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.
Tuesday, May 8, 2012(11 comments)
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."
Thursday, October 6, 2011(2 comments)
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.
Thursday, January 26, 2012(3 comments)
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."
Thursday, April 21, 2011(3 comments)
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.'"
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.
Tuesday, September 13, 2011(1 comments)
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.
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!
Monday, August 2, 2010(2 comments)
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"
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
Monday, July 23, 2012(1 comments)
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...
Tuesday, July 1, 2014(2 comments)
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.
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
Monday, July 16, 2012(4 comments)
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.
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.
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."
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.
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)...
Thursday, June 4, 2015
Tomgram: Nick Turse, My Very Own Veteran's Day
PIBOR, South Sudan -- "I've never been a soldier," I say to the wide-eyed, lanky-limbed veteran sitting across from me. "Tell me about military life. What's it like?" He looks up as if the answer can be found in the blazing blue sky above, shoots me a sheepish grin, and then fixes his gaze on his feet. I let the silence wash over us and wait. He looks embarrassed. Perhaps it's for me.
Tuesday, June 16, 2015
Tomgram: Naomi Oreskes, Why Climate Deniers Are Their Own Worst Nightmares
From prominent historian of science Naomi Oreskes (profiled in the New York Times science section this morning) and co-author of the already-classic book Merchants of Doubt, a truly important piece: a devastating dissection of climate denial, the deniers, and their attack on climate scientists.
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.
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.
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.
Tuesday, August 17, 2010(1 comments)
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
Monday, August 3, 2015
Karen J. Greenberg, The Mass Killer and the National Security State
TomDispatch regular Karen Greenberg, director of the Center on National Security at Fordham Law, explains just what it means to the future funding of the national security state amid a panic over ISIS "lone wolves" and mass shootings -- and why it's likely to result in more taxpayer money going into ever more intrusive efforts to monitor Americans instead of into caring for those in our society who are young and disturbed.
Thursday, January 8, 2015(1 comments)
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.
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."
Thursday, May 28, 2015(2 comments)
Michael Klare: Superpower in Distress
Take a look around the world and it's hard not to conclude that the United States is a superpower in decline. Whether in Europe, Asia, or the Middle East, aspiring powers are flexing their muscles, ignoring Washington's dictates, or actively combating them.
Monday, April 13, 2015
Peter Van Buren: In the Middle East, Bet on a Winner (Iran!)
The U.S. is running around in circles in the Middle East, patching together coalitions here, acquiring strange bedfellows there, and in location after location trying to figure out who the enemy of its enemy actually is. The result is just what you'd expect: chaos further undermining whatever's left of the nations whose frailty birthed the jihadism America is trying to squash.
Tuesday, May 12, 2015
Ann Jones: Citizen's Revolt in Afghanistan
I went to Kabul, Afghanistan, in March to see old friends. By chance, I arrived the day after a woman had been beaten to death and burned by a mob of young men. The world would soon come to know her name: Farkhunda
Thursday, May 7, 2015
Nomi Prins: Hillary, Bill, and the Big Six Banks
The past, especially the political past, doesn't just provide clues to the present. In the realm of the presidency and Wall Street, it provides an ongoing pathway for political-financial relationships and policies that remain a threat to the American economy going forward.
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.
Sunday, June 5, 2011(3 comments)
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.
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...
Monday, February 8, 2016(2 comments)
"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.
Tuesday, October 25, 2011(9 comments)
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.
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.
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.
Monday, July 13, 2015(1 comments)
Tomgram: Pratap Chatterjee, No Lone Rangers in Drone Warfare
In reality, there's nothing 'lone' about drone warfare. Think of the structure for carrying out Washington's drone killing program as a multidimensional pyramid populated with hundreds of personnel and so complex that just about no one involved really grasps the full picture.
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.
Thursday, June 18, 2015(1 comments)
Tomgram: Andrew Bacevich, The Theology of American National Security
Today, a brilliant piece by TomDispatch regular Andrew Bacevich on the repetitive madness that is Washington's Iraq policy. A full-scale look at the consensus thinking (or national security "theology") that rules the nation's capital and how it has led us repeatedly down the rabbit hole in Iraq (and elsewhere). What the Obama Administration have blinded themselves to and where this leads in an Alice-in-Wonderland world
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.
Tuesday, July 14, 2015(1 comments)
Tomgram: Tim Weiner, The Nixon Legacy
It turns out we never got rid of Richard Nixon. Weiner's book should convince anyone that he created the blueprint for the present national security state. What was, for instance, one president's mania for bugging and recording his world in the twentieth century has become, in the twenty-first century, the NSA's mania for bugging and recording the whole planet.
Thursday, February 24, 2011(1 comments)
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.
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.
Wednesday, May 19, 2010(2 comments)
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.
Thursday, February 3, 2011(2 comments)
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."
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.
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?
Thursday, July 23, 2015(4 comments)
Tomgram: Pepe Escobar, The Pivot to Eurasia
n the rest of this remarkable piece, Escobar explores the latest news when it comes to China's and Russia's attempts to stitch together a new set of forces on the Eurasia continent, a plan in which Iran will be a key crossroads and node. He offers an eye-opening new way of looking at where our planet is headed and why Washington won't be the country leading it there. Make sure to give this piece your full attention!
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.
Thursday, February 10, 2011(3 comments)
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.
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.
Tuesday, June 22, 2010(1 comments)
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.
Tuesday, August 7, 2012(3 comments)
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.
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.
Steve Fraser: Mongrel Firebugs and Men of Property
"The past is a foreign country. They do things differently there." So wrote British playwright Harold Pinter. How apt that seems when one compares life in our own "second Gilded Age" to the way things were done in the original Gilded Age of a century ago. True, there are some striking similarities between the two moments, including the rise to power of crony capitalism, the staggering growth of inequality...
Tuesday, 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.
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"
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.
Monday, June 22, 2015(2 comments)
Armed Violence in the Homeland
In the rest of the piece, I offer a kind of tabulation of the overwhelming annual carnage-by-weapon in America that, most of the time, is remarkably little attended to and that no national security state promotes as "the greatest threat" of our time. It's a piece meant to put violence in our American world in some kind of perspective. I hope you'll find it provocative!
Thursday, 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.
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.
Monday, March 2, 2015(1 comments)
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.
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.
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).
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.
I got to see the now-famous enthusiasm gap up close and personal last week, and it wasn't a pretty sight.
Tuesday, January 3, 2012(3 comments)
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.
Thursday, June 17, 2010(2 comments)
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.
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?
Thursday, May 11, 2017(2 comments)
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.
Wednesday, August 4, 2010(1 comments)
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"
Monday, March 16, 2015(2 comments)
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.
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
Thursday, April 16, 2015
Michael Klare: Is the Age of Renewable Energy Already Upon Us?
Don't hold your breath, but future historians may look back on 2015 as the year that the renewable energy ascendancy began, the moment when the world started to move decisively away from its reliance on fossil fuels. Those fuels -- oil, natural gas, and coal -- will, of course, continue to dominate the energy landscape for years to come, adding billions of tons of heat-trapping carbon to the atmosphere.
Tuesday, 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.
Tuesday, January 20, 2015(3 comments)
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
Thursday, April 14, 2011(2 comments)
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.
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.
Tuesday, June 9, 2015(1 comments)
Tomgram: Gottesdiener and Garcia, How to Dismantle This Country
Something is rotten in the state of Michigan.
One city neglected to inform its residents that its water supply was laced with cancerous chemicals. Another dissolved its public school district and replaced it with a charter school system, only to witness the for-profit management company it hired flee the scene after determining it couldn't turn a profit.
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.
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.
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.
Thursday, January 4, 2018(3 comments)
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."
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.
Monday, July 17, 2017(1 comments)
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.
Thursday, October 2, 2014(1 comments)
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.
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.
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.
Tuesday, August 4, 2015(5 comments)
Tomgram: Christian Appy, America's Hiroshima and Nagasaki 70 Years Later
Historian Appy tells a remarkable and vivid tale of how the leaders of the only country to use atomic weapons against human beings crafted a narrative of, in essence, atomic "mercy" killings of a life-saving nature and how that narrative remained engraved in our collective consciousness (as in the wildly successfully bestseller and movie Unbroken) from August 1945 to the present moment.
Wednesday, April 20, 2011(2 comments)
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.
Friday, May 28, 2010(1 comments)
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.
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.
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"
Monday, June 8, 2015(4 comments)
Tomgram: Alfred McCoy. Washington's Great Game and Why It's Failing
For even the greatest of empires, geography is often destiny. You wouldn't know it in Washington, though. America's political, national security, and foreign policy elites continue to ignore the basics of geopolitics that have shaped the fate of world empires for the past 500 years.
Thursday, 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.
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?"
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.
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.
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.
Barbara Myers: The Unknown Whistleblower
The witness reported men being hung by the feet or the thumbs, waterboarded, given electric shocks to the genitals, and suffering from extended solitary confinement in what he said were indescribably inhumane conditions. It's the sort of description that might have come right out of the executive summary of the Senate torture report released last December.
Thursday, 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.
Thursday, June 25, 2015(1 comments)
Peter Van Buren, What If There Is No Plan B for Iraq?
In recent White House "debates" over a disastrously deteriorating situation in Iraq, President Obama's top military officials were dragging their feet on the question of what more the U.S. should do. Clearly, they weren't ready to swallow the idea of more U.S. casualties in a spreading conflict leading nowhere fast.
Tuesday, 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.
Thursday, May 22, 2014(3 comments)
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.
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.
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...
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.
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
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?
Thursday, September 29, 2011(6 comments)
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.
Tuesday, February 1, 2011(1 comments)
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.
Tomgram: William Astore, Time to Hold Military Boots to the Fire
Air Force Academy instructor William Astore. He considers just what America's future commanders are being taught in the country's three elite military academies and wonders what a crew that has taken no responsibility for years of disaster in conflict after conflict has to offer anyone and why they are generally held in such high regard in this country.
Monday, 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.
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.
Monday, June 4, 2012(2 comments)
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.
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.
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
Tuesday, July 18, 2017(3 comments)
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.
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.)
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.
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.
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."
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.
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.
Thursday, August 21, 2014(2 comments)
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).
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].
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...
Tuesday, July 28, 2009(11 comments)
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.
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.
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.
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...
Thursday, August 17, 2017(3 comments)
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.
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.
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.
Tuesday, May 31, 2016(1 comments)
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.
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.
Tuesday, September 8, 2015(2 comments)
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.
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.
Tuesday, October 17, 2017(1 comments)
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.
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.
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.
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.
Thursday, March 27, 2014(2 comments)
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.
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"
Thursday, May 21, 2015
Dahr Jamail: The Navy's Great Alaskan "War"
I lived in Anchorage for 10 years and spent much of that time climbing in and on the spine of the state, the Alaska Range. Three times I stood atop the mountain the Athabaskans call Denali, "the great one." During that decade, I mountaineered for more than half a year on that magnificent state's highest peaks.
Tuesday, January 17, 2012(1 comments)
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:
Monday, June 13, 2016(1 comments)
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.
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.
Tuesday, December 16, 2014(1 comments)
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).
Tuesday, July 19, 2011(1 comments)
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).
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.
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.
Thursday, July 9, 2015
Tomgram: Ellen Cantarow, Paradise Lost -- or Found?
In the Finger Lakes, an area of New York State you may never have heard of, Cantarow offers a glimpse of the small-scale, local ways in which Americans are standing up to Big Energy corporations. She describes how they are doing their inventive best to seize the day and ensure that our children and grandchildren remain on a planet capable of supporting them. This is inspiring stuff. Don't miss it! Tom
Tuesday, May 28, 2013(1 comments)
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.
Tuesday, November 3, 2015(2 comments)
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.
Monday, February 13, 2017(6 comments)
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.
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...
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).
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.
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.
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.
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