Foreign Policy & War

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]

The Violence That Empire Engenders

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On May 1, a naturalized Pakistani-American left the United States a smoking surprise in Times Square meant to maim and murder indiscriminately. Fortunately the car bomb failed because a Senegalese Muslim T-shirt vendor sounded the alarm and because the bomb was ineptly designed. But as all acts of violence warrant, we should ask why. Was homegrown terrorist Faisal Shahzad’s ... [click for more]

Terrorist Threat Has Roots in U.S. Policy

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“While al-Qaeda continues to threaten America directly, it also inspires its affiliates and other groups and individuals who share its violent ideology.... Homegrown terrorists represent a new and changing facet of the terrorist threat. To be clear, by ‘homegrown,’ I mean terrorist operatives who are U.S. persons and who were radicalized in the United States....” With those words Homeland Security ... [click for more]

Leading Humanity Out of the Darkness, Part 4

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Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 During the entire 11 years of the sanctions on Iraq, the anger in the Middle East was simmering, not only among Iraqi parents but also among Muslims throughout the Middle East, who could only sit idly by and watch the deaths occur year after year. There ... [click for more]

Two Freed Prisoners in Germany

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On Thursday, two Guantánamo prisoners were released, to start new lives in Germany, bringing the prison’s population to 174. Announcing their arrival, Interior Minister Thomas de Maizière stated that, by taking them in, Germany had “made its humanitarian contribution to closing the detention center.” He also noted that the two men had asked for their identities to be withheld ... [click for more]

The Dishonor of Militarism

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What a blown opportunity! Glenn Beck gathered thousands of people at the Lincoln Memorial on Saturday to urge a restoration of American honor — but not once did he mention the most egregious assault on America’s honor: militarism. It would have been a perfect time to call for dismantling the American empire, ending the bloody occupations and covert wars in ... [click for more]

None Dare Call It Tyranny

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If you want to know what tyranny is like, look around. The national government — specifically the executive branch — can do pretty much what it wants. It could bomb Iran tomorrow without a declaration of war from Congress. It can — and does — conduct secret wars and covert operations against countries that have done nothing to us. Of ... [click for more]
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