolished whatever remnants of that claim survived.
(1 comments) SHARE Monday, November 20, 2017 Tomgram: Michael Klare, Normalizing Nukes
Maybe you thought America's nuclear arsenal, with its thousands of city-busting, potentially civilization-destroying thermonuclear warheads, was plenty big enough to deter any imaginable adversary from attacking the U.S. with nukes of their own. Well, it turns out you were wrong.
SHARE 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
(1 comments) SHARE Tuesday, January 17, 2012 Pepe Escobar: Sinking the Petrodollar in the Persian Gulf
These days, with a crisis atmosphere growing in the Persian Gulf, a little history lesson about the U.S. and Iran might be just what the doctor ordered. Here, then, are a few high- (or low-) lights from their relationship over the last half-century-plus:
SHARE Thursday, June 8, 2017 Nomi Prins, In Washington, Is the Glass(-Steagall) Half Empty or Half Full?
Remember when "draining the swamp" was something the Bush administration swore it was going to do in launching its Global War on Terror? Well, as we all know, that global swamp of terror only got muckier in the ensuing years. (Think al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, think ISIS.) Then, last year, that swamp left terror behind and took up residence in Washington, D.C.
SHARE Tuesday, November 12, 2019 Tomgram: Ryan Summers and Ben Freeman, Of, By, and For Them (Not Us)
Foreign influence in America is the topic du jour. From the impeachment inquiry into President Trump's request that a foreign power investigate a political opponent to the indictment of associates of his personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, for illegally funneling foreign money into U.S. elections, the nation has been transfixed by news of illegal foreign influence in the political process.
SHARE Thursday, January 24, 2013 Rebecca Solnit: The Longest War
The Republican "war on women" helped define 2012. Its main offensives are well known, including the assertion that you can't get pregnant from rape; the obstruction of the Violence Against Women Act because it would have given Native American courts more jurisdiction over domestic violence; demonizing a woman who dared to assert that all women, rich and poor, deserve access to contraception and laws limiting access to abortion
SHARE Thursday, April 9, 2020 Tomgram: Danny Sjursen, Trump's Own Military Mafia
Every West Point class votes on an official motto. Most are then inscribed on their class rings. Hence, the pejorative West Point label "ring knocker." (As legend has it, at military meetings a West Pointer "need only knock his large ring on the table and all Pointers present are obliged to rally to his point of view.") Last August, the class of 2023 announced theirs: "Freedom Is Not Free."
SHARE Thursday, January 10, 2019 Tomgram: Rebecca Gordon, Confronting "Alternative Facts"
In one of the Bible stories about the death of Jesus, local collaborators with the Roman Empire haul him before Pontius Pilate, the imperial governor of Palestine. Although the situation is dire for one of them, the two engage in a bit of epistemological banter. Jesus allows that his work is about telling the truth and Pilate responds with his show-stopping query: "What is truth?"
(1 comments) SHARE Thursday, January 15, 2015 Peter Van Buren, The Military-Industrial Complex in Iraq
"You can't have victory if you have no idea where the finish line is. But there is one bright side to the situation. If you can't create Victory in Iraq for future VI Day parades, you can at least make a profit from the disintegrating situation there."
SHARE Tuesday, May 28, 2019 Tomgram: James Carroll, The 12 Days of Bombing That Never End (for Me)
Earlier this month, the USS Abraham Lincoln carrier strike group -- the massive aircraft carrier itself with its dozens of warplanes and thousands of sailors and marines, a guided missile cruiser, and four destroyers -- suddenly began to make its way from the Mediterranean Sea into the Persian Gulf, heading for the waters off Iran.
SHARE Saturday, June 27, 2020 Tomgram: John Feffer, The De-Trumpification of America
Let's assume that Donald Trump loses the election in November.
Yes, that's a mighty big assumption, despite all the polls currently favoring the Democrats. If the economy begins to recover and the first wave of Covid-19 subsides (without a second wave striking), Donald Trump's reelection prospects could improve greatly.
SHARE Monday, June 15, 2020 Tomgram: Nick Turse, A Breathless Moment in America
They were relegated to the protest equivalent of a ghetto. Their assigned route shunted them to the far fringes of the city. Their demonstration was destined for an ignominious demise far from any main thoroughfare, out of sight of most apartment buildings, out of earshot of most homes, best viewed from a dinghy bobbing in the Hudson River.
(1 comments) SHARE Tuesday, July 19, 2011 Tomgram: Christian Parenti, Staff of Life, Bread of Death
Reporter Christian Parenti is just back from the global borderlands where soaring food and oil prices, climate chaos, other kinds of chaos, and resource scarcity add up to a challenging brew of trouble (as world leaders have begun to notice).
SHARE Thursday, December 11, 2014 James Carroll: The Pentagon as President Obama's Great White Whale
President Obama had been in office only three months when, boldly claiming his place on the world stage, he unequivocally committed himself and his country to a nuclear abolition movement that, until then, had at best existed somewhere on the distant fringes of power politics.
SHARE Sunday, July 14, 2019 Tomgram: Rebecca Gordon, I Had an Abortion and Now I'm Not Ashamed
I have never said this publicly before, but in December 1974 I had an abortion.
I was 22 years old, living in a cold, dark house in Portland, Oregon, spending my days huddled in front of a wood stove trying to finish my undergraduate senior thesis. I did not want to have a baby. I didn't know what would come next in my life, but I knew it would not include raising a child.
SHARE Thursday, June 27, 2019 Tomgram: Nick Turse, Some Notes on War Watching
TRIPOLI, Libya -- Sometimes war sounds like the harsh crack of gunfire and sometimes like the whisper of the wind. This early morning -- in al-Yarmouk on the southern edge of Libya's capital, Tripoli -- it was a mix of both.
SHARE Tuesday, April 28, 2020 Tomgram: Michael Klare, A Silver Lining in the Global Pandemic
Energy analysts have long assumed that, given time, growing international concern over climate change would result in a vast restructuring of the global energy enterprise. The result: a greener, less climate-degrading system. In this future, fossil fuels would be overtaken by renewables, while oil, gas, and coal would be relegated to an increasingly marginal role in the global energy equation.
(2 comments) SHARE Tuesday, November 3, 2015 Tomgram: Michael Klare, Are Resource Wars Our Future?
Officially known as the 21st Conference of the Parties (COP-21) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (the 1992 treaty that designated that phenomenon a threat to planetary health and human survival), the Paris summit will be focused on the adoption of measures that would limit global warming to less than catastrophic levels.
SHARE Tuesday, December 2, 2014 Rebecca Solnit: Casino Capitalism, Nevada-Style
As TomDispatch regular Rebecca Solnit explains in a haunting new piece, in the late 1990s, the bright-lit casinos of Las Vegas's strip yielded pride of place to a new, far more breathtaking national gambling scheme. The bet would be on luxury housing developments, even though, as Solnit explains, the one thing those in Las Vegas should have known was "that the house always wins."
SHARE Sunday, April 17, 2011 Ira Chernus, The Great Israeli Security Scam
Three Sacred Commandments for Americans who shape the public conversation on Israel" ("For politicians, especially at the federal level: As soon as you say the word 'Israel,' you must also say the word 'security' and promise that the United States will always, always, always be committed to Israel's security"") These all add up to an indelible image of Israel as a deeply insecure nation.
SHARE Tuesday, February 25, 2020 Tomgram: William Astore, Stamping Out War
There is no significant anti-war movement in America because there's no war to protest. Let me explain. In February 2003, millions of people took to the streets around the world to protest America's march to war against Iraq. That mass movement failed.
SHARE Tuesday, March 17, 2015 Nan Levinson: America's New Military Mystique
Let's face it: we live in a state of pervasive national security anxiety. There are various possible responses to this low-grade fever that saps resolve, but first we have to face the basis for that anxiety -- what I've come to think of as the Big Dick School of Patriotism, or (since anything having to do with our present version of national security, even a critique of it, has to have an acronym) the BDSP.
SHARE Tuesday, February 4, 2020 Tomgram: William Astore, The Self-Defeating Military
The expression "self-licking ice cream cone" was first used in 1992 to describe a hidebound bureaucracy at NASA. Yet, as an image, it's even more apt for America's military-industrial complex, an institution far vaster than NASA and thoroughly dedicated to working for its own perpetuation and little else.
SHARE Thursday, May 4, 2017 John Dower, Terror Is in the Eye of the Beholder
Some years ago, a newspaper article credited a European visitor with the wry observation that Americans are charming because they have such short memories. When it comes to the nation's wars, however, he was not entirely on target.
SHARE Tuesday, May 19, 2020 Tomgram: Juan Cole, Iran and the U.S., An Irony of Curious Affinity
This spring, the novel coronavirus pandemic has raised the issue of the relationship between the blindest kind of religious faith and rational skepticism -- this time in two countries that think of themselves as polar opposites and enemies: Supreme Leader Ali Khameini's Iran and Donald Trump's America.
SHARE Monday, May 13, 2019 Tomgram: John Feffer, The Rising Tide of the Populist Right
In the Americas, the Trump tsunami has swept across both continents and the "pink tide" of progressivism has all but disappeared from the southern half of the hemisphere. In Europe, with the recent exception of Spain, the left has been banished to the political margins. In Africa and Asia, socialism has devolved into nationalism, authoritarianism, or just plain corruption. And forget about the Middle East.
SHARE Thursday, September 6, 2018 Tomgram: Engelhardt, History, Memory, and Donald Trump
I know you won't believe me. Not now, not when everything Donald Trump does -- any tweet, any insult at any rally -- is the news of the day, any day. But he won't be remembered for any of the things now in our headlines.
SHARE Thursday, October 8, 2015 Tomgram: Michael Klare, Tipping Points and the Question of Civilizational Survival
Not so long ago, it was science fiction. Now, it's hard science -- and that should frighten us all. The latest reports from the prestigious and sober Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) make increasingly hair-raising reading, suggesting that the planet is approaching possible moments of irreversible damage in a fashion and at a speed that had not been anticipated.
(1 comments) SHARE Tuesday, December 16, 2014 Pepe Escobar, Eurasian Integration vs. the Empire of Chaos
On the Eurasian continent, something seems to be shifting, potentially in a big way, and Escobar is, as ever, on the scene. Consider today's essay part two (here's part 1) of his wide-ranging look at a potentially tectonic set of commercial and power shifts, centering on China, that could change the way the world works (or, of course, simply descend into Cold War 2.0).
SHARE Tuesday, August 18, 2020 Tomgram: Dilip Hiro, Donald Trump Is Losing His Tech War with Xi Jinping
For the Trump administration's senior officials, it's been open season on bashing China. If you need an example, think of the president's blame game about "the invisible Chinese virus" as it spreads wildly across the U.S.
When it comes to China, in fact, the ever more virulent criticism never seems to stop.
(2 comments) SHARE Tuesday, June 6, 2017 William Astore, Back in the USSR
I had long had a feeling that, of the two superpowers of the Cold War era, one had left the stage in a rush, while the other was slowly inching its way toward the exits enwreathed in self-congratulation and an overwhelming sense of triumphalism.
(1 comments) SHARE Tuesday, September 9, 2014 Noam Chomsky, The Fate of the Gaza Ceasefire
Is there nowhere on the face of the Earth where opinion polls aren't taken? In the wake of the 50-day Israeli assault on Gaza, parts of that tiny strip of land now look, according to photographs, like a moonscape of destruction. At least 10,000 homes were obliterated and thousands more damaged; at least 175 major factories were pummeled into the dust.
SHARE Thursday, May 17, 2012 Barbara Ehrenreich: Looting the Lives of the Poor
Gordon Gekko, the infamously cutthroat capitalist and lead character in Oliver Stone's Wall Street, captured the heady years of the 1980s with a single, indelible line: Greed is good. Today, it is Edward Conard, a friend and former colleague of Mitt Romney's at the private equity firm Bain Capital, who has offered a new mantra for the 1%, a cri de coeur for the Gekkos of the twenty-first century: Inequality is good.
SHARE Monday, September 18, 2017 Tomgram: Michael Klare, The New Face of "War" at Home
Deployed to the Houston area to assist in Hurricane Harvey relief efforts, U.S. military forces hadn't even completed their assignments when they were hurriedly dispatched to Florida, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands to face Irma, the fiercest hurricane ever recorded in the Atlantic Ocean.
(1 comments) SHARE Monday, August 6, 2018 Tomgram: Nick Turse, A Grim Inheritance
While so much about the War on Terror turned Global War on Terrorism turned World War IV turned the Long War turned "generational struggle" turned "infinite war" seems repetitious, the troops most associated with this conflict -- the U.S. Special Operations forces -- have seen changes galore.
SHARE Thursday, March 28, 2019 Tomgram: Engelhardt, Donald Trump Naked as a Jaybird
Recently, I did something rare in my life. Over a long weekend, I took a few days away and almost uniquely -- I might even say miraculously -- never saw Donald Trump's face, since I didn't watch TV and barely checked the news.
SHARE Tuesday, November 7, 2017 Tomgram: Nomi Prins, You, Sir, Are No Alexander Hamilton
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin doesn't exactly come across as the guy you'd want in your corner in a playground tussle. In the Trump administration, he's been more like the kid trying to cop favor with the school bully. That, at least, is the role he seems to have taken in the Trump White House.
(3 comments) SHARE Tuesday, March 20, 2018 Tomgram: Andrew Bacevich, A Memo to the Publisher of the New York Times
Congratulations on assuming the reins of this nation's -- and arguably, the world's -- most influential publication. It's the family business, of course, so your appointment to succeed your father doesn't exactly qualify as a surprise. Even so, the responsibility for guiding the fortunes of a great institution must weigh heavily on you, especially when the media landscape is changing so rapidly and radically.
SHARE Thursday, May 28, 2020 Tomgram: Nomi Prins, A Rendezvous with Destiny?
Many economists believe that a recession is already underway. So do millions of Americans struggling with bills and job losses. While the ghosts of the 2008 financial crisis that sent inequality soaring to new heights in this country are still with us, it's become abundantly clear that the economic disaster brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic has already left the initial shock of that crisis in the dust.
SHARE Tuesday, June 20, 2017 Tomgram: William Hartung, Trump's Love Affair With the Saudis
At this point, it's no great surprise when Donald Trump walks away from past statements in service to some impulse of the moment. Nowhere, however, has such a shift been more extreme or its potential consequences more dangerous than in his sudden love affair with the Saudi royal family. It could in the end destabilize the Middle East in ways not seen in our lifetimes (which, given the growing chaos in the region, is no small t
SHARE Monday, August 10, 2020 Tomgram: Engelhardt, The Unexpected Past, the Unknown Future
Let me be blunt. This wasn't the world I imagined for my denouement. Not faintly. Of course, I can't claim I ever really imagined such a place. Who, in their youth, considers their death and the world that might accompany it, the one you might leave behind for younger generations? I'm 76 now. True, if I were lucky (or perhaps unlucky), I could live another 20 years and see yet a newer world born.
SHARE Monday, June 29, 2020 Tomgram: Mandy Smithberger, Prioritizing the Pentagon in a Pandemic
In response to the Covid-19 pandemic, Washington has initiated its largest spending binge in history. In the process, you might assume that the unparalleled spread of the disease would have led to a little rethinking when it came to all the trillions of dollars Congress has given the Pentagon in these years that have in no way made us safer from, or prepared us better to respond to, this predictable threat...
(2 comments) SHARE Monday, November 9, 2015 Greg Grandin, Waging Endless War From Vietnam to Syria
In April 2014, ESPN published a photograph of an unlikely duo: Samantha Power, U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, and former national security adviser and secretary of state Henry Kissinger at the Yankees-Red Sox season opener.
SHARE 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.
(1 comments) SHARE Thursday, October 23, 2014 David Bromwich: American Exceptionalism and Its Discontents
American exceptionalism? Honestly, who could deny it -- other than TomDispatch regular David Bromwich, author most recently of Moral Imagination, who explores the special immorality of imagining yourself as the most exceptional of lands.
SHARE 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.
SHARE Thursday, May 16, 2019 Tomgram: Hashem and Allen, Lobbying for War
A springtime wedding in Northern Yemen's Al-Raqah village took place in April 2018, a moment of reprieve from the turmoil and devastation of that war-torn country, a moment to celebrate life, love, and the birth of a new family. From the tents constructed for the event, music flooded into the village and, as at any good wedding, exuberant dancing was a central part of the festivities.
SHARE Thursday, July 2, 2020 Tomgram: Lawrence Weschler, A New Mount Rushmore for a World on the Brink?
The news that President Trump is planning to stage a "massive fireworks display" before a sizeable crowd on Independence Day eve at the Mount Rushmore National Memorial (notwithstanding the prospect of both wildfires in the tinder-dry surroundings and the further spread of Covid-19) has left me mulling over once again the possible creation of another such epic-scale monument.
SHARE Monday, October 3, 2011 Peter Van Buren, How the American Taxpayer Got Plucked in Iraq
Today, TomDispatch provides a hilarious (yet painful) account of what the "reconstruction" of Iraq actually meant at ground level. It's a tale of the funding of the building of a modern plant for killing, plucking, and producing chicken for the Iraqi diet (and jobs for Iraqis) - and it couldn't be wilder (or funnier).
SHARE Thursday, January 17, 2019 Tomgram: Susan Southard, Against Forgetting
Landing at Nagasaki Airport last November, I joined a line of Japanese men, women, and children waiting to disembark from our plane. Most were likely returning home on this holiday weekend or arriving to visit family and friends. I wondered how many of them remembered or thought about the nuclear annihilation of this city 73 years ago -- within, that is, their own lifetimes or those of their parents or grandparents.
SHARE Thursday, November 13, 2014 David Vine: A Permanent Infrastructure for Permanent War
The sad irony is that any legitimate desire to maintain the free flow of regional oil to the global economy could be sustained through other far less expensive and deadly means. Maintaining scores of bases costing billions of dollars a year is unnecessary to protect oil supplies and ensure regional peace -- especially in an era in which the United States gets only around 10% of its net oil and natural gas from the region.
SHARE Thursday, May 30, 2019 Tomgram: Danny Sjursen, With Friends Like These...
American foreign policy can be so retro, not to mention absurd. Despite being bogged down in more military interventions than it can reasonably handle, the Trump team recently picked a new fight -- in Latin America.
(1 comments) SHARE Thursday, November 6, 2014 Shamsi and Harwood: An Electronic Archipelago of Domestic Surveillance
As Hina Shamsi and Matthew Harwood of the ACLU point out, the web of watchlists on which Americans might now find their names circulating is staggeringly, redundantly vast and still expanding. It essentially adds up to a post-9/11 secret system of identification, they write, that once would have boggled the American imagination but is now just an accepted part of the American way of life.
SHARE Tuesday, November 10, 2015 Tomgram: John Feffer, On the Verge of the Great Unraveling
Let me start with a confession. I'm old-fashioned and I have an old-fashioned profession. I'm a geo-paleontologist. That means I dig around in archives to exhume the extinct: all the empires and federations and territorial unions that have passed into history. I practically created the profession of geo-paleontology as a young scholar in 2020. (We used to joke that we were the only historians with true 2020 hindsight).
SHARE Tuesday, June 25, 2019 ToTomgram: Robert Lipsyte, How the Worst Values of Sports Are Taking Over America
A half-century ago, the sporting Cassandras predicted that the worst values and sensibilities of our increasingly corrupted civic society would eventually affect our sacred games: football would become a gladiatorial meat market, basketball a model of racism, college sports a paradigm of commercialization, and Olympic sports like swimming and gymnastics a hotbed of sexual predators.
SHARE Thursday, October 26, 2017 Tomgram: Rebecca Gordon, Take Your (Tiny) Fingers Off the Button
Preventing a nuclear war between the United States and North Korea may be the most pressing challenge facing the world right now.
Our childish, ignorant, and incompetent president is shoving all of us -- especially the people of Asia -- ever nearer to catastrophe.
SHARE Thursday, July 11, 2019 Tomgram: Michael Klare, It's Always the Oil
It's always the oil. While President Trump was hobnobbing with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman at the G-20 summit in Japan, brushing off a recent U.N. report about the prince's role in the murder of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was in Asia and the Middle East, pleading with foreign leaders to support "Sentinel."
SHARE Tuesday, October 9, 2018 Tomgram: Juan Cole, How Muslims Became the Enemy
These days, our global political alliances seem to shift with remarkable rapidity, as if we were actually living in George Orwell's 1984. Are we at war this month with Oceania? Or is it Eastasia?
SHARE Tuesday, October 16, 2012 Noam Chomsky: "The Most Dangerous Moment," 50 Years Later
Here was the oddest thing: within weeks of the United States dropping an atomic bomb on a second Japanese city on August 9, 1945, and so obliterating it, Americans were already immersed in new scenarios of nuclear destruction.
SHARE Tuesday, January 23, 2018 Tomgram: Ann Jones, Beware the Viking Hordes
In the past couple of weeks, thanks to the president's racist comments about Haiti and African countries he can't even name -- remember "Nambia"? -- as well as the stamp of approval he awarded future immigrants from Norway, we've seen a surprising amount of commentary about that fortunate country.
SHARE Tuesday, September 4, 2018 Tomgram: Nick Turse, Victory in Our Time
What would "victory" in the war on terror even look like? What, in fact, constitutes an American military victory in the world today? Would it in any way resemble the end of the Civil War, or of the war to end all wars, or of the war that made that moniker obsolete?
SHARE Monday, January 29, 2018 Danny Sjursen, Wrong on Nam, Wrong on Terror
Vietnam: it's always there. Looming in the past, informing American futures.
A 50-year-old war, once labeled the longest in our history, is still alive and well and still being refought by one group of Americans: the military high command. And almost half a century later, they're still losing it and blaming others for doing so.
SHARE Monday, June 24, 2019 Tomgram: Allegra Harpootlian, Ending the Forever Wars?
When Donald Trump entered the Oval Office in January 2017, Americans took to the streets all across the country to protest their instantly endangered rights. Conspicuously absent from the newfound civic engagement, despite more than a decade and a half of this country's fruitless, destructive wars across the Greater Middle East and northern Africa, was antiwar sentiment, much less an actual movement.
(2 comments) SHARE Tuesday, April 18, 2017 Tomgram: Danny Sjursen, Remind Us How This Ends...
Make no mistake: after 15 years of losing wars, spreading terror movements, and multiplying failed states across the Greater Middle East, America will fight the next versions of our ongoing wars. Not that we ever really stopped.
SHARE Monday, October 16, 2017 Tomgram: Karen Greenberg, Gitmo's Living Legacy in the Trump Era
Eight years ago, when I wrote a book on the first days of Guantanamo, The Least Worst Place: Guanta'namo's First 100 Days, I assumed that Gitmo would prove a grim anomaly in our history. Today, it seems as if that "detention facility" will have a far longer life than I ever imagined and that it, and everything it represents, will become a true, if grim, legacy of twenty-first-century America.
SHARE 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.
SHARE Tuesday, March 17, 2020 Tomgram: Adam Hochschild, Our Country Under Censorship
Every month, it seems, brings a new act in the Trump administration's war on the media. In January, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo exploded at National Public Radio reporter Mary Louise Kelly when he didn't like questions she asked -- and then banned a colleague of hers from the plane on which he was leaving for a trip to Europe and Asia.
SHARE Tuesday, June 9, 2020 Tomgram: Palumbo and Draper, Knockout in Washington
It was a bare-knuckle brawl of the first order. It took place in Washington, D.C., and it resulted in a KO. The winners? Lobbyists and the defense industry. The losers? Us. And odds on, you didn't even know that it happened. Few Americans did, which is why it's worth telling the story of how Saudi, Emirati, and Qatari money flooded the nation's capital and, in the process, American policy went down for the count.
SHARE Monday, March 9, 2020 Tomgram: John Feffer, Survivor-in-Chief?
Donald Trump filed his paperwork to run for reelection only hours after his inauguration in January 2017, setting a presidential record, the first of his many dubious achievements.
(1 comments) SHARE Monday, November 3, 2014 Rebecca Solnit: The War Is Over (If You Want It), Feminism and Men
And here's what it all means: the winds of change have reached our largest weathervanes. The highest powers in the country have begun calling on men to take responsibility not only for their own conduct, but for that of the men around them, to be agents of change.
(1 comments) SHARE Thursday, September 8, 2016 Tomgram: Engelhardt, A 9/11 Retrospective: Washington's 15-Year Air War
I offer what I hope is a unique 9/11 retrospective for the 15th anniversary of that nightmare: a look at what's been at the heart of events since that morning -- a set of air wars that have gone on fruitlessly and destructively for 15 years and show no signs of ever ending.
SHARE Tuesday, January 22, 2019 Tomgram: Karen Greenberg, The Year of the Child (in Trouble)
Halfway through 2018, MSNBC's Mika Brzezinski hurled a mother-to-mother dagger at Ivanka Trump. How, during the very weeks when the headlines were filled with grim news of child separations and suffering at the U.S.-Mexico border, she asked, could the first daughter and presidential adviser be so tone-deaf as to show herself hugging her two-year-old son?
SHARE Monday, November 16, 2015 Tomgram: Laura Gottesdiener, The Angel of Death
When people ask me what my new job is like, I tell them that I wake up very early and count the dead. When I say "very early," I mean a few minutes after four a.m., as the sky is just softening to the color of faded purple corduroy. By "the dead," I mostly mean people across the world that my government has killed or helped another nation's government kill while I was sleeping.
SHARE Sunday, August 23, 2020 Tomgram: Erin Thompson, Breaking the Bronze Ceiling
On August 26, 2020, Alice in Wonderland will get some company. She will be joined in New York City's Central Park by Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and Sojourner Truth, the first statues there of women who, unlike Alice, actually existed. The monument is a gift to the park from Monumental Women, a non-profit organization formed in 2014.
SHARE Thursday, August 6, 2020 Tomgram: Patrick Cockburn, My Pandemics
The struggle against Covid-19 has often been compared to fighting a war. Much of this rhetoric is bombast, but the similarities between the struggle against the virus and against human enemies are real enough. War reporting and pandemic reporting likewise have much in common because, in both cases, journalists are dealing with and describing matters of life and death.
SHARE Tuesday, August 14, 2018 Tomgram: William Hartung, Gunrunning USA
American weapons makers have dominated the global arms trade for decades. In any given year, they've accounted for somewhere between one-third and more than one-half the value of all international weapons sales. It's hard to imagine things getting much worse -- or better, if you happen to be an arms trader -- but they could, and soon, if a new Trump rule on firearms exports goes through.
SHARE Wednesday, November 1, 2017 Tomgram: Engelhardt, Doing Bin Laden's Bidding
The question was: With such limited resources, what kind of self-destructive behavior could he goad a triumphalist Washington into? The key would be what might be called apocalyptic humiliation.
SHARE Monday, February 5, 2018 Tomgram: William Astore, Taking War Off Its Pedestal
Whether the rationale is the need to wage a war on terror involving 76 countries or renewed preparations for a struggle against peer competitors Russia and China (as Defense Secretary James Mattis suggested recently while introducing America's new National Defense Strategy), the U.S. military is engaged globally.
(2 comments) SHARE Tuesday, December 1, 2015 Tomgram: Barbara Ehrenreich, America to Working Class Whites: Drop Dead!
The white working class, which usually inspires liberal concern only for its paradoxical, Republican-leaning voting habits, has recently become newsworthy for something else: according to economist Anne Case and Angus Deaton, the winner of the latest Nobel Prize in economics, its members in the 45- to 54-year-old age group are dying at an immoderate rate.
SHARE Thursday, June 22, 2017 Tomgram: Andrew Bacevich, "There Will Be Hell to Pay"
Forgive me for complaining, but recent decades have not been easy ones for my peeps. I am from birth a member of the WHAM tribe, that once proud, but now embattled conglomeration of white, heterosexual American males. We have long been -- there's no denying it -- a privileged group. When the blessings of American freedom get parceled out, WHAMs are accustomed to standing at the head of the line. Those not enjoying the trifecta
SHARE Tuesday, May 12, 2020 Tomgram: Erik Edstrom, The Betrayal of the American Soldier
"Every day is a copy of a copy of a copy." That meme, from the moment when Edward Norton's character in Fight Club offers a 1,000-yard stare at an office copy machine, captures this moment perfectly -- at least for those of us removed from the front lines of the Covid-19 crisis. Isolated inside a Boston apartment, I typically sought new ways to shake the snow globe, to see the same bubble -- the same stuff -- differently.
(1 comments) SHARE Tuesday, February 17, 2015 Engelhardt: Walking Back the American Twenty-First Century?
I never fail to be amazed -- and that's undoubtedly my failing. I mean, if you retain a capacity for wonder you can still be awed by a sunset, but should you really be shocked that the sun is once again sinking in the West? Maybe not. The occasion for such reflections: machine guns in my hometown.
SHARE Tuesday, October 5, 2010 Tomgram: Andy Kroll, The Face of An American Lost Generation
One strangeness of our moment is that any U.S. Army commander going into an Afghan village can directly pay locals to, say, fix some part of that country's destroyed infrastructure. That's considered a winning-hearts-and-minds counterinsurgency strategy. On the other hand, here in the U.S., it's other hearts and minds that are targeted.
SHARE Monday, June 11, 2012 Andy Kroll: How the Wisconsin Uprising Got Hijacked
The post-mortems and prognostications began just minutes after Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker's recall election victory, and they're still flooding in. His win, goes one talking point, bodes well for Mitt Romney's efforts to flip Wisconsin red for the first time since 1984. Bummed-out Democrats, suggests another, spell trouble for President Obama in November.
(4 comments) SHARE Tuesday, June 4, 2013 Noam Chomsky: The Eve of Destruction
It didn't take long. In the immediate aftermath of the dropping of the "victory weapon," the atomic bomb, on two Japanese cities in August 1945, American fears and fantasies ran wild. Almost immediately, Americans began to reconceive themselves as potential victims of the bomb.
SHARE Tuesday, May 14, 2019 Tomgram: Karen Greenberg, Now You See It, Now You Don't
The Nobel Prize-winning Czech author Milan Kundera began his 1979 novel, The Book of Laughter and Forgetting, by describing two photographs. In the first, two men are standing side by side, a Czech nationalist later executed for his views and the country's Communist ruler. In the second, the dissenter is gone, airbrushed out.
SHARE Tuesday, May 30, 2017 Tomgram: Danny Sjursen, Beating the War Drums... Again
You couldn't make this up, could you?
Just before Trump's recent visit to Saudi Arabia, a genuinely despotic land with an extreme ideology and lacking elections, Iran's moderate president, Hassan Rouhani, was swept back into office. It was an exuberant election campaign in which he trounced a hardline fundamentalist opponent, winning 57% of the vote. Voter turnout was reportedly close to 73% which by the way beat...
(1 comments) SHARE Monday, February 14, 2011 Tomgram: Jen Marlowe, The Freedom Reading List
This is a remarkable piece for our Middle Eastern moment. Unlike most of the rest of us, Jen Marlowe was not surprised to see a strong, sophisticated vision of a democratic future sweep through Tunisia and Egypt, heading for other autocratic states in the Arab world.
SHARE Tuesday, January 16, 2018 Tomgram: Alfred McCoy, Tweeting While Rome Burns
As 2017 ended with billionaires toasting their tax cuts and energy executives cheering their unfettered access to federal lands as well as coastal waters, there was one sector of the American elite that did not share in the champagne celebration: Washington's corps of foreign policy experts.
SHARE Monday, January 14, 2019 Tomgram: Greg Grandin, Bricks in the Wall
The point was less to actually build "the wall" than to constantly announce the building of the wall. "We started building our wall. I'm so proud of it," Donald Trump tweeted. "What a thing of beauty."
In fact, no wall, or certainly not the "big, fat, beautiful" one promised by Trump, is being built.
SHARE Monday, February 3, 2020 Tomgram: Rajan Menon, No Trump Towers for Poor Kids
The plight of impoverished children anywhere should evoke sympathy, exemplifying as it does the suffering of the innocent and defenseless. Poverty among children in a wealthy country like the United States, however, should summon shame and outrage as well.
SHARE Monday, October 22, 2018 Tomgram: Engelhardt, Anniversaries That Never Will Be
We're already two years past the crystal anniversary and eight years short of the silver one, or at least we would be, had it been a wedding -- and, after a fashion, perhaps it was. On October 7, 2001, George W. Bush launched the invasion -- "liberation" was the word often used then -- of Afghanistan.
(1 comments) SHARE Tuesday, April 11, 2017 Tomgram: Mattea Kramer, Road Rules, or Rediscovering My Country from Cuban Soil
I'll tell you up front that my personal vehicle has crowns of rust on the rear wheel wells and an interior that smells vaguely of dog puke. It's a 2006 Mazda3 with 150,244 miles on it and it gets me around my modest world well enough, but I sure never considered it the stuff of headlines -- until I went to Cuba, an experience that tuned up my feelings about several American phenomena.
(2 comments) SHARE Thursday, January 25, 2018 Creating an Empire of Graveyards? At the Circus with Donald Trump
Who could deny that much of the attention he's received has been based on the absurdity, exaggeration, unsettling clownishness of it all, right down to the zany crew of subsidiary clowns who have helped keep him pumped up and cable newsed in the Oval Office?
SHARE Thursday, February 6, 2020 Tomgram: Andrea Mazzarino, Living in a World of Trauma
Last month, as hundreds of thousands of people showed up for the Women's March in Washington, D.C., a few miles from my home, I was at a karate dojo testing for my first belt. My fellow practitioners, ranging in age from five into their seventies, looked on as I hammered my fist through a two-inch piece of wood. The words of one of the black belts there echoed in my head. "Imagine the board is Trump,"
SHARE Monday, March 30, 2020 Tomgram: William Astore, Living Through Coronavirus Hard Times
My dad was born in 1917. Somehow, he survived the Spanish Flu pandemic of 1918-1919, but an outbreak of whooping cough in 1923 claimed his baby sister, Clementina. One of my dad's first memories was seeing his sister's tiny white casket. Another sister was permanently marked by scarlet fever.
SHARE Thursday, February 15, 2018 Tomgram: Stephanie Savell, The Hidden Costs of America's Wars
Today, I know -- and care -- more about the devastations of Washington's post-9/11 wars than I ever imagined I would. And judging from public reactions to our work at the Costs of War Project, my prior detachment was anything but unique. Quite the opposite: it's been the essence of the post-9/11 era in this country.
SHARE Tuesday, October 28, 2014 Studs Terkel on Death and Forgiveness in America
Studs Terkel, who put oral history on the American map with one spectacular book after another, was a small man who had a knack for making everyone around him feel larger than life. He taught me the first significant lesson I learned as a book editor -- and he didn't even know it.
SHARE Monday, June 8, 2020 Tomgram: William Astore, America's Forever Wars Have Come Home
From their front porches, regular citizens watched a cordon of cops sweep down their peaceful street in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Rankled at being filmed, the cops exceeded their authority and demanded that people go inside their houses. When some of them didn't obey quickly enough, the order -- one heard so many times in the streets of Iraqi cities and in the villages of Afghanistan -- was issued: "Light 'em up."
SHARE Friday, May 22, 2020 Tomgram: Bob Dreyfuss, Iraq Redux?
There's a meme that appears now and then on Facebook and other social media: "Those who don't study history are doomed to repeat it. Yet those who do study history are doomed to stand by helplessly while everyone else repeats it."
(2 comments) SHARE Tuesday, August 25, 2020 Tomgram: Michael Klare, Artificial (Un)intelligence and the U.S. Military
With Covid-19 incapacitating startling numbers of U.S. service members and modern weapons proving increasingly lethal, the American military is relying ever more frequently on intelligent robots to conduct hazardous combat operations. Such devices, known in the military as "autonomous weapons systems," include robotic sentries, battlefield-surveillance drones, and autonomous submarines. ..
SHARE 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."
(1 comments) SHARE Monday, April 6, 2020 Tomgram: Nomi Prins, An All-American Urge to Offer Corporate Welfare
To say that these are unprecedented times would be the understatement of the century. Even as the United States became the latest target of Hurricane COVID-19, in "hot spots" around the globe a continuing frenzy of health concerns represented yet another drop down the economic rabbit hole.
SHARE Tuesday, January 21, 2020 Tomgram: Mandy Smithberger, A Recipe for Disaster
Call it a colossal victory for a Pentagon that hasn't won a war in this century, but not for the rest of us. Congress only recently passed and the president approved one of the largest Pentagon budgets ever. It will surpass spending at the peaks of both the Korean and Vietnam wars.
(7 comments) SHARE Monday, May 9, 2016 Tomgram: Noam Chomsky, The Challenges of 2016
A half-century after Noam Chomsky wrote so memorably about the American war in Vietnam, he continues to write with the same chilling eloquence about the war-on-terror version of a similar American nightmare.
SHARE Thursday, December 14, 2017 Tomgram: Nick Turse, A Wider World of War
"We don't know exactly where we're at in the world, militarily, and what we're doing," said Senator Lindsey Graham, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, in October. That was in the wake of the combat deaths of four members of the Special Operations forces in the West African nation of Niger.
(1 comments) SHARE Monday, June 9, 2014 Eduardo Galeano, The World Cup and the Corporatization of Soccer
Over the next few weeks, we will see all that is beautiful and all that is damned in soccer at the FIFA World Cup in Brazil. Hundreds of millions will swoon at the sight of the gods of the global game plying their exquisite trade across the newly built or expensively refurbished stadiums on which Brazil, according to the Wall Street Journal, has spent $3.6 billion over the last few years.
(1 comments) SHARE Tuesday, October 29, 2013 Tomgram: Jeremy Scahill, The Fantasy of a Clean War
The foreign leaders are dropping like flies -- to American surveillance. I'm talking about serial revelations that the National Security Agency has been spying on Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff, two Mexican presidents, Felipe Calderón (whose office the NSA called "a lucrative source") and his successor Enrique Peña Nieto, at least while still a candidate, and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
(2 comments) SHARE Monday, June 5, 2017 Rajan Menon, What Would War Mean in Korea?
Here's a reasonable question to ask in our unreasonable world: Does Donald Trump even know where North Korea is? The answer matters and if you wonder why I ask, just remember his comment upon landing in Israel after his visit to Saudi Arabia. "We just got back from the Middle East," he said. In response, reported the Washington Post, "the Israeli ambassador to Washington, Ron Dermer, put his forehead in his palm."
SHARE 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.
SHARE Monday, June 1, 2020 Tomgram: Engelhardt, How the Roof Fell In
Class of 2020, wherever you are, I had planned to address you on this graduation day. But how can I?
Yes, I know that former President Obama, Oprah Winfrey, and Tom Hanks all took part in elaborate online graduation ceremonies, offering commentary, advice, and encouragement in our now campus-less world, but I'm a hapless old guy with a flip phone from another age...
(2 comments) SHARE Wednesday, July 15, 2020 Tomgram: Rajan Menon, Homelessness in the Covid-19 Era
The novel SARS-CoV-2 has roared through the American landscape leaving physical, emotional, and economic devastation in its wake. By early July, known infections in this country exceeded three million, while deaths topped 135,000. Home to just over 4% of the global population, the United States accounts for more than a quarter of all fatalities from Covid-19, the disease produced by the coronavirus.
(3 comments) SHARE Thursday, April 5, 2012 Bill McKibben: How You Subsidize the Energy Giants to Wreck the Planet
Just in case you're running for national office, here are a few basic stats to orient you when you hit Washington (thanks to the invaluable Open Secrets website of the Center for Responsive Politics). In 2011, the oil and gas industries ponied up more than $148 million to lobby Congress and federal agencies of various sorts.
SHARE Monday, April 14, 2014 Nick Turse, AFRICOM Becomes a "War-Fighting Combatant Command"
Nick Turse follows the U.S. military ever deeper into Africa (the first of two back-to-back pieces on Africa at TD this week). Turse joined a “webinar” run for top Defense Department engineering contractors whose focus was the U.S. military on that continent. He was the only reporter and so got to hear what AFRICOM spokespeople say when they’re speaking bluntly.
(1 comments) SHARE Thursday, November 16, 2017 Tomgram: Robert Lipsyte, Beating Back the Bad Boys
Slowly, I've come to a realization I probably should have had long ago. It's men like me, the bystanders, who enabled them. However righteous we may feel as they're exposed and punished, the truth is we're the problem, too.
(1 comments) SHARE Monday, August 17, 2015 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?
SHARE Sunday, September 12, 2010 Tomgram: Nick Turse, Afghanistan on Life Support
From TomDispatch today: A shocking report on the toll the American war has taken on ordinary Afghans, no matter what aspect of everyday life you choose to measure -- Nick Turse, "How Much 'Success' Can Afghans Stand? The American War and Afghanistan's Civilians"
SHARE Tuesday, May 5, 2020 Tomgram: Andrew Bacevich, A Greatest Generation We Are Not
The 75th anniversary of Nazi Germany's surrender in May 1945 ought to prompt thoughtful reflection. For Americans, V-E Day, as it was then commonly called, marked the beginning of "our times." The Covid-19 pandemic may signal that our times are now coming to an end.
SHARE Monday, July 11, 2016 Tomgram: Nomi Prins, Trump Wins (Even If He Loses)
Nomi Prins turns to the billionaire who has taken possession of us all. Her focus: his frenetic version of "You're fired!" this election season and how that's played out with the Republican establishment, without whom (and without whose money) she doubts he can make it to the Oval Office.
SHARE Tuesday, September 19, 2017 Tomgram: Ann Jones, When Will They Ever Learn?
Here we go again! Years after most Americans forgot about the longest war this country ever fought, American soldiers are again being deployed to Afghanistan. For almost 16 years now, at the command of three presidents and a sadly forgettable succession of generals, they have gone round and round like so many motorists trapped on a rotary with no exit.
(2 comments) SHARE Sunday, September 23, 2012 October Surprise?
Obama and his savvy campaign staff should really be home free, having run political circles around their Republican opponent as he was running circles around himself. There's only one problem: the world. These days it's threatening to be a bizarrely uncooperative place for a president who wants to rest on his Osama-killing foreign-policy laurels.
SHARE Thursday, January 23, 2020 Tomgram: Danny Sjursen, Mad Policies for a Mad World
In March 1906, on the heels of the U.S. Army's massacre of some 1,000 men, women, and children in the crater of a volcano in the American-occupied Philippines, humorist Mark Twain took his criticism public. A long-time anti-imperialist, he flippantly suggested that Old Glory should be redesigned "with the white stripes painted black and the stars replaced by the skull and cross-bones."
SHARE Tuesday, July 7, 2020 Tomgram: William Hartung, What Makes Us Safer?
Think of it as a war system that's been coming home for years. The murder of George Floyd has finally shone a spotlight on the need to defund local police departments and find alternatives that provide more genuine safety and security. The same sort of spotlight needs soon to be shone on the American military machine and the wildly well-funded damage it's been doing for almost 19 years across the Greater Middle East and Africa
(1 comments) SHARE Sunday, March 31, 2019 Tomgram: Danny Sjursen, On Leaving the U.S. Army
I'm one of the lucky ones. Leaving the madness of Army life with a modest pension and all of my limbs intact feels like a genuine escape. Both the Army and I knew it was time for me to go.
SHARE Friday, August 21, 2020 Tomgram: Belle Chesler, Will Public Schools Survive Covid-19?
Seventeen years ago, against the advice of my parents, I decided to become a public school teacher. Once I did, both my mother and father, educators themselves, warned me that choosing to teach was to invite attacks from those who viewed the profession with derision and contempt. They advised me to stay strong and push through when budgets were cut, my intellect questioned, or my dedication to my students exploited.
SHARE Tuesday, November 6, 2018 Tomgram: Engelhardt, Unquiet Flows The Don
I certainly learned a lesson that November. During the previous months of campaigning that election season, I never wrote a piece at TomDispatch that didn't leave open the possibility of Donald Trump winning the presidency. In the couple of weeks before that fateful November day, however, I got hooked on the polling results and on Nate Silver's FiveThirtyEight website and became convinced that Hillary Clinton was a shoo-in.
(1 comments) SHARE Monday, October 28, 2013 Tomgram: Bill McKibben, Can Obama Ever Stand Up to the Oil Industry?
Recently, "good" news about energy has been gushing out of North America, where a cheering crowd of pundits, energy experts, and government officials has been plugging the U.S. as the "Saudi Arabia" of the twenty-first century. You know, all that fracking and those luscious deposits of oil shale and gas shale just waiting to be pounded into shape to fill global gas tanks for an energy-rich future.
SHARE Wednesday, December 6, 2017 Tomgram: Erin Thompson, Curating Guantanamo
Of the roughly 780 people once imprisoned there, he is one of 41 prisoners who remain, living yards away from the Caribbean Sea. Captives from the Bush administration's Global War on Terror began to arrive at that offshore prison in January 2002.
SHARE Thursday, March 13, 2014 Tomgram: Nick Turse, American Proxy Wars in Africa
This morning, Nick Turse, who just won a prestigious Izzy Award for his independent reporting, continues his superb journalistic work on the U.S. military’s ongoing, remarkably under-the-radar move into Africa. In his latest post on the subject, he documents (quite literally) the Pentagon’s newest tactic for that continent: refight the colonial wars there in partnership with the French.
(1 comments) SHARE Thursday, August 4, 2016 Tomgram: Andrew Bacevich, Pseudo-Election 2016
Andrew Bacevich takes a trip back to his childhood -- to the 1956 election between Republican Dwight D. Eisenhower and Democrat Adlai Stevenson and offers a particularly clear-eyed look at how, over six decades, American politics at the national level descended into the pathological election campaign of the present moment.
(1 comments) SHARE Tuesday, December 12, 2017 Ann Jones, Out With Monstrous Men
As I read now of women he preyed upon year after year, I feel the rage that's bubbled in the back of my brain for decades reaching the boiling point. I should be elated that Toback has been exposed again as the loathsome predator he's been for half a century. But I'm stuck on the fact of elapsed time, all these decades that male predators roamed at large, efficiently sidelining and silencing women.
(1 comments) SHARE Wednesday, July 22, 2020 Tomgram: Liz Theoharis, Time to Stop Bankrolling War and the Wealthy
The word jubilee comes from the Hebrew "yovel," meaning a "trumpet blast of liberty." It was said that, on the day of liberation, the sound of a ram's horn would ring through the land. These days, I hear the sound of that horn while walking with my kids through the streets of New York City, while protests continue here, even amid a pandemic...
(1 comments) SHARE Tuesday, October 25, 2016 Tomgram: William Hartung, The Doctrine of Armed Exceptionalism
Here's the strangeness of it all: America's wars have been going badly for years in almost every way imaginable across the Greater Middle East and North Africa and yet, the Pentagon's budget is already coming up roses and no matter who enters the Oval Office, it's only going to get bigger.
SHARE Tuesday, September 13, 2016 Tomgram: Aviva Chomsky, Deportations "R" Us
Sometimes, as today at TomDispatch, what's needed is a little history lesson to remind us that what seems unique in our moment -- in this case, Donald Trump's attitude toward immigrants (whether Mexican or Syrian) -- is anything but unique to our time.
(1 comments) SHARE Thursday, February 23, 2017 Tomgram: Andrew Bacevich, At the Altar of American Greatness
Apart from being a police officer, firefighter, or soldier engaged in one of this nation's endless wars, writing a column for a major American newspaper has got to be one of the toughest and most unforgiving jobs there is. The pay may be decent (at least if your gig is with one of the major papers in New York or Washington), but the pressures to perform on cue are undoubtedly relentless.
SHARE Thursday, March 26, 2020 Tomgram: Andrew Bacevich, America Terrorized
Americans are facing "A Spring Unlike Any Before." So warned a front-page headline in the March 13th New York Times.
That headline, however hyperbolic, was all too apt. The coming of spring has always promised relief from the discomforts of winter. Yet, far too often, it also brings its own calamities and afflictions.
SHARE Monday, May 4, 2020 Tomgram: Mandy Smithberger, Bailing Out the War State
At this moment of unprecedented crisis, you might think that those not overcome by the economic and mortal consequences of the coronavirus would be asking, "What can we do to help?" [...] Unfortunately, when it comes to the top officials of the Pentagon and the CEOs running a large part of the arms industry, examples abound of them asking what they can do to help themselves.
SHARE Thursday, October 5, 2017 Tomgram: Nick Turse, A Disappearance, a Body, and What It Takes to Make the News
We were already roaring down the road when the young man called to me over his shoulder. There was a woman seated between us on the motorbike and with the distance, his accent, the rushing air, and the engine noise, it took a moment for me to decipher what he had just said: We might have enough gas to get to Bamurye and back.
(1 comments) SHARE Thursday, January 24, 2019 Tomgram: Engelhardt, Amnesia in Washington
As I approach 75,'m having a commonplace experience for my age[...] It's turned my mind to, and made me something of an instant expert on, one aspect of twenty-first-century America: the memory hole that's swallowed up parts of our all-too-recent history. In fact, I've been wondering whether aging imperial powers, like old men and women, have a tendency to discard what once had been oh-so-familiar.
(3 comments) SHARE Thursday, January 28, 2016 Social Democracy for Dummies
Ann Jones offers a dazzling look at what "social democracy" -- now, thanks to Bernie Sanders, actually a topic of discussion in this country -- really means. Having spent the last four years in Norway, Jones offers a vivid comparison between how social democracy works there and how what's increasingly the democracy of the 1% works here.
SHARE Tuesday, May 30, 2017 Little Big Man Into the Whirlwind
He's huge. Outsized. He fills the news hole at any moment of any day. His over-tanned face glows unceasingly in living rooms across America. Never has a president been quite so big. So absolutely monstrous. Or quite so small.
He's our Little Big Man.
SHARE Thursday, July 30, 2020 Tomgram: John Feffer, The No-Trust World
I don't trust you.
Don't take it personally. It doesn't matter whether you're a friend or a stranger. I don't care about your identity or your politics, where you work or if you work, whether you wear a mask or carry a gun.
I don't trust you because you are, for the time being, a potential carrier of a deadly virus.
SHARE Thursday, October 18, 2018 Tomgram: Belle Chesler, The Kavanaugh Hearings Just Won't Leave Me Alone
It's been three weeks since Dr. Christine Blasey Ford gave her testimony before the nation and I'm still struggling to move on. As talk turns toward the impending midterms, I find myself mentally pushing back against the relentlessness of the news cycle as it plows on, casting a spell of cultural amnesia in its wake.
SHARE Friday, June 17, 2011 Tomgram: Chip Ward, Fire's Manifest Destiny
From TomDispatch tonight: A stunning portrait of a West ablaze and what "the new world" now means to an America facing weather extremes --Chip Ward, "How the West Was Lost, The American West in Flames."
SHARE Thursday, May 7, 2020 Tomgram: Ann Jones, Getting Trumped by Covid-19
Donald Trump is not a president. He can't even play one on TV. He's a corrupt and dangerous braggart with ill-concealed aspirations for a Crown and, with an election coming up, he's been monopolizing prime time every day, spouting self-congratulation and misinformation.
(2 comments) SHARE Tuesday, February 7, 2012 Bill McKibben: Why the Energy-Industrial Elite Has It In for the Planet
Two Saturdays ago, I was walking with a friend in a park here in New York City. It was late January, but I was dressed in a light sweater and a thin fall jacket, which I had just taken off and tied around my waist. We were passing a strip of bare ground when suddenly we both did a double-take. He looked at me and said, "Crocuses!" Dumbfounded, I replied, "Yes, I see them."
SHARE Tuesday, March 28, 2017 Tomgram: John Dower, Body Count for the American Century
On February 17, 1941, almost 10 months before Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor, Life magazine carried a lengthy essay by its publisher, Henry Luce, entitled "The American Century." The son of Presbyterian missionaries, born in China in 1898 and raised there until the age of 15, Luce essentially transposed the certainty of religious dogma into the certainty of a nationalistic mission couched in the name of internationalism.
SHARE Monday, February 26, 2018 Tomgram: Rajan Menon, Normalizing Nukes, Pentagon-Style
If you're having trouble sleeping thanks to, well, you know who... you're not alone. But don't despair. A breakthrough remedy has just gone on the market. It has no chemically induced side effects and, best of all, will cost you nothing, thanks to the Department of Defense. It's the new Nuclear Posture Review,or NPR, among the most soporific documents of our era.
SHARE Monday, October 30, 2017 Tomgram: Nick Turse, A Red Scare in the Gray Zone
"They are very concerned about their adversary next door," said General Raymond Thomas, the head of U.S. Special Operations Command (SOCOM), at a national security conference in Aspen, Colorado, in July. "They make no bones about it."
The "they" in question were various Eastern European and Baltic nations. "Their adversary"? Vladimir Putin's Russia.
SHARE Tuesday, September 20, 2016 Tomgram: Chip Ward, Peace Pipes, Not Oil Pipes
With the return of Utah environmentalist Chip Ward to TomDispatch comes a vivid analysis of the latest dramatic oil pipeline battle in the West, the stand-off at Standing Rock Sioux Reservation.
(1 comments) SHARE Monday, May 21, 2012 Ellen Cantarow: The New Eco-Devastation in Rural America
When workers drilling tunnels at Gauley Bridge, West Virginia, began to die, Union Carbide had an answer. It hadn't been taking adequate precautions against the inhalation of silica dust, a known danger to workers since the days of ancient Greece. Instead, in many cases, a company doctor would simply tell the families of the workers that they had died of "tunnelitis," and a local undertaker would be paid $50 to dispose of each
(2 comments) SHARE Thursday, June 30, 2016 Tomgram: Thomas Frank, Worshipping Money in D.C.
Thomas Frank takes us on an eye-opening tour of the lobbying industry in Washington, a dimly lit corner of "corruption-free America," a completely legal and remarkably unethical world that comes with its own guidebook: Influence, a newsletter chronicling daily dalliances involving money, alcohol, and political influence.
(1 comments) SHARE Monday, September 17, 2018 Tomgram: Nomi Prins, Cooking the Books in the Trump Universe
Once upon a time, there was a little-known energy company called Enron. In its 16-year life, it went from being dubbed America's most innovative company by Fortune Magazine to being the poster child of American corporate deceit.
SHARE Monday, October 20, 2014 Laura Poitras and Tom Engelhardt: The Snowden Reboot
Call me moved. I recently went to the premiere of Citizenfour, Laura Poitras's engrossing new film on Edward Snowden, at the New York Film Festival. The breaking news at film's end: as speculation had it this summer, there is indeed at least one new, post-Snowden whistleblower who has come forward from somewhere inside the U.S. intelligence world with information about a watchlist (that includes Poitras).
SHARE Thursday, October 12, 2017 Tomgram: Danny Sjursen, Embracing Our Inner Empire
I can remember both so well.
2006: my first raid in South Baghdad. 2014: watching on YouTube as a New York police officer asphyxiated -- murdered -- Eric Garner for allegedly selling loose cigarettes on a Staten Island street corner not five miles from my old apartment. Both events shocked the conscience.
(2 comments) SHARE Thursday, February 12, 2015 Michael Klare: A Republican Neo-Imperial Vision for 2016
Keep in mind that President Obama understands well the dangers of global warming. His sideline moves -- increasing vehicle fuel efficiency, reducing coal-powered plants in the U.S., setting aside parts of Alaska's Arctic seas as no-drill areas -- reflect an often repeated "commitment" to bringing climate change under control.
(3 comments) SHARE Thursday, December 1, 2016 Tomgram: Engelhardt, The Most Dangerous Country on Earth
For decades, Washington had a habit of using the Central Intelligence Agency to deep-six governments of the people, by the people, and for the people that weren't to its taste and replacing them with governments of the [take your choice: military junta, shah, autocrat, dictator] across the planet.
SHARE Tuesday, October 14, 2014 William Astore: America's Hollow Foreign Legions
Why do the armies that the U.S. has formed, armed, and trained in lands where we're at war and on which endless billions of dollars have been lavished always appear so ghostly and, in the end, fight so much less effectively than the forces opposing them?
(1 comments) SHARE Thursday, July 18, 2013 Rebecca Solnit, Emerging From Darkness, the Edward Snowden Story
It's true that, as Glenn Greenwald and others have written, the American media has focused attention on the supposed peccadillos of Edward Snowden so as not to have to spend too much time on the sweeping system of government surveillance he revealed.
(1 comments) SHARE Thursday, July 16, 2020 Tomgram: Engelhardt, Donald J. Trump, or Osama bin Laden's Revenge
It's July 2020 and I'm about to turn 76, which, as far as I'm concerned, officially makes me an old man. So put up with my aging, wandering brain here, since (I swear) I wasn't going to start this piece with Donald J. Trump, no matter his latest wild claims or bizarre statements, increasingly white nationalist and pro-Confederate positions...
(1 comments) SHARE Monday, July 26, 2010 The Opposites Game: All the Strangeness of Our American World in One Article
Various congressional representatives are upset over the lack of a buy-American plan when it comes to the Afghan air force. The Pentagon has been planning to purchase dozens more of the Mi-17s over the next decade, and that, it seems, is what's worth being upset about when perfectly good American arms manufacturers aren't getting the contracts.
(1 comments) SHARE Thursday, July 14, 2011 Tomgram: Bill McKibben, The Great American Carbon Bomb
How does anyone react upon discovering that his or her way of life is the crucial problem, that fossil fuels, which keep our civilization powered up and to which our existence is tethered, are playing havoc with the planet?
SHARE Tuesday, September 18, 2018 Tomgram: Rajan Menon, The American War in Yemen
It's the war from hell, the savage one that Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, along with seven other Middle Eastern and North African states, have been waging in Yemen since March 2015, with fulsome support from the Pentagon and American weapons galore.
(1 comments) SHARE Tuesday, May 29, 2012 Andrew Bacevich: The Golden Age of Special Operations
They have a way of slipping under the radar, whether heading into Pakistan looking for Osama bin Laden, Central Africa looking for Joseph Kony, or Yemen assumedly to direct local military action against al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. I'm talking, of course, about U.S. special operations forces. These days, from Somalia to the Philippines, presidential global interventions are increasingly a dime a dozen.
(1 comments) SHARE Sunday, September 11, 2011 Tomgram: Fraser and Freeman, Taps for the Unemployed
It's also a tale of how unemployment became a "natural" feature of the American landscape, how a deep American horror over the phenomenon faded, and how the unemployed themselves subsided into acquiescence.
(2 comments) SHARE Tuesday, August 9, 2016 Tomgram: Engelhardt, The Election From Hell
Consider this post my attempt to make some sense of what we're still calling an "election campaign," although it has by now become more like an all-encompassing way of life and, despite its many "debates" (that now garner National Football League-sized audiences), is also what I label "the tao of confusion."
SHARE Tuesday, June 13, 2017 Engelhardt, The Making of a Pariah Nation
In its own inside-out, upside-down way, it's almost wondrous to behold. As befits our president's wildest dreams, it may even prove to be a record for the ages, one for the history books. He was, after all, the candidate who sensed it first.
(1 comments) SHARE Tuesday, September 25, 2012 Andrew Bacevich: Even Dumb Ideas Have Consequences
It came and went in a flash and now it's long forgotten, buried in the rubble heap of history. But maybe, given recent events, a little excavation is in order. After all, as the author of Constantine's Sword, James Carroll, wrote in 2004, looking back on the 9/11 moment, "A few days after the assault... [s]peaking spontaneously, without the aid of advisers or speechwriters, [George W. Bush] put a word on the new American pur
SHARE Thursday, September 20, 2018 Tomgram: Arnold Isaacs, Moments of Truth
It's easy -- and not wrong -- to think that truth is in dire danger in the era of Donald Trump.
His own record of issuing breathtaking falsehoods from the exalted platform of the White House is unprecedented in American history. So is his consistent refusal to back down when a statement is proven false. In Trump's world, those who expose his lies are the liars and facts that show he was wrong are "fake news."
(1 comments) SHARE Thursday, October 6, 2016 Tomgram: Engelhardt, This Is Not About Donald Trump
I attempt to take a step back when it comes to the Trump phenomenon and look at what, despite the millions of words pouring out about him, is seldom said or thought much about: the ways in which, unique as this presidential election season may be, Trump himself couldn't be more in the American tradition -- as American, in fact, as a piece of McDonald's baked apple pie.
SHARE Thursday, June 4, 2020 Tomgram: Liz Theoharis, You Only Get What You're Organized to Take
In the summer of 1995, when I was 18, I started visiting Tent City, a temporary encampment in an abandoned lot in northeast Philadelphia. About 40 families had taken up residence in tents, shacks, and other makeshift structures. Among them were people of various races, ages, and sexual orientations, all homeless and fighting for the right to live.
(3 comments) SHARE Monday, January 28, 2019 Tomgram: William Astore, Turning Victory Into Defeat
America's Afghan War began in 2001 with what was essentially a punitive raid against the Taliban, part of which was mythologized last year in 12 Strong, a Hollywood film with a cavalry charge that echoed the best of John Wayne. That victory, however, quickly turned first into quagmire and then, despite various "surges" and a seemingly endless series of U.S. commanders (17 so far), into a growing sense of inevitable defeat.
SHARE Monday, April 17, 2017 Tomgram: Ira Chernus, Love Trumps Domination (Without the Combover)
You could hear the deep sadness in the preacher's voice as he named "the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today -- my own government." With those words, the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr., launched a scathing indictmentof America's war in Vietnam. It was April 4, 1967.
(4 comments) SHARE Tuesday, June 21, 2016 Tomgram: William Astore, The End of Air Power?
air power alone can't be blamed for the sorry fates of the lands of the Greater Middle East, increasingly descending into chaos and terror, but let's just say -- as retired Air Force Lieutenant Colonel William Astore does in his new post -- that it has proven startlingly incapable of producing any positive results.
SHARE Thursday, September 7, 2017 Tomgram: Danny Sjursen, Whose Side Are You On?
I used to command soldiers. Over the years, lots of them actually. In Iraq, Colorado, Afghanistan, and Kansas. And I'm still fixated on a few of them like this one private first class (PFC) in Kandahar, Afghanistan, in 2011.
SHARE Thursday, September 24, 2015 Tomgram: Nick Turse, A Secret War in 135 Countries
It was an impressive effort: a front-page New York Times story about a "new way of war" with the bylines of six reporters, and two more and a team of researchers cited at the end of the piece. "They have plotted deadly missions from secret bases in the badlands of Somalia. In Afghanistan, they have engaged in combat so intimate that they have emerged soaked in blood that was not their own..."
SHARE Thursday, April 16, 2020 Tomgram: John Feffer, Trump Rex
In retrospect, it's no surprise that, after the election of Donald Trump in 2016, dystopian fiction enjoyed a spike in popularity. However, novels like George Orwell's 1984 and Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale, which soared on Amazon, would prove more horror stories than roadmaps. Like so many ominous sounds from a dark basement, they provided good scares but didn't foreshadow the actual Trumpian future.
SHARE Monday, September 25, 2017 Tomgram: Nomi Prins, In Donald Trump's Washington, The House Always Wins
Now, give him credit. As president, The Donald has done just what he promised the American people he would do: run the country like he ran his businesses. At one point, he even displayed confusion about distinguishing between them when he said of the United States: "We're a very powerful company -- country."
SHARE Monday, March 5, 2018 Tomgram: Engelhardt, The Age of Unintended Consequences
You want to see "blowback" in action? That's easy enough. All you need is a vague sense of how Google Search works. Then type into it phrases like "warmest years," "rising sea levels," "melting ice," "lengthening wildfire season," or "future climate refugees," and you'll find yourself immersed in the grimmest of blowback universes.
SHARE Tuesday, March 13, 2018 Tomgram: Aviva Chomsky, The Fight Over the Criminalization of Immigrants
The immigration debate seems to have gone crazy.
President Obama's widely popular Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA, which offered some 750,000 young immigrants brought to the United States as children a temporary reprieve from deportation, is ending... except it isn't... except it is...
SHARE Thursday, April 23, 2020 Tomgram: Robert Lipsyte, No Football, No Trump
As controversies about the "reopening" of America loom over our lives, nothing seems as intrinsically irrelevant -- yet possibly as critically important -- as how soon major spectator sports return.
(1 comments) SHARE Tuesday, January 6, 2015 Engelhardt: Feeling Insecure in 2015
From the point of view of the national security state, each failure, each little disaster, acts as another shot of fear in the American body politic, and the response to failure is predictable: never less of what doesn't work, but more. More money, more bodies hired, more new outfits formed, more elaborate defenses, more offensive weaponry.
SHARE Thursday, October 13, 2016 Tomgram: John Feffer, Slouching Toward the Apocalypse
This piece suggests far wilder ways in which Trump couldn't be more in that same grain, if what you have in mind is the Dr. Strangelovian current that runs through American life, involving evangelicals, apocalyptics, survivalists, and white racists; even his extremity, that is, couldn't be more us -- or, if you prefer, more U.S. This one is an original and definitely a must-read!
(1 comments) SHARE Thursday, October 25, 2018 Tomgram: William Astore, The Pentagon Has Won the War that Matters
As America enters the 18th year of its war in Afghanistan and its 16th in Iraq, the war on terror continues in Yemen, Syria, and parts of Africa, including Libya, Niger, and Somalia. Meanwhile, the Trump administration threatens yet more war, this time with Iran.
SHARE Monday, February 7, 2011 Tomgram: Engelhardt, Goodbye to All That
In 1991, when the Soviet Union disappeared and the United States found itself the last superpower standing, Washington mistook that for a victory most rare. In the years that followed, in a paroxysm of self-satisfaction and amid clouds of self-congratulation, its leaders would attempt nothing less than to establish a global Pax Americana.
(3 comments) SHARE Tuesday, July 29, 2014 Chip Ward, Leave It to Beaver(s)
If you want to be unnerved, just pay a visit to the U.S. Drought Monitor and check out its map of the American West with almost all of California stained the deep, distressing shades of red that indicate either "extreme" or "exceptional" drought. In other words, it could hardly be worse.
SHARE Tuesday, May 2, 2017 Nomi Prins: All in the Family Trump
President Trump, his children and their spouses, aren't just using the Oval Office to augment their political legacy or secure future riches. Okay, they certainly are doing that, but that's not the most useful way to think about what's happening at the moment. Everything will make more sense if you reimagine the White House as simply the newest branch of the Trump family business empire, its latest outpost.
(1 comments) SHARE Tuesday, December 19, 2017 Tomgram: Danny Sjursen, Three Administrations, One Standard Playbook
I remember the day President Obama let me down.
It was December 1, 2009, and as soon as the young president took the podium at West Point and -- calm and cool as ever -- announced a new troop surge in Afghanistan, I knew. There wasn't a doubt in my mind. In that instant, George W. Bush's wars had become Barack Obama's.
SHARE Monday, January 10, 2011 Tomgram: Nick Turse, The Pentagon's Planet of Bases
India, a rising power, almost had one (but the Tajiks said no). China, which last year became the world's second largest economy as well as the planet's leading energy consumer, and is expanding abroad like mad (largely via trade and the power of the purse), still has none.
SHARE Tuesday, January 30, 2018 Tomgram: Andrew Bacevich, American Paths, Chosen and Not (1989-2018)
The present arrives out of a past that we are too quick to forget, misremember, or enshroud in myth. Yet like it or not, the present is the product of past choices. Different decisions back then might have yielded very different outcomes in the here-and-now. Donald Trump ascended to the presidency as a consequence of myriad choices that Americans made (or had made for them) over the course of decades.
SHARE Thursday, November 8, 2018 Tomgram: Arnold Isaacs, Misremembering Vietnam
Here's a paradox of the last few decades: as American military power has been less and less effective in achieving Washington's goals, the rhetoric surrounding that power has grown more and more boastful.
SHARE Monday, November 12, 2018 Tomgram: Rory Fanning, Will the War Stories Ever End?
I'm here in Chicago, 7,000 miles and 15 years away from Jalalabad, a desolate town in southwestern Afghanistan. Yet sometimes it seems to me as if it were yesterday, or even tomorrow, and anything but thousands of miles distant.
SHARE Monday, October 6, 2014 Pepe Escobar: New Silk Roads and an Alternate Eurasian Century
A specter haunts the fast-aging "New American Century": the possibility of a future Beijing-Moscow-Berlin strategic trade and commercial alliance. Let's call it the BMB. Its likelihood is being seriously discussed at the highest levels in Beijing and Moscow, and viewed with interest in Berlin, New Delhi, and Tehran
SHARE Tuesday, April 21, 2020 Tomgram: Liz Theoharis, Circling the Ruins
My mom contracted polio when she was 14. She survived and learned to walk again, but my life was deeply affected by that virus. Today, as our larger society attempts to self-distance and self-isolate, my family has texted about the polio quarantine my mom was put under: how my grandma fearfully checked my aunt's temperature every night because she shared a bedroom with my mom...
(1 comments) SHARE Tuesday, November 29, 2016 Tomgram: Andrew Bacevich, The Swamp of War
Sometimes it's tough to pull lessons of any sort from our confusing world, but let me mention one obvious (if little noted) case where that couldn't be less true: the American military and its wars.
SHARE 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.
SHARE Thursday, August 2, 2012 Subhankar Banerjee: Shell Game in the Arctic
Think of it as a shell game of the worst sort, and we're the ones being taken for a ride. Thanks to the burning of the fossil fuels that oil giants like Royal Dutch Shell are increasingly eager to extract from some of the most difficult environments on the planet, the vast quantities of carbon dioxide being sent into the atmosphere, and the way the oceans to absorb CO2, offshore waters are in the process of acidifying.
SHARE Thursday, August 18, 2011 Tomgram: David Bromwich, George W. Obama?
In a vivid annotated list of Barack Obama's advisors -- "the saved and the sacked" -- Bromwich shows just how the president created an airless world of conventional comforters around him and so doomed his presidency to repeating that of his predecessor.
(1 comments) SHARE Tuesday, March 19, 2019 Tomgram: William Astore, The Death of Peace
"Veni, Vidi, Vici," boasted Julius Caesar, one of history's great military captains. "I came, I saw, I conquered."
Then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton echoed that famed saying when summing up the Obama administration's military intervention in Libya in 2011 -- with a small alteration. "We came, we saw, he died," she said with a laugh about the killing of Muammar Gaddafi, that country's autocratic leader.
SHARE Monday, December 22, 2014 Greg Grandin: How the Iraq War Began in Panama
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.
SHARE Monday, June 2, 2014 Rebecca Solnit, #YesAllWomen Changes the Story
From Rebecca Solnit this evening, a beautiful, especially strong and thoughtful post-Isla Vista piece on the power of words to challenge and remake our world and, most recently, on the power of a hashtagged phrase (#YesAllWomen) to do the same. In the process, she also explains how the word "mansplaining" came about and the power of such phrases as "rape culture" and "sexual entitlement"to reshape our thinking and our lives.
SHARE Tuesday, May 21, 2019 Tomgram: Engelhardt, American Election Exceptionalism
In this country, reactions to the Mueller report have been all-American beyond belief. Let's face it, when it comes to election meddling, it's been me, me, me, 24/7 here. Yes, in some fashion some set of Russians meddled in the last election campaign...
SHARE Monday, August 20, 2012 Rebecca Solnit: The Archipelago of Arrogance
One evening over dinner, I began to joke, as I often had before, about writing an essay called "Men Explain Things to Me." Every writer has a stable of ideas that never make it to the racetrack, and I'd been trotting this pony out recreationally every once in a while.
SHARE Thursday, May 23, 2019 Tomgram: Andrew Bacevich, What Illinois Bikers Know That Washington Doesn't
Earlier this month, I spent a day visiting Marseilles to videotape a documentary about recent American military history, specifically the ongoing wars that most of us prefer not to think about.
Lest there be any confusion, let me be more specific. I am not referring to Marseilles (mar-SAY), France, [...] No, my destination was Marseilles (mar-SAYLZ), Illinois, a small prairie town with a population hovering around 5,000.
(3 comments) SHARE Thursday, April 30, 2020 Tomgram: Engelhardt, The Assassin-in-Chief Comes Home
"Be assured of one thing: whichever candidate you choose at the polls in November, you aren't just electing a president of the United States; you are also electing an assassin-in-chief." So I wrote back in June 2012, with a presidential election approaching.
(2 comments) SHARE Thursday, December 8, 2011 William Astore, The Remoteness of 1% Wars
In his latest post, TomDispatch regular and retired Air Force Lieutenant Colonel William Astore takes on our "remote wars," those 1% wars of choice, and just what our remoteness from them means. In our present wars of choice, he points out, "99% of Americans have no stake. The 1% who do are largely ID-card-carrying members of what President Dwight D. Eisenhower so memorably called the "military-industrial complex' in 1961.
SHARE Tuesday, January 9, 2018 Tomgram: Nick Turse, The Coming Year in Special Ops
"During the Obama administration the use of Special Operations forces increased dramatically, as if their use was a sort of magical, all-purpose solution for fighting terrorism," William Hartung, the director of the Arms and Security Project at the Center for International Policy, pointed out. "The ensuing years have proven this assumption to be false.
SHARE Monday, June 4, 2018 Tomgram: William Astore, Enabling Armageddon
Did you know the U.S. Air Force is working on a new stealth bomber? Don't blame yourself if you didn't, since the project is so secret that most members of Congress aren't privy to the details.
SHARE Tuesday, September 25, 2018 Tomgram: William Hartung, To Boldly Go Nowhere?
On June 18th, President Trump announced that he was directing the Pentagon to develop a new branch of the U.S. military, a "Space Force" that would give the U.S. "dominance" in that realm...
SHARE Thursday, September 13, 2018 Tomgram: Sandy Tolan, Was Oslo Doomed From the Start?
It was the era of dialogue. Many Palestinians stood witness to Israeli trauma rooted in the Holocaust. Groups of Israelis began to understand the Nakba, or Catastrophe, when 750,000 Palestinians fled or were driven out of their homes during the creation of Israel in 1948...
SHARE Tuesday, April 15, 2014 Tomgram: Nick Turse, The Pentagon, Libya, and Tomorrow's Blowback Today
Here’s the second in Nick Turse’s latest series on the U.S. military’s “Africa creep.” Today, he explores a new Pentagon scheme to train a force for the Libyan government whose recruits will be drawn from already existing and often notorious militias in that strife-torn land. It’s one of those plans that may sound sensible in Pentagon briefings but has “cockamamie” written all over it.
SHARE Tuesday, March 12, 2013 Lewis Lapham: Going the Way of the Great Auk
If you walk through the painting collection of a great museum like the Metropolitan in New York City, heading from the twentieth century into the past, one thing may strike you sooner or later: animals and birds, domestic and wild, appear ever more frequently on canvas. This, no doubt, reflects how much closer to nature and a wilder world we all once were.
SHARE Tuesday, October 4, 2016 Tomgram: Andrew Bacevich, The National Security Void
You may have missed it. Perhaps you dozed off. Or wandered into the kitchen to grab a snack. Or by that point in the proceedings were checking out Seinfeld reruns. During the latter part of the much hyped but excruciating-to-watch first presidential debate, Lester Holt posed a seemingly straightforward but cunningly devised question.
SHARE Tuesday, June 2, 2020 Tomgram: Rebecca Gordon, Mind the Gaps
These days, teaching graduating college seniors has me, as the Brits would say in the London Underground, "minding the gap." In my case, however, it's not the gap between the platform and the train I'm thinking of, but a couple of others: those between U.S. citizens and our government, as well as between different generations of Americans.
SHARE Thursday, October 19, 2017 Tomgram: Robert Lipsyte, Trump Tackles the NFL
One long-time national sports conscience, Richard Lapchick, director of the Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sports, declared that Sunday, September 24th, was "the most important sports day since [Muhammad] Ali decided not to fight in Vietnam." From it, he foresaw the possibility of a civic conversation emerging that would create "unity in our communities."
SHARE Tuesday, February 24, 2015 Alfred W. McCoy: The Unwritten American Rules of the Road
"The sovereign is he who decides on the exception," said conservative thinker Carl Schmitt in 1922, meaning that a nation's leader can defy the law to serve the greater good. Though Schmitt's service as Nazi Germany's chief jurist and his unwavering support for Hitler from the night of the long knives to Kristallnacht and beyond damaged his reputation for decades, today his ideas have achieved unimagined influence.
(5 comments) SHARE Tuesday, March 6, 2018 Tomgram: Belle Chesler, Will an AR-15 Succeed Where the American Dream Failed?
So what was it about the Parkland killings that tipped the scale? Why hadn't this happened after Columbine or Newtown? These are among the questions we teachers have been asking one another at my school recently. Perhaps what's driving this moment is fear of the seeming inevitability, the not-if-but-when of it all. As teachers, we are forced to wonder: When will it be our turn?
SHARE Tuesday, October 16, 2018 Tomgram: Andrew Bacevich, Rethinking National Security
As a constituent, I have noted with interest your suggestion that you will "take a hard look" at running for president in 2020, even as you campaign for reelection to the Senate next month. Forgive me for saying that I interpret that comment to mean "I'm in."
SHARE Monday, August 1, 2016 Tomgram: Frida Berrigan, Guns for Tots
Frida Berrigan uses her experiences as a mother with her three young children to explore, in a freewheeling and fascinating way, toy culture, toy guns, the NRA, the weapons industry, and kids (and what we adults can take from such subjects).
SHARE Monday, December 20, 2010 Tomgram: Max Blumenthal, The Great Fear
Moments of imperial and economic decline -- according to a recent poll, 65% of Americans now believe this country to be "in a state of decline" -- can also be periods of cultishness, even of madness incarnate. Such a mood now seems to be spreading through the United States.
SHARE Thursday, January 18, 2018 Tomgram: Rajan Menon, A Second Korean War?
Most people intuitively get it. An American preventive strike to wipe out North Korea's nuclear bombs and ballistic missiles, or a commando raid launched with the same goal in mind, is likely to initiate a chain of events culminating in catastrophe. That would be true above all for the roughly 76 million Koreans living on either side of the Demilitarized Zone. Donald Trump, though, seems unperturbed.
(2 comments) SHARE Monday, December 5, 2016 Tomgram: Pratap Chatterjee, Obama's Last Chance
Think of the Oval Office that President Obama is about to leave behind as filled with the equivalent of loaded weaponry from all these years of wars, raids, assassination campaigns, surveillance, and the like.
SHARE Tuesday, July 11, 2017 Tomgram: Frida Berrigan, Resistance is Fertile (Not Futile)
In the wake of Donald Trump's inauguration, George Orwell's 1984 soared onto bestseller lists, as did Sinclair Lewis's It Can't Happen Here and Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale, which also hit TV screens in a storm of publicity. Zombies, fascists, and predators of every sort are now stalking the American imagination in ever-greater numbers and no wonder, given that guy in the Oval Office. Certainly, 2017 is already offeri
(1 comments) SHARE Monday, May 11, 2020 Tomgram: Belle Chesler, Teaching Across an Abyss of Silence
Do you hear that silence?
That's the absence of footsteps echoing through our nation's public school hallways. It's the silence of teaching in a virtual space populated with students on mute who lack a physical presence. It's the crushing silence of those who are now missing, who can't attend the classroom that Zoom and Google built.
(1 comments) SHARE Thursday, October 20, 2016 Tomgram: Nick Turse, The Perpetual Killing Field
Today's TomDispatch post is a monumental piece of reporting from "the worst place on Earth" and, on a planet where, from Cambodia to Rwanda, people remember the grim slaughter grounds of our recent history, the least noticed "killing fields" around.
SHARE Monday, April 20, 2020 Tomgram: Rebecca Gordon, (Un)Reality TV, 2020-Style
My partner and I have been fighting about politics since we met in 1965. I was 13. She was 18 and my summer camp counselor. (It was another 14 years before we became a couple.) We spent that first summer arguing about the Vietnam War.
SHARE Thursday, April 27, 2017 Tomgram: Nick Turse, The U.S. Military Moves Deeper into Africa
General Thomas Waldhauser sounded a little uneasy. "I would just say, they are on the ground. They are trying to influence the action," commented the chief of U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) at a Pentagon press briefing in March, when asked about Russian military personnel operating in North Africa. "We watch what they do with great concern."
SHARE Tuesday, January 10, 2012 Michael Klare, Energy Wars 2012
Michael Klare offers a remarkable, if chilling, look at the energy supply chokepoints on the high seas that are going to become ever more contested places of conflict in the years to come.
SHARE Thursday, August 23, 2018 Tomgram: Dilip Hiro, Trumping Trump?
One thing already seems clear in the Trump era: the world will not turn out to be the American president's playground. His ultra-unilateralist, rejectionist policies on trade, the Iran denuclearization agreement, the costs of defense, and climate change are already creating an incipient anti-Trump movement globally (and in the United States as well).
SHARE Monday, April 13, 2020 Tomgram: Rajan Menon, Living on a Pandemic Planet
The Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV-2) virus, which causes Covid-19, seemed to emerge from deepest history, from the Black Death of the 14th century and the "Spanish Flu" of 1918. In just months, it has infected more than 1.5 million people and claimed more than 88,000 lives. The virus continues to spread almost everywhere.
SHARE Thursday, October 27, 2011 Occupy Earth, By Chip Ward
Chip Ward then makes a case for why Mother Nature should be included in the 99% that the OWS movement talks about. As he puts it, "It's not hard for me to understand how environmental quality and economic inequality came to be joined at the hip. In all my years as a grassroots organizer dealing with the tragic impact of degraded environments on public health, it was always the same: someone got rich and someone got sick.
SHARE Wednesday, December 6, 2017 Tomgram: John Feffer, Drowning Liberalism in the Bathtub
By the time you read this, the latest brouhaha will undoubtedly be history -- or do I mean "fake history"? -- and largely forgotten. It will have been replaced by an explosion of media coverage about some other nightmarish set of presidential tweets or comments. After all, it's a pattern.
SHARE Monday, September 20, 2010 Tomgram: Michael Klare, China Shakes the World
The year 2009 was a bad one for the United States. And no, I'm not talking about unemployment, or poverty, or home foreclosures, or banks too-big-to-fail, or any of the other normal bad news. I'm talking about something serious. As the world's leading maker of things that go bang in the night (and I don't mean Hollywood films), we took a hit last year. A big one.
(1 comments) SHARE Tuesday, November 9, 2010 Tomgram: Ira Chernus, Is Palestine America's Next Vietnam?
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hasn't been alone in playing for time when it comes to American policy, that's for sure. (Think, for instance, of our Afghan War commander General David Petraeus.) But Netanyahu played out the pre-election months with some skill and much shuffling of feet, as he officially pondered Obama administration proposals to reinstitute a settlements freeze in return for copious concessions.
(1 comments) SHARE Tuesday, October 21, 2014 Karen Greenberg: Will the U.S. Go to "War" Against Ebola?
As TomDispatch regular Karen Greenberg points out today, given an administration already on the ropes over its new war in the Middle East, it would be all too easy for U.S. officials, amid the usual panic, to fall back on that comfortable template of the post-9/11 years, the war on terror, when it comes to Ebola.
SHARE Monday, April 3, 2017 Tomgram: Alfred McCoy, Would-Be Strongmen Worldwide
In 2016, something extraordinary happened in the politics of diverse countries around the world. With surprising speed and simultaneity, a new generation of populist leaders emerged from the margins of nominally democratic nations to win power.
SHARE Monday, April 27, 2020 Tomgram: Dilip Hiro, The Coronavirus Chronology From Hell
Historically, in hyper-crises, local and global systems can change fundamentally. Before the coronavirus pandemic hit first China and then the rest of the globe, the question of whether the American imperial era might be faltering was already on the table, amid that country's endless wars and with the world's most capricious leader.
SHARE Thursday, January 20, 2011 Tomgram: Ira Chernus, Obama Trapped by Myth
Why are we still at war in Afghanistan? In part, because of a very American mythology -- an "us versus them" myth of American national insecurity, writes TomDispatch regular and professor of religious studies Ira Chernus. It's such a powerful myth largely because, he adds, "it always tells us who and what to fear."
SHARE Tuesday, May 29, 2018 Tomgram: Nick Turse, Tomorrow's Terror Today
For almost 20 years, U.S. drone warfare was largely one-sided. Unlike Afghans and Yemenis, Iraqis and Somalis, Americans never had to worry about lethal robots hovering overhead and raining down missiles. Until, that is, one appeared in the skies above Florida.
SHARE Thursday, September 14, 2017 Tomgram: Ariel Dorfman, A Tale of Two Donalds
The organizers of the white supremacist gathering in Charlottesville last month knew just what they were doing when they decided to carry torches on their nocturnal march to protest the dethroning of a statue of Robert E. Lee. That brandishing of fire in the night was meant to evoke memories of terror, of past parades of hate and aggression by the Ku Klux Klan in the United States and Adolf Hitler's Freikorps in Germany.
(2 comments) SHARE Tuesday, August 4, 2020 Tomgram: Andrea Mazzarino, Prioritizing Empire Over Health
American military personnel are getting sick in significant numbers in the midst of the ongoing pandemic. As The New York Times reported in a piece buried in the back pages of its July 21st edition, "The infection rate in the services has tripled over the past six weeks as the United States military has emerged as a potential source of transmission both domestically and abroad."
(1 comments) SHARE Tuesday, October 4, 2011 The End of America's Pacific Century, by John Feffer
The world is changing in ways Washington, wrapped up in itself and election 2012, hardly notices. But Asia expert John Feffer has a way of seeing the previously unnoticed. In his latest post, he turns our ideas of just what's on America's Pacific horizon upside down. This country, he writes, has already reached the high-water mark of its Pacific presence and influence and we're going to know that remarkably quickly.
SHARE Monday, December 18, 2017 Tomgram: Rebecca Gordon, Trump the Flamethrower
Once again the country watches in horror as firefighters struggle to contain blazes of historic voracity -- as we watched only a couple of months ago when at least 250 wildfires spread across the counties north of San Francisco. Even after long-awaited rains brought by an El Niño winter earlier in 2017, years of drought have left my state ready to explode in flames on an increasingly warming planet. All it takes is a spark.
(1 comments) SHARE Tuesday, October 7, 2014 Engelhardt: Inside the American Terrordome
When I left [Iraq] in 2010, the year before the American military finally departed, the truth on the ground should have been clear enough to anyone with the vision to take it in. Iraq had already been tacitly divided into feuding state-lets controlled by Sunnis, Shias, and Kurds. The Baghdad government had turned into a typical, gleeful third-world kleptocracy fueled by American money, but with a particularly nasty twist...
SHARE Thursday, February 19, 2015 Van Buren: Watching the Same Movie About American War for 75 Years
In the age of the all-volunteer military and an endless stream of war zone losses and ties, it can be hard to keep Homeland enthusiasm up for perpetual war. After all, you don't get a 9/11 every year to refresh those images of the barbarians at the airport departure gates.
SHARE Thursday, December 8, 2016 Tomgram: Nomi Prins, The March of the Billionaires
Given his cabinet picks so far, it's reasonable to assume that The Donald finds hanging out with anyone who isn't a billionaire (or at least a multimillionaire) a drag. What would there be to talk about if you left the Machiavellian class and its exploits for the company of the sort of normal folk you can rouse at a rally?
SHARE 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
SHARE Thursday, June 21, 2018 Tomgram: Nomi Prins, What's the End Game?
Leaders are routinely confronted with philosophical dilemmas. Here's a classic one for our Trumptopian times: If you make enemies out of your friends and friends out of your enemies, where does that leave you?
SHARE Tuesday, January 18, 2011 Tomgram: Engelhardt, Alien Visitations
Tucson and Kabul are on opposite sides of an American planet in more ways than the obvious. In my latest post, I explore various aspects of this strange reality of our moment, asking why Americans don't care about the Afghan innocents they kill and why they care so much about the American innocents who died.
(2 comments) SHARE Thursday, May 24, 2018 Tomgram: Rebecca Gordon, Recognizing the Camel's Nose
They are like the camel's nose, lifting a corner of the tent. Don't be fooled, though. It won't take long until the whole animal is sitting inside, sipping your tea and eating your sweets. In countries around the world -- in the Middle East, Asia Minor, Central Asia, Africa, even the Philippines -- the appearance of U.S. drones in the sky (and on the ground) is often Washington's equivalent of the camel's nose...
SHARE Thursday, June 29, 2017 Tomgram: Danny Sjursen, Fighting the War You Know (Even If It Won't Work)
We walked in a single file. Not because it was tactically sound. It wasn't -- at least according to standard infantry doctrine. Patrolling southern Afghanistan in column formation limited maneuverability, made it difficult to mass fire, and exposed us to enfilading machine-gun bursts. Still, in 2011, in the Pashmul District of Kandahar Province, single file was our best bet.
SHARE Thursday, July 6, 2017 Tomgram: Dilip Hiro, Two Impulsive Leaders Fan the Global Flames
The Middle East. Could there be a more perilous place on Earth, including North Korea? Not likely. The planet's two leading nuclear armed powers backing battling proxies amply supplied with conventional weapons; terror groups splitting and spreading; religious-sectarian wars threatening amid a plethora of ongoing armed hostilities stretching from Syria to Iraq to Yemen. And that was before Donald Trump and his team arrived on
(2 comments) SHARE Monday, September 21, 2015 Tomgram: Rebecca Gordon, Flying the Unfriendly Skies of America
It was August 2002. My partner Jan Adams and I were just beginning our annual pilgrimage to Massachusetts to visit my father and stepmother. At the check-in line at San Francisco International Airport, we handed over our driver's licenses and waited for the airline ticket agent to find our flight and reservation. Suddenly, she got a funny look on her face. "There's something wrong with the computer," she said.
SHARE Tuesday, May 22, 2018 Tomgram: Alfred McCoy, The Hidden Meaning of American Decline
Month by month, tweet by tweet, the events of the past two years have made it clearer than ever that Washington's once-formidable global might is indeed fading. As the American empire unravels with previously unimagined speed, there are many across this country's political spectrum who will not mourn its passing.
SHARE Thursday, December 4, 2014 Engelhardt: War to the Horizon
2016 is already shaping up as a War Party election all the way. It goes without saying that whichever Republican candidate emerges from the pack will be a war-firster, while the leading Democratic candidate of the moment, Hillary Clinton, is another war-fightin' liberal of the first order.
SHARE Thursday, September 4, 2014 Michael Klare, Oil Rush in America
Whatever you may imagine, "peak oil" has not been discredited as a concept, a statement no less true for "peak fossil fuels." Think of them instead as postponed. We are, after all, on a finite planet that, by definition, holds a finite amount of oil, natural gas, and coal.
(1 comments) SHARE Tuesday, November 15, 2011 Bill McKibben: Puncturing the Pipeline
"Conventional wisdom has it that the next election will be fought exclusively on the topic of jobs. But President Obama's announcement last week" makes it clear that other issues will weigh in -- and that, oddly enough, one of them might even be climate change."
SHARE Tuesday, May 8, 2018 Extremists "R" Us
Now, for a moment, let's consider the possible extremism of Washington in a more organized way. Here, then, is my six-category rundown of what I would call American extremity on a global scale...
SHARE Sunday, December 2, 2018 Tomgram: Alfred McCoy, Grandmasters of the Universe
As Washington's leadership fades more quickly than anyone could have imagined and a new global order struggles to take shape, a generation of leaders has crowded onto the world stage with their own bold geopolitical visions for winning international influence.
SHARE Thursday, May 9, 2019 Tomgram: Beverly Gologorsky, Health Care That Makes Us Ill
On this extremely hot summer day, the ear-splitting siren screaming through New York's streets is coming from the ambulance I'm in -- on a gurney on my way to the ER. That only makes the siren, loud as it is, all the more alarming.
I fell. The pain, its location and intensity, suggests I've probably broken my hip.
(3 comments) SHARE Thursday, May 17, 2018 Tomgram: Karen Greenberg, Dismantling Democracy, One Word at a Time
Consider us officially in an Orwellian world, though we only half realize it. While we were barely looking, significant parts of an American language long familiar to us quite literally, and in a remarkably coherent way, went down the equivalent of George Orwell's infamous Memory Hole.
SHARE Tuesday, November 13, 2018 Tomgram: John Feffer, Splinterlands 2.0
You've done enough escape rooms to know the drill by now. You are escorted into what seems like an ordinary room. There's a table and a chair. On the table is a book. As soon as you step across the threshold, the door closes behind you. You hear the lock click into place.
SHARE Monday, October 2, 2017 Tomgram: Mattea Kramer, When a Voice Tells You You'll Never Be Enough
Living in such a backward, misogynistic, and violent country as the United States can make strange things happen inside women's heads, as TomDispatch regular Mattea Kramer explains. That's what gender discrimination is meant to do. But at long last it made Hillary Clinton rightfully angry. It makes me angry, too. How about you?
(1 comments) SHARE Tuesday, April 12, 2011 Tomgram: Andrew Bacevich, Obama Still Hammering Away
In his latest TomDispatch post, as the paperback of his bestselling book Washington Rules: America's Path to Permanent War is published, Andrew Bacevich brilliantly explains why it's time to stop spending so much time on official Washington's motives and look instead to its repetitious methods when it comes to American policy in the Greater Middle East.
SHARE Friday, July 10, 2020 Tomgram: Danny Sjursen, Antiwar Vets in the Belly of the Beast
It was June 20th and we antiwar vets had traveled all the way to Tulsa, Oklahoma, in the midst of a pandemic to protest President Trump's latest folly, an election 2020 rally where he was to parade his goods and pretend all was well with this country...
SHARE Thursday, December 7, 2017 Todd Miller, The Market in Walls Is Growing in a Warming World
When I first talked to the three Honduran men in the train yard in the southern Mexican town of Tenosique, I had no idea that they were climate-change refugees. We were 20 miles from the border with Guatemala at a rail yard where Central American refugees often congregated to try to board La Bestia ("the Beast"), the nickname given to the infamous train that has proven so deadly for those traveling north...
SHARE Tuesday, April 14, 2020 Tomgram: Engelhardt, Might the Coronavirus Be a Peacemaker?
Let me quote a Trumpian figure from long ago, Henry Ford. That's right, the bigot who created the Ford Motor Company (and once even ran for president). Back in 1916, in an interview with a Chicago Tribune reporter, he offered this bit of wisdom on the subject of history...
(1 comments) SHARE Thursday, March 15, 2018 Tomgram: William Astore, The Fog of War in America
Overseas, the United States is engaged in real wars in which bombs are dropped, missiles are launched, and people (generally not Americans) are killed, wounded, uprooted, and displaced. Yet here at home, there's nothing real about those wars. Here, it's phony war all the way. In the last 17 years of "forever war," this nation hasn't for one second been mobilized.
(1 comments) SHARE Thursday, September 15, 2011 Tomgram: Michael Klare, Is Washington Out of Gas?
Way back then, the signs out on the streets read: "No Blood for Oil," "How did USA's oil get under Iraq's sand?" and "Don't trade lives for oil!" Such homemade placards, carried by deluded antiwar protesters in enormous demonstrations before the Bush administration launched its invasion of Iraq in March 2003, were typical -- and typically dismissible. Oil? Don't be silly!
(1 comments) SHARE Thursday, July 23, 2020 Tomgram: Rebecca Gordon, Work in the Time of Covid-19
In two weeks, my partner and I were supposed to leave San Francisco for Reno, Nevada, where we'd be spending the next three months focused on the 2020 presidential election. As we did in 2018, we'd be working with UNITE-HERE, the hospitality industry union, only this time on the campaign to drive Donald Trump from office.
(2 comments) SHARE Tuesday, May 6, 2014 Engelhardt: What, Me Worry?
Today, a personal piece of mine about how the young react to the exterminatory dreams and plans of their elders. It's based on an elaborate map I made in perhaps 1959 at age 15 in the back of my American history classroom depicting the Chinese conquest of the world. Jumping more than half a century, I then wonder what sorts of "maps" kids in 2014, facing another kind of exterminatory threat (climate change), are making.
SHARE Thursday, November 9, 2017 Tomgram: Subhankar Banerjee, The Destruction of a Vast Transnational Nursery?
What happens in the Arctic doesn't just stay up north. It affects the world, as that region is the integrator of our planet's climate systems, atmospheric and oceanic. At the moment, the northernmost places on Earth are warming at more than twice the global average, a phenomenon whose impact is already being felt planetwide.
SHARE Monday, July 13, 2020 Tomgram: Nan Levinson, The Vet Conundrum and America's Wars
If you still follow the mainstream media, you're probably part of the 38% of registered voters who knew something about the op-ed Senator Tom Cotton (R-AR) published in the New York Times early in June, exhorting the president to use the Insurrection Act to "restore order to our streets."
SHARE Thursday, February 13, 2014 Tomgram: Michael Klare, In the Carbon Wars, Big Oil Is Winning
Michael Klare offers a powerful and original look at why we’re losing the “carbon wars.” Given that we’ve built our global civilization on the continuing hit of energy that fossil fuels provide and given the interests arrayed around exploiting that hit, the gravitational pull of what Klare calls "Planet Carbon" is staggering. In his latest piece, he shows just why, in three vivid instances, we're losing ground.
SHARE Monday, January 8, 2018 Tomgram: Frida Berrigan, A Mother Confronts a World on Fire
As a mother and an activist, here's what I've concluded as 2018 begins: it's getting harder and harder to think about the future -- at least in that soaring Whitney Houston fashion. You know the song: "I believe the children are our future, teach them well and let them lead the way..." These days, doesn't it sound quaint and of another age?
SHARE Tuesday, January 13, 2015 Rory Fanning: Unpacking the War on Terror
Make no mistake: whatever the news may say about the changing cast of characters the U.S. is fighting and the changing motivations behind the changing names of our military "operations" around the world, you and I will have fought in the same war.
SHARE Tuesday, November 30, 2010 Tomgram: Engelhardt, The United States of Fear
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.
SHARE Tuesday, February 18, 2014 Tomgram: Nick Turse, The Pentagon Makes History the First Casualty
In this piece, Turse combines his reportorial skills and his expertise in the Vietnam War to strip the Pentagon’s website commemorating the 50th anniversary of Vietnam of any claim of accuracy. Of course, the real war in Vietnam isn’t the sort of thing that countries like to commemorate when they hand out medals, pump up their populaces, or “remember” their wars.
SHARE Monday, October 25, 2010 Tomgram: Rebecca Solnit, Invasion of the Democracy Crushers
This country is being run for the benefit of alien life forms. They've invaded; they've infiltrated; they've conquered; and a lot of the most powerful people on Earth do their bidding, including five out of our nine Supreme Court justices earlier this year and a whole lot of senators and other elected officials all the time.
SHARE Thursday, April 3, 2014 Tomgram: Engelhardt, The Bermuda Triangle of National Security
Here’s a conundrum for you. Since 2001, the U.S. national security state has rarely played a card that hasn’t been trumped. (You can do the list yourself: Iraq, Afghanistan, the Global War on Terror, etc., etc.) Yet every disastrous step they’ve taken has only tightened their grip on state power here. It’s given them more money, more areas to control, and so on.
(2 comments) SHARE Monday, May 15, 2017 The Globalization of Misery
Consider what I never learned about Mosul my loss, a sign of my ignorance. Yet, in recent months, little as I know about the place, it's been on my mind -- in part because what's now happening to that city will be the world's loss as well as mine.
SHARE Tuesday, November 18, 2014 Michael Klare: The New Congress and Planetary Disaster
Pop the champagne corks in Washington! It's party time for Big Energy. In the wake of the midterm elections, Republican energy hawks are ascendant, having taken the Senate and House by storm. They are preparing to put pressure on a president already presiding over a largely drill-baby-drill administration to take the last constraints off the development of North American fossil fuel reserves.
SHARE Monday, April 23, 2012 Lewis Lapham: Machine-Made News
A decade ago, I wrote a novel, The Last Days of Publishing, about the world I had worked in for a quarter-century. I already had at least some sense, then, of what was bearing down on the book. Keep in mind that this was a couple of years before Facebook was launched and years before the Kindle, the Nook, or the iPad saw the light of day.
SHARE Monday, February 18, 2019 Tomgram: Michael Klare, A Long War of Attrition
In his highly acclaimed 2017 book, Destined for War, Harvard professor Graham Allison assessed the likelihood that the United States and China would one day find themselves at war[...] Like much current analysis of U.S.-Chinese relations, however, he missed a crucial point: for all intents and purposes, the United States and China are already at war with one another.
SHARE Thursday, January 9, 2014 Tomgram: Michael Klare, Have the Obits for Peak Oil Come Too Soon?
So here we are in a record-breaking “polar vortex” with Florida’s Everglades going on a freeze watch and Minnesota registering wind chills of -60 degrees Fahrenheit. This most extreme of weather systems, which should warm the hearts of climate deniers, may in fact turn out to be climate-change related (thanks to a melting Arctic warming twice as fast as the rest of the planet).
SHARE Monday, January 9, 2017 Tomgram: Andrew Bacevich, How We Got Here
The fall of the Berlin Wall in October 1989 abruptly ended one historical era and inaugurated another. So, too, did the outcome of last year's U.S. presidential election. What are we to make of the interval between those two watershed moments?
SHARE Thursday, July 14, 2016 Tomgram: Michael Klare, Fossil Fuels Forever
Based on the latest yearly report from the U.S. Department of Energy, while renewable forms of energy are growing far faster than anyone expected, so -- startlingly enough -- is the use of fossil fuels. As a result, it looks like oil, coal, and natural gas will continue to expand and dominate the global energy landscape for decades to come.
SHARE Tuesday, March 30, 2021 Tomgram: Aviva Chomsky, Outsourcing the Border
Joe Biden entered the White House with some inspiring yet contradictory positions on immigration and Central America. He promised to reverse Donald Trump's draconian anti-immigrant policies while, through his "Plan to Build Security and Prosperity in Partnership with the People of Central America," restoring "U.S. leadership in the region" that he claimed Trump had abandoned[...]
SHARE Tuesday, February 20, 2018 Tomgram: Danny Sjursen, Buttering Up the Pentagon
Think of it as the chicken-or-the-egg question for the ages: Do very real threats to the United States inadvertently benefit the military-industrial complex or does the national security state, by its very nature, conjure up inflated threats to feed that defense machine?
SHARE Monday, March 29, 2021 Tomgram: Andrew Bacevich, Requiem for the American Century
In the immediate wake of 9/11, it fell to President George W. Bush to explain to his fellow citizens what had occurred and frame the nation's response to that singular catastrophe. Bush fulfilled that duty by inaugurating the Global War on Terror, or GWOT. Both in terms of what was at stake and what the United States intended to do, the president explicitly compared that new conflict to the defining struggles of the 20th c.
SHARE Monday, August 17, 2020 Beverly Gologorsky, My Neighbor, War
I'm a voracious reader of American fiction and I've noticed something odd in recent years. This country has been eternally "at war" and you just wouldn't know that -- a small amount of veteran's fiction aside -- from the novels that are generally published.
(1 comments) SHARE Monday, September 9, 2013 Andrew Bacevich, Drama from Obama
Here is the strangeness of our moment: the U.S. has no rival on the planet. Its global military stance is historically unparalleled and largely uncontested. And yet somehow, in crucial areas of the world, Washington's power to do anything is significantly, visibly lessening.
(1 comments) SHARE Monday, July 10, 2017 Aiding and Abetting the Tweeter-in-Chief
I don't tweet, but I do have a brief message for our president: Will you please get the hell out of the way for a few minutes? You and your antics are blocking our view of the damn world and it's a world we should be focusing on!
SHARE Thursday, October 27, 2016 Tomgram: Nomi Prins, Too Big to Fail, Hillary-Style
Of a Hillary Clinton presidency, so much less has been written and yet she's the woman who never saw a bank CEO she couldn't get a couple of hundred thousand dollars from for giving thoroughly unsurprising speeches.
SHARE Thursday, February 28, 2019 Tomgram: Alfred McCoy, Climate Change as the End Game for U.S. Global Power
Once upon a time in America, we could all argue about whether or not U.S. global power was declining. Now, most observers have little doubt that the end is just a matter of timing and circumstance. Ten years ago, I predicted that, by 2025, it would be all over for American power, a then-controversial comment that's commonplace today.
SHARE Thursday, October 25, 2012 Nick Turse: Big Maps, Big Dreams, and the Failure of the Obama Doctrine
It wasn't an everyday event, the arrival in TomDispatch's email inbox of a letter of complaint from Colonel Tom Davis, director of public affairs at USAFRICOM. It began, "Greetings from U.S. Africa Command, we read the recent [Nick Turse] article "Secret Wars, Secret Bases, and the Pentagon's "New Spice Route' in Africa' with great interest."
SHARE Thursday, April 10, 2014 Astra Taylor, Misogyny and the Cult of Internet Openness
The Internet has been hailed for its “openness” and its democratic spirit even as it’s taken real world disparities and inequalities online and often amplified them. TomDispatch gets at this issue in a powerful way via a Rebecca Solnit-introduced piece by documentary filmmaker Astra Taylor, adapted from her new book, The People’s Platform. Today, Taylor explores what’s happened to women online.
SHARE Tuesday, December 14, 2010 Tomgram: Stephan Salisbury, 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.
SHARE Tuesday, April 22, 2014 Todd Miller, The Creation of a Border Security State
TomDispatch has once again sent its regular border correspondent, Todd Miller, out to cover the latest in the militarization and up-armoring of those border zones and, in the process, the creation of a border security state. This stuff couldn’t be more important -- and not just to immigration mavens, either. His latest report takes you from Border Security Expo 2014 to the broiling backlands of Arizona.
(1 comments) SHARE Monday, April 10, 2017 Tomgram: Dahr Jamail, Alaska in the Crosshairs
It's war in the Gulf and the U.S. Navy is on hand to protect us. No, not that Gulf! I'm talking about the Gulf of Alaska and it's actually mock war -- if, that is, you don't happen to be a fin whale or a wild salmon.
SHARE Wednesday, November 12, 2014 Engelhardt: The Empire as Basket Case
What follows is a transcript of a therapy session between the American Empire and a psychiatrist whose name we at TomDispatch have agreed not to disclose. Normally, even in an age in which privacy means ever less to anyone, we wouldn't consider publishing such a private encounter, but the probative news value of the exchange is so obvious that we decided to make an exception.
SHARE Tuesday, January 31, 2017 Tomgram: Robert Lipsyte, Donald Trump, Colin Kaepernick, and Me on Super Bowl Sunday
The Super Bowl is superfluous this year. Who needs a reality show about violence, domination, and sexism, not to mention brain damage, now that we have Trumpball, actual reality that not only authenticates football's authoritarianism but transforms us from bystanders into victims? Before this game is over, the players may swarm the grandstands and beat the hell out of us.
SHARE Monday, January 22, 2018 Tomgram: Rebecca Gordon, Who to Become in 2018?
A little over a year ago at TomDispatch I wrote about the bloody nightmares rupturing my sleep and the night terrors gripping my little household in the wake of Donald Trump's election. That piece was reposted by a wide range of publications. And then, in what at first seemed like a terrible mistake, I read the comments.
SHARE Thursday, March 2, 2017 Tomgram: Karen Greenberg, The Forever Prisoners of Guantanamo
In the spring of 2016, I asked a student of mine to do me a favor and figure out which day would be the 100th before Barack Obama's presidency ended. October 12th, he reported back, and then asked me the obvious question: Why in the world did I want to know?
SHARE Monday, September 16, 2019 Tomgram: William Astore, A Wasteful Weapon for America's Forever Wars
How are you with numbers? I can deal with $1.5 million. I think I can even imagine $1.5 billion, a sum a thousand times greater. But how about a million times greater: $1.5 trillion? That happens to be the estimated cost of the Pentagon's program to build, deploy, and maintain the no-longer-so-new F-35 jet fighter over its lifetime.
(1 comments) SHARE Thursday, August 9, 2012 Nick Turse: Tomorrow's Blowback Today?
Only in America: It turns out that we're the sole country on the planet where a majority of people (62%) are sunnily in favor of sending drones across the globe (and across the borders of other countries) to take out terrorists. According to Pew Research's latest polling, that includes 74% of Republicans, 60% of independents, and 58% of Democrats. Nowhere else is such sentiment to be found.
SHARE Monday, September 10, 2012 Jeremiah Goulka: Confessions of a Former Republican
Here, to my mind, was one strange aspect of the political convention season just past: since the great meltdown of 2008, brilliantly engineered by various giant financial institutions gone wild, we've seen a collapse in the wealth of middle-class African Americans and Hispanics, and a significant drop in the wealth of middle-class whites. Only the rich have benefitted.
SHARE Monday, November 10, 2014 Peter Van Buren: Iraq and the Battle of the Potomac
Karl von Clausewitz, the famed Prussian military thinker, is best known for his aphorism "War is the continuation of state policy by other means." But what happens to a war in the absence of coherent state policy?
SHARE Tuesday, April 4, 2017 Tomgram: Engelhardt, The Teflon Wars
On successive days recently, I saw two museum shows that caught something of a lost American world and seemed eerily relevant in the Age of Trump. The first, "Hippie Modernism," an exploration of the counterculture of the 1960s and 1970s (heavy on psychedelic posters), was appropriately enough at the Berkeley Art Museum.
SHARE Thursday, February 14, 2019 Tomgram: Engelhardt, Hail, Caesar!
What dreamers they were! They imagined a kind of global power that would leave even Rome at its Augustan height in the shade. They imagined a world made for one, a planet that could be swallowed by a single great power. No, not just great, but beyond anything ever seen before -- one that would build (as its National Security Strategy put it in 2002) a military "beyond challenge."
(2 comments) SHARE Monday, August 19, 2013 Bill McKibben: A Movement for a New Planet
In his stunningly insightful book The Unconquerable World: Power, Nonviolence, and the Will of the People, Jonathan Schell suggested that there were two world-changing inventions for the twentieth century, nuclear weapons and nonviolence, and described the way their histories and powers were intertwined.
(1 comments) SHARE Monday, February 2, 2015 William Astore: Groundhog Day in the War on Terror
Back in July 2010, I wrote an article for TomDispatch on the seven reasons why America can't stop making war. More than four years later, with the war on terror still ongoing, with the mission eternally unaccomplished, here's a fresh take on the top seven reasons why never-ending war is the new normal in America.
SHARE Thursday, March 14, 2013 William deBuys: Exodus from Phoenix
We're not the first people on the planet ever to experience climate stress. In the overheating, increasingly parched American Southwest, which has been experiencing rising temperatures, spreading drought conditions, and record wildfires, there is an ancient history of staggering mega-droughts, events far worse than the infamous "dust bowl" of the 1930s, the seven-year drought that devastated America's prairie lands.
(1 comments) SHARE Tuesday, June 28, 2016 Tomgram: Patrick Cockburn, An Endless Cycle of Indecisive Wars
As Patrick Cockburn points out in his TomDispatch post today, we have entered "an age of disintegration." And he should know. There may be no Western reporter who has covered the grim dawn of that age in the Greater Middle East and North Africa.
SHARE Monday, March 28, 2011 Rebecca Solnit, The Earthquake Kit
This is another classic Rebecca Solnit piece that uses the triple disasters in Japan (earthquake, tsunami, nuclear) to explore how surprisingly we humans react to catastrophe. Think of her latest TomDispatch post as her way of preparing us for disasters to come.
SHARE Monday, August 3, 2020 Tomgram: Karen Greenberg, Can the Pandemic Bring Accountability Back to This Country?
Whether you consider the appalling death toll or the equally unacceptable rising numbers of Covid-19 cases, the United States has one of the worst records worldwide when it comes to the pandemic. Nevertheless, the president has continued to behave just as he promised he would in March when there had been only 40 deaths from the virus here and he said, "I don't take responsibility at all."
SHARE Monday, September 19, 2016 Tomgram: Peter Van Buren, Class of 2017 -- So Sorry!
Fifteen years after 9/11, war and possible war are embedded in our American way of life and the public is consumed with safety and security-related fears, of terrorism in particular, that have little basis in reality but have helped immensely to expand our national security state.
(1 comments) SHARE Tuesday, July 5, 2011 Tomgram: Andy Kroll, The 60-Year Unemployment Scandal
Americans care about them more than any other issue, so every poll tells us. The presidential candidates are already crafting their stump speeches and talking points around them. President Obama has seen the writing on the wall and regularly tailors his message to emphasize how many of them he has created. I'm talking, of course, about jobs.
SHARE Tuesday, July 10, 2018 Tomgram: Ariel Dorfman, The Cages of the Trump Era (That We Don't See)
When Donald Trump recently accused "illegal immigrants" of wanting to "pour into and infest our country," there was an immediate outcry. After all, that verb, infest, had been used by the Nazis as a way of dehumanizing Jews and communists as rats, vermin, or insects that needed to be eradicated.
SHARE Thursday, November 18, 2010 Tomgram: Karen Greenberg, How at Risk Is the Justice System?
The presumption of innocence may be slowly dying in the courtrooms where our terror trials are being held, as Karen Greenberg, executive director of the Center on Law and Security at NYU Law School and author of The Least Worst Place: Guantanamo's First 100 Days, points out in today's post.
SHARE Thursday, May 5, 2016 Tomgram: Nomi Prins, Going Offshore in the 2016 Election Campaign
Nomi Prins, author of All the President's Bankers, uses the Panama Papers moment to take the whole present election campaign offshore. She analyzes just what the leading candidates are likely to do (or more likely not do) about all of the "missing" money flowing out of our lives and into those tax havens in Panama and elsewhere, increasing inequality and destabilizing the planet.
SHARE Thursday, December 6, 2012 Pepe Escobar: Obama in Tehran?
Imagine, for a moment, a world in which the United States is a regional power, not a superpower. A world in which the globe's mightiest nation, China, invades Mexico and Canada, deposing the leaders of both countries. A world in which China has also ringed the Americas, from Canada to Central America, with military bases.
SHARE Tuesday, February 5, 2019 Tomgram: Andrew Bacevich, What Matters and What Doesn't
The news, however defined, always contains a fair amount of pap. Since Donald Trump's ascent to the presidency, however, the trivia quotient in the average American's daily newsfeed has grown like so many toadstools in a compost heap, overshadowing or crowding out matters of real substance. We're living in TrumpWorld, folks.
SHARE Tuesday, April 29, 2014 Anand Gopal, How to Lose a War That Wasn't There
Here's the mind-blowing news in Anand Gopal's new TomDispatch post and in his just-published book No Good Men Among the Living: the U.S. fought its "war on terror" for almost a year in Afghanistan against - quite literally - ghosts. In the process, it resuscitated a Taliban movement that had ceased to exist and brought back the Harqqqani network as well, only to find itself in a conflict it couldn't win.
SHARE Monday, December 24, 2018 Tomgram: Danny Sjursen, Ringing in a New Year of War
As Donald Trump wraps up his second year in the Oval Office, despite sudden moves in Syria and Afghanistan, the United States remains entrenched in a set of military interventions across significant parts of the world.
SHARE Thursday, November 15, 2018 Tomgram: Engelhardt, An "Earned Media" Presidency
Face it: it's been an abusive time, to use a word he likes to wield. In his telling, of course, it's he or his people who are always the abused ones and they -- the "fake news media" -- are the abusers. But let's be honest. You've been abused, too, and so have I. All of us have and by that same fake news media.
SHARE Tuesday, August 16, 2016 Tomgram: Judith Coburn, On the Mean Streets of America
Step aside, Sam Spade. Move over, Philip Marlowe. You want noir? Skip the famed private eye novels and films of the 1930s and 1940s and turn to our present American world and to neighborhoods where the postman doesn't ring even once, but the police are ready to shoot more than once, often on the slightest excuse.
SHARE Tuesday, January 24, 2017 Tomgram: John Feffer, A Globalism of the 1%
Donald Trump is a worldly fellow. He travels the globe on his private jet. He's married to a Slovene and divorced from a Czech. He doesn't speak any other languages, but hey, he's an American, so monolingualism is his birthright.
(1 comments) SHARE Thursday, June 13, 2019 Tomgram: Laura Gottesdiener, An American Saddam Hussein?
There's a dark joke going around Baghdad these days. Noof Assi, a 30-year-old Iraqi peace activist and humanitarian worker, told it to me by phone. Our conversation takes place in late May just after the Trump administration has announced that it would add 1,500 additional U.S. troops to its Middle Eastern garrisons.
(1 comments) SHARE Thursday, September 29, 2016 Tomgram: Nomi Prins, Trump's Future Piggy Bank, Our Country?
As Nomi Prins, author of All the Presidents' Bankers points out in her latest TomDispatch piece on election 2016, there's one thing Donald Trump is not prepared to do, whatever the political positions he may espouse: give up what's best for Donald Trump.
(1 comments) SHARE Friday, June 28, 2013 Agents Provacateurs and Informants are Everywhere
From personal experience, Todd Gitlin and Tom Engelhardt describe a few of the tentacles of the Federal agencies that sow seeds of violence and hatred in our movements for peace and justice, just to justify prosecution and police brutality against peaceful protests.
(1 comments) SHARE Thursday, October 15, 2020 Tomgram: Steve Fraser, Was American History a Conspiracy?
News is "faked"; elections are "rigged"; a "deep state" plots a "coup"; Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia died suspiciously in bed with a pillow over his face; aides of ex-president Barack Obama conspire to undermine foreign policy from a "war room"; Obama himself was a Muslim mole; the National Park Service lied about the size of the crowd at the president's inauguration;[...]
SHARE Tuesday, April 7, 2020 Tomgram: Karen Greenberg, A Victory Parade in the Coronavirus Moment
Last month, Donald Trump retweeted a doctored photo of himself playing the fiddle that was labeled "My next piece is called: nothing can stop what's coming." It was clearly an homage to the Emperor Nero who so infamously made music while Rome burned. To it, the president added this comment: "Who knows what this means, but it sounds good to me!"
(1 comments) SHARE Monday, March 3, 2014 Tomgram: Engelhardt, A New World Order?
I hope my latest post will startle you. If you survey our planet, the situation is remarkably unsettled, confusing, and often violent, yet at least two things stand out. First, the imperial principle and the great power competition to which it has been wedded are visibly on the wane. Second, war of the traditional sort (global, intrastate, anti-insurgent), which convulsed the twentieth century, seems to be waning as well.
SHARE Tuesday, November 4, 2014 Engelhardt: Bulding an Escalation Machine
You already know the tune: more planes, more drones, more bombs, more special ops forces, more advisers, and more boots on the ground. After 13 years of testing, the recipe is tried and true, and its predictably disastrous results will only ensure far more hysteria in our future.
(1 comments) SHARE Thursday, July 26, 2018 Turning 74 in a Failing World
Sooner or later, there comes a moment in the history of the experiment when those muscles start to falter, those brain cells begin jumping ship, and in some fashion, spectacular or not, it all comes tumbling down. And that, as they say (or should say), is history. Human history, at least.
(1 comments) SHARE Sunday, December 9, 2018 In the Shadow of Donald Trump
Breaking News! -- as NBC Nightly News anchor Lester Holt often puts it when beginning his evening broadcast. Here, in summary, is my view of the news that's breaking in the United States on just about any day of the week:
Trump. Trump. Trump. Trump. Trump.
SHARE Thursday, October 11, 2018 Tomgram: Rebecca Gordon, All Eyes on Nevada
It's what campaigners say every November, I know, but this year's election really is as important as it gets. Will U.S. voters choose to halt the progress of Donald J. Trump's slow-motion coup? Or will the tide just continue rolling over us? So much depends on what happens in Nevada -- a state that once elected a senator by a mere 401 votes.
(1 comments) SHARE Monday, November 5, 2018 Tomgram: James Carroll, Entering the Second Nuclear Age?
It was only an announcement, but think of it as the beginning of a journey into hell. Last week, President Donald Trump made public his decision to abrogate the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF), a 1987 agreement with the Soviet Union.
SHARE Tuesday, March 27, 2018 Tomgram: Engelhardt, The White Ford Bronco Presidency
Call it mega-historic, if you wish. Never from Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar to Soviet despot Joseph Stalin, from the Sun King Louis the XIV to President Ronald Reagan, from George Washington to Barack Obama, has anyone -- star, icon, personality, president, autocrat, emperor -- been covered in anything like this fashion.
(6 comments) SHARE Monday, July 16, 2018 Tomgram: Rajan Menon, The Wages of Poverty in America
For millions of Americans, however, the greatest threat to their day-to-day security isn't terrorism or North Korea, Iran, Russia, or China. It's internal -- and economic. That's particularly true for the 12.7% of Americans (43.1 million of them) classified as poor by the government's criteria...
SHARE Thursday, March 10, 2011 Tomgram: David Bromwich, Superpower Bypassed by History
"From Egypt to Pakistan," begins David Bromwich, regular essayist for the New York Review of Books and the Huffington Post, in his latest TomDispatch piece, "February 2011 will be remembered as a month unusually full of the embarrassments of empire."
SHARE Tuesday, October 14, 2014 Laura Gottesdiener: Adrift in Oil Country
According to residents and oilfield workers, including Fred, there are only two things to do in Williston: work and drink. The reasons are simple enough. Unlike in significant parts of the country, well-paying jobs are easy to acquire in the oil fields. As a result, North Dakota boasts the lowest unemployment rate in the nation, an eye-popping 2.8%.
SHARE Monday, June 30, 2014 Juan Cole, Waiting for the Arab Summer
When it comes to pure ineptness, it's been quite a performance -- and I'm sure you've already guessed that I'm referring to our secretary of state's recent jaunt to the Middle East. You remember the old quip about jokes and timing. (It's all in the...) In this case, John Kerry turned the first stop on his Middle Eastern tour into a farce, thanks to impeccably poor timing.
(1 comments) SHARE Thursday, April 19, 2012 Fraser and Freeman: Creating a Prison-Corporate Complex
As cash-starved state governments scrape their way through this so-called recovery, they might as well hang signs with this message on their capitals: "Everything must go." States are hemorrhaging workers and selling off assets at a startling rate. So dire are the states' economic woes that they've begun offloading a more unusual type of property: prisons.
SHARE Monday, March 21, 2011 Tomgram: Rebecca Solnit, Hope and Turmoil in 2011
"Revolution is as unpredictable as an earthquake and as beautiful as spring. Its coming is always a surprise, but its nature should not be." So begins Rebecca Solnit in her latest, moving exploration of the nature of the revolutionary moment from the French Revolution to the Egyptian one
(1 comments) SHARE Thursday, April 6, 2017 Tomgram: Rebecca Gordon, Believe the Autocrat
When George W. Bush and Dick Cheney launched their forever wars -- under the banner of a "Global War on Terror" -- they unleashed an unholy trinity of tactics. Torture, rendition, and indefinite detention became the order of the day. After a partial suspension of these policies in the Obama years, they now appear poised for resurrection.
(1 comments) SHARE Tuesday, April 10, 2018 Tomgram: Andrew Bacevich, Creating a Perpetual War Machine
The purpose of all wars, is peace. So observed St. Augustine early in the first millennium A.D. Far be it from me to disagree with the esteemed Bishop of Hippo, but his crisply formulated aphorism just might require a bit of updating.
(3 comments) SHARE Tuesday, January 19, 2016 Tomgram: Bill McKibben, The Real Zombie Apocalypse
In a dramatic new piece, Bill McKibben offers a riveting vision of a world in peril, and a fossil fuel industry still proceeding in zombie-like fashion with projects which will extend the life of fossil fuels decades into the future and create the perfectly real-world equivalent of a zombie apocalypse.
SHARE Monday, February 4, 2013 Noam Chomsky: Why It's "Legal" When the U.S. Does It
Credit the Arab Spring and what's followed in the Greater Middle East to many things, but don't overlook American "unilateralism." After all, if you want to see destabilization at work, there's nothing like having a heavily armed crew dreaming about eternal global empires stomp through your neighborhood, and it's clear enough now that whatever was let loose early in the twenty-first century won't end soon.
(1 comments) SHARE Wednesday, September 30, 2015 Tomgram: Engelhardt, The Superpower as Victim
Given the cluttered landscape of the last 14 years, can you even faintly remember the moment when the Berlin Wall came down, the Cold War ended in a stunned silence of shock and triumph in Washington, Eastern Europe was freed, Germany unified, and the Soviet Union vanished from the face of the Earth? At that epochal moment, six centuries of imperial rivalries ended. Only one mighty power was left.
SHARE Tuesday, November 25, 2014 Engelhardt: Iraq War 4.0?
For a moment, do your best to suspend disbelief and imagine that there's another superpower, great power, or even regional power somewhere that, between 2001 and 2003, launched two major wars in the Greater Middle East. We're talking about full-scale invasions, long-term occupations, and nation-building programs, first in Afghanistan and then in Iraq.
SHARE Thursday, October 13, 2011 The All-American Occupation: A Century of Our Streets Vs. Wall Street , by Steve Fraser
In this groundbreaking piece, Fraser puts the Occupy Wall Street movement in the powerful light of history and helps explain just why the response to a few hundred young demonstrators is shaking the nation. "After an absence of well over half a century," he writes, "Wall Street is back, center stage, as the preferred American icon of revulsion, a status it held for a fair share of our history.
SHARE Thursday, November 15, 2012 Nick Turse: The Secret Building Boom of the Obama Years
Part of a slogan from my hometown past sticks in my mind. "Build we must," it went. Such an American phrase, really. Evidence of a can-do spirit from another country in another age. Now, in can't-do America with its disintegrating infrastructure, "build we mustn't" seems more in the spirit of the times -- with one obvious exception.
SHARE Monday, November 17, 2014 Laura Gottesdiener: A Tale of Two Cities, Post-Bankruptcy
In late October, a few days after local news cameras swarmed Detroit's courthouse to hear closing arguments in the city's historic bankruptcy trial, "Commander" Dale Brown cruised through the stately Detroit neighborhood of Palmer Woods in a Hummer emblazoned with the silver, interlocking-crescent-moon logo of his private security company.
SHARE Monday, March 27, 2017 Tomgram: Jon Else, Eyes on the Prize 2017
Today, with the three branches of government controlled by men intolerant of dissent and hounded by their own dark vision of pluralism, few human rights advocates of any stripe can reasonably expect a hearing in Washington.
SHARE Monday, August 20, 2018 William Astore, Make Sports, Not War
As long as I can remember, I've been a sports fan. As long as I can remember, I've been interested in the military. Until recently, I experienced those as two separate and distinct worlds...
SHARE Thursday, February 9, 2012 Peter Van Buren: In Washington, Fear the Silence, Not the Noise
No one ever joins the government in order to be a whistleblower. Whistleblowers are created, not born. As Peter Van Buren is happy to admit, before he spent a year on two forward operating bases in Iraq running a State Department provincial reconstruction team, he was "a more or less content Foreign Service Officer." It is perhaps typical of leakers that something they are privy to simply pushes them over the edge.
SHARE Tuesday, March 15, 2011 Tomgram: Nick Turse, The Pentagon and Murder in Bahrain
This is a startling and timely tale of an underplayed aspect of American relations in the region -- the way Pentagon arms and bases shore up anti-democratic rulers there and help fund and support an "Arab lobby" whose influence in Washington can even overcome presidential desires.
SHARE Tuesday, January 10, 2017 Tomgram: Rebecca Gordon, The Best Defense
Many of the folks I know are getting ready to play serious defense in 2017, and they're not wrong. Before we take up our three-point stance on the national line of scrimmage, however, maybe we should ask ourselves not only what we're fighting against, but what we're fighting for. What kind of United States of America do we actually want?
(1 comments) SHARE Tuesday, May 31, 2011 Engelhardt, Welcome to Post-Legal America
Is the Libyan war legal? Was Bin Laden's killing legal? Is it legal for the president of the United States to target an American citizen for assassination? Were those "enhanced interrogation techniques" legal? These questions have come up regularly in recent weeks and all of them, I suggest in my most recent post, are irrelevant.
(3 comments) SHARE Tuesday, June 21, 2011 Tomgram: Jonathan Schell, The War on the Word "War"
Nobody seems to have noticed, but in the nearly two and a half years of the Obama administration at least three commonplace phrases of the George W. Bush era have slipped into oblivion: "regime change," "shock and awe," and "imperial presidency." The war in Libya should remind us of just how appropriate they remain.
SHARE Thursday, March 14, 2019 Tomgram: Frida Berrigan, A Mother Swept Away by Climate Change
Young people across the world are striking to draw attention to the ravages of climate change. They are demanding -- with their bodies and their voices -- that the catastrophe each of them will inherit be a priority for the grown-ups around them. They are insisting that we adults make some sacrifices to keep their planet from becoming uninhabitable.
SHARE Tuesday, June 12, 2012 Peter Van Buren: The Ultimate No-Fly List
Last week, touching down in India on his way to Afghanistan, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta described reality as you seldom hear it in the confines of Washington and, while he was at it, put his stamp of approval on a new global doctrine for the United States. Panetta is, of course, the man who, as director of the CIA, once called its drone air campaign in the Pakistani borderlands "the only game in town."
SHARE Thursday, August 18, 2016 Best of TomDispatch: Andrew Bacevich, Pentagon, Inc.
A writer who dares to revisit a snarky article dashed off five-plus years earlier will necessarily approach the task with some trepidation. Pieces such as the one republished below are not drafted with the expectation that they will enjoy a protracted shelf life. Yet in this instance, I'm with Edith Piaf: Non, je ne regrette rien.
SHARE Tuesday, June 8, 2010 Tomgram: Lewis Lapham, The Playing Field as Battlefield
Rosenstock-Huessy was a German army officer in World War I, afterward a professor of medieval law in Breslau until the Nazis acquired the franchise in 1933. Signed for the next year's season by Harvard University to teach undergraduates the rudiments of Western civilization, he soon noticed that few of them grasped what he was trying to say, couldn't square the lines of thought with the circle of their emotions.
SHARE Monday, March 10, 2014 Tomgram: David Bromwich, The Leader Obama Wanted to Become and What Became of Him
Tonight, a truly magisterial portrait of a failing presidency from David Bromwich, perhaps the canniest portrait painter of the presidential character around. This sweeping character portrait of Barack Obama, the man we’ve never quite come to know, explains why the president’s words can still soar, but the actions he proposes show a remarkably consistent inability to leave the ground.