Tag: Tom Engelhardt
Imperial gigantism and the decline of planet Earth.
A new book from Jeremy Scahill, America’s blowback reporter.
How to turn a world lacking in enemies into the most threatening place in the universe.
What you don’t know can hurt you.
Why it’s so tough to get your head around climate change.
A secret CIA drone base, a blowback world, and why Washington has no learning curve.
Post-Legal drones, the Bin Laden tax, and other wonders of our American world.
For Washington, there is no arms control abroad.
Megatrends, game-changers, black swans, tectonic shifts, and a world not that different from 2012.
An open letter to the community organizer and Constitutional law professor who became a robot President.
How not to change the world.
This year’s presidential campaign is bigger and louder than anything we’ve ever seen before.
The discrediting of U.S. military power.
Forget Mitt Romney, can the president make it to November 7?
War has become a sort of American monopoly–but the American people don’t seem to know, or care.
How quickly will the U.S. leave Afghanistan?
A message written in blood that no one wants to hear.
A process of militarization is working its way through all facets of American government, and it’s not likely to stop any time soon.
The value of American—and Afghan—lives.
An unprecedented expansion of authority has created a new role for the president: Assassin-in-Chief.
On staring death in the face and not noticing.
Vietnam has left town, say “hello” to the new syndrome on the block.
Anis Shivani interviews Tom Engelhardt, creator of TomDispatch, about how today’s political leaders are leading us toward Soviet-era doublethink and decline.
Obama breaks new ground when it comes to war with Iran.
|How drones, Special Operations Forces, and the U.S. Navy plan to end national sovereignty as we know it.|
|Iranian aircraft carriers in the Gulf of Mexico, and why it can’t happen here.|
|It’s time for us to realize that none of the crucial problems on this planet are amenable to military solutions, not even by a country willing to pour its treasure into previously unheard of national security expenditures.|
|Over the last decade, the U.S. has been taught a repetitive lesson when it comes to ground wars on the Eurasian mainland: don’t launch them.|
|How the Occupied became the Occupiers.|
|How to turn election year into election life.|
|After almost nine years of war and occupation, what does Washington have to show for itself?|
|Seeing the world in black and white (with subtitles).|
|This is what defeat looks like.|
|A (self-)graduation speech for the occupiers of Zuccotti Park.|
|Is the National Security Complex too big to fail?|
|In the last decade, there has been only one definition that truly matters: the almost instantaneous post-9/11 insistence that we are “at war,” and not even in a specific war or set of wars, but in an all-encompassing one.|
|Who knew that the highest officials in Washington receive scam “Nigerian” letters as well?|
|Our “ceremonies of hubris” have for the last decade provided a blank check to the war state, so isn’t it time to start talking about how to end them? A call to end our 9/11 ceremonies and rip the Band-Aid off the wound.|
|If you thought President Obama was ending the war in Afghanistan, think again. Your children will be fighting it in 2024 if the Pentagon has its way.|
Tom Engelhardt: Could the Pentagon Be Responsible for Your Death? The Military’s Marching Orders to the Jihadist WorldAugust 2011
|A look at a potentially shocking Pentagon program to influence jihadis online that someone in Congress should investigate fast.|
|A tour de force exploration of the war crisis that lurks behind the debt-ceiling crisis.|
Tom Engelhardt: How Not to Make Friends in the Greater Middle East: Washington’s Singular AccomplishmentJuly 2011
|Be proud, America! In the name of security, the U.S. is spreading fear & hate.|
|How George W. Bush’s Global War on Terror fantasies and delusions were embedded in our world and have now become the humdrum norm of Obama policy.|
|What President Obama’s words really tell us about the state of the nation.|
|Nine common terms associated with our present wars that probably don’t mean what you think they mean.|
|The rabble over the E. coli outbreak and terrorism teaches us a lot about how America works.|
Tom Engelhardt: Dumb Question of the Twenty-first Century: Is It Legal?: Post-Legal America and the National Security ComplexMay 2011
|When it comes to acts of state today, there is only one law: don’t pull up the curtain.|
Tom Engelhardt: Bored to Death in Afghanistan (and Washington): Mating Déjà Vu with a Mobius Strip in the Graveyard of EmpireMay 2011
|If nobody told you otherwise, you could easily believe that almost every breaking Afghan story in the last four weeks came from some previous year of the war.|
Tom Engelhardt: Osama bin Laden’s American Legacy: It’s Time to Stop Celebrating and Go Back to KansasMay 2011
|When the celebrations and partying over his death fade…we’ll once again be left with the tattered American world bin Laden willed us, and it will be easy to see just how paltry a thing this “victory,” his killing, is almost 10 years later.|
|Is it really so illogical to imagine China as the next “sole superpower” on planet Earth?|
Tom Engelhardt: Sleepwalking into the Imperial Dark: What It Feels Like When a Superpower Runs Off the TracksApril 2011
|Empires live vampirically by feeding off others until, sooner or later, they begin to feed on themselves, to suck their own blood, to hollow themselves out.|
|“And so, for decades, that part of my childhood remained the dark but largely forgotten underside of the golden 1950s. I never thought I’d want it back, but with six nuclear plants threatening to melt down in Fukushima, Japan, I find that I do.”|
Tom Engelhardt: (N)ever Again: Old Secretaries of Defense Never Die, They Just Write Bestselling MemoirsMarch 2011
|It’s time, once and for all, to lock the gates. It’s time to use the U.S. military only in the genuine defense of this country.|
|You might think that, as vast swathes of the Greater Middle East are set ablaze, someone in Washington would take a new look at our Af/Pak War and wonder whether it isn’t simply beside the point. No such luck.|
|If the Obama’s budget is passed, its five-year freeze on domestic programs will reduce spending to the lowest level since Eisenhower left office in 1961.|
Tom Engelhardt: Pox Americana: Driving Through the Gates of Hell and Other American Pastimes in the Greater Middle EastFebruary 2011
|Almost 20 years after the lesser superpower of the Cold War left the world stage, the “victor” is now lurching down the declinist slope, this time as the other defeated power of the Cold War era.|
|Six are dead in Tucson, and the country is outraged. Sixteen are killed in Kabul, and there’s nary a thought for the deceased. Tom Engelhardt discusses how Americans are quick to protect their own, but care little for Afghan innocents.|
|It’s easy to forget that war is a drug. But eventually, Washington, the Pentagon, and the U.S. military will have to enter rehab. They desperately need a twelve-step program for recovery. Until then, the delusions and the madness that go with surge addiction are not likely to end.|
|The true horror of the casualties of war may lie in the fact that Americans aren’t even calling for an explanation.|
Tom Engelhardt: The National Security State Cops a Feel: Taking Off the Gloves (and Then Everything Else)November 2010
|As long as Americans don’t grasp the connections between our war state and our “safety,” things will only get worse|
|“In my nineteen fifties childhood, there was a cheesy (if thrilling) sci-fi flick, The Incredible Shrinking Man…In recent weeks, without a radioactive cloud in sight, the date for serious drawdowns of American troops in Afghanistan has followed a similar path toward the vanishing point.”|
Tom Engelhardt: The Stimulus Package in Kabul: (I Was Delusional—I Thought One Monster “Embassy” Was the End of It)November 2010
|You must have had a moment when you thought to yourself: It really isn’t going to end, is it? For the author of this post, the U.S. military’s $511 million plan for a massive expansion of the U.S. embassy in Kabul inspired one of those moments of hopelessness.|
|“Whether the country I once wanted to represent was ever there in the form I imagined is a question I’ll leave to the historians…What remains, angry or depressed, has made for a toxic brew as well as the most dispiriting election of my life.”—Tom Engelhardt’s ballot box blues for November 2010.|
|In the midst of American election frenzy, a one-man tip sheet on the “global midterms”—prospective winners, losers, and those “on the cusp.”|
Our generals are hooked on spending. Don’t expect them to discipline themselves. They won’t.
Tom Engelhardt: One and a Half Cheers for American Decline: The Future’s Not Ours—and That’s Good NewsSeptember 2010
Our country may be in decline, but the news isn’t all bad. It’s actually going to feel better to be just another nation, one more country, rather than the nation.
Tom Engelhardt and Nick Turse: The American Way of War Quiz: This Was the War Month That Was (Believe It or Not)September 2010
The first TomDispatch American Way of War Quiz. Pit your wits against the best the Pentagon has to offer.
Tom Engelhardt: Will Our Generals Ever Shut Up?: The Military’s Media Megaphone and the U.S. Global Military PresenceSeptember 2010
Today, you no longer need to be a retired military officer to offer play-by-play commentary on and analysis of our wars. Though nothing in the record indicates that anyone should listen to what these men have to say, the main narrators of those wars turn out to be none other than the generals running, or overseeing, them.
Tom Engelhardt: What If Washington…?: Five Absurd Things That Simply Can’t Happen in Wartime WashingtonAugust 2010
As a boy, Engelhardt loved reading what-if history and science fiction books. Here are his own five what-ifs, five possibilities that—given our world—verge on the fictional.
Historically, it has undoubtedly been the nature of imperial powers to consider every strange thing they do more or less the norm. For a waning imperial power, however, such an attitude has its own dangers.
Tom Engelhardt: Why Are We in Afghanistan?: As Petraeus Takes Over, Could Success Be Worse Than Failure?July 2010
Failure breeds critics, you might say, the way dead bodies breed flies. Or put another way, it’s easy enough to criticize a failing American project, but what about a successful one?
Tom Engelhardt: America Detached from War: Bush’s Pilotless Dream, Smoking Drones, and Other Strange Tales from the CryptJune 2010
With the increasing use of the robotic drone—the Lady Gaga of weapons—America may be instigating the next era of lawless and valorless warfare.
As the military continues to hemorrhage money and get drunk with power, the U.S. begins more and more to resemble its once mighty rival, the Soviet Union.
Washington makes it seem so impossible, but we really could withdraw our massive armies from Iraq and Afghanistan.
U.S. war-fighting numbers to knock your socks off.
Perhaps the U.S. should think twice before shipping its dysfunctional democracy abroad.
Three fixes for the American way of war.
Why does a country that is convinced it’s becoming ungovernable think itself so capable of making another country governable?
American life is being sacrificed to the very infrastructure meant to provide this country’s citizens with “safety.” That’s what seven days in January really means.
For Americans, 2010 could be the year of the assassin.
As for peacemaking or de-escalation next year, fuggedaboutit…2010: pure loss.
Two hurricanes, one of them human, had blown through American life; between them, they had linked the previously unconnected.
Never has an administration spent so much time creating, defining, or redefining terms, perhaps because no one (since George Orwell) has grasped the power and possibility that lay hidden in plain sight in the naming and renaming of words.