Foreign Policy & War

The Banality of Killing

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The standard explanations for the Arizona killings are now being set forth, such as widespread violence in America and right-wing extremism. I’d like to weigh in with another possible factor, one that I can’t prove but one that I think Americans ought to at least consider: the fact that killing has now become an accepted, essential, normal, and permanent ... [click for more]

Can U.S. Foreign Policy Be Fixed?

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The WikiLeaks revelations have shined a light on the dark nature of U.S. foreign policy. As Eric Margolis recently described it: “Washington’s heavy-handed treatment of friends and foes alike, its bullying, use of diplomats as junior-grade spies, narrow-minded views, and snide remarks about world leaders.” As much as I, an American, hate to say it, U.S. foreign policy ... [click for more]

Why WikiLeaks Leaks Matter

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Why should anyone care about the secret diplomatic cables WikiLeaks has disclosed? So what if State Department bureaucrats say unflattering things about other world “leaders”? Some people may be asking those questions in response to WikiLeaks’s latest disclosures. Okay, they say, leaks about atrocities on the battlefield (such as the first WikiLeaks disclosure, the “Collateral Murder” video) tell us ... [click for more]

Where Is the Tea Party Revolution on Foreign Policy?

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America’s latest populist movement, which reaches back to revolutionary history by calling itself the “Tea Party,” helped shape the remarkable results of last November’s midterm election. Some dare to hope that candidates elected in that political uprising might help arrest America’s alarming decline. Others see the uprising as no more than a cover for the corporate power that lay ... [click for more]

How Will the Empire End?

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Dismantling the Empire: America’s Last Best Hope by Chalmers Johnson (New York: Metropolitan Books, 2010); 212 pages. Most Americans would very likely deny that their government is a global empire, horribly destructive to national security, liberty, and wealth. But whatever we call this U.S. system of ubiquitous military bases, satellite regimes throughout the world, ever-growing “defense” budgets, and an ... [click for more]

The Neoconservative Obama Administration

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President Barack Obama was far from candid when he announced the end of combat operations in Iraq in August — 50,000 troops and a large number of mercenaries remain — but in his speech he did nothing to hide his neoconservative outlook on the American empire. This was not lost on leading neoconservatives, who tend to prefer Republicans. William Kristol, ... [click for more]

TSA Intrusion Is One Price of Empire

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How gratifying to see Americans increasingly angry at the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) for using offensive full-body scans and frisks in its latest production of what security expert Bruce Schneier calls “security theater.” The government would have us believe these measures are safe and effective, but its record for veracity is, to put it mildly, disgraceful. Meanwhile Schneier, an independent ... [click for more]

The Falling American Empire

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American Empire before the Fall by Bruce Fein (Campaign for Liberty, 2010); 219 pages. The very notion that America has an empire is most taboo. No matter the party in power, pointing out the reality of U.S. imperialism rarely wins political points. Our country, land of the free, won independence from the British Empire, defeated the Nazi empire, and ... [click for more]

Blood on His Hands

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As George W. Bush hawks his memoir, Decision Points, he seems especially driven to justify his decision to invade and occupy Iraq. He emphasizes how sickened he was at learning that Saddam Hussein had no weapons of mass destruction, though not too sick to kid about it at the White House correspondents’ dinner. While he refuses to say whether ... [click for more]

U.S. Covert War Provokes Terrorism in Yemen

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The U.S. government and mainstream media continue to play dumb about threats to Americans from the Muslim world. After two Chicago-bound packages of explosive materials originating in Yemen were found in England and Dubai, White House homeland security and counterterrorism advisor John Brennan said, “We are trying to understand who is behind it....” President Obama added, “We will continue to ... [click for more]
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